The best defense is to know the enemy and plan what you will do to defend against an attack before it happens. Here are several suggestions for attracting beneficial insects, birds and other valuable allies who will work on your side as well as the reasons why:• Always plant healthy plants — doing this one thing will prevent a lot of pests from ruining your harvest. Sick plants will always attract pests.• Rotate your plants each season. Avoid problems that might still be in the soil by planting those plants in an entirely different location each year.
• Keep the soil underneath the plants clean of debris — and do not give weeds room in your garden. They are the stronger plant and will take up nutrition and water that your vegetables need to thrive.
• Always prune off any diseased foliage on all parts of your plants. Better still, early pruning of lower leaves and stems may help the plant avoid catching the disease in the first place or being attacked by pests.
• Prevent plant stress by watering consistently — and it is always best to water at the root zone early in the day. Watering very leafy plants overhead doesn’t allow enough water to penetrate to the roots and if the foliage doesn’t dry out before nightfall, this can create a perfect environment that will attract pests.
• You can purchase extra fine insect netting from garden centers that will help prevent aphid and black and whitefly infestations. This works great over cabbage family plants especially if done before the adult whiteflies lay their eggs on the leaves.
• Another suggestion is when doing the initial planting, group cabbage family vegetables together and use the protective netting over all of them. The netting stops the white butterflies that lay the eggs but allows sun and rain to pass through.
• To attract toads and birds — provide water and shelter. If there is no pond or source of water nearby your garden, you can provide it by setting the bowl of a bird bath somewhere nearby or by inserting a watertight container in the ground in or near the garden.
• Toads are valuable for keeping snails, flies, and ants cleaned up in the garden.
• To avoid mosquitoes hatching in any standing water, get Dunks and keep one in the water. The active ingredient BTI is safe for birds, bees, fish, frogs and toads — and even pets who might take a drink when out in the garden. It is only toxic to mosquito larvae.
• Set up a bird hotel nearby and in this way encourage birds to set up housekeeping and raise families next to your garden. (Don’t give them birdseed until winter — encourage them to forage.)
• Without cutting off sunlight to your vegetable garden, plant your garden near trees and shrubs where birds can easily find shelter.• Allow some of the grass around the edge of the garden to grow and make shelter for beneficials.
• Plant flowers and herbs among vegetable plants that will attract praying mantis, ladybugs, etc. A few plants are angelica, cosmos, yarrow, marigold, and raspberry canes. Also culinary herbs such as dill, caraway and fennel.
About Redden Custom Netting
In 1958, John Redden started Redden Net Co. Ltd to supply commercial fishing gear to the fishing communities of the Pacific Northwest. Now, more than fifty years later, we have an in-house net loft staffed by professional, experienced net builders – and our executive team has more than 100 combined years of experience in every facet of industrial netting. So no matter what industry you’re in, if you need a net, we can build it.
Over the last fifty years, our technology, applications, and materials have become more complex, but our business philosophy remains simple. Treat employees and customers – right. We do. And we’ll do it for you.