Keeping your trees and plants healthy and happy requires a delicate balance of elements. Water, nutrients and sunlight all play important roles in keeping your landscaping green and lush. However, even if you stay on top of those landscaping basics, pests and insects can invade your yard quickly and undo your hard work.Worse, pest infestations in your yard can easily spread to your home. The following are some tips to help you protect your trees and plants from destructive pests.
Prevention is one of the best forms of pest control, and keeping your plants healthy using fertilizers is one of the best ways to protect against pest invasion. A healthy, hardy plant is less likely to become diseased or infested with pests. Fertilizers can be applied in several ways, either by mixing nutrients into the soil around your trees or plants or by applying liquid fertilizers directly to the leaves. Don’t overdo it with nitrogen-based fertilizers though, as these have been shown to actually increase the risk of a plant becoming infested with pests. If you need to use nitrogen fertilizers, do so with moderation.
Water, Water, Water
Of course you know to keep your trees and plants well-watered in the warmer months of the year, whether you use a sprinkler irrigation system or water plants by hand. Did you know, though, that under-watering your plants in the off season can leave them more susceptible to pest infestation? Set up a regular watering scheduling even in the fall and winter months to keep the roots of your plants hydrated and healthy. This will help make them hardier in the spring or summer heat.
Install Pest-Repelling Plants
One way to help keep pests from invading your yard is to make smart choices about which plants to grow. Certain plants contain oils that will actually help keep pests away. Planting an herb garden with mint, basil, dill and catnip may help repel pests including aphids, mosquitoes and certain kinds of beetles.
You don’t have to turn to herbs, though. Shrubs like artemisias and flowers like chrysanthemums are also pest-repellent. Strategically installing plants like these in your landscape can help keep pests away from more pest-susceptible plants.
Monitor for Problems
You’ll know you need to take some more drastic actions if you see signs of disease or pest infestation in your plants. You might spot an abundance of beetles or ants, or you might just notice your plants looking yellow or losing leaves or blossoms. Some pests are so small you may not be able to spot them at a quick glance, so be sure to look closely at the undersides of leaves. Also keep an eye out for any unusual sap on your trees as sap can be a sign of aphids.You should inspect your yard for these signs about once a week in the spring and summer. If you see any signs of trouble, take the next steps to get your plants and trees healthy and pest-free.
Drive the Pests Out of Town
If you do find yourself facing an infestation, it’s important to act quickly and perhaps get expert help because pest problems can multiply quickly. For instance, an infestation of aphids can lead to an infestation of ants because ants are attracted to the sticky sap left behind by aphids.
Choosing the right pest control methods requires specialized knowledge and awareness of the needs of each type of plant in question. A trained pest control agent can help you make the best decision for the particular ecology of your trees, plants and yard.