Thursday, May 28, 2009

Organic Pest Control

Organic Pest Control With Critters

As human illness may often be prevented by healthful conditions, so pests may be kept away by strict garden cleanliness. Heaps of waste are lodging places for the breeding of insects. I do not think a compost pile will do harm, but unkempt, uncared-for spots seem to invite trouble.

Now for the main goal of this post, to point out the critters that you want in the garden, the ones that eat the pest, along with some ideas on how to invite them to watch over your garden.

Earth worms: The constant stirring up of the soil by earthworms is an aid in keeping the soil open to air and water. Soil that lacks drainage and air is more prone to insects and disease.

Fowls of the Air: Many of our common birds feed upon insects. The sparrows, robins, chickadees, meadow larks and orioles are all examples of birds who help in this way.

Insects: Some insects feed on other and more harmful insects. Ladybugs do this good deed and if you don't have them you usually can buy a bag of them at the local garden center. The ichneumon-fly helps too. NOTE: You can buy Ladybugs by Clicking Here.

Toads: Toads are wonders in the number of insects they can consume at one meal. The toad deserves very kind treatment from all of us.

Each gardener should try to make her or his garden into a place attractive to birds and toads. A good birdhouse, grain sprinkled about in early spring, a water-place, are all invitations for birds to stay a while in your garden.

If you wish toads to stay, fix things up for them too. During a hot summer day a toad likes to rest in the shade. By night he is ready to go forth to eat.

How can one "fix up" for toads? Well, one thing to do is to prepare a retreat, quiet, dark and damp. A few stones of good size underneath the shade of a shrub with perhaps a carpeting of damp leaves, would appear very fine to a toad.

Will cover more tips later.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

14 comments:

paul said...

I am ready with a bird bath - I like them here!
Wondering what I should plant to support lady bugs?

Greg and Renee Rouse said...

To attaract lady bugs in the vegetable garden and to also help beautify, grow pollen and vector flowers, dills a good one and can be used as a spice for canning all those pickles. You can also grow grains, along with allow weeds such as dandelion and yarrow (which both are edible and have medicinal uses). Another trick is to make "wheast" a combination of whey and yeast that can be sprayed on plants to attract lady bugs. Also, avoid pesticides, remember pesticides kill both good and bad insects. Hope that helps, sounds like a good idea for another post.

--Greg

paul said...

Thanks,
What are "pollen and vector" flowers? I live in a warmer part of SanFran Bay Area - if that makes a diffrence.

Greg and Renee Rouse said...

Some flowers can self-pollinate all on their own, but most species rely upon some kind of pollination vector (or transporter) to accomplish pollination. The vector can be any thing that moves pollen (i.e. wind, insects, birds and animals). Experts say that beetles seem to be more attracted to flowers that are dull in color like the ones I mentioned before. Here's a link with some basic teaching on pollination:

http://www.learner.org/courses/essential/life/session4/closer3.html

--Greg

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