Things You'll Need
Even in the smallest of spaces, gardens are cropping up. Any gardener can create a lush flower bed or fresh vegetable patch in miniature form in a container garden. However, container gardens and potted plants suffer from one particular challenge: adequate watering. A single overly hot day can stress a plant and cause its death. In an effort to combat dryness and avoid plant death, many gardeners are turning to self-watering containers. While these containers help with cultivation, they also draw in pesky mosquitoes. Preventing mosquitoes in a self-watering container will make container gardening much more enjoyable.
Video of the Day
Cover the reservoir in the self-watering container. Using a piece of very fine screen or mesh material, cover the entire area accessible to mosquitoes. Secure it firmly with a waterproof adhesive. Check it frequently throughout the warm season.
Add a few drops of cooking oil to the water in the reservoir. Oil will break the surface tension of the water, discouraging mosquitoes from laying their eggs. This method is recommended for containers being used to grow edible plants.
Place a mosquito dunk in the water. Mosquito dunks are pesticides made to kill the larvae of mosquitoes. These are very effective, but not recommended for use in containers growing edible plants or in organic gardens.
Move the containers indoors. If you are suffering from a particularly bad infestation of mosquitoes, drain the reservoir and consider moving the containers indoors if possible.
- Mother Earth News; Outsmarting Mosquitoes; Barbara Pleasant; 2003
- Atlantic County Division of Public Health: Prevent Mosquitoes from Breeding in Your Backyard
- Backyard Landscape Ideas: Self Watering Planters
- Gardening Australia; Fact Sheet: Self Watering Pots; February 2010
- Washington State University Extension; Pest Management...; Art Antonelli, et al.; April 2007
- Tropical Plants and Flowers Guide: Self Watering Planters