Home Vegetable Gardens: Tips for Pest ControlSpring has sprung and many people across the country are getting geared up to plant their vegetable garden. As you prepare your space for your vegetables, make sure you get the most informed information on insect pest control for your area of the country. Most of the options available appeal to the overall idea of keeping your garden as organic and green as possible.
It is important to remember that not all insects that are living in your home vegetable garden are harmful to your garden. Quite a few are actually beneficial, including most species of spiders. The best thing to do is to check with local extension agents from universities in your state, because they will know the most about the insects that are considered pests and which are beneficial to your garden.
If you are starting a new garden, you will want to make certain to inspect the plants in the garden space. If there are insects on them, identify them as a pest or a benefit. If they are a beneficial species, you may want to consider leaving some around the garden area. You can even purchase beneficial insects. This is a means of biological pest control. If they are a pest species, carefully remove all of the plants that are contaminated with them, and be certain to thoroughly wash your tools before ever working with your vegetable plants. Also remember to check the plants in the area surrounding your garden area, especially if you have an established garden from previous years. Pests can move in quickly.
There are two types of pests, the kind that feed directly on the part of the plant that you wish to harvest for consumption by your family, and the kind that feed on the parts of the plant that will not be harvested. The pests that compete for the harvestable part of the plant are often called key pests and they will be your main targets. The other type of pest insects should be controlled but some gardeners allow a few of them to inhabit their garden as a means of attracting beneficial insects. The choice is a personal one and will depend a lot on your location and size of your garden.
As with most problems in the world, prevention is the best medicine. Maintain a healthy garden, with well irrigated soil, proper soil fertility, and good weed control in and around your garden. In addition, stop small infestations before they become a problem, and you will be a big step ahead in pest control. Dispose of any infested plants and check the soil thoroughly for signs of additional infestation. If you desire, you can physically remove the pests by hand or washing with water. Be certain to check surrounding plants as well.
If you have a crop that is particularly susceptible, if you have very little time for intense physical examinations, or if you have too many insect pests to keep up with, you may want to consider plastic barriers to keep the pests our of your garden or off of a particular type of plant.
Finally, there is the pesticide, which is applied directly to the pest or their environment to eliminate the pest and sometimes its different reproductive stages. Remember that overuse of pesticides can also get rid of your biological pest control, or beneficial insect population. Almost all pesticides, organic or synthetic, will harm beneficial insects as well as the pest insects. Organic pesticides are made from plants or other natural sources, whereas as synthetic pesticides are created using industrial technology. Overall, the general use of pesticides is considered to be safe for humans and pets but is not as effective at controlling pesty insects as many people think it is.