Soil is the foundation of your yard. Like the foundation of your home, if the soil is unsound it can affect everything above it. After more than 50 years of providing custom pest control in Central Alabama, we’ve learned that healthy soil can make a big difference when it comes to the prevalence of destructive insects.
Healthy Soil = Healthier Plants
The primary way soil can protect against pests is by making plants healthier. Soil provides plants with vital nutrients and chemicals that promote growth. When soil lacks these components plants can’t grow as strong.
It may only take a small amount of insect activity to kill off an unhealthy plant. This is commonly the case with grass. Blades that are weak are the first to go when insects like armyworms infiltrate your property.
That brings us to the next point: many insects live in the soil. Unhealthy soil makes it easier for harmful insects, parasites and fungi to exist. Healthy soil that’s biologically diverse acts as a natural barrier against disease and pests that destroy plants.
How to Improve Your Soil for Fewer Pest Problems
So what can you do if your soil isn’t in the best shape? For most people hauling in tons of new soil is out of the question. Luckily, there are easier and cheaper ways to improve the health of your soil. Start by taking these three steps:
Test the pH Level – pH level is one of the most critical chemical components of soil. A pH test will tell you if the acidity and alkalinity levels of soil are healthy. On the 1-14 grade scale you want the pH level to be around 7, the balanced mark. Levels below 7 are considered acidic and above 7 are alkaline. Anything between 5.5 and 7 is generally considered healthy.
Aerate the Soil – Aerating is commonly used to boost the health of soil by improving airflow, increasing water uptake, reducing runoff and making soil less compact. With an aerating machine you can easily complete a small yard in an afternoon. It’s generally recommended to aerate your lawn once a year, twice if the soil has clay components or subsoils.
Pick the Right Fertilizer – When soil needs a nutrient boost, fertilizer can help. This is where soil testing can again come in handy. There are a wide variety of fertilizer options, but they don’t work for every situation. To optimize soil health you have to know which nutrients are deficient and get a fertilizer that contains those nutrients.
We can’t improve your soil quality, but Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. can help you get rid of yard pests. Give us a call to talk with a technician about your pest problems today.