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Plants & Gardens Blog

Preventing Pest Problems

Fall is a terrific time to pause and enjoy your garden’s successes. But it’s also an opportunity to reflect on the season’s challenges. Working some pest and disease prevention into your schedule now can increase yields and help reduce problems later. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your garden tidy. Put weeds and organic debris in the compost pile. (Note: Pest-ridden or diseased plants go in the trash, not in the compost.)
  • Handpick pests and drop them into a bucket of soapy water. Wash aphids off plants with a strong stream of water.
  • Grow plants in different spots in the garden each year. Crop rotation can help break the pest and disease cycle.
  • Garlic is a terrific plant that repels aphids. Plant it as a companion for tomatoes and kale, and get the bonus of a garlic harvest next summer. (But keep it away from peas and beans, since it may stunt their growth.)
  • Plant plenty of herbs like chives, mint, and dill, which have flowers that attract beneficial insects. Next spring, the “good” bugs will help do the pest management work for you!

Online Resources:

  • For more information, see BBG’s article Nine Keys to Disease Prevention.
  • Maureen O’Brien is the community field manager at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.


    • marc laub October 6, 2012

      I have a cherry tree here in Brooklyn that is bleeding sap from the trunk just above ground level.
      Is something wrong, and what should I do about it? Thank you.

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