7 Simple Ways to Prevent Garden Pests

Don't Let Pests Destroy Your Garden!

May 11, 2020

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Pests are a common challenge, but that doesn’t mean they need to gain the upper hand. In fact, it’s very easy to prevent pests altogether. Prevention is better than a cure, and it’s kinder on nature, too. In this short video, we’ll share seven simple strategies for effective pest prevention. They’re all natural, organic, and proven to work!

7 Simple Ways to Prevent Pests

Here are seven easy ways to prevent garden pests ruining your crop.

1. Grow Resistant Varieties

Select varieties that have some resistance to common pests. For example, look out for carrot varieties that are resistant to carrot rust fly, or potatoes that shake off eelworm attacks.

2. Confuse Pests with Interplanting

Interplant crops to make it harder for pests to locate their preferred crop. Try interplanting different types of vegetables, or mix in herbs or flowers. Also try growing vegetables with unusual colored leaves, such as red or purple cabbages, that insects won’t expect.

3. Plant Outside of Peak Times

Pests are problematic at specific times, so it’s worth growing vegetables before or after peak season for their pests. For example, flea beetle activity peaks in midsummer so growing vegetables such as Asian greens and mustards in the fall, when fewer beetles are about, sidesteps the problem. Or try growing early peas, which usually escape the attention of pea moths.

4. Grow Out of the Way

Grow carrots and cabbage family crops in pots that are 18 inches or more above ground to keep them safe from low-flying carrot rust flies and cabbage root flies. Raised pots also reduce damage from slugs and other soil-dwelling pests.

Start seedlings off in pots or trays under cover helps avoid early setbacks from birds and slugs. Once they’re bigger and sturdier they can withstand minor attacks, and can be safely transplanted.

5. Use Barriers

Use insect mesh or floating row covers on hoops or frames to protect crops from pests such as cabbage white caterpillars, carrot rust fly, aphids, and squash bugs. Secure them around the edges to prevent pests from creeping in.

6. Attract Beneficial Bugs

Ladybugs, hoverflies, parasitic wasps, and lacewings are just a few of the beneficial bugs that help keep pest numbers low by eating them or hatching their young inside them. More beneficial bugs can be tempted into your garden by growing lots of the flowers they love, like cosmos, sweet alyssum, dill, and yarrow, among or alongside your veggies.

7. Keep Plants Healthy

Strong, healthy plants are less likely to succumb to pests. Make sure to grow plants in the right conditions, fertilize them, and water well in dry weather. Feed the soil with plenty of compost or other well-rotted organic matter to encourage a robust root system that maintains healthy growth.

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As a courtesy, the online Almanac Garden Planner is free for 7 days. This is plenty of time to play around on your computer and try it out. There are absolutely no strings attached. We are most interested in encouraging folks to try growing a garden of goodness! 

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Reader Comments

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Floating row covers

These row covers protected my kale from moths and worms, and protected my tomatoes from squirrels! While waiting for a garden fence to keep bunnies and deer out, the covers protected my garden from those persistent critters. At night I tuck my beans and strawberries in from a yet to be identified 4 legged and in the morning I uncover and welcome to a pest free day. I use insect and the slightly heavier covers as well as tulle. Tulle wraps my big beautiful tomato plants, let’s maximum sunshine in, and keeps the birds off my fruits.

For the first time, this year

For the first time, this year I have integrated dill, basil, marigolds, and other herbs within the garden. It is working to deter the pests! I also have some vegetables in pots. A couple didn't get a companion plant and they have some chewing bugs. But, the the ones that did are doing great and without any pests. Do your research on what grows well together, the time spent doing that will keep you from having pests and a healthier veggie. Happy gardening!

Butterfly Bush

Identify pest that invades this bush. Attacks the trunk and the main stems while destroying the foliage. Have tried the pesticide, Seven, without success.

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