Thinking you want to grow tomatoes but wondering how to keep pests out of tomatoes? Below we will cover lots of tips and tricks to do just that.
How to Keep Pests Out Of Tomatoes
There is nothing like growing fresh tomatoes in your garden. But you should know that your eyes aren’t the only ones keeping a close watch on them!
Pests love tomatoes just as much as we do, and if you aren’t careful they can wipe out an entire crop in no time. This year, be prepared. Take a look at these tips on how to keep pests out of your tomatoes.
With these tips, you can keep those pests away and enjoy more healthy tomatoes for yourself. Here is how to get started!
Keep standing water away from the garden.
While a birdbath or rain barrel might be nice additions to your garden, you should know that they also attract insects and critters of all sorts.
Keep these items away from your garden so pests don’t associate the space with a place to drink and feed.
Instead, keep birdbaths and standing water at least 10 feet from the garden, so critters and pests stay as far as possible.
When you are finished watering your garden, make sure all hoses and watering can make their way back to the shed or garage.
As for using your rain barrel, you can follow this tip How To Mosquito Proof A Rain Barrel and make it pest-free.
Stop slugs in their tracks.
Slugs may be slow-moving, but they can still eat tomatoes and foliage in a short amount of time. Place slug traps around your garden to help keep them in check.
You can make your own slug traps by placing beer in a shallow dish, then lay the dish on the garden floor. Slugs will climb in, and won’t be able to climb out!
Be sure to check out my post on How To Naturally Control Slugs And Snails for lots more ideas on how to control these pests.
Sprinkle those eggshells.
Many varieties of bugs don’t like the feeling of sharp eggshells on their feet. By sprinkling eggshells around the tomato plants, you aren’t just feeding the soil, but you will also be keeping pests at bay.
Sprinkle shells generously around the plants and see if they make a difference.
Make this DIY pest repelling spray.
Gardeners have been using Dawn dish soap to keep pests out of their gardens for decades. Make your own DIY pest repelling spray by mixing two cups of water with a tablespoon of Dawn.
Shake well. Then, spray the foliage of the plant. The scent will help repel bugs. That means it helps keep pests out of tomatoes so you have more tomatoes for yourself.
Try sprinkling soap.
Soap shavings around your garden can help keep critters such as mice and chipmunks away. Just grate some soap and place the shavings around the base of the plant.
Repeat every few days or after heavy rain. The soap won’t hurt the tomatoes and will hopefully send the critters packing!
Use Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth is one of the best ways to keep pests out of tomatoes or any other garden plants for that matter.
I recommend using the food grade Diatomaceous Earth so that you are sure you are not adding any pesticides or chemicals to your garden.
Simply lightly dust your plants with the dust weekly or every few days as needed. You will need to dust again after rain or heavy wind days.
Try companion planting.
Consider adding some pest repelling herbs around the tomato plants to keep pests away. Rosemary, Lemon Balm, even Citronella can all help.
Plant these herbs around the garden border and near the tomato plants and see if they make a difference. They won’t interfere with the growth of your tomato plant, which is an added bonus.
They may even help repel mosquitoes that would love to dine on you while you weed.
Add ladybugs to your garden.
There are actually several kinds of bugs that are beneficial to your garden. Ladybugs can help by eating the pests that would love to devour your plants.
You can buy live ladybugs in bulk from most gardening catalogs or even gardening shops. Then, just release them!
Live praying mantis can also be beneficial to your garden and will eat the pests that would otherwise cause havoc. Check out gardening catalogs and consider adding some of the beneficial bugs to your garden.
Use tomato cages.
By using tomato cages on your growing tomato plants, you can help keep foliage off the ground where insects are quick to find it and climb on.
Cages will keep the foliage lifted, which doesn’t just help with pests but rot and mold as well. Simple metal cages seem to do the trick just fine, as do trellises or even wooden stakes.
As you can see, there are all sorts of ways to keep those tomato plants safe. Consider these helpful tips on how to keep pests out of tomatoes, and see how they can help you enjoy a bountiful harvest this season.
If you need more tomato growing tips, check out my post on Grow Tomatoes Better With These 6 Tips.