5 ways to keep pests from 'bugging' your garden - HMS National, Inc.
 

5 ways to keep pests from 'bugging' your garden

June 12, 2014

If you fancy yourself a gardener, you're in good company - particularly in recent years.

For example, did you know that some 42 million Americans grow their food at home or in a community garden? Or that in 2013, there was a 63 percent increase in food gardeners from 2012?

When you think about it, though, this isn't too much of a surprise. After all, there's nothing better than vegetables straight from the garden or a farmers market. Sure, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers may all be sold at the grocery store, but there's something really special about local produce, which is always bursting with flavor and rich in nutrients from being freshly picked.

There's just one problem that virtually every gardener can attest to: the dreaded garden pest. Large or small, they leave fruit with unsightly pock marks and discoloration that make produce look unappealing or potentially dangerous to eat.

To guard against those unwelcome visitors, check out these tips from HGTV Gardens:

1. Maintain a watchful eye. In the gardening world, not to mention life in general, if you want something to stop, you have to go to its source. Everyday, take a look over your plants as they grow, checking for signs of discoloration on the leaves or plants. Once spotted, remove diseased leaves so that it doesn't spread.

2. Weed regularly. Weeds not only stunt growth, they're also another outlet that garden pests use to bore into fruit and vegetables. Weeding can be done by hand or with a garden hoe, making sure to avoid contact with the roots of plants.

3. Aromatic herbs 'turn off' pests. 'Scent'sational herbs like basil, oregano, mint and fennel are glorious to smell, but not for insects. These and several other herbs are natural deterrents for pesky aphids and potato beetles.

4. Attract their attackers. As the old saying goes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." In short, you can keep garden pests away by attracting their natural predators. For example, if aphids are the bane of your existence, encourage a healthy ladybug population in your garden, as these bugs love to snack on aphids. Do some research on ladybugs to see what resources serve as catnip.

5. Make plants toxic for pest consumption. Salt and flour are staples in the kitchen for cooking, but they can also serve as effective deterrents, proving to be poisonous for certain slugs and snails.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.
 
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