Going organic is not as hard as you might think. These 10 Do’s and Dont’s are based on not letting the “bad” pests gain a foothold in your vegetable and flower gardens.
1.) DO – Check your garden daily for the culprits, look under leaves and around the base of the plants for any sign of foul play. Better to catch an “outbreak” than wait for an “infestation”.
2.) DON’T – Use pesticides,unless absolutely needed, even “organic pesticides” are toxic and kill indiscriminately. The reason they are called organic is because they are made of plant bases and degrade quickly in sun, water, and soil.
3.) DO- Welcome some “good” guys to the party! Attract beneficial insects to your garden by planting some flowers they like. Goldenrod, yarrow, and daisies are good choices. Many flies and wasps as well as ladybugs and lacewings devour bad bugs.
4.) DON’T – Crowd your plants. You will get more and healthier crop off of one uncrowded plant than you will off three crowded together. Also crowing creates humid conditions and rot which in turn attracts pests and disease.
5.) DO – Keep weeds in check. Weeding is one of the things most gardeners don’t like to do, but is essential for a healthy garden. Weeds rob nutrients, crowd plants, and provide safe haven for many bad pests.
6.) DON’T – Add the wrong stuff to your compost pile. Keep meat and dairy products out of your compost pile. Fatty acids take a long time to break down and can attract maggots and animal pests, like raccoons, that can make short work of a nice garden. Stick to plant materials for your compost.
7.) DO – Plant pest resistant strains. Do some research on plant resistant flowers and veggies for your area. A good example is coneflowers very pest resistant and the seeds provide good forage for the birds in the winter.
8.) DON’T – Over fertilize your plants. Over fertilizing may make your plants susceptible to sucking pests like aphids and others. Find out the fertilizing guidelines for your plants and stick to those. P.S. Ladybugs love aphids!
9.) DO – Clean up and keep records. After vegetable plants and annual flowers are spent pull the plant and look at the root system for any pests or disease. After perennials are spent you can leave them for a place for beneficial insects to overwinter or you can cut them back. Also, all good gardeners will keep records of everything from weather to yields and at what time of year, this should include a section on pests.
10.) DON’T – Think that you can’t go organic, it’s just as easy, healthy, and fun for the entire family. Knowing that you have not used any pesticides to poison your air,water,soil, or family and saying “I grew it myself” is a good feeling.
I hope these quick and easy tips will help you on your way to becoming an organic gardener or a better organic gardener.
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Pest control is only one aspect of Organic Gardening
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Peace and Prosperity,
Rich @ NY Homesteader