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3 Secrets To Stop Garden Pests Naturally – How To Keep Plants Bug-Free!

Yes, it really is possible to stop garden pests naturally, without having to spray harmful and dangerous pesticides on the food you grow!

There is nothing more frustrating than watching perfectly healthy crops become decimated by pests. Whether it’s aphids, cabbage worms, beetles or the dreaded hornworm, it seems as though they can destroy crops overnight.

But that doesn’t mean you need to arm yourself with an arsenal of dangerous insecticides to keep your garden pest-free.

pest free garden
Whether it be beetles, aphids, moths or worms, vegetable crops can quickly be ruined by pests.

The Issue With Sprays & Pest Control Products

The simple truth is, many commercial sprays, dusts, and pest control products do more harm than good.

Not only are they questionable to use safely on edible vegetables and fruit, they are also non-discriminating. Meaning they wipe out the good insects right along with the ones causing the immediate problem.

When that happens, it destroys the balance of nature in your garden. And before you know it, you need more sprays to combat more issues.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. For years now, we have been using 3 simple natural solutions to control pests effectively in our garden. And yes, they really do work!

3 Simple Secrets To Stop Garden Pests Naturally

marigolds in the garden
Not only do marigolds repel unwanted garden pests, they also attract key pollinators like butterflies.

Marigolds In The Garden

The list of benefits for growing marigolds in and around the garden is lengthy. And it is one of the reasons you find it growing all around our garden in pots, containers, and even in some of the rows.

Marigolds pungent scent helps to repel aphids, nematodes, tomato hornworms, squash bugs and cabbage worms. Even more, it also can help to keep rabbits, deer and squirrels out too.

And marigolds are also a huge attraction for key pollinators! Honey bees, butterflies, and wasps all love the flashy blooms and sweet nectar that marigolds produce.

But perhaps best of all, marigolds are one of the easiest annual flowers to grow! They can be direct seeded, and germinate and grow quickly. The seeds can also easily be saved from year to year, making them economical too.

And at the end of the day – they simply make your garden more beautiful with their blooms! (See : The Ease, Beauty & Benefits Of Growing Marigolds In Your Garden)

Companion Planting

Companion planting has been our number one, go-to method for stopping pests naturally in the garden for the last 5+ years. And has it ever worked wonders!

stop pests in the garden
Companion planting works in container gardening too! Here, both basil and marigolds are growing among our tomatoes, peppers and tomatillo plants in our experimental bucket gardens. All have been virtually pest free, all season long.

There are some wonderful beneficial relationships when certain plants grow near one another. Take basil, tomatoes and pepper plants as an excellent example of how to stop garden pests from causing damage with companion planting.

Basil is a well-known deterrent against tomato hornworms, aphids, and beetles. And when planted alongside or in close proximity to tomato and pepper plants, it protects them naturally. In fact, as an added benefit, basil supposedly even improves the flavor of tomatoes when grown nearby.

It works in much the same manner to stop garden pests naturally when onions and garlic are growing near cabbage and fellow Brassicaceae family members. Both onions and garlic are known as an excellent repellent for cabbage moths, worms and loopers, and help keep cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower pest free.

And it is easy to do! Simply plant a few extra bulbs right into your cabbage or broccoli rows at planting time! (See: Companion Planting In The Garden)

stop garden pest naturally - hand picking
Walking the garden and removing pests by hand is actually one of the best ways of natural control.

Hand Picking Pests

And finally, there is hand picking. You might be surprised, but of all of the natural pest control methods we employ, hand picking the biggest help of all.

Believe it or not, simply visiting your garden for a few minutes each day to check crops and remove any invading pests will do wonders for long-term pest management.

Armed with a small bucket of soapy water, we simply pick off any dangerous pests we see. Not only does it protect the good pests, but it keeps the bad ones from multiplying.

And yes, it really does work! A few years back, we had a small invasion of Japanese Beetles. Instead of reaching for sprays, we simply spent 10 minutes a day for a few weeks picking them off the plants.

Not only did it keep their damage to a minimum, but it wiped them out before they could reproduce and lay more larvae in the ground. The result? The last few years, our beetle populations have been few and far between.

hand picking japanese beetles
Hand picking can make a huge impact on pests in the garden. It has kept our Japanese Beetle population in check for 2+ years now.

Here is to stopping pests naturally in your garden, and keeping the balance of nature working for you. Oh – and of course, keeping those delicious vegetables and fruit pesticide free! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.

Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time.

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