Six (6) natural ways to protect your garden from pests

By – Nazina Belle

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Source: http://www.morguefile.com/archive#/?q=soil&sort=pop&photo_lib=morgueFile

Easter / Spring period is a wonderful time to spend gardening, it help to relax and enjoy the sun and nature at least it does that to me. I love gardening.

Gardening can also be the saviour to biodiversity, but certain garden products can have the opposite effect, causing harm to the environment wither through their toxic contents or through their extraction from the earth.

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Source: http://www.morguefile.com/archive#/?q=soil&sort=pop&photo_lib=morgueFile

It is critical to understand how to protect your garden during the dryer spring/summer seasons as pest are most prevalent during these months.

Here are six (6) tip to protecting your garden from pest:

– dig over the ground and then cover it with old carpet or plastic this would stop the growth by removing the ability of sun light to get to the pernicious weed.

– encourage birds and hedgehogs these can be very pretty useful visitors by the way you plant or strategically place nesting boxes as Birds love eating snails while slugs are a big part of the hedgehog diet while ladybird and lacewings keep aphids away.

– companion planting – this is the grouping through the growing of specific plant species in close proximity, this promotes each other’s growth and protect from pest. This is a very nature and environmentally friendly way of protecting your garden by forming a protective barrier.

– soapy water – reduces pest in your garden yes I know it sounds crazy, but this actually works and no it will not damage your plants. This is actually very safe and environmentally friendly and would keep away pest such as aphids, white flies, thrips, mealybugs and mites all you would need is:

10 tablespoons of pure liquid soap
2 gallons of water
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Add all ingredients into a container with a spray cover, shake well and then spray the leaves with mixture.

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Source: http://www.morguefile.com/archive#/?q=soil&sort=pop&photo_lib=morgueFile

– construct barriers – this is an effective solution to reducing and keeping pest away from your garden, although this may be a bit unsightly you can make this a project and build one yourself or just purchase a generic one and add a twist or personal style. Use materials such as vented polyethylene or muslin which would protect your plant from pest  but still allow your plants to breath and get sunlight.

– only buy and use compost specifically labelled pest-free, these use sustainable alternatives such as coir pest which is a biodegradable by product of the coconut industry. Only down side of using this is that it do not hold moisture as oppose to the pest based ones but they are better for gardening and reduces the pest present. Frequent watering during dry periods can solve this problem. But alternatively you can make your own compost, this would act two fold solve the moisture issue and reduces waste taken to the landfills.

Bibliography:

Trinidad and Tobago Sunday Newsday Newspaper – 29th March, 2015

The Rough Guide to Ethical Living – Duncan Clarke

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