Organic gardening pest control rule number one: If you see a bug, it’s not the end of the world, or in this case, your garden.And this really isn’t a reason to panic. A bug doesn’t mean you have a pest outbreak problem. Pests, no matter how unwanted and obnoxious they seem to be, are part of nature and of every garden. But when left uncontrolled, they can cause serious damage on your plants and the whole garden. And that’s our concern, to make sure that they won’t do that.
Among the most common pests that will bug your garden are ants, aphids, armyworms, cabbageworms, grasshoppers, slugs and snails, pillbugs, spider mites, whitefly, thrips, and all sorts of beetles.
So when should you impose organic gardening pest control?
If you think that the pest population is steadily growing and you have seen them in at least more than one of your plants, then you should take action. But if you’re growing an organic garden, using chemical-based pesticides is out of the question. There are a number of ways on how you can get rid of unwanted pests organically, without causing harmful effects on the environment, on your plants and on yourself, and at the same time, ways that help you save money that you would otherwise spend on commercial pesticide products
Some of these are:
- Pay close attention to your plants. What attracts insects to them? What makes them vulnerable? By knowing these things, you can easily figure out ways to prevent from them getting to your plants in the first place. As always, prevention is still better than cure.
- Another tip that most organic farmers give is to plant native varieties as much as possible. Native plant species usually have their own defense systems that can repel common pests.
- It is also a good thing to mix different plants together instead of placing similar plants in large patches. By doing so, pests can’t easily infect plants of the same type and proliferate in large sections of your garden.
- Likewise, having a good and healthy soil is another way to protect your plants from pests. Healthy soils attract fewer pests. Adding compost, mulch and other organic fertilizers, and crop rotation are some of the best practices that generally improve the condition of the soil.
- Knowing the pests cycle time is also important so you can schedule your planting season to avoid pests when they’re at their peak and are hungry for plant food.
- Encourage beneficial insects. Don’t use chemical pesticides because they kill both the good and the bad bugs. Make sure that when you introduce them in your garden, they have enough pests to feed on; otherwise they will leave to look elsewhere. You can attract them by planting flowering plants or other plants that they are attracted to.
Pest is an age-old problem in a garden, but nothing, not even chemical pesticides, has successfully eliminated them because they still come back season after season. The goal of organic gardening pest control is not to eradicate them, but to prevent them, if not keep them at a controlled level, naturally and safely without causing adverse effects on us and our environment.