Now that we are truly in the winter as you look through your seed catalogs you might want to start planning next year’s garden with your past pest problems in mind.
So first off think about what were your major garden pests in 2018. Did you have aphids in your veggies? Worms in your apples? Leaf miners in the leafy greens? Squash bugs causing a collapse of squash plants? Did you see a decline in your tomato plants which can be caused by several different reasons?
Thinking ahead start planning your garden design. For soil-based pests such as soil diseases that attack the roots of tomatoes, peppers and other plants, and for insects that over-winter in the soil such as leafminer pupae, plan your garden layout to rotate groups of similar plants into what I would call fresh soil each year.
In 2019, plant your cole crops so things like broccoli and cabbage where you had your tomatoes or peppers last year. And for legumes in 2019, things like your beans and peas, plant those where you had your squash last year, and so on. What you’re doing here is putting different types of plants into the soil from previous years and then reducing over-wintering pest populations that can attack this group of plants.
Use the winter months to read up on how to manage your garden pest problems. USU Extension Utah Pest website has many pest fact sheets, how-to videos, veggie and fruit pest guides and more. Pest advisories are user-friendly newsletters that come to your e-mail throughout the gardening season with tips on pest identification and management.
So enjoy your winter and garden planning and have very Happy Holidays!