Monday, 3 October 2011

Garden pests - don't let them bug you!

It is a hard balance to get right, protecting your garden from little pests who want a free lunch and encouraging the helpful little garden dwellers, who pay their dues.

The usual suspects:-

Slugs - don’t use slug pellets, some brands can be poisonous to other animals, they work by dehydrating the slug and it if it rains whilst this happening the slug re-hydrates, this defeats the object really and not a particularly nice way to go for the slug. I prefer the beer trap method; put some
beer in shallow bowls, slugs love beer, I only use in early summer because you might attract bees. Oh yes,  put a stick in so that beetles can escape.
  • Place orange halves out the slugs are attracted to these and it makes it easier when collecting slugs by hand.
  • Put Copper wire or a gritty barrier like crushed egg shells around your plants, the slugs won't like that at all.
  • Cover seedlings with fine mesh or cut the top off an old plastic bottle, but be careful not to roast your plants.
Plant a few garlic cloves, the plants absorb the garlic and it wards off the insects.  Also you can infuse some garlic into water and spray it on the aphids and you can do the same with Rhubarb leaves, but be careful with this one as rhubarb leaves are poisonous to humans.
Spray with a powerful jet of water.
Use the companion planting method.

White flies
White flies are attracted to the colour yellow, find a yellow piece of plastic or card and coat with grease, this works like fly paper.

These little pests aren't really a problem, but if  you really wish to get rid of them, you can use 1:3 ratio of borax and icing sugar, place and cover on a piece of wood near where the ants have been seen. The ants like sweets things and will be attracted the bait, they will carry into the nest, ingest it and perish.
Please be careful and don't place bait near pets or other animal activity.

Encourage birds, frogs, hedgehogs and ground Beatles or even get some ducks and chickens, they can help you in your pest control.

A garden is a happier place, when there is balance like in nature.

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