Get Growing: Healthy Garden Strategies that Minimize Pests and Maximize Yields

A healthy garden is a happy garden—and a bountiful one. Here are a few straightforward strategies to help you make the most of the space that you have.

Plant in raised beds

In a raised bed, you don’t have to worry about walking paths. With more room to garden, you can plant more vegetables closer together—and closely planted vegetables don’t leave as much room for weeds to take hold. By design, raised beds are more efficient and can reduce the need for fertilizer, water and pesticides (because even “natural” pesticides can cause harm).

Use native plants

By choosing plants that are adapted to your specific growing conditions, you’ll spend a lot less time trying to solve problems related to water, climate and pests. If you must have a particular plant, ask your local nursery if there is a disease-resistant variety.

Build healthy soil

As described in this blog post, healthy soil looks, smells and feels alive. Soft and crumbly, healthy soil is dark in color and has a sweet earthy aroma. Healthy soil is also soil that is rich in essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and potassium, plus trace elements and micronutrients. Unfortunately, these minerals and elements can become depleted, sometimes after a single growing season. Rock dust is an easy, practical and inexpensive way to add back the essential minerals and nutrients that plants need to flourish.

(Note: Look for an all-natural product like Cascade Minerals Remineralizing Soil Booster which is listed by the Organic Materials Review Instituted (OMRI) for use in organic production. Remineralizing Soil Booster is easy to apply, non-toxic and safe to use around children and pets when used as directed.)

Switch things up

A healthy garden is also a diverse one. Incorporating a variety of plants helps create an entire ecosystem in which beneficial insects eat harmful pests.  For vegetable crops, rotate planting locations from year to year to help prevent diseases from building up in the soil.

Want more tips? Read our article, “Rock Dust, Crop Rotation and More: All-Natural Ways to Repel Garden Pests.”