The Organic Garden: Pest Control
The Organic Garden
Pests may present a problem to an organic gardener but not an insurmountable one. The larger pets, deer, raccoons, squirrels, and groundhogs, for example, can be dealt with through fencing and humane traps and regular vigilance.
Deer can quickly destroy a garden and organic sprays rarely keep them away from their meal. One of the reasons that deer are becoming pests in areas where they were rarely seen before is that human activities, urban sprawl, for example, are destroying their natural habitat and hey they have to live and eat somewhere.
So how do you deer proof your garden? If you are growing vegetables, the safest way to do so is to build or buy a greenhouse. There are other alternatives.
The smaller pests, insects for example, are much easier to control and the first step is to understand and accept that not all insects or spiders are the gardener’s enemy. Spiders can be a good gardening friend as they prey on the insects that want to eat your food before you do.
When you use an artificial spray to eliminate a particular insect threat, you are often killing all the beings that are in your garden, even the ones who are helping you and are the garden’s first line of defence against invasion.
In addition to knowing that you have allies in the garden, it is important to maintain a healthy environment for the plants you plan to grow. Healthy soil is the basis of this healthy environment. Healthy plants will withstand invasions.
Mulch and compost will help feed your soil and create healthy growing conditions for you plants.
Look at mulching as being similar to composting only you will want to be more selective in what you use for mulch, no carrots tops or apple peels, for example.
You add a layer of organic material, the leaves from your trees, for example to the garden bed and this then mimics what happens on the forest floor where leaves and needles drop to the ground, where they break down over time and then absorbed as food. This feeds the soil which in turn feeds the plants and healthy plants resist attack.
Spend time in your garden, take a look at the leaves and the flowers, observe how they are doing and if you spot anything unusual take time to determine what is going on and then take appropriate action.
Most insect invasions can be prevented by picking off the early invaders before the main force arrives. A few minutes twice a week can make a difference.
Follow nature’s lead when designing and maintaining your garden and it will thrive.
- How to Build Healthy Soil
What is soil? Soil makes up the outermost layer of our planet. Topsoil is the most productive soil layer. Soil has varying amounts of organic matter (living and dead organisms), minerals,...