As a homeowner, you're proud of your beautiful garden, but hate losing a certain percentage of your produce to pests each year. Dealing with pests that find their way into your house after they devour your garden can be even worse!
Luckily, a few gardening tips can help you keep the bugs out of your home, and away from your garden for good. Follow these tips for a pest-free gardening season and a beautiful yard.
Shrubs and bushes give your yard a beautiful burst of green, but if you plant them too close to your home, they can introduce pests to your foundation. As their roots grow, they can reach down to the foundation and cause cracks, which allow water to seep through and pests to burrow into. Save your foundation by planting your shrubs and bushes several feet away from your home. As you plan your plants' placement, keep their mature growth in mind. You'll have a hard time moving the mature plant if it grows too near your foundation.
Water features can give your garden a more elegant, soothing atmosphere. But standing water also invites bug infestations, especially mosquitoes. To ensure your water features don't become breeding grounds for these obnoxious pests, be sure to change still, unmoving water at least once a week. If you have a decorative pond or reflective pool, you can also go the extra mile and introduce fish species that feed on pests.
Add a few herbs to your garden to keep bugs away naturally. Try fragrant herbs like basil, lemon grass and lemon thyme, rosemary, and mint to repel mosquitoes. Chives and dill repel aphids, while bay leaves scare away flies. Plant oregano to repel a variety of pests, from cabbage butterflies to cucumber beetles.
Certain flowers do more than simply look beautiful. Plant chrysanthemums to scare away ants, roaches, ticks, bedbugs, and Japanese beetles. Choose marigolds to keep mosquitoes and aphids at bay. Select brightly colored petunias and nasturtiums to eliminate asparagus beetles and aphids. If you feel particularly daring, you can always add carnivorous plants like the Venus fly trap to your garden.
Bugs that pollinate your flowers and eat other pests are your garden's best friends. Plant flowers that attract honeybees, like lavender, and introduce ladybugs and praying mantises to keep the aphid population down.
If you ever feel your pest problem is too big to handle, contact a local pest control company. They can eliminate your pests and even give you advice on how to avoid similar problems in the future.
With these six tips in hand, you have the tools you need to enjoy a pest-free garden.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.
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