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The Organic Garden: Pest Control

Updated on October 10, 2011

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.


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by, happy growing.

  • queensgambit profile image

    queensgambit 5 years ago

    Hey man, I really liked your article. Growing Organic is the way forward!

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Glad it was helpful and happy growing.

  • Becky Puetz profile image

    Becky 6 years ago from Oklahoma

    Thanks for the helpful advice. I can use all the help I can get.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • ronthelandscaper profile image

    ronthelandscaper 7 years ago

    Great hub! I highly recommend havahart’s deer off. No other remedies worked for the deer around our house. I’m glad my landscaper friend recommended it. It’s really powerful and it keeps the rabbits away too. It works so well because it targets the keen sense of smell and taste deer have. Others just target one. Plus, it’s natural and organic. Here’s what you should get:

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    It is sound advice, thanks for commenting.

  • DustinsMom profile image

    DustinsMom 7 years ago from USA

    As always, a great informative hub. Like the last line...

    .."Follow nature’s lead when designing and maintaining your garden and it will thrive."

    Great advice.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    Great information and it is amazing what can be done with the simpliest thing and without poison.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Rotting eggs, good tip and thanks for commenting.

  • John Yeoman profile image

    John Yeoman 7 years ago from Story writing land in the centre of England

    That's great advice. Living close to Ashridge Forest in central England, I have deer problems at times. One whacky-but-it-works idea is to crack eggs on fence posts around the garden. Deer can't abide the smell of rotting eggs, it seems, according to an article in HortIdeas.

    Leastwise, since I've tried it, I've seen no deer. (Although that might not qualify as scientific proof. I've seen no yetis either...)