Natural garden pest control is something every home gardener can do. It does not cost as much as using store-bought chemicals, and it is much safer. Natural pest control does not harm beneficial insects or contaminate vegetables and fruits with harsh chemicals. It also does not leach into the water system and cause problems. It is a safe and easy way to protect the garden.
Preventing pests from coming into the garden is the best way to keep a garden safe. It is important that all plants are healthy. If plants look weak or sick, it is best to remove them from the garden. Pests have a keen sense of smell and can identify a sick plant. They will close in and infest other plants nearby. Water at the roots of the plants because wet leaves will attract insects. Use a drip irrigation hose that runs around the base of the plants.
Barriers will keep harmful insects out of the garden. To stop cutworm, use cardboard paper towel rolls cut in two inch segments. Plant tomatoes or peppers by bringing the roots through the cardboard segment and burying about half an inch of it along with the roots. This collar will prevent cutworms from getting to the plants. Sprinkle a layer of construction sand around the base of plants to deter snails and slugs. They do not like the feeling of it on their soft bellies.
Introducing beneficial insects into the garden will take care of many pests. Most garden centers sell them, and they can be released into the garden. To keep them there, plant what they like. Ladybugs feed on aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs and love yarrow, morning glory and golden rod. Green lacewings that prevent the same pests like the same plants. They also enjoy Queen Anne's lace. Caterpillars, ants and weevils are eaten by ground beetles, and they like to hide in low growing plants like pachysandra and enjoy camphor weed.
Make solutions in the kitchen that are harmless to humans, yet drive away pests. Tea made from garlic and cayenne pepper or hot sauce will deter insects when sprayed on plants. A homemade insecticidal soap is made with Ivory soap, canola oil and water. The soap makes the solution stick to the plant and spread, and the oil smothers the insects. Mixing a tablespoon of molasses with one liter of hot water and a teaspoon of dish soap will keep moths from laying eggs and keep grubs away.
Gophers hate garlic, so put a clove in their tunnel entrances. Rabbits will not munch on vegetables sprayed with hot sauce diluted with water. Spray after every rain. Deer will also be discouraged by hot sauce or cayenne. Place human hair in a loose weave bags, and hang them on stakes around the garden.