Compost is easy to make yourself. Work plenty of composted leaves and vegetable matter into the soil to improve its tilth and fertility. Good soil is alive with worms, beetles, springtails, fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and many other organisms that will help your plants grow. And, it’s free!!
Marigolds, alliums, rosemary, mint, radishes, and many other plants are supposed to repel certain insects, but they attract others, too—namely, pollinators. Pollinators are beneficial insects (and birds!) that promote plant reproduction. We recommend planting 3-5 types of pollinator plants together to encourage visits from bees, butterflies, and more.
Start with healthy plants, ideally grown from seed by you or a trusted local grower. When plant shopping, look around the greenhouse to determine the quality of plants. Check for signs of insect infestation and disease, such as spotted or irregularly colored leaves.
Pull weeds, which can hog nutrients and water from your plants, and keep beds clear of dead or diseased matter. Practice this helpful healthy garden tip: Be sure to dig out the entire root, or the weed will just come back. Dispose of all weed foilage after, as even leftover leaves can sprout again.
Water regularly—maybe with a drip irrigation system—but don’t over-water. The age of your plants matters; young, small plants don’t need as much. Water more in hot weather and less in cooler seasons.