Organic garden pest control, contrary to what you might think, is not about killing off all the nasty little bugs that we don’t like. As a gardener, there is nothing worse than getting up in the morning to check on your newly planted seedlings and find that they have been decimated.
It’s enough to make you want to erect barbwire fences and patrol your patch of garden to protect it. Before you do decide to go full-on nuclear, though, there are some things that you ought to consider.
First and most importantly, as pesky as that bug is, it is part of the ecosystem in the area. If you destroy all traces of it, you are damaging the delicate balance of the ecosystem as well. That’s why we suggest holding off on the poisons, even the natural ones for now.
Instead, Tractor Sprinkler Hub will explore how you can deal with the issue and still ensure that the ecosystem is preserved.
Why a Healthy Ecosystem is Essential
Insects are eaten by birds, lizards and some other forms of wildlife. Without the insects, these creatures could starve. This could affect pollination. Also, when bugs die, they break down in the soil. This, and the bird poop help to create a more nutritious soil.
Also, you don’t know what other species that bug you are killing was previously keeping in check. You might just be swapping one pest for another that is even more dangerous to your garden.
If I Cannot Spray, What Can I Do?
Surprisingly, quite a lot. Your main aim will be to ensure that the garden is as healthy as possible and to use companion planting to help plants protect one another.
The healthier the soil is, the more nutrients the plants have access to and the better they are able to resist attacks by pests. Keeping the healthy soil means keeping it well-composted, preferably with organic compost.
Consider using green manure to improve the health of the soil. Mustard, Red Clover and Alfalfa are three crops that will do wonders for your garden. Plant them and let them grow to about a foot in height. Then cut them down and dig them back into the soil.
Leave the area bare for about two weeks while they decompose and then you can consider planting there.
This is going to be your number one trick when insuring that your plants are left alone by pests. Companion gardening works in one of two ways, either the companion releases compounds that the pest cannot stand, or the companion acts as a trap crop.
Here are some examples:
- Basil helps keep tomatoes pest-free and improves their flavor as well.
- Garlic planted around the rose bush will keep it free of aphids.
- Nasturtium planted around your veggie garden acts as a great trap crop – the pests will eat the nasturtiums instead of your veggies.
Use the Right Mulch
Have a problem with snails or caterpillars in particular? A good sprinkling of diatomaceous earth is a natural way to prevent them destroying your seedlings. The particles are too rough and are very absorbent as well. It will stop snails and other soft-bodied insects in their tracks.
Something that is relatively new is a reflective mulch sheet. This is a good idea if you are battling to keep birds away and if you have bugs that like to hide underneath the leaves in the shade.
Take a soda bottle and add in four or five garlic cloves chopped up. Add a chilli pepper chopped with seeds and all. Fill the bottle up to three quarters with boiling hot water and set aside to cool overnight. Leave it to develop over the course of the next week and shake daily.
Spray onto the leaves of plants, and on the ground around them. Repeat after your Tractor Sprinkler Hub has cycled through or after it rains.
We hope that this post has peaked your interest. We have explained some of the basics, but the information that we have given is only a very tiny percentage of what is out there. Learn more about organic pest control and improving your soil and you will reap the rewards.