If you’re not a gardener, then you might wonder why garden shows and flower shows only take place in spring and summer. Is that the only time of year when gardeners are busy? And do gardens lie dormant during winter, waiting patiently to bloom in spring? Quite the opposite. In fact, to grow those beautiful gardens and flowers, a lot of work needs to take place during every season.
Even in winter, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to give your garden the best chance of blossoming in spring. Pest control is a top priority and if you remove those harmful insects in winter, then you’ve done the hard work for next year. Many pests hide from the cold during winter, burrowing deep into the ground. We’re going to share some simple tips on how to get a pest-free garden this winter.
Expose Pests to Frost
This first tip requires that you learn a little bit about pests first. You need to learn about all the places that tiny pests can be hiding. Once you do, you can expose them to the cold temperatures that will ensure they’re one less pest for you to worry about come spring.
Gather all of the fallen leaves in your garden – including around any trees. Then, work the soil, turning over the first few inches of the ground. If mulch or aggregate covers your soil, then rake that clean before you start working the ground. If any pests, particularly grubs, come to the surface, then they’ll be exposed. Once the frost sets in that night, many of them won’t be able to survive.
Get Birds On Your Side
This next tip focuses on the wonderful circle of life! Once you’ve worked the soil and exposed all sorts of ground-dwellers to the surface, the birds will spot a buffet. They’ll be particularly grateful for an easy meal in winter where a good quality meal is hard to come by. Just monitor the situation closely – you still don’t want birds to damage any existing plants and flowers.
And we suggest keeping birds happy – not spoiling them. Do not place a bird feeder in your garden. Instead, pests like rats will enjoy any fallen seeds and food, and you’ll find yourself with an increase in pest populations rather than a reduction.
Give Pest Homes a New Coat
This final tip is a little more technical but is known to be a very effective way to reduce pests in your garden even further. Winter washes involve spraying trees, branches, and bushes with a specific solution, designed to suffocate and trap any resident pests.
This product is normally oil-based, and liberal amounts should be applied to any exposed branches you can see. Even if you can’t see any pests, the solution will trap them and eventually suffocate them. This is a particularly effective way of reducing the number of mites in your back yard. It should also help with every gardener’s enemy – aphids.
You don’t have to go through 50 bottles of solution and cover every single branch, but a sensible amount of winter wash will absolutely pay dividends.
Try a few of these simple gardening tips this winter and you’ll be one step ahead when it comes to pest control in spring. Your garden won’t be 100% pest-free, but you’ll be laying the groundwork (no pun intended) for a very healthy spring. That way, you can be sure that grubs, caterpillars, mites, and aphids have had a winter to forget. And, if any of them do survive, to see spring, there should be a hungry family of birds waiting for them to emerge in the spring sunshine.