10 Organic Ways to Control Pests in the Garden

Mandy Onderwater

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10 Organic ways to control pests in the garden

In this video Mark shows us his top 10 organic ways to limit the damage done by pests.

[Note, this is only a visual, shortened version of the video, please watch it to catch up on all the tips and tricks properly.]


1 – Healthy [1:20]

Pests like to target sick or dying plants. If you keep your plants healthy by feeding them the appropriate amounts of fertiliser and growing them in good soil with the right amount of water they are less often attacked.


2 – Timing [1:58]

Growing your food crops at the right times is important in regards to pest control. Out of season they might grow poorly and are more likely to be targeted by pests. Certain pests can also be more active at certain times (example: spring has many fruit flies in Mark’s area).


3 – Harvest early [3:05]

Sometimes you can get away with harvesting your crops early; before pests can get to them. Most pests also prefer ripe fruits, so picking them before fully ripened can sometimes save some heartache. Many fruits and vegetables actually have recipes for their unripened counterparts also.


4 – Grow more [3:56]

By growing more (than you need) you don’t care as much if some gets eaten by pests. There are gardeners who grow what they call “sacrificial plants”, meaning they grow more than they need and allow one plant to get infested by pests, which can draw pests away from the healthy plants towards the weakened plant.


5 – Manually remove them [4:46]

Mark often picks off pests manually whilst watering his plants. He says it’s a great way to relieve stress and to train the eye. On top of that it’s not harmful to your plants.


6 – Poultry [5:30]

Chicken and ducks can be excellent at controlling pests around the property, or even the garden. Chickens for example like digging in the ground and whilst doing this they like eating the pests they find in the ground. Some pests mature under the ground, thusly poultry could dig them up by accident and nibble them right up. Mark has also found that his ducks like eating stinkbugs, especially the baby ones. Ducks also tend to dig less than chicken, making them friendlier around your garden.


7 – Habitat [7:18]

Farmers often have to use pesticides as they only grow one main crop. Pests would naturally be attracted to places where food is in abundance. Organic farmers are discovering that diversity of habitat is a strength, and by growing a variety of produce and plants, they have less issues with attracting pests. Some plants also repel certain pests.


8 – Organic sprays [9:10]

Whilst slightly contradictory, they can sometimes be necessary. Mark makes a mixture by mixing 2 cups of cooking oil (canola) with 1 cup of dishwashing liquid (Morning Fresh). He then uses about a tablespoon of the mixture per liter of water in a spray bottle (used on examples: scale, aphids, leaf miners, mites). It tends to smother, rather than poison. Another tip given was using a ring of Vaseline as ants will not climb over it, thusly not feeding aphids.


9 – Bio bugs [11:53]

Certain bugs will actually attack pests roaming your garden. A common one being ladybugs as they eat aphids.


10 – Exclusion [12:42]

Using nets or bags are one of the best ways to keep pests away from our produce, though it can be expensive and time consuming. In saying that, they are very effective. It’s also very easily done DIY.


 

cloxchulanthevegginator

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heh I just watched this last night to see if there was anything to deal with my ant problem. From the video I'm doing 5 for these weird spore like things that i think are aphids on my plants, I want to try 8 but I don't think I have any bugs that warrant it yet and Im some kind of way about putting sprays and weird things on my plants.

I might try bio bugs.
 
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Hello

Just a quick word of warning here about the ring of Vaseline. I am assuming one should remove that after a while? I used this method for control on some citrus trees a couple of years ago and left it there and although it took some time it resulted in the loss of trees due to ringbarking under the layer of Vaseline.
Very upsetting. It may be a function of the lack of sunlight around the trunks of these trees (?) but I don't know.
Any insight regarding this would be helpful.
H
 

Mandy Onderwater

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Oh wow! I hadn't heard of any issues with it before you @Heather Louise !
Perhaps because we live in a sub-tropical climate we may not have the issue you had as the rain would wash the vaseline away over time (I assume). I know it can be harmful to apply to the green parts of a plant, but I'd never heard of trees dying because of it! Thank you for sharing.
I've been reading up on it a bit more and having the vaseline exposed to direct sunlight might have been part of the issue. Alongside from that (as Mark mentioned in one of his many videos) it's meant to be re-applied every 2 weeks or so, which means it doesn't stay on (one spot) for a length of time.
Another tip that I found was that some people use something as a barrier between the tree and the vaseline to protect the tree (think cling wrap or clear tape).

His video on the vaseline trick is over 3 years old, and I'm not sure if it had been tested for weeks/months. What works in one area, may not work in another.

I hope this helps!
 
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