Get rid of overwintering pests in the garden with this expert advice

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TThe end of the harvest season is approaching, but before packing your tools together, it is important to take measures to protect your plants from overwintering pests in the garden, such as certain beetles, worms and borers. While you may not notice these creatures when it’s cold outside because they dig into the ground to wait for the freezer and lay their eggs, you will, when they appear in the spring, to wreak havoc in your garden. . “If you had these pests during the summer, then you can bet they’re looking for a place to spend the winter in your garden,” says Rebecca Sears, chief gardener at Ferry-Morse.

“The very best thing you can do is commit to a cleanup after the season,” Sears said. “As soon as you have finished harvesting, pull up and remove the old plants plus any weeds so the insects have no place to hide and keep warm. This will also expose the soil to birds that would like to help you keep pests in check by eating eggs and larvae. ” She explains that this is important for keeping your garden healthy, as these pests can stress – and even kill – your plants, as well as spread diseases.

Overwintering pests can also hit indoors. “Many people put their plants outdoors in the summer to monetize the abundance of sunlight and take advantage of plant growth; however, plants tend to catch a few pests when they are outside. The most common outdoor pests that are a trip indoors, come fall / winter, are aphids and trips, “says Chris Satch, a herbalist for Horti. But the season’s arch-enemy of indoor plants is the spider mite. Your plants can catch spider mites from being outdoors or even from being near an open window. They thrive in hot, dry environments – like inside a house that has been turned up by the heat.

Caught early, you may be able to spot and eliminate these pests before they cause much damage, Satch says. “Basically, if something works wrong with a magazine, it probably is,” he adds. “Mite damage looks like someone took a needle and stuck gray / white, sometimes transparent dots on the plant. Trips make CD scratch patterns, black dots and other clutter all over the leaves.” (He notes, however, that brown or black spots on the leaves are caused by bacteria or fungi, not pests.)

All in all, taking care of the health of your plants is a lot like securing yourself – a proactive approach leads to the best results. “In the fall, it’s about preventing pests from establishing a foothold so they don’t bother you through the winter,” Satch says. He recommends that you quarantine plants, whether they are from the plant store or your outdoor garden. “Treat with a pesticide of your choice at least two to three times in a few days,” he says. “Personally, I spray insecticide on my plants the moment they come in the door, the next day and then two days after that to make a total of three applications over about four days. When the last application is dry, I wash them in the shower. , and then add them to the window sill where they can soak up the rays of the direct sun. ” It is also a good idea to spray the rest of your plants to be super safe, he says.

And should your plant-bby succumb to overwintering pests, Sears gives one last piece of advice: “If you know you had problems with pests or fungi, do not compost your expired plants as you will introduce these problems back into your garden. the following year. “

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