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The Basics of Using Natural Pest Control for Gardens

By chadchaffin | Gardening

Apr 30

Choosing to use natural pest control for the garden is a great way to ensure a safer environment and an even more sustainable gardening. Natural pest control after all, does not have dangerous chemicals that can pose health risks to the user, the plants, the family, as well as its pets.

Moreover, natural pest control for the garden is also a more affordable alternative compared to buying store-bought chemical based plant pesticides. Some ingredients in fact can be found at any home’s pantry, and are very easy to mix up. Other methods meanwhile just involve attracting other insects by taking advantage of companion planting. Netting and barrier methods are also natural ways to remove pests from the garden and the plants.

More importantly, choosing natural pest control methods also ensure that herbs, fruits, and vegetables harvested from one’s own garden or mini orchard, are all safe to eat.

This article aims to share the many benefits of going the natural way when it comes to controlling pests in the garden. What pest control methods are available for your garden, specifically for flowers, fruit-bearing plants, vegetables, herbs, and the whole garden in general. Lastly, we will giving you some tips, as well as simple recipes and solutions that will help you start off with natural pest control in your garden.

The Benefits of Using Natural Pest Control

Natural pest control has many benefits that each homeowner should take advantage of. Here’s a list of some of the benefits of using Natural Pest Control for your garden:

  1. It is safe for the user and his whole family. Handling chemical based pest control solutions can pose a whole lot of dangers to the health of the one doing the gardening and his whole family. In fact, with young children around, it can be very dangerous to have these highly toxic preparations. Natural Pest Control is definitely the way to go, if you are aiming to have a toxic-free household.
  2. It is safer for the environment. Store-bought pest control can end up in water sources like rivers and streams, polluting the environment. Its production also makes up for carbon footprint, unlike natural pest control solutions that usually makes use of recyclable containers and the like. For companion planting, and usage of other insects as predators it helps promote an even better eco system.
  3. It makes for healthier food. If you are planting your own herbs, fruits and vegetables, using natural; pest control definitely is a great way to ensure that you are not feeding anything toxic to your family.   
  4. It is gentler for the plants. Chemical-based pest control solutions may be too harsh on the plant. Natural pest control definitely is so much better because of its non-synthetic composition.
  5. Better for household with pets. Pet safety is also one great advantage of using natural pest control. Pets can hang out in the garden and sniff or even lick these dangerous chemicals. Some pets unwittingly chomp on plants, and even eat fruits or vegetables in the garden. Make sure that your pets are safe by using natural pest control methods in getting rid of pests in your garden.
  6. It is cheaper. All-natural means it is (almost) readily available to most households. Who does not have garlic, citrus fruits, chili powder, oil, liquid soap and bicarb in their homes? Trust that your expense will be way lower when you switch to all-natural pest control solutions instead of the store-bought ones.

2. Usage of home-made, natural-based pest control solutions.

 There are a lot of Do-It-Yourself recipes for pest control solutions that are shared over the internet, and found in gardening books. Take advantage of these because they do not only come cheap, they can also be as effective as their chemical-based counterparts.

Checklist

  1. Using Natural Pest Predators. There are insects that are great at helping garden plants and crops survive the infestation of plant pests. These beneficial insects can either be attracted to the plants through companion planting or by buying them and letting them take residence on your infested plants. Here are some insects that can be very helpful in removing pests in your plant garden:
    1. Ladybugs. These insects help much in getting rid of aphids, whiteflies, mites, among other pests that may infest your crops. Plant celery, carrots, or parsley to encourage them to stay in your garden and protect your other crops.
    2. Praying Mantis. Although they can naturally occur in your garden, these insects are usually bought from online catalogues. This is one of the most effective est predators since it loves to feast on almost any type of plant insect and pests.
    3. Lace Wings. Lace Wings kill as well aphids that destroy plants. It also combats other insect-pests that may infest your healthy plants. Lace wings can be invited to your garden by planting flowers like Asters.
    4. Nematodes. If you want to get rid of beetles and cut worms, then attract nematodes into your garden. These insects are usually bought from online catalogs. How it works, you ask? It works by laying eggs that should be mixed on soil, which in turn will act as a natural pest control to fight off cutworm and beetle infestation.
    5. Using Barriers and Insect Traps. These methods may seem old school, but they do work. For instance, nets can prevent fruits and vegetables from being eaten by insects, and feasted upon by other pests. Fly and sticky pest papers meanwhile trap pests that could ruin flowers, fruits, leaves, and vegetables. Traps meanwhile work for maggots that invade fruit-bearing plants and trees. Row Covers, paper covers and the like meantime act as a barrier against pests that defend grown plants, or even seedlings from getting infested.
  1. Using Barriers and Insect Traps. These methods may seem old school, but they do work. For instance, nets can prevent fruits and vegetables from being eaten by insects, and feasted upon by other pests. Fly and sticky pest papers meanwhile trap pests that could ruin flowers, fruits, leaves, and vegetables. Traps meanwhile work for maggots that invade fruit-bearing plants and trees. Row Covers, paper covers and the like meantime act as a barrier against pests that defend grown plants, or even seedlings from getting infested.

