Growing an organic garden leaves the pesticides out of the picture, however, there is still the problem with pests. How do you rid your garden area of plant-eating bugs, raccoons, deer, mice and other creatures that will eat your vegetables before you do?
Gardening organically means having to relieve your garden of pests – but without the use of chemicals. The problem lies within our knowledge of these pests. Certain types of bugs are beneficial insects. They eat other bugs.
Approximately 80% of garden bugs actually help your garden by eating other bugs. Most of the six-legged creatures you scream and stomp at in the plants of your garden will actually eat most of the other pests in your gardens.
The first way to an organic garden is to sit and watch what these bugs are doing. If they are eating your leaves of the broccoli, are they eating the inner broccoli, or are they just eating the leaves on the outer part of the vegetable?
By spraying on the chemical based products, the eco system can be thrown out of balance. The “good” or beneficial pests that are killed by using these chemically based products are the same pests that will eat off the bugs that are harmful to your garden. You are killing the bugs that are helping you!
When birds eat these bugs, they in turn are receiving a dose of the insecticide as well. Birds become ill and die as well from the chemicals found in the traditional types of pesticides.
Be aware of what the bugs are doing in your garden area. Are they eating and damaging the actual vegetable? Before over reacting to spotting a bug on that broccoli leaf, ensure that the pest is actually damaging the growing vegetables themselves.
Using natural, organic sprays can ward off the bugs that do eat your plants. Rose Pharm is peppermint oil that will target the bugs you intend to rid yourself of, without harming anything else. The peppermint oil is also great for killing fungus, which is a common problem on roses.
Garlic oil is another oil that is commonly used in organic gardening. It is harmful to the pests you intend to get rid of but safe for humans, pets and birds. The garlic oil is sprayed on the leaves that are being chewed, eliminating the problem.
Another spray that is used at times is the bug soap, which is not used on the leaves of plants, but on the bug itself. This will “bathe” the bug, removing the protective coating it has on it and will make it vulnerable to the conditions of the environment. The pest will die due to its lack of protection.
Laying a product called a “row cover” over your plants is a good way to keep pests off of your vegetables and fruits in the garden. The special material allows air, water and light to come through but will keep the pests out of the garden.
Placing a birdbath in your garden will attract the birds. The birds, in turn, will eat the bugs that live on your plants. Planting flowers around your vegetable beds will also attract these bug eating fowl, creating a built in eco system and a bugless garden area. It will also attract the nectar-dining bugs, which are known for eating the other bugs that can cause harm to your plants.
Many gardeners suffer from grub infestations. There is a product called Milky Spore that will assist the gardener in this area as well. Milky Spore is a bacterium that will reproduce. The bacteria feed upon the grubs, killing them off. It is like a lawn fertilizer, however since it reproduces, only one or two applications will take care of your grub problem.
Deer, raccoons and mice love to snack on gardens. Hanging a very pungent bar of soap along the border of your garden will keep deer away. Placing shiny tape or aluminum foil, tin containers or anything that shines can be hung on string around the garden area. This will distract animals from the plants by showing movement with shiny objects that they can easily spot. This set up usually spooks the animals, sending them over to your neighbor’s garden instead!