Garden Controlling Diseases and Pests
Organic Gardening methods are great for protecting and nurturing your plants without having to resort to environmentally harmful practices
Organic gardening emphasizes the balance between healthy soil, healthy plants, and the health of your family and the wider community. Organic gardeners work with natural systems to promote healthy gardens, with the ultimate goal of sustainability without the need for artificial chemicals or additives
Listed below are the main causes of disease and ill-health in your garden.
Gardening General Growth Problems
Environmental factors can have profound effects on the overall health of your garden
Water shortages leave plants susceptible to disease and pest attack. Prolonged drought stunts plant growth and can alter the natural cycles of flowering etc.
Frost causes the water inside plant cells to freeze, bursting the cell wall and leaving patches of black-brown dead tissue. Frost damage can be avoided by creating an airflow through those parts of the garden most affected as well as erecting temporary hessian barricades to ward off cold air.
Minerals such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium become unavailable to plants in extremely acidic soil and can lead to damaged leaf systems. Iron deficiency leaves plant leaves yellow in color, however seemingly healthy.
Well-managed, biologically active, gardens utilizing compost and mulch tend to have only slightly acidic soils that promote healthy plant growth.
Most Principal Garden Diseases
Common fungal diseases include potato blight, clubroot, mildews, and rusts. Control of fungal diseases is almost exclusively limited to preventing the conditions that cause them. Methods include providing good ventilation, avoiding overwatering, and planting resistant plant types.
Bacteria are single-celled organisms that cause soft rots, wilts, cankers galls, etc on plants. Treatment is often affected by simple pruning of the damaged area.
Viruses enter plant cells often after being transported via insects and other animals. Many viruses cause little damage to plants, normally restricted to minor leaf damage.
Most Principal Garden Pests
Pests are living organisms that cause damage to plants and soils in your garden. Most organisms in the garden are not defined as pests and most can benefit the overall health of your garden. Pests are classified according to where and how they feed on plants.
insects such as aphids and whitefly feed by piercing the epidermis of the plant and sucking up sap. Loss of sap leads to reduced vigor and growth distortions.
Insect larvae such as caterpillars and grubs eat the chunky stem and root pieces of plants. Damage to these systems restricts water and nutrient uptake and leads to restricted growth.
Butterflies, Moths, adult beetles, snails, and slugs are all examples of leaf feeders. Leaf damage reduces the available area for photosynthesis in leaves and also spoils the overall appearance.
Earwigs, weevils, and beetles all feed on flowers in your garden. Birds such as sparrows are also flower eaters.
Garden Controlling Diseases and Pests
There are a number of sound organic principles gardeners can use to keep diseases, infections, and pests under control in the garden.
Tip: Pests that are attracted to their host plant via smell can be confused by strong smelling companion PLANTS. For example inter-planting carrots with onions.
General Good Gardening
Many methods of organic control in the garden are simply examples of sound gardening practice.
Carryover of pests and diseases from season to season can be prevented by good garden maintenance. A good compost heap can help kill of disease in older dead plants and methods such as winter digging can expose hibernating pests to predatory birds and ground insects.
Is described as the growth of two or more different species of plant together for the benefit of one or both. For example, many adult insects visit flowers for pollen and nectar and can be effective natural controllers of other unwanted pests.
Using Natural Predators
A fundamental part of maintaining an organic garden is allowing the natural predators that exist in the wider environment to thrive.
Many animals in the garden feed on pests. Ladybirds and their larvae are amongst the hardest workers, helping to control greenfly as well as aphids. Mixing flowering plants with fruit and vegetables encourages predators such as parasitic wasps and hoverflies. It is important to recognize these natural predators and encourage their existence.
Barriers and Deterrents
Barriers around gardens certainly aren’t new and have been in use for centuries. However, the use of barriers, etc to control insects and smaller pests are relatively new.
Simple methods such as hanging shiny silver objects in the sunlight can confuse insects such as aphid which orient their flight patterns by sunlight. Medium mesh netting can also be effective in keeping out smaller birds etc from fruit-growing areas of the garden.
Predators that Feed on Garden Controlling Diseases and Pests
- Nematodes: control slugs and vine weevil
- Centipedes: feed on slugs and eggs
- Parasitic wasps: lay eggs in host insects
- Beetles: feed on snail and slug eggs
- Lacewings: predators of aphids and similar insects
- Ladybirds: feed on aphids in both juvenile and adult stage
- Mites: feed on plant-feeding mites
- Hoverflies: feed mainly on aphids
- Praying mantis: feeds on various pests
- Harvestmen: roving ground-based predators similar to spiders
- Spiders: all spiders prey on insects and arthropods
- Lizards: consume insects and pests
- Frogs and Toads: require a pond, feed various insects
Flower Garden Pests
Do you find that all your hard work is often tarnished by pesky pets in your garden? You might go to bed at night thinking that you will awaken to beautiful flowers blooming in your garden. Only to find that the deer or rabbit also enjoyed your fabulous garden in a much different way. Eating the bud off the stem before it has a chance to bloom. Nibbling slowly on your green leaves until they look unhealthy. A remedy to this problem is building a six-foot-tall fence around the garden to keep these pests out.
Make sure the fence is tightly woven on the bottom. It only takes a very small space for the rabbits to squeeze through. I know that a fence is not what you envisioned when you began the process of growing this garden. An alternative to the fence is placing dryer sheets on your flowers. This will keep the deer away but if rabbits are your problem I’m afraid you will have to find another option. Moles can also be a problem in many gardens. Digging holes all around your lovely creations. They are small but they can really cause problems for anyone trying to enjoy a hole-free garden.
When you start the process of growing your flower garden. You should take into consideration all the pests you might attract. Certain flowers are more appealing to some animals more than others. Ask your local florist or nursery what are the best flowers and what types might live beyond the pests that will try and eat them. Some flowers may need more direct sunlight while others require shade. Get all the information on your flowers before taking the time to plant them in the ground.
If Moles are the pests in your garden there are several ways you can rid yourself of this problem. The first is to trap them. Once you trap them drive several miles away and place them far away from your home and garden. If trapping moles is not for you then you might want to try and flood them out. Find the holes in your garden and simply let your hose water run down the hole until you feel like you have flooded the area. The final way and maybe least effective is building a barrier. Make it difficult for the mole to enter the garden.
You work hard on your garden. Do not let pests destroy your hard work.