Pest Control in the Garden

Chemicals in the garden are no fun. They might help in the short term, but they’re terrible for birds, frogs, bunnies, and other lovely creatures of the ecosystem. Here are some (often surprisingly!) effective alternatives:

  • Cover delicate seedlings with an overturned plastic bucket to protect them
  • Use bowls of beer or milk around your plants to catch slugs. They love the smell, and will drown once they fall in
  • Go around your garden with a torch in the evening, and get at any slugs or snails you find. The small ones are often the hungriest, so don’t be shy
  • Greenfly and blackfly are terrible for plants. You can take them off with your fingers or with a hosepipe, or introduce ladybugs to your garden. Ladybugs LOVE eating aphids
  • Welcome any birds or larger insects into your yard with bird baths and bird-friendly trees
  • Use old lace curtains over wire loops or plumber’s hose to keep certain bugs away from lettuce and cabbages
  • String criss crossed in all directions over a bed will keep pigeons and other birds from getting at your newly planted seedlings
  • Companion plants are a great way to manage pests. Marigolds and geraniums deter insects, for instance
  • Decoy plants are also helpful. Nasturtiums, aside from being delicious in a salad, will draw butterflies and caterpillars away from your cabbages
  • Onions, garlic and chives confuse insects that rely on their smell, like carrot root fly. Marigolds, rue, and tansy also work the same way
  • Make sure to take off any diseased or damaged leaves quickly, and to get overripe fruit away from your healthy plants
  • ‘Organic’ chemical fungicides and insecticides can be found in nurseries, but it’s still best to use them sparingly
  • One of the most effective ways to combat pests is to plant a diverse mixture of fruit, vegetables and flowers closely together. This way, no one overpowering scent attracts bad bugs, and there is lots of variety to attract the good ones! This also makes your garden extra beautiful according to us, so I say win/win/win!