Did you all have a good Mother’s Day? We hope your gardens are planted fully and healthily, because this week we’re back with some tips to keep pesky pests away from your beautiful landscape work. For flowers, shrubs, and everything in between, make good use of the following pro tips for garden pest control. This week we’re focusing just on insects, but we’ll be back in following weeks with advice for other intruders like deer and weeds.
Garden Pest Control: Insects
Insects are far and away the most common garden invaders, and with weather warming up, they’ll soon be out en force looking for leaves and flowers to munch on. In keeping with our environmentally-friendy theme, let’s look for some answers to common bug problems that don’t involve toxic chemical sprays.
- Ants: While ants themselves won’t harm your plants, believe it or not, they “herd” other harmful insects, like aphids, in your garden and protect them from larger predatory insects. Why? Aphids and others produce a sweet secretion called honeydew that ants love to eat. Companion planting is a method of planting fragrant herbs within your garden that can actually repel other insects (like ants)! Lavender, sage, catnip, and tansy have been shown to work well. For more information, click here.
- Aphids: As for the aphids themselves, you can act counterintuitively and attract beneficial insects to poach the harmful ones with certain plants, like sweet alyssum to attract hoverflies, which eat aphids but want nothing to do with your flowers. You can also prune off aphid-infested limbs to control infestation.
- Slugs: These slimy guys are a garden’s worst enemy. Send them packing with things that smell bad to them, sharp objects that cut their soft bodies, or materials that dry out their slimy, moisture-craving bodies on contact. For the first, try companion planting with foxglove. For the second, find things around the house like eggshells, crushed nuts, or gravel, to name a few. Finally, to dry ‘em out, try soot from your chimney, vinegar, or the ol’ faithful — salt. Slugs also have a penchant for beer, so you can set a trap with beer in an attempt to gather and evict any slugs living among your plants. Again, more info here.
While these are only a few of many, many potential garden invaders, we hope this has given you a little bit of insight into garden pest control. For persistent and unusual problems, don’t hesitate to contact us to speak to one of our experts. You can also check out this survey done by Mother Earth News, which identifies the most common garden invaders and crowdsources methods of handling them.
Protect Your Evergreen Gene’s Landscape!
Evergreen Gene’s offers professional landscape maintenance services throughout Maryland. Our services include mowing, raking, sodding, fertilizing, mulching, pruning, and so much more. With our help, your landscape will look its best year-round.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of professional landscape maintenance. Evergreen Gene’s landscaping services are also available for commercial properties.
Want to learn more about the benefits of Professional Landscape Maintenance in Severna Park, Maryland? Visit Evergreen Gene’s at our location on Crain Highway. Can’t make it out but still have a question? Not to worry; call us at 410.766.6877 or click here today.