The damaging consequences of pesticide exposure have been well-documented the past couple of decades. From causing long-term health effects like birth defects to being linked to long-term bee population declines. Although industrial pesticide is largely seen as the culprit, we should still collectively play our part to help reduce pesticide exposure to our surrounding communities.
Instead of using chemical pesticide, try any of these natural eco-friendly methods to keep the pests at bay. These methods may not necessarily give instant results, but they are much more sustainable over the long-term and more beneficial for your health.
Not all insects are pests. As gardeners, it's important to differentiate the good bugs from the bad ones. Biological control is a method of reducing pests by introducing natural enemies. For example, one way of keeping caterpillar populations in check is by introducing natural predators like ground beetles and damsel bugs. These bugs, for the most part, will leave your precious plants alone as their diet primarily consists of smaller animals like the caterpillar.
While some beneficial insects can be bought and shipped to your doorsteps, it is more sustainable over the long-term to attract beneficial insects that may already exist in your area. There are typically three conditions that need to be fulfilled to attract them: shelter, water, and food. The type of shelter will vary by species. For example, ground beetles like to take shelter in areas that have a diversity of perennial plants. Praying mantis, on the other hand, like to stick around foliage plants, where they can easily blend in and wait for their next prey. Keep in mind that biological control isn't limited to just insect predators. There are plenty of other wildlife species that could play a beneficial role. Examples include: birds, hedgehogs, frogs, and bats.
Growing vegetable or fruit crops in your backyard? Another natural pest control method to consider is companion planting. This refers to the concept of growing plants that provide some sort of benefit to its surroundings. Such benefits could include repelling pests, providing nutrients, or providing shade and support to the main crops.
In the context of pest control, one great companion plant is the lemongrass. A common ingredient found in natural insect repellents is citronella oil, which is extracted from lemongrass species. According to the National Pesticide information Center, citronella oil could repel pests by masking scents that are attractive to insects. Placing lemongrass plants around your backyard is unlikely to fully ward off pests like mosquitoes but it could at least form the first barrier of defense to ward off annoying pests.
DIY Natural Traps
Citronella oil is not the only natural ingredient that could help ward off pests from your backyard. Consider creating your own DIY pest traps by using other natural products such as diatomaceous earth, vinegar, and baking soda. Here is one interesting fact of the day. Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. The powder has sharp microscopic edges that lacerate the exoskeleton of most insects that come in contact with it. This eventually causes the insect to dehydrate and die. If you plan on creating your own natural pest traps then do be patient. Depending on the scale of the pest infestation, it could take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks to see notable results.
Pest season will be soon on its way so go the eco-friendly route by using natural alternatives to chemical pesticide products.
Whether you’re gardening as a hobby or a necessity, pests always seem to find you. Using organic techniques in your garden is the healthiest way to keep the environment and the people around you protected. Keeping your garden toxin-free shouldn’t be a big task because the green way doesn’t necessarily have to be the hard way.
The problem with pesticides and synthetic solutions is that they have a faster turnaround and you see results quicker. Because of this, users tend to think these results are better than the alternative. However, although synthetic pesticides work quickly, in the long run they tend to wane, which will once again leave your garden unprotected. Organic solutions are slow to work, but are your goals short-term, or long-term? We always recommend using multiple organic combinations in your garden for the best results.
Your focus for keeping pests away should be constantly enhancing your soil. The soil in your garden will be your first line of defense again pests and other critters. Regardless of how fertile the soil starts out being, it will always deplete as time passes, since this is one of your plant’s main source of nutrients. That means if your soil’s nutrients are lessened, your plants will be unhealthy and will become a natural target for pests and diseases.
While your soil should be a point of focus in your garden, another organic solution would be to attract predatory insects. This may sound crazy, but the pests that are eating your garden are just as attractive as your plants, but to other creepy crawlies. So, how do you know which pest is good versus bad? And how can you attract the good critters? By growing specific plants in your garden, you will lure the good predators as well as pollinators and other small creatures like birds that would love to snack on those pesky garden pests. Check out the infographic below from eReplacementParts for more information on keeping your garden healthy, green, and toxin-free!
It may still be chilly, cold and wet outside, but there are plenty of things you can do to prepare your garden before spring arrives.
