Organic Pest and Weed Control
Since organic gardening, by definition, means avoiding harsh
chemicals to control pests, weeds and diseases in your garden, care is
needed when picking products for these uses.
While hand weeding
and picking of insect pests, along with fences and barriers against
larger pests, are the traditional method used by organic gardeners,
there are times when other methods make good sense. Interior Gardens has
found the products you need to make your disease, weed, and pest control
ladybugs and praying mantises are the gardener's best friends when it
comes to insect control. Birds can be encouraged into the
garden by feeding, hanging a birdhouse providing a bird bath or by
planting plants that provide berries for them to eat.
Ladybugs are now for sale by the pint, quart or gallon. The
average-sized garden can get by on a quart or less, as there will be
about 25,000 to 30,000 bugs per quart. The cost is generally less than
five dollars a quart. The average adult ladybug consumes between 40 and
50 aphids a day.
Praying mantis cases are also
available and each one hatches up to 400 young. The cost is rather
nominal for a case. A few gardeners have reported that this insect
disappears rather rapidly from the garden, so you might want to
experiment with just a few to begin with. They will eat any insect they
Get them before they
start... Weeds compete with garden plants for nutrients, space,
Weeds can make your otherwise tidy organic garden appear
scraggly, and weeds harbor insect pests that carry diseases. The best
way to control weeds without chemical herbicides is to prevent them from
establishing themselves in your garden.
Adding a 3-inch
layer of organic mulch is one of the best methods you can use to
prevent weeds. Mulch prevents sunlight from reaching weed
seeds, preventing them from germinating. Mulch retains moisture in the
soil and keeps it from compacting, so that you can easily pull young
weeds as they sprout.
can choose bagged wood chips or shredded bark for your garden mulch, but
compost makes excellent mulch. If you use compost or other finely
textured mulch like grass clippings, replace it as frequently as once a
month, as it breaks down quickly.
If you are preparing to dig or till a new plot of exposed earth, devote a
day to removing as many weeds as possible first. Many perennial
weeds, like bindweed and thistle, spread by means of rhizomes or
creeping stems. If you leave root segments behind, your tiller could
distribute these viable plant parts throughout your garden, multiplying
your weed problem a hundredfold.
You can make the
greenhouse effect work for you by baking weeds and their seeds in situ,
before you plant a barren plot. In the summer, cut all existing weeds to
ground level. Water the area thoroughly, lay a sheet of clear
plastic over the entire plot. Old shower curtain liners work well for
this chore. Pin the plastic down with metal u-shaped stakes so the wind
doesn't move the plastic sheets. If you use a single large sheet, weigh
the center portion down with rocks to prevent cooling air pockets from
After 8-10 weeks, the suns radiant energy will have
sufficiently raised the temperature of the soil so that all weeds and
seeds are no longer viable. As an added benefit, solarization kills many
soil-borne diseases and pests. Your organic plot is now ready for a fall
planting of cool weather vegetables.
No matter what you need when it comes
to Organic Gardening, we have it all. So whether it be soil, nutrients,
gardening idea or just information you be assured of getting from us.
Most importantly, you will always get correct information and just what