When it comes to pest control prevention is better than cure, so cultivate pest-resistant plants. Here are some natural ways to control pests in your garden without resorting to chemicals.
- For sap sucking insects such as aphids, try soapy water applied directly onto the insects.
- Place saucers of beer near seedlings and other plants susceptible to snail attack. The snails will drink the beer, fall into the saucer and drown! Snails also don't like travelling over sawdust, so sprinkle some near the base of plants to deter them.
- Cabbage moths love vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli. To prevent them eating your veggie garden, sprinkle half eggshells throughout. The moths mistake the egg shells for other moths and leave the area.
- To kill weeds, pour boiling water directly onto them.
- To get rid of powdery mildew, spray milk directly onto affected leaves. Or try a mix of 4 litres of water, 4 teaspoons of baking soda and half a cup of white oil as a spray.
- For blackspot on roses, mix a litre of soapy water and a litre of skim milk and spray onto the roses every few days. Remember to keep in the fridge or the milk will go sour.
Other ways to prevent pests
- Avoid over-watering which can lead to diseases such as mildew and blackspot.
- Plant seedlings inside milk cartons with a hole in the bottom.
- Try companion planting of those plants which are known to repel pests. For example, mint deters cabbage moths and basil repels mosquitoes and flies.
- Use seaweed and fish emulsions to boost plants immunity.
- Use organic based fertilisers and mulches. These contain microbes that attack the plant pathogens that cause disease.