Managing these garden problems naturally can be simple and effective. Follow these three keys to success: Prevention, Observation and Patience.
- Know your garden’s soil, sun and shade patterns, and which plants are thriving.
- Build healthy soil: healthy roots equal healthy plants.
- Choose the right plants for your site because thriving plants are much less susceptible to health problems, and thriving lawns will out-compete weeds.
- Attract beneficial insects and birds, and use maintenance practices that will keep them in your garden year-round.
- Add barriers to prevent pests from reaching food crops.
- Appearances can be deceiving-a health problem may not be caused by disease at all and/or can be remedied by simply changing how you care for the plant.
- Insects may not be present even if you see insect damage: check to see if the pest has already moved on, or is being eaten by beneficial insects or birds.
- Get to know what beneficial insects look like in all their life stages so you don’t mistake them for a pest.
- Remove weeds before they set seed, so a few don’t turn into dozens or hundreds.
- Give beneficial insects time to work and increase in population-size by tolerating some pest damage. Step back to assess whether the beauty of the whole plant outweighs the damage.
- Use non-toxic methods such as clipping slugs and snails, and squishing aphids or washing them off with water.
- If problems persist, try your non-toxic methods again before even considering a least-toxic product/method.