Organic Gardening–Nipping Garden Pests In The Bud, Naturally
Garden pests are a constant problem. Everything that moves outdoors is famished in the spring. That includes aphids, cutworms, caterpillars, grasshoppers, squash bugs, whiteflies, potato bugs, slugs, mealy bugs, ticks, moths, and even rabbits and deer. So how can you protect your garden so that you can get enjoy the fruits of your labors without spreading destructive chemicals everywhere?
Here are a few ways:
Turn the soil over. Let it rest for 2 weeks before cultivating and planting. Turning the soil over exposes cutworm larvae so you can feed the birds and cut back on the cutworm population. Turning the soil also places sprouting weeks under the ground so they die a natural death.
Remove old mulch. Cutworms adore old mulch. Scraping it away will also empty the larder and send them looking elsewhere for dinner.
Buy some ladybugs. They love aphids! So do lacewings. Wasps and bees pollinate the plants.
Use homemade remedies for pest control.
• Recipe 1: 1½ cups [12 oz.] of water + 4 drops of Ivory dishwashing liquid + a dash of cayenne sauce + a clove garlic, crushed. Mix this together and strain before putting it in a clean water bottle.
• Recipe 2: Mix powdered milk with water according to package directions. Now that’s easy!
Use either of these to spray your plants. When they dry, your pests will disappear.
• Flowers pests hate. Marigolds smell like skunk cabbage to deer, birds, and many insects. Circle your garden with dis-tasteful beauty and you’ll discourage four-legged pests as well as the six-legged variety.
• Flowers ladybugs and lacewings love. Yarrow and Golden Marguerite (yellow daisy) are wonderful for these friendly insects.
Ignore a patch of weeds. Lure weed-loving pests away from your veggies. Give them what they love best and they won’t be as likely to feast on food meant for your table.
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