Sunday, May 4, 2008

Day 13 of our Green Year: Controlling Pests Naturally

As you have read in previous entries, Layla and I are going natural with a garden in our backyard. We are doing it to help the environment, as well as save costs for ourselves with rising fuel and food costs.
As we grow the garden, we are beginning to find ways to get rid of pests, without worrying about hurting the environment. We have chosen not to use pesticides or anything else chemical, and are choosing natural ways to protect our garden plants.

As a result, we have a list of the things you can do to keep pests out of your garden and keep your garden looking lush.

  1. If you have cats going in your garden and using it as a litter box, you can circle the garden in lemon peels, or you can put together an orange peel/coffee ground mixture and scatter it around the garden. Can't will not go in as a result.
  2. Fill some grocery sacks with air and tie them shut. Afterwards, place stakes around your garden and tie the bags to them. The rustling sound it creates will scare rodents and birds away.
  3. If you have birds taking your strawberries, then simply get some small stones and paint them red and put them around the plants. The birds will eventually tire with trying to eat the 'hard strawberries' and will move on.
  4. Insects cause a lot of problems in the garden, and if you have spider mites, just spray leftover coffee where they are and they should leave. You can also create a mixture that will get spider mites off your plants. The mixture is 1/2 cup buttermilk, 4 cups of wheat flour and five gallons of water (try to use rain water). Spray it on your garden and you should be able to keep spider mites out, as well as ants, caterpillars and cabbage worms.
  5. You can mix up black pepper and flour and sprinkle it around your plants to keep the insects out.
  6. If slugs are moving into your garden, simply take an old recycled sandpaper disk, cut it open and put it around the plant. Slugs won't cross the sandpaper.
  7. Plant garlic throughout your garden. Doing this will keep insects out of it because they do not like the smell or taste.
  8. While some bugs are bad for the garden, others help. Spiders eat insects that destroy plants, so to encourage them, lay some mulch at the beginning of the year. This will attract them and they will eat the aphids that come into the garden.
  9. Are dogs digging in your garden? If they are, you just have to mix a clove of garlic, onion, Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper in a bucket of water. Let it steep, then let it dribble into the garden where you don't want the dogs. If you have cats digging in your garden, then use powdered mustard and flour instead of garlic and onions to deter them. Mice will keep out of the garden, as will squirrels because the sauce, powder and pepper will stick to the bottom of their feet, which will frustrate them and keep them away.
  10. Spray vinegar at the base of trees and walls to keep cats away and hide the scent of tomcats who have been in the area.
These are just a few of the natural ways you can keep your garden safe without killing anything, or resorting to chemicals.