Do not risk ruining your fall vegetable garden by using harmful pesticides just to get rid of pests. Natural, organic, and chemical free solutions can get the job done as effectively as using pesticides, but without causing any chemical reactions or damage to your vegetables, pets and family, while still preserving your garden’s beauty and healthiness.
Garden pests are not only confined to insects but can include weeds, mites, nematodes, diseases, birds, and even animals such as rabbits and squirrels.
Here is a list of organic and chemical free agents you can use to keep those garden pests away from your vegetable garden.
Interchange your fall vegetables, particularly those belonging to the same vegetable family, so that they are not planted recurrently within the same space or area.
Buy transplants that are healthy and without insects and diseases such as blights or leaf spots. However, avoid buying those, which are already maturing. You may consider growing your own seed transplants.
Till the soil manually before planting so as to hinder soil insects, more so when your garden was previously a lawn area. The soil should be hand turned and has to be rid of grass, woody materials, or weeds 30 days prior to planting.
Keep your vegetables growing healthy and vigorously by supplying appropriate amounts of fertilizer and water. A healthy vegetable plant is better able to endure insect attacks. However, too much nitrogen can make your plants more appealing to whiteflies and aphids.
Distinguish beneficial insects from those that are troublesome. Insects like the assassin bugs, big-eyed bugs, lady beetles, spiders, wasps, and praying mantis are considered beneficial insects.
To entice these helpful insects, plant attractive flowers in your vegetable garden, to provide pollen and nectar.
Get rid of large insects manually and destroy them by placing in a container with soapy water to drown them.
Harvest mature crops promptly. Letting overripe fruits stay on the plant often attracts more insects.
Squirrels are fond of flowers, fruits, and vegetables and they spell trouble for home gardeners, not to mention they are more active during the fall season because they hoard food for winter. To prevent them from pestering your vegetable garden, you can put a bit of cayenne pepper around the plants. They don’t usually eat anything with cayenne on it. Or sprinkle some garlic pepper and pepper flakes especially when your crops are all set to bloom. The smell will prevent squirrels from coming near your garden.
Rabbits are voracious eaters of just about any tender plant they come across. Their favorite foods are vegetables such as broccoli, beans, lettuce, and peas. Aside from professional help from pest management providers, you can prevent rabbits from invading your garden by making fences around it. The fence should be no less than 2 feet high to keep them from jumping over it and at least 6 inches underground, for them not to burrow under it. Another option is to protect the vegetables individually by placing mesh poultry netting around them.
Keeping your Florida, fall vegetable garden well-maintained and insect free takes time and dedication but it is the way to producing healthy crops. And, when you can enjoy fresh produce you have raised yourself it will certainly be worth all the time and effort it took to bring delicious vegetable to your table.