Gardening continues to skyrocket in popularity among Americans, according to the National Gardening Survey. While tending to a garden continues to be a relaxing hobby for many, an increasing number of homeowners are also aiming to become more self-sufficient by growing their own fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Despite gardening being extremely rewarding, there are also a number of obstacles you may have to contend with. One of the most common problems a gardener faces is a pest infestation that has the potential to swiftly undo all your hard work. Thankfully, there are a number of simple-to-follow DIY hacks that can help keep your garden pest-free.
Stay on top of your fruit and veg harvests
While having a garden bursting at the seams with overgrowing foliage and heaps of fruit and vegetables may look wonderful, it is also inviting various pests onto your property. Not only does thick vegetation provide bugs and critters with ample hiding space, but a surplus of fruits and vegetables will also serve as an easy-to-access feast. Prevent your plants from becoming overgrown by trimming them on a regular basis, while also removing any falling leaves, flowers, and twigs. Harvest your fruit and vegetables as soon as they are ready, and pick up any fruit that has fallen. If you can’t utilize your entire harvest, consider giving it away instead of simply leaving it in the garden where it can attract opportunistic insects and animals.
Conduct regular inspections for water and damp
Conducting regular checks for standing water and signs of damp can help you keep your garden pest-free. While standing water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, even a small amount of damp can increase the risk of a termite infestation. Ensure that you have no dripping taps or leaking water tanks in the garden, and get rid of any damp wood that may already be housing a termite colony. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, termites will invade your garden and even your home. Although there are a number of DIT methods you can try to get rid of the termite infestation, it may be a good idea to call in a professional exterminator, as termites can cause widespread and expensive damage in a short space of time.
Create an oasis for frogs and birds
You can reduce the prevalence of common pests in your garden by making it an oasis for frogs and birds. Small frogs will help rid your garden of flies, mosquitoes and moths, while bigger frogs will feast on larger pests such as grasshoppers and worms. Birds such as cardinals, bluebirds, nuthatches, and chickadees will help rid your garden of cabbage worms, earwigs, whiteflies, aphids, grasshoppers, and grubs. You can attract frogs to your garden by offering water and shelter – just be sure to change the water regularly to avoid mosquitoes breeding in it. If you have a lot of bugs in your garden, birds may naturally gravitate towards it. Alternatively, you can attract them with a birdbath, additional food sources, and even DIY nesting boxes.
Pests can wreak absolute havoc in a garden. By being proactive and putting your DIY gardening skills to good use you can prevent a large-scale infestation and keep your garden looking beautiful and healthy.