Discover natural, eco-friendly ways for pest control in your garden and avoid complications from pesticide use. We’ll show you how to get rid of unwanted guests without harming the environment to keep up a stunning landscape.

Environmentally Safe Pest Control

Transitioning to more environmentally friendly methods takes thought and effort, but reaps benefits in the long run. By designing and planting a landscape with certain principles in mind, you can create a garden where the use of pesticides will almost never be called for. Here are some basic tactics and strategies you can use to create a landscape that can resist pests on its own, reducing your need for pesticides.

  • A close-up of new growth on a blue spruce

    Utilize Local Plant Life

    Seek out plants that adapt well to your conditions. For example, if you have clay soil in a hot area, you need to plant a tree that is adapted to clay soil in a hot area, as insects will key in to an imbalance. They'll know the plant is suffering or otherwise off-balance, and they'll attack.

  • An informal garden with a variety of flowers, shrubs and mosses

    Encourage Biodiversity

    Cultivating monocultures, or one type of plant species, not only makes gardens more vulnerable to diseases, but also makes them more susceptible to attacks from insects. To prevent your landscape from succumbing to a multitude of pests, layer your gardens with trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and annuals.

    Utilize plants with diverse leaf textures, different heights. You should also strive to have pollen and nectar available throughout the season by planting flowers that peak at different times.

  • Native grasses

    Match Grass with Growing Conditions

    Another way to strengthen your lawn is by being proactive about choosing the right grass for your growing conditions. Keeping clover can be an effective solution, because it often occurs naturally, is drought-resistant, and fixes nitrogen efficiently. Clover has been vilified because the chemical industry couldn't find an herbicide that didn't kill it, meaning the herbicide that gets rid of broadleaf weeds kills clover, too.

  • A close-up of blades of grass

    Reduce Lawn Space

    Here's a disconcerting fact: Three times as much pesticide is used on lawn per acre than on agricultural crops. The greater the lawn, the more pesticides you will need to use; smaller ones as more environmentally — and economically — friendly. Watering lawns utilizes between 30 percent and 60 percent of urban water resources and downsizing can help cut your ecological footprint.

  • A close-up of a ladybug on a blade of grass

    Introduce Beneficial Bugs

    Creating a bio-diverse habitat is the first step to an environmentally friendly landscape, but you should also consider buying "useful" insects and introducing them to a garden as a way to jump-start the pest fighting process.

    Lacewings, for example, can stay in one place, breeding for generations and gobbling aphids, mites, and other pests. Ladybugs, on the other hand, have wanderlust in their genetic code and may fly away before too long, but can battle an immediate problem, such as an aphid infestation.

  • tomato plants growing on a vine

    Pesticide-Free Lawns and Gardens

    Creating a garden that has little to no reliance on pesticides for pest control isn't going to be easy — and in some cases may not be possible. If you are committed to creating an environmentally friendly landscape, understand that it can take up to two years to wean a garden from heavy chemical use, but the eventual benefits usually outweigh the cost.

    But after you've done this for a while, you just get this wonderful garden where you're not doing the work of controlling pests anymore — you have all these little garden allies doing it for you.

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