Growing your own garden can be lots of fun, but with the satisfaction can come frustration in the form of too much–or too little–rain, fungus and unwanted pests. Seeing your garden getting eaten up by uninvited guests can put us in the mood for all-out war. It’s important to realize that chemical treatment in the form of pesticide may kill not only our “bad” guests but also many others that are beneficial or crucial to our garden and its balanced ecosystem.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to address this issue. Join organic gardener and editor of Organic Gardening magazine Scott Meyer as he explains the options.
So what’s the trick, Scott?
Before we decide what option is best for us, we should first observe and determine what kind of pests we are dealing with.
And what are our organic pesticide options?
In my experience, the best options are:
1. peppermint oil: This kills targeted pests as well as fungus.
2. garlic oil
3. insect soap
4. install a row cover over your garden that will allow light, air and water but will prevent bugs from coming through.
5. plant flowers near your vegetable garden; flowers will attract beneficial insects that will eat unwanted bugs.
6. attract birds that eat pests to your garden by simply installing a little bird bath/pool.
7. kill grubs with an organic bacteria like Milky Spore. The bacteria eats the larva and establishes itself in your lawn for years to come.
8. keep mammals away by installing a fence (electrical or other depending on your specific conditions and the size of animals that might enter your garden); you can also install reflective tape or aluminum shapes that move in the wind to distract animals and make them hesitant to enter; also, hanging a pungent soap near your garden will keep many mammals away.