When it comes to keeping your garden flourishing, there’s nothing more disheartening than discovering pesky plant-munching pests have invaded your vegetable patch. Keeping your garden pest-free is important. When a large infestation occurs, crops can often be wiped out entirely by these uninvited guests.
In 2020, The RHS Gardening Advice line saw an 88% increase in pest and disease inquiries, with many gardeners concerned about the impact which these were having on the overall health and appearance of their plants.
As gardeners become more and more aware of the potential dangers of exposure to synthetic chemical pesticides, many of us want to skip the sprays altogether and turn to alternative methods instead.
Discover our top tips to keep your garden pest-free, the natural way.
Keep Your Garden Pest-Free
Planting the same crops time and time again means that any crafty critters who have taken a liking to them will continue to return, multiplying in numbers and wreaking havoc on your vegetables! By rotating your crops, you can keep your garden pest-free as they’re much more likely to move elsewhere when the plant they love so much is no longer available to them.
Cloches and Fruit Cages
An immediate and safe alternative to pesticides, cloches and fruit cages create instant protection against pests by providing shelter around your crops. Excellent for protecting against both airborne and ground-dwelling pests, these economical, portable ‘polytunnels’ are used on veg patches or flower beds, as and when you need them. These are a great way to keep your garden pest-free.
Essential Oils for a Pest-Free Garden
Believe it or not, many essential oils can provide excellent protection and keep your garden pest-free. Certain essential oils make for fantastic pest repellents too. Peppermint oil helps to keep bugs, beetles, fleas, spiders, and ants at bay. Rosemary oil can help protect against larvae, including the notorious cabbage looper caterpillar! Whilst cedarwood and pine oils help to reduce the number of slugs and snails in your garden.
Make your Own Pest Repellent
Why not make your own repellent at home from natural ingredients? All you need is a pure essential oil of your choice (such as peppermint or cedarwood) and olive oil. Simply mix eight ounces of olive oil with 40-50 pipette drops of your essential oil (this is the bit that will keep your garden pest-free!) Stir well until it forms a solution. And that’s it! Just remember to do a small patch test first before applying it to the rest of your vegetable patch.