Dealing With Pests In An Organic Garden

The mid 1950’s saw the advent of mechanical ways of spraying the crops with pesticides in mass quantities. This got many environmental activist groups speaking out against these harmful chemicals which not only affect the food being treated, but other natural resources such as air, water, and wild life as well. This led to the popularity of organic gardening that began in the 1960’s and 70’s and has continued today.

In organic gardening pests are a very real issue, which is why the chemicals were invented in the first place. The old school methods of using spray mists of diluted vinegar/water solutions, neem oil (pressed from the neem tree which has long been used as a pesticide by indigenous people for centuries) and soap and water solutions may take longer, but will do the job with no harm to the environment.

Lady Bugs for Natural Pest Control

Removing pests can be done effectively without the use of harmful chemicals. A good start is to carefully select plants that are resistant to the various diseases that can occur (and pests thrive on). Many gardeners also practice crop rotation to prevent an infestation from pest reproductive cycles.

There are also natural solutions that will help to keep pests under control. A garlic and pepper mixture placed in the soil or eggshells placed around the plants will deter many insects.

Solutions of dish soap and water sprayed in a mist on the plants will also prevent pests from harming them.

Predatory insects such as Ladybugs can be obtained to eat those aphids and other harmful insects who want to eat the fruits of your efforts.

The important thing to remember when thinking about “pests” is that some insects are good to have in your garden, especially those who eat other pests. The ground beetle and the praying mantis are good to have for keeping the harmful insect population down. These “good” insects also pollinate the plants.

Choosing organic methods of growing food gives the gardener a choice in what chemicals are put into the environment. Many of these artificial fertilizers will aid in plants speedy growth, however the tried and true natural methods are just as effective and will not harm the earth’s natural resources.

Growing your own food organically will prevent spending the higher prices at the grocery store for “certified” organic foods and can provide a family with fruits and vegetables grown in the manner intended from the beginning – using what the Earth has given to continue replenishing what is taken.

Written by Angela Sangster, Copyright 2012

1 Comment

  1. Jerry T
    Jul 19, 2012

    Wow, amazing post. I never thought the beautifully colored ladybird was such an insect predator. My question is; can having many of theses “useful” insects pose any potential dangers to humans who visit the gardens if they are present in large numbers? Also how can they be obtained?

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