Gardening tips: How to stop insects eating young plants

11 Sep, 2021

Gardening tips: How to stop insects eating young plants

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If you are a new homeowner with a garden and you’re propagating young plants, insects are good. However, insects can also be a challenge. We know insects pollinate our flowers and vegetables. However, there is nothing more frustrating than insects devouring young green shoots before they have had time to mature as plants.

Here are some gardening tips to help you stop insects from eating young plants in your garden.

Gardening Tips:

Stop insects from eating tender plants without using chemicals

gardening tips
Keep flower beds clear of debris to keep slugs and snails at bay

Gardening is a hobby enjoyed by many people whether they own a garden or use a shared plot like an allotment. .However, it can be difficult to protect plants from pests without resorting to pesticides and chemicals. Most of us are aware that these chemicals may harm the environment so ewe are cautious.

Garden sitters and tomato sitters listen up

Luckily, there are some simple tricks that can help you keep plants safe while growing organic, all-natural produce. Here are some great gardening tips for how to stop insects from eating your plants:

1. Use insecticidal soap

One of the more effective ways to get rid of plant-eating insects is by using insecticidal soap. This product will kill most bugs on contact and is available in several forms such as liquids or powders.

Once you have sprayed or wiped down the bugs with this soap, they will quickly die and be washed off of your garden soil.

2. Use pheromone traps to catch insects

If you are looking for a simple way to catch insects such as greenflies or whiteflies, try this. Try using pheromone traps.

This is a great strategy to get rid of greenfly or whitefly.

These traps attract insects with their sweet scent and once the bugs get close enough, they will be trapped inside the gluey surface of the trap, where they can die and be disposed of without causing any damage to your plants.

a gardener lifting a plant by the root ball as part of their plant bed management
Manage your flower beds to keep plants healthy

3. Hose off pests with water sprays

Another simple but effective method is to hose off pests with water sprays. It may seem like the simplest of gardening tips, but it often works.

For example, if you have noticed tiny bugs crawling on the surface of your garden soil, use a high-powered nozzle to spray them off into some nearby grass or bushes. This will help reduce pest populations without killing any bugs.

4. Use biological controls to get rid of insects

One of the best ways to kill pesky plant-eating insects is by using natural, biological controls to keep them at bay. For example, you could introduce beneficial nematodes to your garden soil, which prey on slugs and snails. This is one of the best natural gardening tips that is easy to adopt.

You can also attract friendly insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and other predators which will eat smaller insects for lunch!

5. Keep and encourage birds in your garden to eat insects

One of the best gardening tips that any gardener will give you is bring the birds back. Consider attracting birds into your garden if you are worried about pests or other problems.

These animals are natural hunters that love to eat annoying bugs for lunch, so feed them well with bird feeders filled with suet nuggets or seeds, and they will happily return to your garden time and time again.

gardening tips
Keep bird food in the garden to attract these friendly insect predators – Top gardening tips – Birds are great garden buddies

6. Keep the soil moist but not wet

It might sound counter-intuitive, but keeping the soil too moist is one of the most common mistakes made by beginner gardeners! However, if you water your plants just right, then they will stay healthy and free of pests.

You should also use mulch to keep weeds down and prevent them from stealing nutrients from your plants! Making and using mulch in your garden is one of the best permaculture gardening tips you can adopt.

7. Use pesticides only when necessary

It’s important that you only use pesticides when absolutely necessary. Overuse can actually be fatal, beneficial to organisms such as ladybugs and other predators, and it will also kill off all of the insects in your garden!

So be sure to use pesticides sparingly and only when completely necessary to avoid killing off all of your plants and your insect allies.

8. Keep the right amount of sunlight in your garden

One of the simple reasons why insects feed on certain plants is because of the degree of sunlight. Insects are attracted to some locations more than others. They prefer where they can get just enough sunlight from that plant to feed their energy needs.

Make sure that the location you choose for your garden gets just enough light and not too much. Otherwise you may be overwhelmed with weeds, grass, and other pesky plants which bugs love to chow down on!

gardening tips

One of our top natural gardening tips – If you are planting in the greenhouse you still need to protect your tender plants from snails and slugs. Monitor the growing beds carefully and place beer cups and other natural beer traps to stop them eating your seedlings.

9. Plant beneficial flowers & herbs in your garden

If bugs don’t have a friend in your garden, then they simply won’t want to be there! This is why it’s a good idea to plant flowers and useful herbs which contain fragrant oils that insects find irresistible.

One of the special gardening tips you should note is that you can even pick up ready-made herbal sachets from most garden centres that have been specifically designed for this purpose!

10. Remove pests after harvesting in preparation for late replanting

If you harvest vegetables or fruit from your plants as soon as possible after they are ready, then it is easier to keep the plants pest-free. This also protect your next planting and it’s a gardening tip you should practice early in every harvest. This is a one of the best practice gardening tips.

Garden sitters note

This, it means that you can remove pests such as slugs, snails, or even cutworms by placing them in a jar of soapy water where they will drown and die. After the pests are removed, then simply replant. Remember to turn over the soil before replanting, too!

Old wives tales and gardening tips

Some of the earliest domestic weapons against insects like slugs and snails include beer and yeast. Keep beer traps, stale beer poured into small dishes near the tender plants to distract the insect. Another idea is yeast, keep dishes of yeast around the tender plants, the insects are attracted but can’t get away.

tomato sitters
If you are tomato siting for the homeowner monitor the plants in your care on a regular basis

Garden sitters and tomato sitter routines

As a garden sitter or tomato sitter you may well be asked to refill pots with beer, or dishes with yeast. Regular removal of the slugs and snails becomes a daily routine and will protect the young plants. Beer and yeast have save many a vegetable patch over hundreds of years.

In Summary – Gardening tips to stop insects eating your plants

Follow these simple gardening tips if you want to keep insects out of your garden or greenhouse! Remember that organic, all-natural pest control is usually the best option for both you and the environment.

So be sure to think twice before using harsh chemicals on your plants. Keeping a clean plot free of debris helps to prevent insect infestations.. And of course you must keep plants watered just enough but not too much!


At Housesit we often share practical tips and tools that can help our members. Here are some blogs published earlier that offer more information and advice on gardening.

Garden sitting with permaculture

Want a garden oasis? Read how to create one 

Create the perfect garden – 7 Top tips

Home gardening safety tips – Green thumb 101

Home gardening ideas – Artificial grass

What is House Sitting: Everything You Need to Know


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