Pest control without chemicals or poisons in the vegetable garden
When it comes to herbicides, and pesticides, a vegetable garden is not like a flower garden. With food crops, be very careful what you put into the soil. What goes into the soil eventually goes into your body. Here's a quick guide to pest control without chemicals.
Maintaining Soil Health
Compost and aged manure are the only two things you should need to amend the soil of a vegetable garden. Spread a generous layer of both and till it under in spring or fall.
Don't kill predator insects, such as spiders, ladybugs and butterflies, preying mantis' (unless they smoke ) ,which feast on aphids and other pests. Butterflies help with cross-pollination, too.
Repel deer and other animal pests by inter-planting garlic, onions and allium with the leafy vegetables they like to eat. More about this on our post..Companion Planting
Silver Reflective Mulch
Silver mulch provides excellent pest control without chemicals. It suppresses weeds, bounces sunlight from its surface into the undersides of plants, making them fuller. It also repels insects, who are confused by the increased light and avoid the area!
Neem oil is a form of organic pest control that kills most harmful insects, but won't harm beneficial insects like butterflies, spiders and ladybugs.
Garlic Oil Spray
Garlic oil spray can help repel deer, but you must remember to reapply frequently, especially after it rains.
Other Beneficial Creatures
Lizards, snakes and toads are all good predators in a vegetable garden. Lizards and snakes keep rodents under control. Toads eat insects and slugs. Cats and dogs kill mice and rodents. Birds
also eat insects, but might become a problem if you're growing fruit.
Hand picking insects from plants is work, but it's another method of organic pest control. It won't work on aphids, but it will work on Japanese beetles. Simply pick them off and throw them in a bucket of water.