How to Manage your Landscape Using Fewer Pesticides
Create cultural conditions that benefit your plants.
- Know plants you have in the yard
- Get a soil test
- Learn optimal conditions for your plants (pH, light, and water requirements)
- When planting choose the right plant for the right place
- Avoid insecticides to encourage beneficial predatory insects
- Encourage beneficial insects with small flowered native plants
Create cultural conditions that make it less desirable for pests
- Increase space between plants (especially trees and shrubs) for better air circulation
- In garden and perennial beds improve soil with layers of compost each year
- In vegetable gardens rotate plants so that plants in the same family are not planted in the same spot every year
- Vary planting and harvesting schedule for vegetables to take advantage of time when pest is less active
- Follow soil test recommendations; don’t over fertilize
- Reduce amount of monoculture, the cultivation of a single crop or organism (ex: Fescue grass lawn)
- Follow Virginia Tech lawn care recommendations
Practice good sanitation
- Clean up fallen leaves from diseased plants, bag and dispose in landfill
- Prune out diseased branches and dispose properly
- Sanitize tools after each cut with bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) or use alcohol (70% or greater)
- Wear disposable gloves and wash clothing when working around plants know to be infected with easily spread diseases such as boxwood blight
- Remove dead plant material from vegetable garden where insects can overwinter
Catch pest problems early before they become harder to control
- Scout yard regularly for plants that don’t look normal or healthy
- Examine plants for insects and disease when buying
- Identify problems and send photos or bring samples to the Hanover Cooperative Extension. You can reach us at 804-752-4306 or email@example.com
- Follow recommendations in Virginia Tech Pest Management Guide
- If necessary, choose pesticides that cause the least harm to other organisms
Tips provided by Master Gardener Emily Gianfortoni as part of a Home Gardening Series handout
More Information on Pests
- Spotted Lanternfly Identification and Reporting in Virginia
- Squash the Squash Bugs – best ways to deal with this pest
- Cross Striped Cabbageworm – dealing with this garden pest
- Relationship between Plants and Pollinators – Plants have a unique relationship with the insects that pollinate them.
- Tick Identification – Learn more about how to identify ticks and what diseases they carry.
- Boxwood Blight Information – Series of videos addressing boxwood blight.
- CONTROLLING PESTS IN THE GARDEN – Presentation from Home Gardening Series on 4/6/19.
- Diagnosing Plant Damage In The Garden – Presentation from Home Gardening Series on 4/6/19.
- Good Bugs, Bad Bugs – Presentation from Home Gardening Series on 4/6/19.
- Pest Management – The appearance and control of pests can vary from month to month. See the charts for the months of April, May, June and July.
- Neem Oil – Need oil can be an organics solution to pest management.