KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS / CELEBRATING EARTH DAY!

The best way to deal with garden pests is through prevention and organic pest control. A well balanced garden will be home to many helpful bugs who feed on those insects which give our flowers grief. Your garden will be healthy if you enrich your soil with your own organic compost, use manures or organic fertilizers only and refrain from using any chemical pesticides and fertilizers. In this way you will retain the natural PH balance of your soil which will be home to many different beneficial insects.

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Dragon Fly / Sensible Gardening and Living

If you’ve been keeping a clean, healthy garden free of pesticides etc. you should have a healthy balance of bugs verses natural predator and things will pretty much take care of themselves. However sometimes in spite of our best intentions pests can get carried away.

Because healthy plants resist garden pests better than sickly plants keep your garden clean by removing dead or diseased growth on a regular basis. Dispose this material into the trash and not your compost pile. Plants are healthier left slightly on the dry side so water your garden less not more. Plants will develop stronger root systems and also a tougher outer layer which is less desirable to pesty insects.

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Green Frog / Sensible Gardening and Living

Also, only plant tough plants for your area. There are numerous cultivars to choose from these days and some are simply more resistant to diseases and pests than others. Often new hybrids have lost some of their natural abilities to ward off diseases. Should a plant prove to be susceptible to problems in your garden get rid of it, and plant one that suits your garden conditions better.

Use organic solutions to deal with pests. Soap spray works well as does garlic or herbal tea sprays for organic pest control.

Soap Spray: 3 TBL of Ivory Snow laundry soap to 1 gallon of water. Mix and apply with a hand sprayer. 

Herbal Spray: Place garlic or other herb in a jar of boiling water and let steep as in making a tea. Add 1 tsp of liquid  dish soap and spray with a hand sprayer.

Remove infected stems from the plants and dispose of in the trash as soon as you notice a problem. Often this is all that is required.  You can also simply pick the pests off the plants and dispose of them or in the case of aphids you can squish them. Sounds a bit gross but really not all that bad.

And remember, for every bad bug in the garden there are several good bugs just waiting around to take care of the problem for you if you give them a chance.

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