‘Prevention is better than cure’ - this is a saying that is not only true for human health, but also for organic gardeners. Organic gardening does not call for extra physical work, but it requires a greater use of mental faculties. You have to ensure the maximum productivity, while protecting your plants from pests as well. For instance, you cannot use the regular pesticides and insecticides, though they are used to protect your plants, since they end up killing beneficial organisms as well. They also affect your health as you are exposed to toxic chemicals, thus disrupting the natural ecosystem also. An organic approach to prevent pests and diseases is thus, safe and more effective. It takes good care of your crops and gives you early signs of insect attack or disease symptoms. Given here are some simple methods to control organic pests and diseases in your garden. Read on further to find out more about the same.
Natural Methods For Preventing Pests & Diseases
Supplying the soil with too much fertilizer will make your plants too soft and sappy, thus inviting more pests to feed on them. Feed your soil with wholefood diet of garden compost and leaf mould, rather than fast-food artificial fertilizers that are meant only for the plants. Feeding the soil strengthens the growth of plants and improves their resistance to pests and diseases.
Practice crop rotation, in order to prevent pests and diseases in your vegetable or plant garden. Divide your vegetables or plants into at least 4 groups and keep them together for one year and rotate them every spring. This will not only build soil fertility, but help in controlling the build up of pests and diseases.
The best way of reducing pest damage is to use barriers. Cover your crops with a fine mesh and they will be stopped being attacked by flying pests. This method works best for preventing carrot rootfly, flea beetles, leaf weevils, birds, cabbage white butterflies, white fly and pea moth. You can use netting to avoid birds coming towards your fruits and vegetables.
Using traps is yet another method to protect your plants from pests and diseases. Sticky traps are very common amongst most organic gardeners. You can use beer traps to prevent, slugs while codling moth traps can be hung from apple trees to avoid moths.
Greasebands are painted around the trunks of apple trees in autumn, to prevent the wingless female winter moth from climbing the tree to mate. The sticky glue is also useful in preventing ants. The sticky yellow bits of card that are hung up in the glasshouse help in reducing white flies.
Beneficial insects and wildlife serve as your best friends when it comes to controlling pests and diseases in your garden and vegetable patch. Annuals such as Californian poppies and marigolds can be planted among the vegetables. They attract insects like ladybirds and hoverflies and gobble them up. Plant native shrubs and herbaceous perennials (such as hazel and hardy geraniums) in your garden. Also, feed birds throughout the year, so that they will eat up thousands of pests and their eggs.