Vegetable Pests

If you have a vegetable garden then you know that can you lose quite a bit of the harvest to pests every year, this is why people adopt various methods of pest control. Plants that receive poor care are much more susceptible to pest problems than plants that get the proper fertilizers, water, and cultivation. First you’ll want to choose plants for your garden that have a natural resistance to pests.

Few plants are actually resistant to insect problems, but you will find that many are resistant to common garden diseases. If you’ve grown your garden from seeds don’t save your seeds to use in another garden project.

This is because seeds can carry these illnesses. To reduce the risk of disease, you should work with dealers that are known for selling high-quality seeds that are not prone to diseases.

If you buy transplants, make sure that they are strong and healthy. If your plant appears to be young or old, or spindly and weak, then you may not want to try and transplant these plants as they may not survive through the transplant shock and can be more susceptible to certain pests.

A good strategy for warding off soil based diseases is to rotate the crops in you garden on a yearly basis. Alternating corn with other crops is a good system.

Following corn with cole crops such as broccoli, cabbage, and greens, cole crops with solanaceous crops such as potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes, and solanaceous crops with legumes such as beans or peas, then legumes with corn again, is an intelligent four year rotation plan that you might go with.

You can control pests by weeding volunteer plants from the soil, and keeping cull piles and debris from the crop out of the way. It is not a good practice to save plant residues for mulching as many pests are able to survive in the residue.

Better mulching choices include straw, leaves and materials that are not leftover from the garden. Mulch is useful for keeping the ground moist and preventing weeds, but it has one major drawback that you should keep in mind. Mulch can serve as a home for certain pests, which introduces them to your plants unseen.

Good sanitation will also keep your vegetable garden disease free. Before any intricate cultivation or transplants make sure that you wash your hands and your tools thoroughly with soap. Believe it or not, gardeners that use tobacco products need to wash their hands especially, because many plant viruses can be passed through tobacco to your garden.

Weeds can also provide a place for garden pests to survive and they can end up attacking your plants. Certain weeds exist that will actually attract the pests to your garden all by themselves, so keep weeds out of your garden and also away from the exterior of it as well.

There are many potentially nasty things that can dwell in weeds and damage your plants including aphids, beetles, leafhoppers, many other insects, nematodes, and mites. Keep your garden well weeded and make sure to clear away any Johnson Grass, it is a perennial weed which can often hide harmful pests.

A good tool to use to keep the pests at bay in the garden is moisture control. Water early in the day to help prevent diseases from setting in.

This one simple rule can help you avoid a host of problems. You will likely suffer from fungus in watering your plants at night, since fungus loves wet and warm environments; watering at night keeps the moisture on the plants for greater amounts of time.

You can erect a small shield around your transplants to keep any insect pests away from them. You only need a shield that goes into the ground a few inches.

Any material from cardboard to leftover roof shingles and empty milk jugs can be used for this. Those barriers will protect the young plants from grubs, cutworms, wireworms, and other destructive insects that feed at or below the surface of the soil.

Although you can introduce your own type of predator insect to destroy an existing problem, you should take care to avoid this practice if you are able. It’s much better to encourage natural predators, such as spiders, ground beetles, syrphid flies, lacewings, ladybugs, and praying mantises, to take up residence in the garden.

Pesticides are the last option you should go to if you are having a hard time removing a pest population from your garden by non-chemical means. Be sure to use any chemicals according to the directions on the label. When a label advises you to wait for a certain amount of time between treatments, you should follow this strictly, or else you may damage your garden.