Growing your own culinary herbs and vegetables with an indoor garden is an easy way to have the freshest ingredients and eat healthy all year long. Since gardens are living things, un-welcomed insects might get word about your secret stash and pay a visit. Luckily, there are many simple (and safe!) tricks to keep insects away from your fresh crops, should any happen to invite themselves over.
Check out our video tutorial below, where we explain our best techniques to keep your indoor garden insect-free:
So, maybe you've found some insect pests in your indoor garden. Not to worry! Just follow these 5 simple tips, and you will be the only one reaping your hard-earned harvests!
1. START WITH high quality soil.
The best soil will not only yield the best-tasting harvests, but also keep plants healthy from seed to supper. Add potting soil to any Seedsheet + Garden Container, to guarantee that the seeds have a good foundation to start.
If using your own soil, we always recommend starting with high-quality, fresh, organic potting soil, specifically formulated for container gardens. This type of soil will promote good drainage and airflow for plants growing in a container, which in turn results in healthy growth to prevent insect pests.
2. Provide excellent air circulation around the container garden.
To prevent insect pests from making a home in your container gardens, good air circulation is key! This all starts with making sure the garden container has adequate drainage, either with pebbles and plenty of holes at the bottom, or by planting in a fabric grow bag to allow water to escape. Fabric grow bags are ideal because they allow excess moisture to easily seep out of the container and wick away from the soil. Insects will be attracted to indoor, wet environments, so using fabric grow bags is a way to keep a clean garden habitat.
3. Pick off all yellow, dead leaves to keep the garden clean.
Insect pests will be drawn like magnets to decaying leaves in a container garden. Don't be afraid to pick off and discard yellow or dead leaves! Plants such as salad greens grow quickly and like to be pruned. Regular harvests and pruning will not only keep the garden area clean, but also allow the plants to grow for a longer period of time (like getting your hair trimmed to keep it healthy!).
4. Use neem spray or soapy water solution to treat plants 1-2x per week.
Neem spray is an effective, organic way to keep insects away! Neem oil is extracted from the neem tree, so it is 100% natural and safe to use on edible garden plants. Adding a couple drops of liquid soap in a spray bottle filled with water is another safe yet effective way to deter insects.
When you suspect insect pests are around, start spraying the foliage of the plants and around the soil about 1-2x per week, and any sign of invasion will be gone immediately.
5. Always be scouting!
Above all, always be scouting. Every time the top 2" of soil is dry and it's time to add water, make sure to poke around the leaves and check for anything out of the ordinary. White spots on leaves, anything flying around the space, or holes in the foliage are all clues you might have some unwanted guests. Keep a lookout to be able to treat the issue immediately. The sooner you spray with the organic methods above, the sooner any pests will move out!
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