It happens to every gardener. Pests are bound to come around and can wreak havoc on your plants and vegetables. Never fear, there are ways to discourage these pesky critters and persistent fungi from damaging your garden. Using organic pest control practices means turning to natural methods and leaving those harmful chemicals behind.
Like Organic Soul on Facebook
1. Plant Natives
Not only are these plants generally low maintenance, they have the natural ability to fight off native pests. Plants that have survived everything your climate has thrown at them for millennia can surely make it through countless seasons in your backyard.
Ask about native plants at the local garden center or source them through a dedicated local grower. A standby of organic gardeners everywhere, natives have built in pest control.
2. Draw In Beneficial Bugs
Not all insects are created equally and you should actually welcome certain bugs into your garden. Native plants will often attract these types of insects and by doing a little bit of research you can learn what plants and conditions will also draw them in.
Think about the nasty pests you want to keep away. Then find out who their natural predators are and invite them in. Lady bugs, praying mantises and green lacewings are all excellent inhabitants for a pest free organic garden.
3. Get Smelly
By planting certain annuals and herbs you can effectively keep pests from your garden. This works especially well in a vegetable patch, where you can plant a border of marigolds to repel would-be attackers. Sprinkling freshly picked herbs in a vulnerable area can also help. Dill is a well known herb for offending those pests you want to keep away and grows easily in most climates.
4. Be Aggressive
If the little bugs are already infesting the area, it’s time to get serious. Look to your pantry to find the tools and weapons you’ll need to fight off these garden pests. Be sure to always try any solution on an out of sight area first to make sure it won’t cause unsightly damage to the plant and to test the strength of the mixture.
Aphids, spider mites and caterpillars won’t appreciate a taste of this organic pest control concoction. Mix 4 cups of water with one teaspoon of tobasco or hot pepper sauce and 4 whole garlic cloves. Blend well in your food processor or blender. Pour into a spray bottle (strain well with a cheese cloth beforehand) and apply onto the infested plants.
Also, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of molasses can be added to a little over 1 gallon of water and sprayed onto your roses or other plants affected by fungus. Doing this in the early morning hours is best.
With these four tips in the arsenal you’re well on your way to enjoying the feel of organic pest control in the garden. And your plants and veggies will be a whole lot healthier.