A common complaint among organic gardeners is that they have to deal with pests in the garden as a result of their organic gardening practices. Contrary to conventional gardening practices, where synthetic pesticides are frequently employed to kill insects, if you’re trying to grow organic food that won’t have any chemicals residue on the produce, you won’t want to use that method.
To keep these pests at bay, it’s advisable to use natural options. The following steps are that you can take to do prevent these unwanted bugs from getting into your garden.
it is important to keep in mind that there are 2 different types of bugs. One type will feed on young saplings and plants. This is the type of pest that you want to keep away from your garden.
The other type of bugs feeds on bugs that destroy your crops. These bugs are your friends. So, it’s important to know how to distinguish the different types of insects and not kill off the beneficial ones that are helping you.
Your First Line of Defense
The plants you grow can also serve as an insect deterrent. Certain varieties of plants are more resistant to insects. Some research into the types of plants you grow and the unwanted insects common to your area could prevent a lot of pest problems.
Buy local plants for your garden so as to avoid attracting non-native insects into your garden. Add a layer of mulch or other simple barrier around all your plants. Make sure your garden is well-kept by checking it regularly. Healthy plants are naturally more able to resist predators, similar to having a strong immune system.
Plants as Pesticides
Plants such as rosemary, mint, petunias, lemongrass, citronella, lavender, basil, sage, etc. have properties that keep many pests at bay.
Planting tobacco around your vegetable garden is an excellent way to discourage slugs and aphids.
Grow a few of them around your garden and close to your crops so that they have an effect on the surrounding areas. The problem with using plants as a line of defense is that their influence is limited to a short range.
Purchase “Good” Bugs
There are many garden supply stores that sell lady beetles, ground beetles, and other “good” bugs. You can release these bugs into your gardens to keep the bad bugs away.
Generally, the bugs that benefit your garden will be green lacewing, praying mantis, lady beetles, ground beetles, soldier beetles, tachinid flies, etc.
Pick Them Off By Hand
One of the fastest and easiest ways to keep the pests in your garden under control will be to handpick them and toss them into a pail of soapy water. It’s quite straightforward, but you’ll need to be careful. Some insects can sting or bite you. It is a good idea to wear gloves when handling insects.
There may be times when some people may feel queasy or fearful when handling bugs. At times like these, you may choose to use an organic pesticide. While not the best option, if the pests are rampant, you may have no choice.
Spread Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are a wonderful way to keep bugs away. Sprinkling coffee grounds on the soil will not only enrich the soil with nitrogen, but many bugs will avoid the area because of the smell of coffee.
Recognizing Signs Without Seeing Pests
Sometimes you may not be able to see the bugs but you’ll notice your plants getting damaged. If you see partially eaten leaves or leaves with irregular holes in them, you probably have pests such as worms or flea beetles in your garden.
If you see trails on your leaves, you may have leaf miners, which love feasting on leafy vegetables.
Snails and slugs adore vegetable leaves, too. You’ll immediately see half-eaten leaves and some damage if you have snails or slugs in your garden. Place a few plates of beer on the soil to attract the slugs which will crawl into the beer and drown.
The insects that enter your garden are not trying to do you any harm. They just want to survive, and they do that by feasting on your veggies. Other insects like bees are wonderful pollinators and should be welcomed in any garden.
Before killing off any pests, make sure that you really need to do so. The rule of thumb is to only remove pests that will destroy your crops.
Each of these methods contains natural and easy to use preventative measures you can use to help ensure that your garden remains insect free. And remember, it’s best to take quick remedial action at the first sign of these unwanted guests. The sooner you take action, the less likely it is that the pests will multiply and cause more damage to your garden.