Organic Ways To Protect Your Garden From Pests

rose-scented-geranium

The fight between gardeners and pests is a long one. While there are many effective ways to deal with pests, many of them have adverse effects on the environment. As gardeners we have a keen interest in nurturing the environment – that’s the whole point. Going organic with your pest control makes sense.

But is it possible to keep pests at bay without having to turn to harsh chemicals and extreme methods? Can nature herself provide ways of keeping insects and vermin out of our gardens?

It turns out there are plenty of natural and organic strategies for keeping pests out. Depending upon whether you need to exterminate or deter them, you can use a range of homemade or store-bought items. You can make a spray of soapy water to kill cockroaches or ants, and use targeted products like diatomaceous earth, which only harms the pests in question. A selection of non-lethal rat and mouse traps allows you to catch vermin and get rid of them without doing them harm.

Best of all, there is a large variety of plants known to have repellent qualities to certain insects. Plants such as Ageratum, rose-scented Geranium (shown above) and Horsemint all have qualities that deter mosquitoes. Another way to control pests is to encourage their natural predators – for most garden pests this means welcoming more birds into your garden. The sight of a few more birds in the bushes is unlikely to upset you, so adding a few feeders or nest boxes has more than one benefit.

veggie-garden

It turns out there’s a whole lot you can do to look after your garden without harming the environment in the process. For more tips and tricks, read this article.

Photo Credits – Wikimedia Commons:
Rose Geranium
Veggie Garden

Dave

4 Comments

  1. Instead of harsh chemicals we use nematodes, which are tiny (microscopic) worms that get into any openings in the pests and kill them from the inside. It sounds harsh but those vegetables you grow are for YOU, not those pesky slugs that slowly waltz around the garden thinking they own the place.

    1. Hi Michael,
      You have a good point. I agree that if using the beneficial type of nematodes, one can keep certain pests under control. However, it our warm climate, the “bad” nematodes (the ones that eat up out plants) far outnumber the good ones. As stated by the University of Florida IFAS extension service: “Most nematodes are beneficial, feeding on bacteria, fungi, or other microscopic organisms, and some may be used as biological control organisms to help manage important insect pests. However, plant-parasitic nematodes feed on live plants and are detrimental to the garden.”
      I cannot speak to how many good vs. bad nematodes there might be in cooler climates, but in the warm humid south, the bad nematodes far outnumber the good nematodes. Most folks are fighting to keep their lawns and gardens free of these hungry critters.
      So, I guess it comes down to knowing exactly what mix of nematodes one has in their garden before adding more good ones or eliminating the bad ones.
      Thanks for commenting.

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Updated on September 2nd, 2015