DIY Organic Pest Control

Less expensive than their commercial counterparts and definitely more natural, these suggestions for DIY pest control techniques and sprays will keep your garden healthy and organic.


| Fall 2012



Mineral oil

Since commercial pesticides may be harsh to the garden, family and pets — as well as be toxic to beneficial insects and wildlife — the idea of homemade pest-control sprays appeals to many.

Photo by Karen Keb

Homemade remedies are inexpensive and have been used with satisfying results in controlling harmful insects and diseases. Using safe, non-toxic, natural, homemade insecticides to control garden pests gives many homeowners and organic gardeners peace of mind because they know what’s going into their garden. The fear that commercial pesticides may be harsh to the garden, family and pets, as well as being toxic to beneficial insects and wildlife, makes the idea of homemade pest-control sprays appealing to many.

Prevention

The easiest way to prevent insect damage in your garden is to discourage them from coming in the first place. A healthy garden is where it all starts.

Pull out any weak-looking plants as they may already be infected. If not, they will attract insects.

Build a healthy, organic soil. Natural composting methods, mulching and top-dressing your soil with compost and/or natural organic fertilizer is the best way to develop strong, vigorous growing plants. Seaweed mulch or spray contains trace elements such as iron, zinc, barium, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium, which promote healthy development in plants. Seaweed fertilizer in these forms will improve growth and give plants the strength to withstand disease. Seaweed mulch also repels slugs.

Minimize insect habitat. Keep the garden area clear of debris and weeds which are the perfect breeding areas for insects.

Interplant and rotate crops. Many insects are often plant specific. When plantings are mixed, pests are less likely to spread throughout a crop. Rotating crops each year is a common method to avoid re-infestation of pests which have over-wintered in a particular area.





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