DIY Network

How to Deal With Garden Pests

Every garden has its share of pests, so don't panic and reach for the insecticide spray at every sighting. Healthy plants can usually tolerate them, and some are also food for beneficial insects, which you can encourage into your garden.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

More in Outdoors

Sticky Sheets Useful to Control Airborne Pests

Highlights:

Step 1: Create a Healthy Balance

Help plants stay healthy by providing plenty of water and rich, well-drained soil, and prevent a buildup of pests by planting each crop in a different part of the garden every year. Encourage beneficial creatures, such as birds, hoverflies and frogs, with suitable food and habitats. This helps achieve a natural balance, where predators keep pest numbers at an acceptable level, and there is less need for chemical intervention.

Step 2: Use Control Strategies

Check plants regularly and pick off any unwelcome arrivals immediately. If you anticipate a problem, put a barrier, such as horticultural fleece for carrot flies, in place, or grow companion plants alongside the crop to entice beneficial insects or confuse pests. If necessary, use chemical sprays in the evening when bees and other beneficial insects are not flying. Sticky sheets are useful in the greenhouse, as are biological controls, which introduce a predatory organism to kill the pests.

Step 3: Keep Out Animal Pests

Large animal pests can devastate a vegetable patch overnight, so where you anticipate a problem, the best way to stop them from reaching your plants is to create a physical barrier. Deer and rabbits need fences to keep them at bay, but there are a number of cheap and easy ways of outwitting slugs, snails, mice and birds.


  • Halved plastic bottles with copper tape around the base protect young plants from slugs, snails and birds (Image 1).

  • Netting supported with canes or wire keeps out birds; a fine net separates egg-laying butterflies from brassicas (Image 2).

  • Tightly secured netting deters burrowers like rabbits, which eat roots, brassicas and peas.

  • Horticultural fleece keeps out carrot flies (Image 3).

Was this project helpful?

Don't forget: Read comments and leave your own

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Advertisement

Projects

COMMENT ON THIS PROJECT

    

Sign in

All fields are required.

E-mail Address:

Password:

Remember me on this computer

Signing in

Please enter your email address and we will send your password

E-mail Address

Your password has been sent and should arrive in your mailbox very soon.

Not a member?

Sign up with DIY Network to share tips with other do-it-yourselfers and comment and ask questions on projects.

It's free and easy.