Gardening organically is a real challenge when it comes to preventing bugs from eating the fruits of your hard earned labour. Being a young urbanite self- learning the skill of gardening, I have certainly found pest control to be a challenge, especially over the spring season when it seems insects run rampant through my foliage.
The difference with organic gardening is that pests should not necessarily be seen as pests! Hard not to, when they are nibbling at my vegetable plants! Rather, insects are a natural part of a healthy habitat, so should be nurtured in the sense that many insects are beneficial for gardens, but should eat other parts of the garden which you don’t need to eat!.... cutting your grass right back looks nice, but will probably lead to insects crawling their way to your garden for a more substantial feast.
In terms of using natural sprays which are non-toxic and won’t poison your interior, a few suggestions have been given to me, which have tried and true for years and years by my nana and other older and successful gardeners.
This gem of a spray is cheap to make, and great at keeping away white butterfly, ants (which have been nibbling on my strawberries!), caterpillars, and aphids. Simply crush 4-5 cloves of garlic, and boil the crushed garlic with water. When it is cool, drain out the chunks, and pour 10 mls of the garlic water into a spray bottle, adding another 90 mls of water, and spray the affected plants.
To keep away aphids, spray affected plants with this soapy mixture, but ensure to rinse off with water. Mix 100g of eco-soap/dishwashing liquid/washing powder, with 4 litres of hot water. Mix to dissolve and use when cool. Eco friendly soaps and detergents are preferable, as they are toxin free.
Baking Soda Spray
To keep mildew away, mix 3 drops of eco detergent, with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a litre of water. Spray onto plants. Rinse detergent off lightly, with cold water the next day.
Remember, not all insects are pests. Give insects a place to nibble in your garden, and you will find less nibbling on your veges and fruit. Happy Gardening!
By Holly Jean Brooker
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