3 Tips For Naturally Controlling Pests In Your Garden

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Gardening is a great hobby that many people enjoy, but pests can cause a lot of problems and wreak havoc on plant growth. If you're going to be growing a garden, it is important to be proactive to help prevent an infestation of common garden pests. While there are many chemical pesticides available, a lot of people prefer to use natural products to repel pests. Some natural plant pesticide ideas to try include:

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a dry substance that is made by crumbling up a type of rock that is formed by fossilized algae. It is an abundant substance and can often be purchased at an affordable price from gardening centers. Diatomaceous earth itself is not poisonous to garden pests, but it is an abrasive material that dries out the lipids (waxy outer coating) from an insect's exoskeleton which typically causes dehydration and death. In addition to controlling crawling insects, diatomaceous earth can also be effective at keeping snails and slugs away from your garden.

It is easy to use diatomaceous earth in the garden—just sprinkle it around the perimeter of the garden as well as in the soil. You can also sprinkle it over plants itself if you would like. Diatomaceous earth must be dry in order to be effective, so you will need to reapply it to your garden area after it rains.

Companion Planting

There are several types of plants that naturally repel garden pests, and you can help protect your garden by putting these plants near other plants that may be affected by pests. Asters, marigold, and henbit are thought to repel most insects in the garden—you can plant them throughout your garden to help keep pests away. Garlic can be helpful in keeping away aphids and Japanese beetles, while nasturtium is known for repelling aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, and striped pumpkin beetles. Other plants that may repel pests include: onion, catnip, calendula, and geranium. 

Natural Sprays

There are several sprays that experienced gardeners make themselves to keep garden pests at bay. A garlic spray can be very effective, and all you need to make it is a few bulbs of pureed garlic, water, vegetable oil, and a small amount of dish soap. Other people like to use a neem oil spray; neem oil is made from the seeds of the neem tree and is thought to disrupt the life cycle of pests. It is typically available at garden centers or natural markets. A neem oil spray for the garden involves mixing neem oil, water, and a small amount of liquid soap before spraying on plants. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Blacksmith Bioscience.

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