Organic garden pest control is a great way to grow healthy plants without the use of harsh chemicals. There is no shortage of tiny, opportunistic insects ready to invade your garden. With planning and basic care these pests can be managed without sacrificing your favorite plants. Here are few tips for organic garden pest control.
The easiest form of organic garden pest control is prevention. Container gardens offer a unique advantage over earthbound gardens in that they can be moved and sterilized with ease. Pest control doesn’t have to be hard. Try planning your pest management methods as you plan for your new garden each spring. Companion planting is a great way to grow plants such that they repel different pests.
The first step in organic garden pest control is to wash your container gardens thoroughly. Washing helps to ensure that no insect eggs are present in the container as you begin to plant. Next, consider using a sterile potting mixture. This will prevent insects and their eggs from being transplanted from the soil into your garden.
Many garden pests enter your home and garden with new plants. Insects will often hitch a ride on store bought plants, so check them thoroughly before purchasing. Check the undersides of leaves as they are often a hiding place for small insects and their eggs. If you purchase a plant with signs of insect damage wash the plant thoroughly to ensure that all pests are gone. Delay planting a plant that shows signs of recent infestation to ensure it will not infest other plants in your garden.
Locate your plants in a room, balcony, or patio according to the conditions they grow best in. When left in the proper environment, plants will thrive and are more likely to resist infestation by insects. If you notice your plants are looking spindly or wilted, move the container garden. Having a mobile container garden is especially handy in this case
Many of the large insect pests such as tomato hornworms and caterpillars can be removed by hand. Make sure you wash your hands after touching infested plants. It is all too easy for an intrepid aphid to hitch a ride on your fingertips to a new container garden. Tools should also be cleansed after working in an infested garden. Use a garden hose to wash down plants infected with smaller bugs such as aphids. The stream of water emitted from the hose will remove most insects.
Plants that have severe infestations should be removed from planters to prevent further infestation. Keep an eye on the remaining plants to ensure that they do not show signs of pest damage before replanting.
Organic Garden Pest Control
Knowledge is power in organic garden pest control. Get to know your common garden pests before choosing an appropriate treatment. Use the handy reference guide above to identify the culprits. Having a better understanding of their life cycle will help ensure successful management. There are a number of unique organic gardening products on the market to help treat insect infestations when physical removal does not work. Choose products carefully and be sure to read the label thoroughly before use. Take extra care in choosing products to use on edible plants. As always, please share your tips for organic garden pest control using the comment form below.