ORGANIC PEST CONTROL FOR DOG FRIENDLY GARDENS
At its foundation, organic gardening simply means working with nature, rather than against it. Dog owners find themselves drawn to this approach to pest control which minimizes the potential for your pets to come in contact with irritating and harmful chemicals …
Organic dog-friendly pest control starts with savvy plant selection. When choosing plants for your landscape, ensure you select varieties well-suited to your local climate and soil type. A mismatched plant can struggle to survive in your garden. At the first sign of illness, plants give off chemicals that can be detected by passing insects and other pests.
Let’s face it…no garden is perfect. Some pests will invade, eat their fill, and damage your landscape plants no matter what you do. Practicing good garden hygiene leaves destructive pests nowhere to hide, plus appropriate day-to-day care ensures optimum plant health …
Make sure to follow these key organic gardening cultural practices:
1. Dig or till thoroughly before planting anything. This will expose hidden larvae and other bugs that can be easily picked off by birds
2. Don’t water excessively. This makes for soggy soil which can result in root rot.
3. Don’t over fertilize. By adding too much compost at once, the nutrients end up feeding parasites and grubs rahter than benefitting the intended plants.
4. Pick up any dead or dying plant material. Rotting leaves create a perfect habitat for harmful insects to thrive.
5. Weed frequently. This not only makes your garden look better, it also eliminates shady hiding places for opportunistic pests.
6. Plant pest-discouraging plants. See list below of common pests and plants to repel them.
Common Pests and Plants To Repel Them
Ants … Mint family plants (catmint, peppermint, spearmint)
Aphids … Catnip, chives, cilantro, garlic (allium), marigold, nasturtium
Cabbage loppers … Dill, garlic, onion, rosemary, sage
Fleas … Catnip, Chamomile, lavender, lemon grass, rosemary
Japanese beetles … Chive, garlic, geranium
Leafhopper … Geranium, petunia
Rabbits … Garlic, onion, marigold
Slugs … Fennel, garlic, rosemary
Squash bugs … Marigold, nasturtium, peppermint, petunia, radish
Whiteflies … Basil, peppermint, thyme
Plant a few flowers relished by beneficial insects like ladybugs such as cilantro, cosmos, dill, fennel, geranium, sweet alyssum and yarrow. This will encourage them to stop by, drink some nectar, lay some eggs, and control common aphids – without the use of pesticides.
Be forewarned that all of the mints are invasive plants, so to keep them under control plant them in pots that can be buried in the ground. Mints are perennials, hardy, easy to grow and can withstand harsh winters.
Another nonchemical methods for controlling pests is simply catching them in the act of destruction and disposing of them before they multiply. This works great for Japanese beetles and caterpillars. Simply drop them in a jar or can of soapy water as you collect them. ( I use an empty coffee can ) The large soap molecules clog their respiratory systems, quickly euthanizing them …