In today’s economy, many people are beginning to plant vegetable gardens to help keep the cost of their groceries down. People are also concerned with the safety of the fruits and vegetables available in the grocery store and choose to grow their own to ensure they’re safe to eat. Whatever your reason for growing a garden,
It’s very rewarding to see plants grow and blossom and to discover the first baby fruits form. On the other hand, it can be extremely frustrating to see bugs and other pests enjoying the fruits of your labor before you can. It almost makes a green, organic girl want to cry and cover her garden toxic bug spray... well I said almost. I do want all those garden pests off my veggies but I draw the line at toxic sprays and chemicals. What’s the sense of growing your own vegetables only to cover them with things that you don’t want to eat?
There are natural ways to keep those nasty pests out of your gardens so you won’t have to worry about toxic pesticides and chemicals all over your juicy tomatoes and sweet peaches.
1. Keep gardens weeded and free of debris. Don’t toss the weeds on the side of the garden as you pull them. They attract all sorts of insects that you don’t want nearby. Take the weeds to your compost pile and leave them there.
2. Encourage beneficial insects like ladybugs to visit your garden by planting tansy and daisies around the perimeter of your garden. Ladybugs eat aphids, mites, white flies and scale that you don’t want in your garden.
3. To help with mites, aphids, and mealybugs, mix one tablespoon of canola oil with a few drops of Ivory soap and a quart of water. Pour into a spray bottle and spray on the plants starting at the top. The oil smothers the bugs and they die.
4. To prevent bugs on fruit trees, you can purchase a product called dormant oil. You spray it on the trunk of the fruit tree and it kills the eggs so that they insects cannot hatch. You need to buy a pump spray for this or purchase it in it’s own spray bottle because they oil is much heavier than other sprays.
5. To keep deer out of your garden or to stop eating your plants, mix one cup of water with one egg and put it in a spray bottle. Spray it on the plants that deer are attracted to. Or try one tablespoon of dish liquid with one ounce of hot sauce to keep deer away.
6. Insects and pests dislike the smell of certain plants so planting those in your garden can help keep your garden pest free. Plants that are unpleasant to insects include lavender, tansy, marigolds, onion and garlic. Plant them throughout your garden or around the border for the best results.
7. If you have a slug problem, scatter eggshells around the area. For some reason, slugs do not like eggshells and will stay away.
8. Chickens are great to have in your garden as they will eat the caterpillars and other bugs from the garden and generally do not bother established plants. Watch them carefully though with seedlings.
Gardening can be very rewarding especially when you get a fantastic harvest of tasty treats to show for all your hard work. If you keep at the insects and other pests in your garden using these methods, you will not need to resort to expensive chemicals and sprays from the garden center.