Your winter vegetable garden is a veritable oasis of warmth and nourishment for a host of vegetable garden pests. In preparing your Puyallup vegetable garden for winter, remember to protect your plants not only from cold, icy precipitation and dropping humidity, but also from harmful pests.
What You Add
Key to winter vegetable gardening is keeping plants warm by adding organic matter and fertilizer before and during the winter. The microorganisms your plants need must be in the soil before winter weather sets in.
The risk, of course, is that your compost or fertilizer includes some garden pests hitching a free ride right to the buffet.
The hardy winter plants – kale, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, cabbage, carrots, celery – will all attract insects like cabbage loopers and diamondback moths. To prevent these invaders, add (or attract) some helpful critters of your own:
- Ground beetles
- Soldier bugs
What You Keep Out
For winter vegetable garden pest control you can also consider cold frames and greenhouses to keep pests out. Even within the limited space of a low cold frame, keep the plants spaced apart to prevent insects from migrating from one plant to the next.
Many gardeners want to keep artificial insecticides out of their winter gardens. This means you may need to consider a natural alternative, like Bacillus thuringiensis — Bt — sold as Dipel or Thuricide. The Bt bacteria only kills true caterpillars. It is safe for people, pets, wildlife and other types of insects.
Keep on top of your plants as they ripen in winter, too, to prevent past-prime plants from rotting and sending out fragrant beacons to garden pests. Harvest and enjoy your plants promptly.
Winter is Plotting Time
Many insects become dormant in winter, choosing to burrow into your delicious garden soil only to re-emerge when spring warms the soil and sends up fresh food like tomatoes, cherries and grass.
As Washington State University’s extension office points out, your winter garden soil could be harboring:
- Tomato hornworms
- Cherry fruit fly
- Lady bugs
You can avoid surprising disappointment in spring by partnering with a professional pest control company before and through winter to protect your winter garden and spring soil.
For professional pest control for your winter vegetable garden, you can rely on trained technicians from a local, helpful pest control company. Not only can a pest control company custom-tailor its services to your winter garden, the technicians can diagnose invasive pests early – before you see an entire crop of bok choy and green onions fall victim to nature’s nibblers.
A call or online contact to Whitworth Pest Solutions can solve many of your wintertime woes. Please contact us today!