Organic Solutions to Garden Pests

04/04/2012


There is nothing worse for gardeners than toiling all day in the hot sun just to have your hard work wasted on a few bugs with the nerve to eat your crop. Plant pests can be the downfall of any budding backyard organic gardener. Here are a few tips from the pros at American Pest aimed at helping you to get rid of pests before they devour your summer harvest!

Prevention
With enough care and attention, garden pest problems can be prevented before they become a huge issue. Simply hand picking the insects off your fruit and vegetable garden periodically can often control pest populations for the average backyard organic gardener. But there are other green options to help your efforts of a pest free garden.

When it comes to pests, avoiding a problem before it happens is easier than fixing it after insects have unleashed their forces on your prized plants. Here are some preventive measures you can take to keep your garden free of pests without using harsh chemicals.

  • Remove dead and dying plants that may already be infested with mites or small insects. If allowed to remain near the other healthy plants, the sick plants may spread whatever mites or insects they have to their neighboring plants. If they are not yet infested, they make easy prey to hungry insects.
  • Keep a tidy garden free of weeds to help diminish the area available for pests to breed thus keeping your plants pest free.
  • Use healthy soil and natural fertilizers to give your plants a boost to be stronger and more resilient against insect infestations.
    • Composting to create your own naturally rich soil can be a fun addition to your organic garden. Earth worms are a helpful addition to compost bins, speeding up the development of healthy soil.

Plants
There are also companion plants that attract beneficial insects and others that repel pest species. Catnip has been shown to repel many annoying warm weather insects like mosquitoes, Japanese beetles, house flies, termites, and ants. Some common flowers like petunias, geraniums and lavender also help repel pests from your garden and your home. These flowers not only repel insects that may damage your garden, but attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies that help pollinate your garden. Encourage “good” insects to visit your garden by incorporating sunflowers, mint and aster families such as coneflowers, daisies, coreopsis, and yarrow.

Solutions
If a pest problem does occur, there are some easy do-it-yourself remedies to solve the issue without using chemicals. Recipes for non-toxic sprays that kill bugs without harming your garden can include common household items like soap, canola oil, or hot sauce. These sprays are specific to each type of pest so it is important to correctly identify what you are dealing with.

With the right amount of attention and care, organic gardens can be a rewarding and fun summer activity!






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