Plants and bulbs may be laying dormant, but as the days grow longer and the earth begins to warm up things are stirring underground. It may be too late to plant spring bulbs for this year, but other plants and shrubs can be looked after and when it's raining cats and dogs you can also use the time to tidy the shed, make sure your tools are ready for use or even build a new compost bin.
In this infographic we offer ideas and tips on how to prepare your garden ready for spring. We take a look at a variety of gardening related chores that could, and should, be carried out prior to your garden bursting into life.
We've also included suggestions for flowers that will provide colour to your borders, along with ideas for mapping out your garden and planning a seed graph; both of which can be carried out indoors, so there's no excuses for inclement weather putting a dampener on your garden projects.
Read on to find out what you can do to prepare your garden ready for the start of spring and into the warmer months.
As summer is at an end it's never been a better time to make a rooftop garden. the weather conditions are ideal, as there's not much risk of plants dying or drying out from lack of water, unless you forget to water them during any unforeseen dry spells. At this time of year occasional frosts are rare, which gives plants time to start growing before Jack frost nibs at their tender leaves.
This infographic offers some fabulous rooftop garden inspiration for those new to gardening, including hints and tips of what needs to be done before you rush off to the garden centre to start purchasing plants. We've also included drainage ideas, tips for selecting the right type of plants for your rooftop area and choosing the correct type of compost or soil to suit the growing conditions and your plants.
You don't want to be spending your valuable spare time weeding and pruning so we've also included some advice of plant care and maintenance.
To give you a flavour of the potential end results the infographic includes some of the most amazing rooftop gardens from around the world. Believe us, you'll be astounded and inspired!
Read on, and start planning and preparing your own fabulous rooftop garden this weekend.
The trend for decking has grown immensely in recent years, mostly due to its sleek and luxurious look and low-maintenance factor once installed. Home decking can really transform your outdoor space into a desirable area where you can relax, entertain and generally just get outside more and escape to your very own haven.
When it comes to decking styles, composite decking is particularly a winner due to its recycled content and numerous benefits compared to wood decking. If you’re after a low-maintenance solution for your garden renovation, composite decking requires the least amount of maintenance and effort and isn’t as harsh on the environment, with up to 40% of the materials being recycled materials.
When putting the plans together for your decking, there are plenty of factors to consider and it can become quite a challenge when making those big decisions. The below infographic from 4everdeck outlines the key benefits of decking and the main factors you should consider when putting your home renovation plans together. Enjoy!
Summer time means firing up the grill and inviting your friends over for a great barbecue. However, most of the time unexpected guests end up crashing the party.
No, we are not talking about your in-laws. It is the pesky bugs who enjoy a great bash in your BBQ party. But you can take comfort in knowing that there are ways to deal with gnats, mosquitoes, flies and other notorious bugs. And it doesn’t involve engaging in chemical warfare or covering yourself with sticky sprays.
For going outdoors and having fun, all you need to do is strategically plant insect-repelling plants on your patio or the garden. The essential oil of these plants is a natural bug repellent and is a chemical free pest control solution, something insects tend to avoid. Furthermore, you can even use most of these plants to create your natural bug repellent.
Besides making the landscape more beautiful and attractive, the peculiar smell that marigolds have repels mosquitoes and insects. You can get a seed or a potted marigold plant from floral department or nursery. Make sure to plant the marigolds near the entry points, where mosquitoes drop in like windows, doors, balcony, and deck.
The basil helps in repelling mosquitoes and houseflies. Place the basil in a pot near the door of your home and especially in the outdoor area where you often relax. Do you know basil is delicious and makes salads appetizing? It is used in various chicken and pork recipes and even in soups too.
With fresh basil, you can make an insect repellent spray. All you need is 4 ounces of hot water and 5 or 7 ounces of fresh and clean basil leaves. Add the basil leaves to the hot water and allow it to steep for many hours. Then you need to remove the leaves and squeeze all the moisture from the leaves. Add vodka to the mixture and store it in the refrigerator. When going out to the garden, spray it on the plants.
One of the common ingredients used in insect repellents is citronella. The presence of the strong smell makes it one of the best mosquito attractants. This perennial clumping grass grows 6 to 7 feet. You can keep it in a huge pot or plant it in the ground. The citronella plant thrives in areas where there are good drainage and best sunlight.
