When you see pests or diseases in your garden instead of automatically reaching for chemical pesticides think organic! Chemical pesticides will kill all the insects in your garden, even the beneficial ones and will contaminate the ground water. It is much better to find other ways to prevent pests from taking over your garden and dealing with them if they do start to increase.
One of the best defenses against pests is to grow healthy plants in the first place. Weak and sickly plants are targeted by pests so make sure the conditions are right for the plants you are growing and keep them healthy by watering and fertilizing adequately. Use natural composts and mulches rather than fertilisers high in nitrogen and do not let the plants sit in water or become too dry.
Keep pests from having an easy time finding the plants they prefer by mixing different varieties of flowers, vegetables and other plants together. It is a good idea to plants some flowers among your vegetables to attract beneficial insects which feed on nectar. The larvae of insects such as lacewings and ladybugs feed on pests so it is a good idea to encourage them. Another good idea is to encourage wild birds that eat insects into your garden with a birdbath. A pond can lure toads and lizards to your garden where they may feast on any pests around.
If preventative measures have failed it is time to identify the pest and choose the best natural method to eradicate it. Find out which methods is best and use pepper sprays, soap sprays or Bacillus thuringiensis, which is a bacteria that can deal with leaf eaters such as caterpillars by interfering with their digestion. If possible remove any weak plants as these are the ones that pests will target. Extracts from the Neem tree have found many uses in organic control of garden pests as it has natural insecticide properties. It can be used to control mealy bugs, aphids and whiteflies and can be bought at most garden centers.
Organic Recipes to Control Pests
Mix together 2 tablesoons of soap flakes to one litre of water and spary on infected areas. Do not make the soap solution any stronger as it can cause damage to the plants. This can be used to control spider mites, aphids and whiteflies.
Soak ten garlic cloves in mineral oil overnight then strain off the garlic and add about half a litre of water and one teaspoon of liquid soap. This can be used to control spider mites, aphids and whiteflies.
Dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in about a litre of water then add one teaspoon of soap flakes. After removing any infected leaves spray the healthy leaves thoroughly. This can be used to control mildew and Black Spot.
We believe that it is not necessary to always use chemical pesticides to deal with pests in the garden although organic methods may be more work! You should try to have a healthy garden that attracts wild life and can easily resist pests. Then you can deal with any outbreaks quickly with methods that are safe for your garden, wildlife and your family.