Gardening expert gives tips on deterring pets and pests
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It’s important to remember that all pests are part of the garden ecosystem and food chain, and that many are an important source of food for birds and other wildlife. For example, house sparrows feed aphids to their chicks, while blue tits and great tits feed caterpillars to their young. Sometimes, however, gardeners need to control garden pests themselves. But what’s the best way to deter them?
Gardening experts at Birds&Bloom shared “cost-effective and natural” to combat the issue of garden pests.
They said: “There’s no greater joy for a gardener than a plot full of perfect-looking flowers or vegetables.
“The problem is that many garden bugs use our flower and vegetable beds as a salad bar.
“But instead of looking to pesticides for help, you can still have a beautiful garden just by following these simple, cost-effective and natural tips for dealing with garden insect pests.
“I know they work because my family and I use them both at home and at our wholesale plant business.”
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The experts suggested starting with “clean soil” as it can “deter” garden insect pests.
They explained: “First till in organic matter like compost when the growing season begins.
“This will keep your soil clean by adding natural elements and compounds that help keep pests away.
“After tilling, cover your garden with black plastic or cardboard for six months.
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“The heat that builds up underneath it will kill most garden pests and their eggs, weeds, parasites and a host of other harmful microorganisms.”
After removing the plastic, lightly cultivate the soil to ensure it is ready for planting.
The gardening pros also instructed gardeners to “selectively” and “aggressively” thin out the plants they have.
They said: “This is essential because small, weak seedlings are more likely to become diseased.
“They, in turn, may pass the problem on to healthy plants.
“So be sure to prune away dead shoots and branches that restrict airflow.
“Plants need good air circulation to breathe and stay healthy.”
Crop rotation is another natural yet cost-effective way to deter pests from gardens.
The gardening gurus explained: “If you grow the same crop in the same place each year, the specific garden bugs that attack that crop will remain in the area, waiting for the next spring planting.
“Rotating crops also helps keep vital soil nutrients from being depleted.
“For instance, plant legumes (which put nitrogen into the soil) where you last planted tomatoes, corn or squash (which deplete nitrogen in the soil).”
Removing weeds can also reduce the amount of pests gardeners have in their gardens as they are breeding grounds.
The experts said: “Weeds compete with your plants for valuable resources such as water, nutrients and light.
“They often harbour garden insect pests and parasites, too.
“Be sure to pull weeds and their roots completely out of the ground.”
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