Quick Guide For Best Natural Pest Controls
The goal of many home gardeners is to apply few or no pesticides. This philosophy often results in unacceptable harvests because the gardener is often faced with a dilemma of either applying pesticides or experiencing a significant or total crop loss.
While it is difficult to achieve consistent harvests from your garden without some strategy for pest control, the following principles may help you use pesticides more sparingly and still achieve acceptable results.
Cultivars of some vegetable crops are genetically resistant to certain pests. By choosing these cultivars, the gardener increases their chances of avoiding problems with specific pests. An extensive list of vegetable cultivars, including information regarding their genetic resistance to specific pests.
The gardener should be aware that there are no “super” cultivars able to resist all known pests and that some pest control may still be needed to ensure a harvest. But using resistant cultivars should lessen the need for pesticides.
Spacing and sun exposure
Avoid crowding plants together in the garden. Crowded plants grow poorly and may become more susceptible to pests. There is also less air movement through crowd‑ed plants which may result in increased problems with disease. Garden plants are generally adapted to growth in full sun.
Trying to garden in a shady backyard may result in weak, unproductive plants that are more susceptible to pests. Try to ensure that your garden receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
Make sure plants have adequate water and nutrition. Both over-and under‑watering or fertilizing plants may enhance pest problems. Proper watering and fertilizing techniques were covered in the first part of this publication.
Also, ensure that you clean up the garden once a crop has finished or the season had ended. Many pests overwinter or continue their lifecycles on residue from the previous crop. Destroy or thoroughly compost (better to destroy if a pest infestation is evident) crop residue once harvest is complete. Also, consider rotating crops that may be susceptible to soil‑borne pests—see “Crop Rotation” on this page.
Scout for problems
Spy before you spray! Most home gardeners are keenly aware of what’s going on in their gardens. As you check the germination of newly planted seeds, monitor the development of vegetables, and harvest ripe fruit, look for problems. If you do see problems, are you confident in your ability to diagnose them correctly?
Vegetables and Pest Control Crops
There is nothing more delicious than a luscious strawberry or juicy tomato, picked at the peak of ripeness, and on your table ten minutes later. If you have never tasted vegetables that have not been treated with chemicals, you do not know what you have been missing. Many people think that organic gardening is too difficult. Others think it is too time-consuming. It is neither, and in this article, you will learn everything you need to know in order to get started.
The first thing to know about organic gardening is that the best defense against insects and disease is prevention. When you are planning your garden, choose plants that are well suited for your climate. Choose a variety of plants, so that if you do get an infestation of a particular insect it will not wipe out your entire crop. Keep your plants healthy. The best way to do this is to have your soil tested in either the spring or fall. Your county extension office will do this for a nominal fee, and make recommendations on what to add to your soil for optimum health. Something as simple as lime, well-rotted manure, or compost can make all of the difference in your garden’s health. Once your soil is in condition, go ahead and plant your crops.
When you plant your crops, make sure to give each plant plenty of room to allow for the circulation of air. This greatly reduces the chances of fungal infections. When planting your vegetables you may want to plant some herbs among the rows, as some herbs have pest-repelling properties. Sage repels cabbage moths and flea beetles, chives repel aphids, and marigolds repel a wide variety of harmful insects.
Once you get your vegetables planted, plant a flower border. Wildflowers and sweet alyssum provide food and shelter for beneficial insects such as ladybugs and praying mantises, as well as frogs, lizards, and birds, which will eat pests from your garden. By keeping your garden weeded you also reduce the hiding area for pests.
Despite your best efforts, you will undoubtedly see some insects in your garden. The first thing you should do is look carefully at the bug. Is it actually eating the plant, or just resting on the leaves? If you deduce that it is a harmful bug, pick it off your plant. You can dispose of it any way you like. This is the simplest method of pest control, and a stroll through your garden in the evening may be all it takes to keep your garden pest-free. If you feel like doing a little more, you can spray your plants off with soapy water.
Just add a squirt of lemon-scented dish soap to your watering can and make a pass over the affected plants. They will appreciate the bath. If your plants are strong and healthy, they will be able to withstand the occasional nibble from a pest. If your plants develop a fungus, you can bring it under control by picking out all affected leaves and plants and throwing them away, but not in your compost!
Do not work in your garden while it is wet, or you will spread the fungus to other plants. If things do get out of hand and you have a real problem, there are several organic solutions. Sticky traps and row covers are available at your local garden center and are simple to use.
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Bacillus thuringiensis is also available from your garden center and disrupts the digestive tract of leaf-eating insects. There are also a variety of insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, and garlic and hot pepper sprays that will work on pests. The most important thing is to identify your pest before you treat your plant.
If you do not recognize the bug take one into your garden center, they should be able to help. Likewise, if your plant develops a fungus, take a few leaves into the store, and they should be able to recommend an organic solution.
Organic gardening is both fun and rewarding. The challenge of staying in tune with your garden is rewarded with succulent fruit and an incredible harvest. I encourage you to give it a try.
Guide to Natural Pest Controls
Anybody who has attempted to grow something in their garden will be all too aware that pests have a way of rearing their ugly little heads very quickly indeed! Sadly, the first response for many gardeners is to head to their garden shed and reach for the pesticides in order to get rid of their problem as quickly as possible.
While this may be the quickest way to solve the problem, it is most certainly not the greenest! Pesticides can have an adverse effect on the environment, meaning that a quick fix is not always the best remedy.
This is now finally being understood by those who make their living from the land; with nature in mind, many farmers are now employing integrated pest management techniques in order to protect their livelihood for the long-term – in essence, people are now making much more of an effort to strike a balance between protecting their crops and protecting the environment!
Fortunately, there are plenty of natural and organic methods that gardeners can employ when attempting to rid themselves of would-be garden invaders! Below are some of the methods of saving both crops and the planet:
Smells Like Trouble –
many common garden nuisances (such as foxes) can be deterred with the employment of strong-smelling substances. The most commonly used substances that can be turned into a stinky “keep out” sign are garlic, fish, rhubarb, and tobacco.
Hot Heat –
would-be garden invaders can be sent packing with the use of a little heat; this can include chilies, kerosene, methylated spirits, and even table salt!
many readily available garden plants give off natural odors that can be extremely uninviting to bugs and other pests. This is nature’s way of informing the bug that the plant probably carries some form of natural insecticide; it also lets it know to keep well away!
Get slick –
commonly found oils can be a great way of controlling certain kinds of garden pests. Some tried and tested oils include mineral oil, vegetable oils, and proprietary oils. These can kill soft-bodied invaders by clinging to them and eventually causing suffocation.
Clean up your act –
A little-known pest controller comes in the form of soap. Ensuring that the soap is natural and vegetable-based is the best way to make sure that it will not harm the plants as opposed to the pests!