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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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