When you put sweat and hard work into your garden, you can’t allow pests to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take preemptive measures to stop the pests before the damage occurs, and try natural pest control methods before turning to harsh pesticides. Here are five tips for keeping pests out of your garden.

Plant Herbs That Deter Pests

Humans like herbs because they add strong flavors to food. Pests dislike them for the same reasons. Many pests don’t enjoy pungent herbs. Plant herbs around your fruits and vegetables to keep the pests away. Some of the most effective herbs include calendula, coriander, garlic, anise, thyme, and chives, among others.

Plan accordingly at the beginning of the process to make space for all of your vegetables and fruits as well as the herbs.

Encourage Spiders and Ladybugs

Spiders and ladybugs both naturally feed on many of the pests known to ruin gardens. Even if you don’t love spiders, you can add some into your garden’s habitat to create natural pest control.

You can also plant flowers with pollen that are known to encourage even other insects that can help you produce a healthy harvest.

Rotate Crops

One of the first natural pest control methods is rotating the crops. Each year, plant different items in a particular space. Pests learn when their favorite plants show up every year, so confuse them. If you do come across an infestation, avoid planting in that area for two or three years.

Water in the Morning

The time you water can play a toll on the number of pests you find in your garden. Watering in the morning will keep plants looking healthy, deterring pets that feed on withering plants. The water will also dry when the sun comes up, deterring slugs and other pests attracted to moist foliage.

Build Pest Barriers

Take a trip to the local hardware store to look for pest barriers. Row covers can offer protection, but you need to ensure that your plants still get plenty of sunlight through the barrier. You can also use sticky bands or copper strips. These items don’t damage your garden and reduce the number of pests you’ll find.

If you’ve got an infestation and nothing you’re doing to get rid of it is working, it might be time to contact a pest control professional. They can help you make a plan to combat the specific kind of pest you have so that you can get rid of it permanently. You can talk to them about which kinds of pesticides or chemicals you’re comfortable with and which kinds you want kept away from your garden.

You deserve to see the rewards of your hard work. Most new gardeners know that pests can throw a wrench in the plan more quickly than almost anything else. Taking action, in the beginning, will help. Of course, you shouldn’t get discouraged. If you do get pests, continue to try different methods until you have mastered the art of gardening.

By Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing.

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