Maintaining a garden free of pesticides
I have worked in the landscape and gardening field for many years and have had the challenge of having to deal with the many garden insect pests that can really be a menace. To bring solutions to this problem in some instances I resorted to using chemicals that proved to be of good help.
But can you imagine maintaining a garden without pesticides through insects pest is present? Now I know this sounds strange because the question is how then do we deal with those pesky insects and maintain a healthy garden at the same time?
Sounds impossible, not so, it is all a matter of knowing what to do, putting these steps into practice and the rest will be nothing but pure garden success.
Garden without Pesticides
The Danger of Pesticides
Though pesticides have their advantages, and overuse of these products cannot only contaminate the air we breathe but poison the water table affecting animals and marine life as well as kill off the good bugs the ones that protect our gardens and feed on the bad bugs.
Butterflies are so beautiful as they gracefully fly about either resting or collecting pollen. The sad news is that many butterflies have met such an unpleasant experience of coming in contact with these pesticides.
Over the years, however, there have been many brands that have been sold as user-friendly such as organic pesticides that have proven to be very effective but I believe by meeting our plant’s requirements we can lessen the chance of these bad bugs taking over and destroying our garden plants.
Don’t get me wrong, even in the best-kept gardens you will always have these insect pests but using proper cultural practice will go a long way in helping to keep insect pests at a minimum.
Here are the steps to take to ensure garden success without the use of harmful pesticides.
Proper culture practice
Proper culture practice includes
Quality garden soil
Good garden soil-Soil does matter because not only do our plant roots take anchor in the garden soil but a good garden soil will hold the right amount of water, will allow excess water to drain on through. Good garden soil will also increase proper air circulation, also recycle nutrients and make them available to plants.
The right plant for the right location-Choosing the right plant for the right location is something that I learned over the years. There are some plants that love full sun, some that love partial sunlight and then there are those that prefer the shade.
Then there are those that prefer wet conditions vs those that love dry conditions and then there is the in-between. So know your garden plant’s light and water requirements and you will be well on your way to garden success.
A good source of information is to check your nurseryman or visit your garden center and talk to an experienced sales rep that is knowledgeable in this area.
Again we hear the word water which is so important, knowing the water requirements of your plants can make or break your garden. Overwater your plants and your plants will suffer, shortchange your plants, and again they will suffer so make it your business to know the difference.
Combating with beneficial insects
This is what we discuss a bit earlier that is using insects to eliminate insects or as we know them to be the good bugs against the bad bugs. Beneficial insects are just what they are said to be beneficial that protects our garden plants by feeding on the bad bugs.
This is a natural way to maintain a healthy pest-free garden also known as biological control. For more on how to go about this click on the link. Biological control to garden the natural and safe way.
Sticky traps are also a natural way to eliminate garden pests. These traps can be purchased from your garden center.
This may be tedious but this is also a safe way. Hand-picking and using a combination of the other methods are effective.
Organic sprays such as garlic, hot pepper sprays are a good choice. Then there is also
- Citrus Insecticides
- Neem Oils
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Epsom Salt Pesticide
- SeaWeed Spray
Chickens and Ducks
That’s right you heard me, sounds crazy but having chickens and ducks hanging around your garden will get the job done as these guys make a meal out of the bad bugs. The only drawback is that you don’t want any of the good bugs to become a meal but hey at least you will be able to keep the bad bugs under control right.
This method works wonders and can bring these insect pests under control.
Use of fertilizers
Fertilizers are not planted food according to popular belief, plants produce their food through the process known as photosynthesis. Plants convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into a sugar called glucose. Fertilizers, however, are plant nutrients, these are the building blocks of all plant life.
So give your plants the nutrients they need to keep them strong and fit so they can withstand attacks from the bad bugs also known as garden insect pests.
Get to know these fertilizers, use them in the right amount by following the manufacturer’s label, or go natural and use organic.
Weeds can and is an eyesore that can really take away from your garden’s beauty. Weeds also compete with garden plants for water and nutrient, encourages disease and insect pests.
Keeping your garden weed-free will also ensure the overall health of your garden plants.
A debris-free garden is an attractive garden and one that will discourage garden insect pests from invading and seeking shelter in your garden.
The final word
Gardening without pesticides is a great way not only to save a few $$$$$$$ but also to maintain a garden that is healthy where the air is not contaminated and the good bugs can move about freely as they help our garden plants by getting rid of the bad bugs.
So consider trying these methods and watch as your garden flourish and as you reap the rewards of your labor.