This one planting mistake could be encouraging pests into your garden, according to an expert.
Spring is an exciting time in the garden – now, you can finally choose and plant out your flowers in your garden borders or start a vegetable garden. Unfortunately, spring is also the time when garden pests begin waking up and breeding, often destroying your crops or flowers in the process.
Pests are an inevitable part of gardening, but if you're seeing huge numbers, it may be because of how you're planting your plants, says horticulture expert Calum Maddock*.
Plant cramming encourages pests
'If you have a small garden, you may be guilty of cramming in your plants in one space,' says Calum. You should resist the temptation 'because it can be detrimental to your plants and can also attract pests, especially insects who are magnets to tightly packed plants, as they offer heat and cover from predators.'
'You should ensure that your plants are spaced out evenly and have access to adequate air circulation in the form of a nice breeze. This will prevent pests from reproducing and eating their way out of the plants, as they are less likely to settle in a cold, breezy habitat.'
Other common gardening mistakes that encourage pests
Watering in the evening
Watering plants in the morning is better for them in several ways, not least for retaining moisture levels throughout the day: 'professional gardeners do this to ensure plants are fully hydrated during the afternoon when temperatures are higher, which means they are less likely to wilt,' explains Calum.
But morning watering has another important benefit – it gives your plants 'adequate time to dry,' which makes them better protected from pests 'compared to damp flowers, which tend to attract snails, slugs, and earwigs.'
Eradicating all wildlife in your garden
It may seem counterintuitive, but the more insects there are in your garden, the fewer pests there will be. Many beetles are beneficial and will keep pest numbers under control, and even visiting wasps can be beneficial because they feed their larvae caterpillars.
Garden birds are also very important for keeping insect populations in check, as are hedgehogs. Explore our wildlife garden ideas to see how you can encourage more wildlife in.
*Calum is the Horticulture expert at Homehow (opens in new tab).
Anna writes about real estate, interior design, and gardening. Her work has appeared in Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, and many other publications in the US and the UK. Before embarking on her writing career, Anna taught English at university level and is the author of a book called London Writing of the 1930s. She currently splits her time between London and the Midwest US. She is an experienced outdoor and indoor gardener and has a passion for growing roses and Japanese maples in her outside space.
Black Friday hot tub deals: snap up a Lay-Z-Spa inflatable hot tub for less than £250
Shopping The hottest Black Friday hot tub deals to maximise your outside space for less, with some fantastic savings on Lay-Z-Spa and more big brand names
By Molly Cleary • Published
Black Friday BBQ deals 2022: great savings on gas and charcoal grills
Shopping We've rounded up the best Black Friday BBQ deals from Weber, Char-Broil, and more leading brands
By Millie Fender • Published