“Is there a way to get rid of pests without having to resort to chemical, toxin-laced pesticides?”
This is perhaps one of the most common and most challenging concerns to any organic gardener. Because pest populations grow rather quickly, the appeal of the synthetic pesticide is obvious: it is an instant fix of sorts.
But you don’t have to risk the health of your family and of the earth around you just to get rid of pesky little worms, bugs, and those stubborn aphids! We have found effective and safe means of getting rid of pests in your garden the organic way. These methods, though they do not necessarily get rid of the bugs instantly, ensure effective and long-term benefits for your crops.
Check out our tips on how to make sure your organic crops don’t succumb to pests.
- Add more variety to your garden. This has been a technique used in larger farms for generations. Many garden pests rely on one kind of crop. Putting just one kind of crop in a single plot side by side allows them to move from one plant to another. You’re basically creating a buffet for pests that way. Putting a different type of crop (one that’s not vulnerable to the pest you are trying to get rid of) in between will make it different for the bugs to get to the next crop and will likely starve them.
- Add some repellant crops in your garden. There are certain plants that emit strong scents, flavors, or naturally occurring anti-pest toxins that you can add to your plot as natural deterrents. These include marigolds and strong-smelling herbs like basil. Plant strategically to ward off pesky bugs.
- Add some predators. Praying mantises, ladybugs, and even chickens make great natural predators against all those nasty critters without ruining your garden in the process. You can purchase mantises and ladybugs in gardening shops and online stores. Some hardware stores carry them as well. If you have room for chickens in your yard, don’t forget to keep their manure for composting! Those nasty excrements actually make great natural fertilizers!
- Wash your plants off. Aphids and even bugs can be hosed down. Some people add a soapy concoction but that’s not something you want to do with your edibles so hosing it with water – thoroughly yet gently – would actually help. Make sure to get to the undersides of the leaves as that’s where aphids love to stick and do it at night to get the best results! Additional tip: a citrus concoction (citrus fruit rinds left to steep in warm water overnight) can be used to spray to your plants. The citrus scent wards off most kinds of bugs.
- Explore an array of organic pesticides. Should you resort to pesticides, make sure you do your thorough research on the brand and the safety of the ingredients that they come in. There are a couple of decent and genuinely organic ones out there so do your fair share of research.
Which of these tips are you going to try in your own garden? Let us know in the comments!