Natural Pest Control for Gardens

As mentioned, there are a lot of options when it comes to natural pest control for gardens. All you need is to determine which one you will be most comfortable to use, and what will work for your garden.

Bear in mind though, that for do-it-yourself all-natural solutions, the shelf-life of these chemical-free pesticides are not as lengthy as those that are bought in stores. Take note of the refrigeration and usage guides, as well as the date that it was mixed so as to ensure its effectivitiy.

  1. Best Natural Pesticides for Vegetable Gardening. Garlic is by far the best natural pest control ingredient to help stop pest infestation on your vegetables. Blend a whole garlic bulb into half a liter of water. Add the blended garlic solution to a gallon of water, strain, and then transfer on a recycled sprayer. Use this on leaves of your vegetable plants and you will agree that it is one of the best natural pesticides for vegetable garden.
  2. Best Natural Pest Control for Flowering Plants. Oil Insecticide is a great chemical-free insecticide to use on flowering plants. What it does is it coats the body of whatever insect or pest that decides to infest a flower. The oil then prevents the insect from breathing and fully functioning, killing them instantly.Mix a cup of any oil available in your kitchen, mix with a tablespoon of powdered detergent or liquid soap, and then mix. This will be your base concentrate. Every time you will need to spray, mix up 10 ml of the concentrate to a quart of water, transfer into a spray container, shake and spray accordingly.
  3. Best Natural Pest Control for Fruit-Bearing Plants and Trees – bearing plants. Neem Oil is hands-down one of the most effective natural pesticides for plants, specifically for fruit-bearing trees and plants. It is the choice pesticide of those that are working on organic produce because it can kill insect-pest regardless if it still an egg, a larvae, or an adult insect.
    It is non-toxic and is a natural fungicide. It is also a mildew killer. It can also be used as a preventative solution when sprayed unto foliage.
    Just mix a tablespoon of neem oil, a teaspoon of liquid detergent or hand soap, and a quart of water. Shake and spray unto leaves. This pesticide is safe for humans, as well as pets!

Sample Recipes and Solutions that can be used as a natural pest control

You do not have to rush to your nearest plant store to make your own natural pesticides. Just open your cupboard, or even your household supplies cabinet and you will be faced with an arsenal of chemical-free ingredients that you can use as pesticide in your garden.

Apart from the above-mentioned “best of the best” recipes, here are five other effective chemical-free pesticides you can use in your garden.

1. Chili Garlic Oil Spray

Steep a crushed garlic bulb, a tablespoon of any type of oil, two tablespoons of chili powder, and a tablespoon of liquid soap (baby soap is best), and dilute in a quarter of water, shake and spray. This can be used on all plant surfaces to repel insects. It is also a great natural insect repellant for homes. Just make sure that you do not touch your eyes after spraying, and instruct children to stay away from it too.

2. Castile Soap Spray.

Organic Castile Soap can be a very effective spray to ward off aphids, mites, bugs, and beetles from infesting your plants. Just mix two tablespoons of liquid castile soap in whatever scent or flavor you wish. Mix into a quart of water, shake and spray.

3. Eucalyptus Oil Spray

 This is not only good for preventing mosquitoes inside the home, it can actually prevent insects from infesting plants! Simply mix two teaspoons of eucalyptus oil into a quart of water. Mix and spray. This will be very useful against bees, wasps, as well as other flies that may surround fruits and vegetables grown in your garden. No wonder it is one of the more popular natural pest control methods known to organic gardeners.

4. Sea Salt Spray

Are spiders taking over your garden? Worry no more. Add a tablespoon of rock salt or sea salt into a quart of water, dissolve, mix, and spray on plants. Natural pest control companies use sea salt spray to ward off these eight-legged critters.

5. Citrus Oil, Soap and Water Pesticide Spray

This mixture will ensure drive away ants, roaches and slugs from your garden. Simply mix four tablespoons of orange-flavored Castile Soap with six tablespoons of orange oil and a gallon of water. Shake thoroughly until well blended, and then spray accordingly. It can also be used as natural home pest control, particularly in the kitchen which is usually infested by ants or roaches due to food bits and droppings.

Conclusion

Choosing to go chemical-free is very beneficial to your health and safety. It is a great way of staying away from preventable illnesses brought forth by using synthetic ingredients that can be toxic to the whole household including the pests. Moreover, natural pest controlling methods are friendly to the budget and the environment, and brings out the resourceful person in you.

Before heading out to buy chemical-based garden pesticides, try first to go natural and witness that it can be as effective as its store-bought counterparts.

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