How to Control Pests in Your Organic Garden – Easily and Cheaply

How to Control Pests in Your Organic Garden – Easily and Cheaply

Controlling the Pests in your Organic Garden

One of the main concerns of gardeners considering switching to organics is, “How do I control the pests?” The aim of organic gardening is not to eradicate pests, but to make sure your garden’s ecosystem is in balance so plants continue to thrive.

One vital tool in the organic gardener’s toolbox is companion planting. This is where gardeners plant different plants together as they either deter pests by acting as a natural insect repellent, or encourage vigorous growth in the companion plant.

Companion planting works for both herbs and flowers, and if you plant a variety of flowers in amongst your vegetables you will not only have an attractive vegetable garden, but a productive one as well.

There are hundreds of planting combinations however common companion plants include marigolds, garlic and onion. Well known combinations include tomatoes and basil, and parsley and roses.

Soap as a pesticideMaking your own pesticide sprays is easy and cost effective. One of the most versatile sprays can be made with common liquid dish soap, a little fixing oil from your garden center, and water. You simply spray this over your plants and then rinse.

Soap spray is effective in combating common garden pests such as aphids, thrips and spider mites. Make sure when you spray that you also reach the underside of the leaves, the stems and the flowers of your plants. But make sure you only use a few drops of soap per bottle as too much soap can damage your plants.

Picking off the bugsOne of the best ways of removing the bugs from your organic garden is simply to pick them off before they have a chance to establish. It is best to look for insects when they are most active, which is early morning or dusk. Simply wander around your garden and squash any small bugs you see, such as aphids. Caterpillars, snails and slugs can be removed to other areas of the garden or, if you want to remove them from your garden entirely, then you can drown them in some soapy water. But remember that there are also beneficial bugs in the garden that you want to keep and encourage, so make sure you don’t remove these by mistake!

Manual BarriersYou can protect your plants from larger insects such as snails and slugs by using physical barriers around your plants. Household items such as crushed shell, coffee grounds or wood ash sprinkled in a continuous ring around your plants will protect them. However make sure there are no gaps.

Other simple remedies such as a saucer of sugar water or half an orange will attract the insects and keep them away from your plants. Replace your organic traps every day or so.

Encouraging helper bugsNot all insects are bad for your garden. In fact helper bugs are essential to ensure the health of your plants. Beneficial insects feast on the nasties that eat your plants, and should be encouraged as much as possible.

The main beneficial insects for your garden include ladybugs, lacewings and spiders. If you want to get started quickly then you can often buy ladybugs or lacewings through mail order, or from your garden centre.

Spiders (as long as you are not in an area with very unpleasant ones) can be encouraged into the garden through blocks of perennial planting and straw around the garden.

So there are a number of ways you can tackle the nasties in your garden without resorting to chemicals. They key is to be vigilant and keep on top of the problems before they get out of hand, and you have a thriving, healthy garden you and your family can enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.