Dealing with pests is the biggest problem organic gardeners face. An infestation of aphids or cutworms can absolutely devastate a garden! An entire row of plants can be wiped out in days or maybe even hours.
Preventing infestations is more important than just treating them when they occur. You can do this by spraying your plants with solutions that deter many of the most common garden pests.
There are many organic solutions available, but you can make your own by using recipes that can be found in most organic gardening books. Most are made of hot pepper sauce and garlic and will be sort of like a tea.
Planting species native to the are in which you live is also something you can do. These plants have natural immunity to many common diseases in the area. There are also pest-resistant plants that won’t have many problems with pests unlike other varieties.
You may be able to avoid the worst part of the bug season if you plant early enough. Insects will be active and eat your plants for a short period of time each year. Planting early means harvesting before those insects terrorize your plants.
You should do everything you can to encourage natural insect predators like ladybugs, praying mantis, ground beetles, and birds. Some types of plants like mint and rosemary can attract many beneficial bugs that can help you keep other insects under control.
By keeping a close eye on your plants, you can spot potential problems before they’re out of control. Pluck off any hornworm on your tomatoes and drown it in soapy water. Before these problems become too difficult to handle, watch your plants daily so you have a chance stop these problems.
Take picture to try to identify the pest you’re having trouble with. Go online and try to search for it. Take your pictures to your local county extension office or library if you can’t identify it.
You can ask your extension office for advice on how to control it once you’ve identified the pest. Ask them if they have any ideas for you and mention that you’re an organic gardener.
You may be able to prevent some pests by installing netting over your plants. If you have bad season of beetles or other such bugs, this may help save your plants from utter devastation even if it should be a last resort.
If pests make it through, it may be harder to detect them and for predator insects to control them because netting also prevents beneficial insects from reaching your plants.
Pest control is a very difficult part of organic gardening.
Losing a crop to insects mean you may be tempted to abandon organic gardening and use chemical spray. There are many organic gardeners who experience this. Don’t feel bad. It can certainly be very frustrating to deal with pests, especially when you’ve worked very hard to take care of your plants all season.
But since organic gardening has so many benefits, it’s worth it to go through all of the extra work. In the end, you’re family will have plenty of healthy food to it.