From late summer to early fall, insect pests are all over your garden. Your summer crops should be established and remain strong, but your young fall plants are susceptible to insect pests and need protection. You have three main options to take against these annoying pests, including physical barriers, handpicking and organic pesticide.
A solid first option to protect your garden is to use a floating row cover as a barrier between the pests and your plants. The floating row covers are lightweight and made from a spun-bond polypropylene fabric that allows water and most sunlight in, depending on the weight of the cover. The covers are useful all season long, as they provide a few degrees of frost protection as we near the cold winter weather.
While these covers seem like the perfect solution, there are a few drawbacks. You will need to fashion supports for your row cover, usually with wire hoops. Also, they can be hard to secure, hence the “floating” in its name. If the cover is not properly secured, all you’ve done is made an easy place for insects to eat your garden while protected from their own predators.
Many of us want to avoid pesticides as much as possible and want to keep our gardens as organic as possible. While organic pesticides claim to be natural, be wary of which one you choose before spraying it all over your garden. Some organic pesticides can be harmful to the beneficial insects and pollinators that you want to have in your garden, so it’s important to know exactly what kind of activity a pesticide has before using it. Also, Insect predators such as ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wraps are beneficial to gardens, but they will not come around if all pests are wiped out, as they will have nothing to prey on in the garden.
While the barrier works well against most pests, a few insects always get through to the plants no matter what you do. Organic spray also works well, but there’s always a few pests that manage to hide and survive. If you’re looking for the most effective method of pest control that ensures the pests have died, handpicking is your next option. Handpicking is very simple, as you just have to examine your plants, and gently remove any pests you see. Many insects can be crushed, while hard-bodied insects can be crushed or drowned in soapy water. The downsides to this option are that it is very labor-intensive, time-consuming, and it can be hard for the untrained eye to spot pests.
CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS FOR YOUR LANDSCAPING NEEDS
Evergreen Gene’s offers professional landscaping and maintenance services through the state of Maryland. We are here to make sure your gardens and grounds look as beautiful as possible year-round. Interested in how we can help your garden look its best? Give us a call at (410) 766-6877 or visit us online. To see examples of our work and get more helpful gardening tips, follow us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Twitter.