Let’s start by talking about the most amazing effect of a healthy garden: it’s way less likely to be damaged by pests!
Why? Because healthy gardens attract beneficial insects which eat up the ‘evil’ pests!
Beneficial insects include syrphid flies, ladybugs and dragonflies.
How To Attract The “Good Guy” Insects
In order to attract beneficial insects you first need to stop using any broad-spectrum pesticides.
After you stop using chemical pesticides, you need to provide the right “food and water” for the beneficial insects. So what do they eat?
No – it’s not steak and pasta… 🙂
They eat pollen and nectar – so make sure you have a variety of flower plants all around your garden!
What Type Of Plants Control Unwanted Pests?
Yes – there are specific plants you should include in your garden that will actually “repel” the bad kind of bugs!
The big thing about plants – and these amounts differ depending on plant type – is having the proper soil condition and of course sun/shade/water requirements.
(FYI: These requirements are largely based on the climate you live in so it’s best to talk to someone who knows about your area!)
When purchasing plants, make sure you look specifically at the ones that are labeled “pest and disease resistant”.
Ask tons of questions if you’re ordering from a catalog – when I’m on the phone with a customer service person I never hesitate to ask every possible question on my mind. (After all – I’m paying good money for this stuff and by keeping me happy they know I’ll continue to buy from them!)
Same goes for local nurseries – the shop owners often are an excellent resource about organic plants and how to attract the beneficiary insects.
Of course in order to maintain healthy plants you need to water, prune and fertilize them according to their needs.
What To Look For When Buying New Plants
If the new plant you’re buying is young, you have to look at the roots closely to make sure they’re not kinked. The crown should never be deformed, soft or rotten!
Read More: How to buy the best grass seeds in 2017
How High Should The Soil be?
When you’re planting, the soil should not go higher than the root crown of the plant.
Warning: If the root crown is wet or moist during planting it will rot!
Young plants need lots of water but be careful not to drown them. Mulch is a great way to preserve moisture in the soil – it also helps you feel like you can ‘tone down’ the water a little and not worry about drowning them out.
When Should I Use Fertilizer?
Test your soil and only use fertilizer if the test calls for it!
You should really only prune if it’s the plant requires it.
Warning: Be careful not to prune too much! Pests and disease can be increased that way.
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