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How do I choose pest and disease-resistant perennials?

Garden Pests And Diseases

Tracy DiSabato-Aust (Garden Designer and Author) gives expert video advice on: How do I choose pest and disease-resistant perennials?; How do I choose healthy garden plants?; How can I prevent pest problems in my garden? and more...

What are beneficial garden insects?

There are certain beneficials such as the ladybugs, and there's also a beneficial parasitic wasp. Most of these feed on soft-bodied insects that are sucking insects. Many of the members of the umbelliferae family, which is now the apiaceous family, which are all the umbelliform plants, fennels, and angelicas will attract these beneficial parasitic wasps.

Which plants bring beneficial insects to my garden?

Members of the umbellifereae, or apiaceae, it's called now, family. That would be dill, fennel, angelicas; they attract a beneficial parasitic wasp that feeds on soft bodied insects like aphids and spider mites, which are some of our worst sucking insects in the garden.

Should I use chemical pesticides in my garden?

I'd like to say never, if at all possible. I have a theory that if a plant continues to have problems with either pests or disease, I give it three tries and then it's asked to leave the gardens. So there are so many diseases, and insect resistant plants that can be used in the garden, and I really would like to see homeowners shy away from the use of chemicals if at all possible.

Can chipmunks and squirrels cause damage to my garden?

Absolutely. Yes. They dig holes and they can cause problems at the root level. Sometimes they'll break plants. They can do quite a bit of damage. Many of the small rodents will also cause serious damage to your garden. I mean rabbits are horrible in a garden, and will do some major destructive damage. Raccoons are my nemesis. They can really cause some problems, because they like to come in right after you've planted some trees or plants and they will dig the entire plant out, and leave it on the soil. They will leave the plant on the soil as they're searching in the soil for any organics that you use. I will sometimes use corn gluten as a pre-emergent or as a way to prevent weed seed from growing and raccoons love it.