If you are passionate about gardening, then you must be familiar with the pain that a pest infested vegetable patch can be, right? Gardening can be tough if you pair it up with a pest attack. Even if it is your hobby, it can take a lot of your time. Especially when your garden is under a pest attack, it becomes quite a challenge to protect your harvest. We all know that inorganic and chemical pesticides can work wonders in a very short span. However, chemicals seeping into the soil can degrade the quality of the soil and enter the food chain through a process known as biomagnification. The dangerous chemicals can enter your body through the products that they are used on. Not just that! The chemicals can get released into the nearest water bodies from the soil, thus polluting the water around you.
If your garden is overrun with pests, I would suggest that you opt for organic options to control them instead of using strong chemicals on the soil or on the vegetative produce. According to tax advisors Dubai, organic pesticides enjoy VAT exempts in the UAE, so farmers do not have to spend a lot. Here are a few organic methods that you can employ for safe and environment-friendly pest control.
The extracts of the Neem tree is highly beneficial if used as an organic option for killing pesticides. It is extracted from the Asian tree “Neem” and has an active ingredient known as Azadirachtin that causes infected insects to eat less and grow slowly, thus limiting them with time. If the pest situation is not a mess already, neem oil can be a great option for checking on the existence and growth of potential pests.
Rotenone is an organic pest killer that is found naturally inside the seeds and stems of some plants. The problem with rotenone is that it is highly harmful to mammals and can have fatal effects on consumption. So, if you have a farm with domestic animals, you must be very careful while using it on your crops. Since the pesticide can kill fishes too, you must be very careful while using rotenone near water bodies. Rotenone kills insects such as leaf-feeding caterpillars, beetles, aphids, and works both on vegetable and fruit crops. You need to be very patient with the chemical as it is a slow poison which takes a few days to work.
A soil-based bacterium, Spinosad is a safe option that can be used safely on both fruit and vegetable crops. The bacterium kills pests like bagworms, beetles, borers, spiders and mites. When an insect ingests it, it dies once the spinosad dries inside the body of the insect that has consumed it. Spinosad is your best option if you do not want to kill beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. The pesticide comes in two forms – liquid and powder. It also comes as a pesticide mixed with other organic pest killers. I would suggest that you look for a pesticide that has spinosad as an active ingredient.
BT or Bacillus Thuringiensis is a natural bacterium that makes pests sick when they ingest it. You can use it to spray on leafy vegetables and other crops. BT is known mostly for being fatal to leaf caterpillars and is sure to kill them on ingestion. Since the pesticide works only after being consumed, it is a safe choice. You can spray it once after every 7-10 days and that should be more than enough.
Extracted from the chrysanthemum plant and considered as the best organic insecticide, pyrethrin is the safest option if you have pets or farm animals. It is non-toxic to most mammals. It is a powerful deterrent that works very quickly even when you use it in small amounts. Any insect will drop dead upon exposure with this insecticide. At times, it can just dowse off the insect instead of killing it. So, if you want final results, then you can mix it with other fatal chemicals so that the insects cannot escape death.
Even organic pesticides can be harmful to your crop production due to the compounds that are processed into it. Nowadays, most organic pesticides are compiled along with fatal chemicals (although a very minimal amount), thus making it harmful for your garden. In that case, you can simply use diatomaceous earth on your garden patch. Composed of fossilized diatoms of the algae group, the powder cuts through the bodies of the insects and causes them to die eventually out of dehydration within a week or two of application. Make sure that you use it dry as the powder becomes less effective when wet.
Not all insects are pests. Certain insects can be beneficial for your crops as they help in pollination. Most importantly, these insects feed on other more harmful insects, thus saving your crops from being damaged. Insects like ladybugs, lacewings, ground beetles and praying mantis can be helpful in protecting your crops. You can grow plants like cornflower, mountain mints, ornamental grasses, and fennel, which will attract these beneficial insects and can be a messiah to your garden produce.
You can also try the much-recommended technique of companion planting to protect your plants from pests. All you need to do is grow different plants in proximity to one another and this will help you control pests via maximized space, and increase crop productivity. For example, if you are growing carrots in your garden, then you can plant leeks around the carrot plants which will repel flies and other rodents.
Other than the above eight practices, you can also use the trap crop trick to digress the pests from the main crops that you want to protect. With trap crops in your garden, you can offer the pests an alternative crop in order to save the crop you want to harvest.
The blog talks about organic pesticides that you can use to save your garden from a sudden assail of the pests. And since the methods are organic, you can stay assured that they are not going to harm your crops in any way and neither will they degrade the quality of the soil in your garden.