Growing vegetables or fruit in your garden without pesticides requires knowing about the best organic pest control. Of course, it is only natural that every garden is prone to bugs and pests that can damage crops. With the proper pest control methods, you can reduce the number of crop-damaging pests to a minimum.
Organic gardening requires a multi-method approach. This is because there is no organic wonder chemical that will rid your garden of all pests. Keeping pests out of your garden organically is a combination of natural insecticides, planting the right crops, and good weed management. Some organic gardeners even introduce predatory insects to keep certain pests at bay naturally.
Also, buying plant or vegetable cultivars that are resistant to pests and bugs can greatly reduce the need for using chemicals on your plants and soil.
In this article, you will find out some of the best ways to prevent pests from destroying your organic garden. First of all, just what is organic pest control?
What Is Organic Pest Control?
The term “organic gardening” refers to growing and maintaining plants without the use of synthetic chemicals. So, organic pest control strategies should use gardening methods to eliminate the use of harmful synthetic pesticides and insecticides.
It is good to remember that “organic pest control” doesn’t always mean “nontoxic” pest control. Some naturally-occurring (organic) chemicals and compounds can kill off certain bugs or prevent them from investing crops.
So, if you buy organic pesticides, it is still important to read the instructions carefully. In some cases, you may still have to wear protective clothing such as gloves or masks when applying organic pest control products.
In many cases, organic pest control also involves crop rotation, planting pest-repelling plants, using insect traps, or physically protecting growing plants from pests.
Natural Ways to Keep Pests Out of Your Garden
Let’s look at some of the best methods to get rid of garden pests and to prevent them from infesting your garden in the first place. You will also see that there is scientific evidence for some of these organic pest control strategies.
Organic Neem Oil for Pest Control
One of the best organic pesticides is neem oil. This is naturally-occurring oil from the neem tree that has pesticidal activity.
According to the National Pesticide Information Center, neem oil is a natural pesticide that gives off a strong sulfur smell. Neem oil works to destroy pests because it contains a chemical called azadirachtin. This kills insects and pests by preventing them from feeding and also repelling them away.
A 2016 review published in the journal Frontiers in Science found that neem products have an important place in pest control. Neem-based products can be used in organic agriculture as it is both an organic pesticide and soil fertilizer.
Diatomaceous earth for natural pest control
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a non-toxic organic method for controlling pests inside and outside the home. DE is a type of white powder made from fossilized sedimentary layers of plankton. This organic pest control method destroys the exoskeletons on certain bugs.
Some scientific studies have shown that diatomaceous earth can be effective in managing common garden pests. For example, applying DE to crops can prevent young larvae from developing and also have a repelling effect. Also, one of the benefits of using DE in organic pest control is that it is not toxic to humans or pets.
One of the drawbacks of diatomaceous earth for the organic gardener is that it has to be applied to dry ground and reapplied if the soil gets moist.
With some forethought and planning, you can manage pests in your garden organically by planting plants that repel insects. For example, chives, borage, artemisias, coriander, oregano, and radishes are just some of the effective pest-repelling plants. These types of plants can naturally control populations of maggots, carrot flies, beetles, and whiteflies.
In order to use this natural organic pest control strategy, you should know the types of pest that can affect your vegetables. For example, one study found that inter-cropping leeks with beans helped to greatly reduce bean fly population.
Good organic garden care to control pests
Another pest control method that doesn’t use man made chemicals is to care well for your garden. For example, regularly using organic compost on your soil helps plants to grow strong which can help prevent them from succumbing to pest attacks.
You should also prune and trim affected branches or leaves. This helps encourage healthy growth in the plant and also controls of a number of pests.
To eliminate larger garden pests such as slugs, caterpillars, or snails, then some patience and vigilance is necessary. You may need to physically remove and destroy these pests if you don’t want to use chemicals.
In conclusion, using the best organic pest control methods helps to reduce environmental damages that pesticides can cause. Also, using these methods will protect yourself and your family from the potentially damaging effect of synthetic chemicals that can get into the food chain.