As an organic gardener whenever pests or disease attacks your plants you should try to use the least toxic method of getting rid of the pests such organic pesticides. Always first try simple and safe methods before using any commercial or homemade pesticide.
A good blast from your garden hose may be all that’s needed to get rid of pests.
You can also pick large pests like caterpillars in the beetles off by hand and get rid of them by dropping them in a bucket of soapy water.
If that doesn’t work use an environmentally safe pesticide from your garden store or make homemade pesticide yourself. Homemade pesticides will generally be milder than the commercial variety.
For example, you could blend up about a dozen cloves of garlic with a pint of water and strain it through a cheesecloth before spraying it on the tops and undersides of the plant leaves. Repeat it every few days until the problem is gone, the smell of garlic should keep bugs away.
Organic gardening means not killing off more insects than you need to. You would not want to buy the type of commercial chemical insecticides that kill virtually every six-legged creature in the garden.
Some of them are useful, such as ladybugs which will feed on your aphid pests. They can be beautiful too. Remember, butterflies are insects.
For this reason, many gardeners prefer to avoid organic insecticides and use other methods for controlling pests in the garden.
For soil-based pests, the best method of control is to rotate your plants so that the plant they feed on is not in the same place year after year. Insects are easily confused, especially those that live in the soil. This is often enough to prevent them from becoming established and numerous.
However, if you are considering organic insecticide, then it is probably too late for prevention. You will need to look for other methods of controlling pests.
The best ways are those that target the specific pest that you are having trouble with. That way, you will not kill off beneficial and friendly insects that contribute to the natural food chain in your garden.
Organic Pesticides (Home Remedies)
1. Garlic Effect
Many pests are repelled by garlic. For this reason, gardeners often plant garlic around their other crops. It is especially useful this way against red spider mite and the borer beetles that attack fruit trees.
You can also use garlic in sprays. Merely crush garlic cloves into the water and spray the mixture directly onto your plants. This will keep off many of the pests that like to eat vegetables and flowers.
2. Soap Effect
Soap solutions are well known to be effective against aphids and other small flies that attack roses and similar flowering plants. A soap solution spray can also prevent slugs from eating your flowers.
Against slugs and snails, you can either use salt or beer. Salt solution sprayed onto plants will often keep off these pests in the same way that garlic repels other pests.
3. Beer Effect
You can also make traps containing beer. Place a flat container of beer into the ground so that the rim is at ground level and the slugs can easily access the beer and fall into the trap. As far as we know, they will die happy.
4. Boric Effect
Boric acid is a standard household product that can be used against many garden pests. It is also known as boracic acid, borates or borax. It is compelling enough that it is used in many commercial pesticides, but it is a naturally occurring mineral a little like salt.
Boric acid can be used as a powder against ants and similar crawling insects including roaches, ticks, and fleas, beetles, earwigs, and crickets. It also has anti-fungal properties so it can be used against fungal diseases on plants, molds, and mildew. Like salt, it can kill slugs and snails.
Boric acid can be toxic in high quantities. For safety, it is better not to use this organic insecticide on ripe fruit or on plants that children or pets will eat or lick.
Commercial Organic Pesticide
If your homemade concoction is not strong enough you may need to buy a commercial organic pesticide.
Many are safe to use on fruits and vegetables because it will break down quickly and not have a long-lasting effect on the environment.
Using organic insecticide is an option if you have a problem with pests in your garden which cannot be solved using homemade organic pesticides.
You can purchase organic insecticide from many garden supply stores and online. However, it is essential to buy the right product to control the pests that you have.
Horticulture oils, insect soaps, and botanical insecticides are all considered organic pesticides, however, they should be used only if the homemade version doesn’t work. They can also be toxic to birds, insects and all of the microorganisms that are keeping the plants healthy.
Some commonly used organic ingredients used for pesticides includes Neem (raw leaf), tobacco, chrysanthemum, onion, garlic, cayenne pepper and soapy water.
Always be sure to test a small portion of only several leaves first, and wait for at least 24 to 48 hours to make sure it’s safe for the entire plant.
As the old saying, prevention is better than cure – here are some tips which you can use to reduce the number of pests in your garden.
Tips To Reduce The Number Of Pests In Your Garden
A variety of pests can ruin your good work in the garden. The most common are insects and they can destroy a garden in a very short time if left to their own devices.
Even the neighbor’s cat can be a pest if it is always using your garden as a toilet. Birds can be another reason for concern if they are eating your plants and can become quite smelly if they are nesting in trees or hedges in abundance.
Pests will use your garden primarily for food and shelter. To reduce the number of pests in your garden you need to create an environment that isn’t as inviting.
Here is what you can do:
- By clearing leaves and waste from the base of your plants you will reduce the amount of shelter. This will allow you to work the soil better. At the same time eliminate the incidence of in-ground insects that can suck the nutrients out of the soil.
- You can stop cats, rats and mice from digging in the soil by using effective ground cover in the form of the mesh. The mesh makes it too difficult for them to get through to the soil.
- Keeping your compost in the correct composting containers. This will prevent any decaying matter lying around the yard that will attract rats and mice.
- Having a tidy garden and yard will not encourage them to make their home on your property. Traps might be needed as a final deterrent for rats and mice.
- Spraying your plants with suitable insecticides will also reduce the unwanted insect population.
- As explained above in the article, there are some good natural applications on the market that will do the job of the commercial insecticides.
- If you prune back trees and hedges you might make them less appealing to birds. This might help to reduce the bird population in your garden.
Keep in mind that some insects do a good job of maintaining a balance in the garden by eating other insects. Birds will also eat insects that could be causing damage to your plants.
Whenever you need to get rid of pests in your garden stick to environmentally safe organic pesticides. Your fruits and vegetable will taste better and have more nutritional value. Your flowers and plants will be healthier and bloom fuller.
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