3 Natural Ways To Deter Pests In Your Garden

Just as much as we love good homegrown vegies, so do many pests species. We bring you three ways to naturally deter pests in your garden.

As the weather is warming up, now is the time to be on the lookout for garden pests and to do what you can to prevent them. 

As a general rule, pests will be attracted to sick or diseased plants, so your first line of defence is to keep your plants as healthy as you can, and this starts with healthy soil. 

But sometimes pests are particularly persistent, and you never want to resort to chemical fixes, so if all else fails, here’s a few natural ways to deter those pesky pests. 

Grow edible flowers

3 Natural Ways To Deter Pests In Your Garden - grow edible flowers

Flowers in your vegetable garden will not only add beauty, diversity and another harvestable food source to your edible options, but they’ll attract many beneficial predators by their colour, pollen and nectar.

Lacewings and hoverflies are great at devouring mites, scale insects and mealy bugs on your plants, while bees – bees both native and European – are attracted to the flowers and will assist in pollination. As well as attracting predator-feeding insects, some edible flowers such as French marigolds will exude a chemical in the soil that will deter root knot nematodes which weaken your plants by feeding on root cells. 

Use exclusion netting 

3 Natural Ways To Deter Pests In Your Garden - Use exclusion netting

One of the most effective ways of protecting your young crops from pests is by using exclusion nets and the finer the mesh, the more pests they will prevent.

You can buy pest netting from most garden centres, but if you are on a budget and want something slightly more decorative, keep an eye out for sheer or lace curtains which are abundant in most op shops. 

To install it over your young seedlings, a simple way is to cut pieces of garden hose or irrigation pipe to the length required to form arches over your bed, threaded with longer lengths of fencing wire which can be poked into the ground at each end to hold in place. 

Once you have your pipe in place, stretch your curtain over the top and pin into the ground along the sides and at both ends. 

Plant sacrificial crops 

3 Natural Ways To Deter Pests In Your Garden - plant sacfriical crops

When the weather starts to warm up and aphids are fast on the move, seemingly appearing from nowhere, try leaving a sacrificial brassica plant like a kale, cabbage or a flowering broccoli, as these will be a smorgasbord for aphids. 

By providing them with a plant best suited to their tastes, not only should they steer clear of your healthier plants, but they’ll increase in numbers which will then encourage beneficial wasps to do the work for you. 

An Aphidius colemani wasp will parasitise an aphid for its young by laying an egg directly into its body. Ladybirds love aphids too, and also consume up to 25 aphids in a day. Their larvae are even more beneficial in dealing with aphids – larvae can eat up to 200 aphids in a day. 

Want to know more about how to naturally deter pests in your garden? 

In Issue #30 of Pip Magazine, we bring you even more ways to ward off garden pests.

You can access this article online here as part of our digital subscription offering, or subscribe to the print version of Pip Magazine here

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