It’s no longer surprising for any gardener that there will always be tiny crawly critters finding ways to eat valuable vegetables or garden plants to the point of destruction. Fortunately, the battle against garden pests always starts with having a good soil supply as well as some good compost and some mulch.
It Starts with Healthy Soil
Yes, it all starts with your soil supply because the soil supplies the root support, oxygen, water, and nutrients that plants need to flourish. Research has shown that healthy soil means plants can withstand pest attacks. Build up your soil so it’s healthy and fertile for your plants to be healthy as well. Start with these three practices:
- Limit soil disturbance
Routinely cultivating and turning the soil is no longer an advantage as research suggests. This archaic practise causes various drawbacks such as harming soil microbes, causes soil erosion and compaction, causes runoff, and leaves the soil surface bare. Keeping soil turning into a minimum preserves the living systems in soil.
Start a small compost bin and add one or two inches of this to the garden each spring to supplement soil nutrition. If you hate making compost, you can always prepare organic compost such as those prepared by Labrador Landscape.
Add two or three inches of mulch to the garden when plants are about four inches high to add slow-decomposing organic matter to the soil, prevent soil compaction, moderate soil temperature, suppress weeds, and reduce water evaporation. Mulch can be mowed leaves or grass clippings, but if you don’t have these, you can order prepared mulch such as bush mulch or cypress mulch from Labrador Landscape.
As the cliché goes, the best defence is a good offence, and the offence starts by keeping an eye on every plant in your garden. Always monitor each plant and don’t just rely on the good soil or organic sprays. Check the underside of leaves and each stalk and twig where insects can hide and leave egg sacs. Look carefully at everything green as some pests are good at camouflage.
Natural Pest Solutions
Plucking egg sacks and pests from plants by hand is an effective and non-toxic way to control pests. It may be labour-intensive, but it improves your practice of monitoring your plants.
- Kitchen remedies
- Cinnamon – sprinkle minimal amounts into the soil near plants.
- Garlic – makes a good plant spray.
- Orange and banana peels – cut up peels and bury in soil and scatter around plants. The underside coating kills insects.
- Baking soda – makes a good spray against fungus.
- Eggshells – crush shells and sprinkle them on soil around plants. Pests are repelled by the shell’s sharp edges.
By building a good soil supply and establishing a natural pest control system, gardeners can create a beautiful or productive garden. If you want to learn more about good gardening or for your essential garden needs, visit Labrador Landscape at https://landscape-supply.com.au/.