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Fall Pest Removal and Garden Clean Up

Hello From My (Now) Little Frosty Corner Of The Garden

Yesterday we all woke up to the feeling of the winter’s dreaded arrival. I really have not recovered from the last one! Hopefully we have already brought in our cherished plants we would like to winter in our homes.

I have many tropical planters I move in annually including an 8’ Yucca, 9” Majesty Palm, 6’ Bougainvillea and many more, so therefore I started the process a few weeks ago to be on the safe side. 

With each spring's arrival, my house is emptied to a home of quite barren rooms bringing with it a slight echo. When fall returns it becomes once again nothing short of an urban jungle always including a few new additions. Thankfully my family has learnt to adjust and perhaps even appreciate the change of the seasons.

The question I get often is “how do you prevent unwanted pests from entering your home?”  Trust me, my biggest fear is ANTS! (Probably yours too) As well as the many other insects that may have evolved throughout the summer in your planters that you do not want to introduce into your homes.

Many of my plants are quite old and at this point near and dear to my heart so I thought I’d share the following simple solution I have used over the years to eliminate the bugs.

Pest Removal Solution:

1 tiny drop of dawn blue dish soap to every 1L of water needed to saturate the soil and thoroughly drain any excess out of the bottom of the planter. 

I also use this solution to spritz the entire plant. The spritzing I continue for 3 consecutive days and that’s it! Easy right? 

One alternate solution I found this year and tried on my hydrangea standards that were my newest addition to the home is:

4L water

2 Tbsp dawn dish soap

1 Tbsp Rubbing Alcohol

A dash of Tabasco sauce

1 Tbsp Canola Oil 

Combine and mix well and water your plants again until soil runs through and out the bottom of the planter. This has seemed to really do the trick, as I have not found a single insect.  I did not spray the foliage with this solution but stuck with just the water and dawn soap spritz as it has always worked for me

Now let's chat about garden cleanup. There are 2 types of gardeners. 

Gardener 1)

Fall cleanup that is already completed ridding the beds of annuals, pruning the shrubs back and emptying your containers including the soil to store for season.

Gardener 2)

Basically leaves all gardening until the following spring but still empties all planters of plants and soil for storage. By doing this you are providing insulation for our pollinators and beneficial insects to shelter while also providing food for the birds and other wildlife at the same time from the spent buds and stems. 

In a day and age where biodiversity is at the forefront of our attention, I am choosing this year to give up my control of everything being neat and tidy to have a clean slate in the spring and do my part by contributing to our environment. This action is simple but ultimately helps us by having more pollinators next year for our gardens. 

Because after yesterday's bit of sleety snow we all know it's time to look forward to next year's garden.


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