Lavender helps in repelling fleas, moths, mosquitoes and flies. For centuries, it has been used to provide pleasant and sweet fragrance to clothes drawers and homes. Even though humans like the smell of lavender; flies, mosquitoes and other unwanted insects avoid it.
Make sure to plant the lavender in the sunny area of your garden or at the entryways of your house. This will ensure that you have a pest-free home. Also, you can use the oil extracted from the lavender flower as a mosquito repellent. Just apply it on your skin when you are going to the garden or lawn.
Plants belonging to the Allium family like the dramatic Allium giganteum stalk up to about 6 feet. They are regarded as one of the best natural insecticides. They help in repelling various pests and insects like aphids, slugs, cabbage worms and carrot flies which often plague your vegetable garden.
Peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, and broccoli are the plants that get the benefit from this pest repellant. Also, the allium helps in keeping the aphids away from rose bushes.
6) Lemon Thyme
If you want a plant that can repel mosquitoes, then try the lemon thyme. This is a handy herb which adapts to all kinds of shallow and rocky soil. It will thrive well in your rock garden, herb garden and even on the front border as long as there is enough sunlight.
One particular characteristic of this plant is that it will repel pesky mosquitoes but with a little bit of assistance. To release its chemical, you need to bruise the leaves. To do that just cut off a few of its stem and rub them on your hands.
7) Lemon Balm
The aroma of lemon balm (aka horsemint) helps in warding off mosquitoes. However, it attracts various pollinators like butterflies and bees. Furthermore, this plant is one of the fast growing and drought resistant plant which reseeds itself.
Mint plant is often used for repelling mosquitoes. It is best if you grow it in pots as it will spread aggressively if planted in the soil. Once they get established, then it is quite difficult to remove them. Cutting mint in the mulch will save cabbage, broccoli, and turnips from pest attacks.
It is often used to repel ants, roaches, ticks, Japanese beetles, fleas, lice, silverfish, spider mites, bedbugs, root-knot nematodes, harlequin bugs and other harmful insects. The ingredient pyrethrum is commonly found in chrysanthemums is an effective insect repellant.
Since the pyrethrum can destroy jumping and flying insects, they are often used in US homes and gardens as insecticides. Also, they are used in pet shampoos, indoor sprays, and even aerosol bombs. So, you need to be cautious while using them in any form.
The petunias plant repels tomato hornworms, aphids, leafhoppers, asparagus beetles, and even squash bugs. Many people think of the petunias as one of the best and natural pesticides. As they are available in various bright colors, they are quite famous. Also, it requires less maintenance and can grow in containers, garden beds and hanging baskets.
Various pest repellant plants help in keeping deadly insects away from your lawn and garden. So, next time when you reach for a chemical bug spray, think again. Take a minute and think about the harmful chemicals you are going to inject to your plants. Instead, you can take the nature’s arsenal for fighting these destructive pests.
Hi! I’m Angela from nycitypestcontrol.com and I write, curate, and get in touch with people who are active in the pest control arena. At NYCity, we are always at the forefront of finding new and innovative methods to control insect and rodent infestations without excessive collateral damage.
A complete celebration of everything that’s green and good, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show is just around the corner. As green-fingered gardening aficionados descend on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, we’ve uncovered something we think you’ll love: the ‘winning formula’ for a successful show garden.
Just how do those RHS judges decide who gets a gong and doesn’t? Outdoor furniture experts OKA seek to answer this question – they’ve analysed some of the best winners of the past few years to come up with the 4 key elements a garden needs if it’s to get those judges ticking their boxes. Take a look. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to turn your own garden into a Chelsea paradise!
As the world’s best-known horticultural event, the Chelsea Flower Show is a must for anyone who’s interested in plants, flowers and outdoor architecture. Featuring some of the leading garden designers on the planet, this year’s theme is Wellbeing, with RHS ambassador Jekka McVicar’s stunning Modern Apothecary Garden the centrepiece.
With just a few days to go to the event, find out everything you need to know about the Chelsea Flower Show, from dates and location details to how to get your hands on tickets and even what to wear, here.
This infographic from Capital Garden Services, explains how to create an eco-friendly garden. It outlines the detrimental effect unnatural substances have on your garden and the environment and describes the steps you need to take to create your very own eco-friendly garden.
