While there is so much joy in growing homegrown vegetables right in your garden, there are a few things that can get fairly stressful. Just think about it; you have to deal with constant fluctuations in temperature, the weather is fairly unpredictable, and worst of all, you’re going to have to deal with pests. Yes, while you can have some protection for your plants when it comes to high temperatures, low temperatures, and the weather, you’re out there battling it out with so many different types of pests that it makes it feel next to impossible to win, right? Fortunately, there are a few things you can do, so keep reading on to find out!
Start By Identifying the Infestation
As you walk through the garden, look for signs of pest damage. Holes, wilting, skeletonized leaves (veins exposed), and mangled growth are indications that you need to take action. Also, watch for disease transmission from bugs to plants. Identify pests by their physical appearance, feeding behavior, and target plant species. The pests most commonly found in gardens fall into seven insect groups or orders. Each order has its own characteristic plant damage. For the most part, you can count on each species to have a different pest control method.
Remove Any Damaged Leaves or Stalks
You might be thinking, “The plants look a little bad, but it’s only natural; there isn’t that much harm,” right? Well, for the most part, pests aren’t only ruining the aesthetics of your garden/ plants, but they are also damaging your plants. Many damaging pests also transmit pathogens that lead to disease in the plants they chew or eat. This is why it is so important to remove all damaged plant parts because your entire plant might just get destroyed, and this could even spread to neighboring plants. Overall, it’d be a negative experience.
Try to Monitor Your Garden Regularly
Is it an infestation, or is this just something that’s temporary? It can be hard to determine, but there’s always the chance that some pests are temporarily on a plant, while other times, they’re full-on infesting it to the point hundreds are covering the leaves and stem. Regular monitoring of the garden will allow you to detect pest problems quickly and catch them before they get out of hand. Overall, having a garden checklist will help you out a lot.
Inspect plants at least twice a week, looking under leaves and on the stems. Record your observations in a garden log or on a small notebook dedicated to gardening notes, especially regarding plant damage and pests. Keep in mind that there is no way to eliminate all pests. In fact, in small numbers, some are necessary for a healthy, self-regulating ecosystem.
Understand That Pest Prevention Varies
When it comes to pest control, it’s good to understand that it varies. How you prevent snails from getting into your garden isn’t going to be the same as how you prevent caterpillars. It’s all going to be entirely different. The same even goes for organic pesticides versus more chemical-based pesticides. It’s all going to vary, so you’re going to have to figure out which is your preference and what you want for your garden.