Organic Pest Control For the Garden
With food prices continuing to soar, more and more folks are getting into the gardening habit. The perfectly manicured grass has been replaced with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers or melons. For many first time gardeners, the long hours, hard work and heartbreaks of gardening are an unpleasant surprise. There’s little to be done about seedlings that suffer, rain that doesn’t fall, or weeds that grow like, well, weeds. But pests in the garden are something that can be eliminated, and in the interests of best gardening practices, organic garden pest control is the way to go. Why poison your plants, the soil, and water with harmful pesticides and chemicals. No, whether it’s cutworms or a rodent, pest control the natural way is best.
Many household items can be used for organic garden pest control. Adding certain plants to your garden will help, too. Now, not all areas suffer from the same kind of pests. But some remedies can be used with great effect nationwide. So whether your little veg patch is in New York or Idaho, Dade County or Orange County, pest control the natural way is well within your grasp! Let’s look at some ways to get rid of common garden pests, shall we?
- Deer – Many, many a garden has suffered under the hooves and ravenous appetites of deer. One bad thing about the deer is that it is very much a creature of habit. Once it discovers your appetizing little salad bar in the backyard, it will keep coming back. One method of defense is to surround your garden patch with plants that deer don’t like. They are turned off by strong smelling herbs like anise (fennel) and chives. They also aren’t too fond of strong smelling flowers like marigolds, evening primrose or forget-me-nots. Add a second line of defense by planting things they DO like–dogwood, viburnum, burning bush–in an area away from the garden. The deer will be attracted to these yummy offerings first and avoid entering the garden area.
- Cats – Neighborhood cats often see the freshly tilled soft soil of a garden plot as a giant litter box just waiting to be used. Their digging can disturb plants, while their scat can make gardening an unpleasant experience for you. Like deer, cats have certain scents that they really can’t stand, and using these in your garden plot can keep Kitty at bay. Sprinkle orange peels throughout your plants, as well as cinnamon sticks. Or spray plants with a light coating of orange oil. These should deter Puss from planting his boots in your rhubarb.
- Cutworms, Japanese beetles, slugs, snails, and other creepy crawlies – Certain bugs can wreak havoc in your garden. Cutworms love to simply cut through the stem of a nice young plant. Deter them by using large plastic drinking cups. Cut the bottom out of the cup. When you plant your seedling, place the cup over and around the plant. The large top of the cup will allow the plant to grow as it should, while the plastic bottom will shield it from the worms. Japanese beetles are a bit like deer and cats–there are certain plants they don’t like. Planting garlic or chives near the plants they DO like, or simply as a border around your plot, might be enough to deter them. Snails and slugs can do serious damage to leafy green plants. The best cure for them is beer. Yep, pour a little liquid gold into a shallow dish and set it under a plant. They will drop by for the “last call” of their lives. (There are no stats on the effectiveness of light beer versus full bodied. I guess you’ll have to ask the slugs which they prefer.)
Organic gardening needn’t be filled with heartbreak and setbacks caused by pests. Get rid of them naturally, safely and easily. Then go on to enjoy the harvest!