A healthy ecosystem makes a healthy garden. That is why the answer to your garden pests is not found in that bottle full of harsh chemicals that annihilates all life. These pesticides not only harm the soil and the ecosystem, but they also harm you!
Controlling Garden Pests Naturally
Pesticides have been linked to birth defects, Alzheimer’s, infertility, and even cancer. You can avoid all of these risks if you follow the tips provided below for controlling your garden pests naturally.
Maintain soil health. Keep them watered properly and complement the soil with compost and mulch. Use only organic fertilizers and make sure your plants get the proper amount of sun.
Companion planting. Avoid monoculture in your garden and place plants that complement each other next to each other. Intersperse your plants and plant them closely.
Clear it out. Clear garden of debris, weeds, and any weak plants that may already be dead and will harbor pests.
Silver reflective mulch. This is a thin, silver sheet laid down over the soil and around plants; the shine keeps birds and many insects away, and it also reflects sunlight onto every part of the plant.
Neem oil. This is a natural oil that repels many insects and garden friends (such as snails), and also controls fungus and mildew.
Garlic oil spray. Garlic oil repels insects, and by soaking minced garlic in vegetable oil for a couple of weeks, you can make your own spray. Combine 4 parts water with 4 parts oil, and spray plants as needed.
Beneficial pests. There are some critters, such as ladybugs, wasps, some spiders, praying mantis, and lacewings, that will keep out the unwanted pests. Certain flowers such as geraniums and dandelions, or herbs, such as cilantro and dill, attract these helpful pests. Lizards, frogs, and birds will also gladly help you with any bug problems. If you want to count on these guys, though, you should keep your cat indoors.
Copper and salt. Copper can be placed in strips in gardens or around plants; slugs will avoid the copper. Salt will also kill slugs, but too much may also harm your soil.
Sticky traps. These are great for the big rush of insects early in the season and can be thrown away. The best part is that these pose no risk to your soil or plants.
Soapy or oily water. Spraying soapy or oily water on plans suffocates insects such as aphids. To avoid burning of the leaves from the sun, spray the underside of the leaves.
CedarCide. This is a completely natural, non-toxic, chemical-free product that works great on a multitude of insects.
Remember that anything sprayed onto a plant will affect not only harmful but also beneficial pests. Thus, use these remedies sparingly and only as a last resort. Remember that your garden is a miniature ecosystem, and if you keep it healthy, it will reward you.