Prevention&Control

FOOD SECURITY

Pest Prevention and Control Tips

Pests can be beneficial to your garden’s healthy life but can also be a germ carrier ultimately disrupt and damage your family’s livelihood. This is because pests and pathogens can negatively affect your fruit crops, they are usually specific in targeting species’ specific life stage, this is why gardeners and farmers should invest heavily on learning and understanding their gardens most feared enemy, if you guessed pests then you are on the money.

Mariri Mamabolo
mamabolomg@thevillagemag.co.za

16 JUNE 2020

Dealing with pests on your home garden.

When your plants become snacks for creepy crawlies and other pests, don’t reach immediately for harsh chemicals. There are plenty of organic options that will keep you and your garden safe. No gardener wants to see insects wreaking havoc on a bed full of ripening produce. Luckily, it’s possible to keep unwelcome visitors away. Since some pesticides can hurt the beneficial bugs that actually help your plants, try these easy control measures first before resorting to the strong stuff.

Maintain Healthy soil

Healthy soil makes healthy plants with strong immune systems, which are better able to fight off diseases and pests. Healthy soils feed and shelter beneficial soil life. 

Choose resistant varieties

This is an easy tip for preventing garden pests: Choose plant varieties that are naturally resistant to pests. Seed catalogs list varieties that are known for resistance.For example, tromboncino squash appears to be more resistant to pests than other summer squash varieties.

Confuse Pests

Interplant crops with one another. This confuses passing pests because they will find it harder to home in on their preferred crop. You can interplant different vegetables, or mix up vegetables with herbs or flowers to create a more diverse – and confusing – planting scheme. Obfuscate some more by growing vegetables with coloured leaves, like purple varieties of cabbage or kale, that insects won’t expect.

Plant in the right place.

Reserve plants that need full sun for full sun areas. Likewise, plant crops according to water needs. If a crop requires more water to stay healthy, grow it in an area that stays moist longer.

Crops may tolerate less than ideal conditions for a time, but eventually the stress will weaken them and they can succumb to pests. Planting in the right place is an easy step toward preventing garden pests.

Attract beneficial insects

Beneficial insects prey on pests, and they will naturally come to your garden in search of nectar, pollen, and shelter. Encourage them to stick around by growing flowers that meet these needs. For example: calendula, coriander, and sweet alyssum.

Ash

Snails and slugs also dislike sand, lime, and ashes, so the next time you have a wood braai, apply ash to the base of plants that are under threat. 

How to make a basic oil spray insecticide?

Mix 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of soap (cover and shake thoroughly), and then when ready to apply, add 2 teaspoons of the oil spray mix with 1 quart of water, shake thoroughly, and spray directly on the surfaces of the plants which are being affected by the little.

Gardening is a yearlong activity, the key is to understand when to prepare the soil, our April 2020 article on ways to prepare backyard garden should help you get started with your beautiful garden. Until next time, happy gardening!