We all want friendly insects like bees and worms in the garden to keep our plants pollinated and the soil in good condition, but sometimes other pests come along which can wreck havoc in our lovely outdoor spaces.
While your first instinct might be to reach for the insecticide, I believe it’s always best to try natural controls where possible. So what can you do to get rid of pests your garden naturally?
Erect Mechanical Barriers
Many larger pests like rabbits, can be relatively easily deterred by physical barriers, like garden fences. Although tall fencing can get expensive, low-level fencing tends to be a lot cheaper and less intrusive.
Other physical barriers can work wonders too. You can use a lightweight fabric sheet to cover any plants that are particularly prone to insect attack, creating a barrier which will protect whatever is underneath. Covers like this are especially helpful if you’re growing crops, like brassicas, which tend to be more prone to insect attack.
Get Some Ducks
According to Vitax Garden World, any plants with soft leaves, especially the shoots of emerging perennials, are susceptible to slugs. If you’ve got a slug problem, you could soon find many of your softer-leaved varieties disappearing from your garden. If you want to prevent this from happening the natural way, then the best thing to do is get a couple of ducks to patrol the garden during the day time. Ducks are hardy creatures, cheap to feed, and spend most of their day rooting around in grass and soils for insects. They absolutely love slugs, so if you do happen to have any in your garden, they’ll find them in no time. Ducks are selective about what they eat – they won’t just eat grass for the sake of it – but they will eventually trample down your lawn and any soft flower beds so you may have to wall off these areas.
Buy Disease-Proof Plants
Blight and other fungal infections can wreak havoc on even the best-kept gardens in short order. But thanks to cross-breeding and genetic modification, there are now dozens of varieties of plants which are immune to blight and parasites. To beat back infection in your garden, select as many disease resistant varieties as possible.
Use Mulch For Weeds
Weeds love rich soil. Nettles, dandelions, and thistles all grow up in places where the soil has a lot of nutrients. Unfortunately, that means that they often make an unwanted appearance in your garden, sprouting up out of nowhere overnight and ruining the aesthetic.
Instead of reaching for the Roundup, try using mulch to control weeds. Gardeners often put mulch around the base of larger garden plants, like crab-apple trees, to prevent them from being surrounded by weeds. Mulch prevents weeds from sprouting up from the soil below and, if it’s organic, will eventually break down anyway, making it friendly for the environment.