While many plants have flourished in all the heat and rain, many garden pests have too.
From snails and caterpillars to fungal plant diseases, these can be controlled without resorting to toxic chemicals. Pesticides can damage the entire ecosystem of your garden by killing beneficial species such as ladybugs, butterflies and bees. Cherish your garden a favour and keep family and pets safe via –
Prevention – a healthy plant is less likely to be attacked than a weaker one. Add organic compost to boost your plants. Add coffee grounds to soil as a barrier against many plant diseases.
Companion planting – some plants deter pests from the plants near them. Nasturtiums, marigolds and petunias attract pollinators and repel pests.
Home-made remedies - make your own inexpensive and natural sprays to protect plants. Repel insects with a combination of garlic, eucalyptus oil, salt, chilli or citric oil. Strong coffee kills slugs and snails. Fungal diseases can be deterred by spraying plants with milk.
Chickens – hens love to eat all types of beetles and grubs. In their search for yummy treats, they scratch around your garden, thereby turning your soil, and provide natural compost.
We will explore these options further in the next months’ columns.