If you are an avid gardener who loves the fresh vegetables your garden produces, there is nothing as discouraging as finding that your tomatoes have all been eaten by pests or infested before you even figure it out. At this point, it is only natural to get upset enough to take the easy way out and spray your garden with pesticides that will definitely kill the bugs but can be incredibly harmful to the environment and incredibly expensive. Most amateur farmers are turning to all-natural products these days because going green is getting more popular and important, and also because it is cheaper and ultimately more effective.
The majority of those with gardens think that utilizing all-natural pest control methods at once is the best way to have a healthy garden. The term for this is IPM or integrated pest management. It is defined as a combination of making sure plants get enough water, light, and food, using physical barriers, attracting animals that eat pests, and planting vegetation that attracts the pest’s natural predators. In the end, it means that your garden will no longer rely on chemicals but will have an ecosystem that is balanced and in harmony with the plants and animals around it.
The key to remember is that we are going for balance. After all the organic methods of pest control are in place, we will be left with a perfect balance of non-harmful pests, plants, and natural pest control methods. Chemicals, fertilizers, and overplanting are what we are trying to avoid because these affect a garden’s health and harmony.
The easiest natural pest control method is also one of the most difficult to implement. These controls include physical objects, such as fences, netting, wires, and more. This can also include keeping slugs away by using a torch when it gets dark or placing copper or gravel near plants that slugs like to eat. There are also certain pests, such as centipedes, which like to hide under rocks or stones. Removing these will get rid of them because they will have nowhere to sleep.
Using certain plants to attract pests away from other plants is a fairly simple pest control method. This can either involve planting certain plants that are not fruit-bearing that will give the pests something to munch on, or you can do research and plant resistant strains of vegetables or even vegetables that mature at times different than the life-cycle of pests that feed on them.
Attracting wildlife that eats pests is one of the newest and least utilized pest control methods, but it is very effective. This can mean putting bird feeders out to attract certain species of birds that feed on pests. This is key to a balanced ecosystem in your garden because it means you will have the perfect amount of pests for the amount of wildlife you are attracting.
Keeping your plants healthy and well-fed is also very important. Plants that are undernourished and unhealthy are more susceptible to disease and pest infestations. Make sure to keep garden tools clean so that you don’t transfer pests from one plant to the next.
Using all the organic methods at once will help you to create a perfectly balanced and healthy garden that produces more vegetables than you can imagine. A balanced garden is a happy garden.