Dealing With Garden Pests Organically

As a professional Organic gardener I have found that one of the most frustrating things I see is the number of gardeners spraying chemicals to eradicate any and all problems from the garden. Some of the garden pests are slugs, caterpillars, aphids & snails. Although you can never wipe out these pests entirely, after all your hard work in the garden you have to do something. But that something doesn’t have to include toxic chemicals.

Pests & Insects don’t have to be treated like the worst things to have in your garden; they can live under the soil, in old weeds or piles of leaves, or in a number of other places. In fact, without many of these pests, rubbish wouldn’t become compost. Rather then trying to rid your garden entirely of these insects and creepy crawlies, there are a few tips to encourage the positive side of them.

Keep your compost heap away from the main garden area. Make your compost “pest friendly”.

Place sawdust around the base of plants that are likely to be susceptible to snails or slugs. This will prevent them moving towards them.

Encourage birds into your garden to help keep aphids and other smaller leaf eating insects away.

Keep old leaves, weeds, or any other decaying matter that insects and diseases could be living in away from susceptible plants. Your compost heap is the best spot for these. Compost is a Great source for Organic soil conditioner.

If you really need to spray to remove insects, Neem or White Oil is a good organic alternative.

The important thing to remember is if you see any signs of Pests in your garden you should do what you need to, to encourage them away from the garden and into an area where they can be more helpful.

In addition to the environmental aspects of Organic Pest control, if your growing vegetables, the main purpose of growing them organically will be defeated if they become tainted with pest control chemicals.

Here are a few long-term maintenance tips to make pest control less damaging and more environmentally friendly.

Use a physical pest control method. Picking grubs off by hand, brushing scale insects off with a toothbrush and methylated spirits, blocking holes etc, Try to create a pest friendly environment in an area they can do no harm. Encourage them away from your garden.

Use biological control methods. Encourage positive insects into your garden that are predatory to insects that cause damage.

Always consider the use of safer pest control substitutes.

A mixture of liquid soap and vegetable oil (about a cup of each) can be diluted and sprayed to control Aphids and Mites.

Salt can be added in the cracks of pavers and around crawl lines for the control of ants and many other insects. This also has the added benefit of removing weeds from pavers etc.

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