How to Manage Garden Pests | Living the Country Life
More
Close

How to Manage Garden Pests

Garden pests encompass insects, diseases, animals, and weeds that cause problems for cultivated plants. Follow these tips to identify and avoid them.
  • Strike a Natural Balance

    More often than not, insects, diseases, animals and weeds do not reach pest status because you and nature control their population. Because a healthy garden relies on this intricate interaction between predators and prey, it is essential that you observe pests in your garden before intervening; don't assume an unfamiliar insect is a pest. Weeds, on the other hand, need more vigorous monitoring and often require action. Because weeds readily root in open soil, a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch will thwart seed germination, effectively limiting weed growth most of the season. 

    Date Published: May 9, 2018
    Date Updated: August 17, 2018
  • Stay Healthy

    The best thing you can do to prevent pests from gaining the upper hand is to grow healthy plants in healthy soil. Research shows that healthy plants have strong immune systems and react to pest outbreaks by releasing chemicals that help sustain them during attack. The soil around newly built homes and in urban areas can be particularly challenging. If the native soil is unmanageable, build raised beds, or garden in containers. 

    Date Published: May 9, 2018
    Date Updated: August 17, 2018
  • Manage Pests

    The goal of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is to solve a problem with the least-toxic effect on the environment. Chemical pest-control methods are the last option and rarely used in IPM. Prevent problems by providing plants with the sun exposure, moisture, and nutrients they require for strong, healthy growth. 

    Date Published: May 9, 2018
    Date Updated: August 17, 2018
  • Identify Symptoms and Pests

    As you work in the garden, look for signs of stress or disease, such as yellowing, wilting, puckering, discoloration, and holes in or chewed edges on foliage. For tiny insects, such as mites, hold a piece of white paper under a leaf and tap the leaf and, using a magnifying glass, look for specks crawling on the paper. Use reference books and Internet sources to accurately identify what you find. 

    Date Published: May 9, 2018
    Date Updated: August 17, 2018
  • Monitor the Situation

    If you think a plant has a pest, watch to see what changes take place over the following days or weeks, then decide if control is required. 

    Date Published: May 9, 2018
    Date Updated: August 17, 2018
  • Choose Control Methods

    Start with the least-toxic control methods before advancing to other options, using chemical pest controls as a last result. 

    Date Published: May 9, 2018
    Date Updated: August 17, 2018
  • Keep Records, Evaluate Results

    Because insects are usually seasonal, jot down the type of insect, what plant it was on, the type of damage, weather conditions, time of year, and control methods and their effectiveness.

    Date Published: May 9, 2018
    Date Updated: August 17, 2018

Latest Blogs

Betsy's Backyard |
5/25/18 | 11:05 AM
My daughter, Caroline, said she missed my blog, so I'm going to download a few ...read more
Betsy's Backyard |
3/12/18 | 1:18 PM
The Living the Country Life Spring/Summer 2018 issue comes out this month. I loved the...read more

Add Your Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login