The Tampa Bay area offers some of the most amazing weather in the country. Because of our warm temperatures, consistent sunlight and frequent rains, we enjoy beautiful blooming flowers and plants through every season of the year.
For people who love gardening, our sub-tropical climate affords the opportunity to grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and exotic flowers.
Unfortunately, all of this beauty is also attractive to pests, insects and fungus which can wreak havoc in your garden. In order to save you time and frustration, we have assembled a short list of clever gardening hacks designed to keep pests away, and maximize the productivity of your garden.
Florida Gardening Hacks
Use Those Coffee Grounds: Many pests absolutely hate coffee, especially garden slugs. Using coffee grounds as fertilizer not only repels these caffeine-averse pests, but will also be a fantastic source of nutrients for plants who love acidic soil.
Watch the Compost: Many gardeners love the nutrient rich nature of compost, especially as it allows us to recycle our used food products instead of throwing them away. However, bugs and pests love spoiled food and are actually attracted to the smell– so make sure you give the food enough time to fully decompose, and then add it to soil before adding it to your garden.
Weed and Prune: Regular weeding will keep your plants their healthiest, and will also remove some of the “cover” in which pests like to hide and breed. When weeding your garden, also prune away any leaves that have been affected by pests or fungus, and then rinse gently with water to clean off the remaining, healthy plants. You can also take a direct approach, and physically remove the pests from your plants.
After a while, you may see a decrease in frequency. Most plant pests are active in the mornings and evenings, so get out there when they are present.
Add Pest-Repelling Plants: Consider adding plants and flowers which naturally repel pests in and around your other plants. These bug repellents are beautiful, smell great to humans, and will stand as “guards” over the rest of your garden. In a vegetable garden, add celery and broccoli. If you are cultivating an herb garden, add cloves, lavender, rosemary or garlic.
For your flower beds, marigolds are the most popular pest repellent, but petunias will also help to keep the pests away.
Learn the Seasons: We have an advantage in the Tampa and Sarasota area. Although many pests only show up seasonally, we can grow many of our favorite flowers and vegetables year round. If your learn which season the pest is active within a certain type of plant, simply cultivate that particular plant when the pest is nowhere to be found.
Rotate Your Crops: If you have a garden which features one type of flower, the pests attracted to that flower will congregate and attack en masses. If you mix up the flowers and plants, adding in a few pest repellents, you can confuse the enemy a bit. You may also wish to periodically change out the beds completely. When a pest which loved your cucumber returns to find celery, they may go search for a more tasteful meal.
If you are experiencing a pest problem which you can’t seem to control, consider an insecticide which can eradicate the problem and let you start fresh with your gardening hacks. Big Earth Landscape Supply has a wide variety of insecticides for all types of plants and flowers.
Stop in today to speak with one of our experts about the best product for your particular pest problem.