If you have an organic garden in your home, it is wise to provide adequate care for it even during winter season. After all, you have likely spent a great deal of effort on it and the last thing you want is to see it ruined during the cold months.
To benefit from the wonders of organic gardening again next growing season, you should certainly take some steps to winterise your garden. Sufficient garden care will ensure that your soil and plants gets through the cold weather with ease and that you can once again revel in joy of growing and looking after your vegetables and everything else you have decided to plant. You need to give your gardening efforts a head start, and going through each of these steps will enable that:
Start by clearing up the place
A successful growing season has likely resulted in a great deal of plants. What you need to do is clear the place of all crops that are lying around. Collect all of the spent plants. Be thorough in your efforts, otherwise the plants may attract pests, and that is not something you want. As you collect all debris from your garden, be sure to use them for composting and never just throw them away. Such garden clearance is not only highly beneficial, but also needed.
Pay some attention to your soil
Once you have taken care of clearing the plants, it is time to turn the soil and test it to ensure its state is pleasing. Knowing the pH of your soil and its mineral content can give you a clear clue on whether or not it needs to be improved in any way.
Consider a cover crop
Planting cover crops holds many benefits. All gardening experts agree that they introduce ground protection as well as important organic nutrients that are turned into the soil to enrich it for the next growing season. Some of the types of cover crop you can use include clover, winter rye and field peas. Each of these does a great job for the task.
Cover crops are one thing, but you can also consider mulch for your organic garden. A layer of compost, shredded leaves, grass clippings or other material can add extra means of protection for your soil beds. Mulching will help against the cold and also keep weeds at bay, which is certainly something to look out for.
Plan the garden for the next season
Once you have executed the above steps, it is time to give some thought on your gardening efforts and reflect on your mistakes. Also consider what worked and be sure to take similar action next growing season. It pays to know what worked well and what can be improved in order to have an even more successful organic garden.
Going through each of these 5 steps will ensure that your gardening efforts are met with great success next growing season. Organic gardening is an important activity, which requires knowledge and effort to work.
It seems like the shower of fallen leaves is never ending. When cold temperatures come you will find yourself raking leaves from your patio, deck, lawn and garden more and more often. This is especially the case if garden care for your orchard has proven successful.
Quite often you will be tempted to just throw away the collected leaves, without any consideration of what else you can use them for. The truth is that leaves are a precious resource, which you can utilise in many ways. It doesn’t really matter how much you collect, for you can have them included in a number of garden care activities, all of which certainly worth it for consideration. Expert gardeners suggest several uses of fallen leaves, each being better than simply throwing them away. Here is what you can do with them:
Healthy compost is required for every gardening enthusiast. Having a compost pile in your garden is definitely useful for a variety of reasons. One of the most important is that it provides your plants with an instant source of some pick-me-up boost whenever it is required. Fallen leaves make a perfect addition to your compost pile, and in fact are a needed addition for an even healthier compost material. All you have to do is keep them moist, but not thoroughly wet. Turn your compost pile few times a month, to allow air circulation which will break down the leaves into black compost. You can then use that to support your plants.
When leaves find their way on your lawn, don’t trouble yourself to collect them all. Instead, you can run them over with the lawnmower. Have it on the highest cutting setting and give the leaves a good shred. The small pieces of leaves will eventually be absorbed into the lawn. This will make the soil healthier and rich in much needed nutrients, which will help it over the course of winter and enable an even better lawn the next season.
Fallen leaves make excellent mulching material, which you can use in your garden. There are numerous benefits to mulching, all of which you should keep in mind. Now that you have a readily available resource for mulch, it is easy to acquire the benefits. Collect leaves, shred them and spread the material around your plants. This will prevent weeds to a great extent and also allow the soil to retain moisture.
Store leaves for the next season
Leaves make for excellent brown material for your compost pile. They are hard to come by when spring comes around, which is why storing some of the leaves you collect during autumn and winter is a wise idea. Put them in a bag and keep it in a cool and dry place till next you need them. You will have a ready supply of brown material for your spring compost pile.
Don’t be too quick to dispose of fallen leaves as you collect them. Consider each of the outlined uses, as they hold many benefits and can greatly assist your gardening efforts