Garden Pest Control
It is important to check your vegetables for pests on a regular basis. A small clump of aphids on your broad beans is nothing to worry about (a healthy plant will shrug off the pests as we might deal with a cold), but if it becomes an infestation, you need to remove it. Simply rub the aphids off the plants with your fingers, or blast them with a jet from your hose. If the infestation is only small, leave it there. Predators will soon hone in on the pests and lay their eggs. For example, lacewing and ladybird larvae can eat as many as 150 aphids per day and produce new generations to control your pests next year.
The easiest way to prevent insect damage in your garden is to discourage them from coming in the first place. A healthy garden is the best defence.
- Pull out any weak plants. They may already be infected. If not, they will attract predators. Pull the plant and dispose of it away from the garden area.
- Build healthy, organic soil. Natural composting methods, mulching and top-dressing your soil with compost or natural fertilizer is the best way to develop strong, vigorous plants.
- Seaweed mulch or spray. Seaweed contains trace elements such as iron, zinc, barium, calcium, sulfur and magnesium, which promote healthy development in plants. Seaweed fertilizer in mulch or spray form will enhance growth and give plants the strength to withstand disease. Seaweed mulch also repels slugs.
- Minimize insect habitat. Clear garden area of debris and weeds which are breeding places for insects. Use clean mulch.
The best way to maintain a healthy garden is to educate yourself and learn to identify common “bad bugs.” Inspect your garden regularly to detect problems early. The sooner a pest is identified the easier it will be to manage using earth-friendly methods. Below we’ve listed several garden invaders that you may encounter. Click on each pest picture for a description and our list of organic remedies.