Aversion to toxic chemicals for plant maintenance is nothing new. People are always looking for ways to safely de-bug and de-weed their gardens. Here are some tips to keep your garden up to snuff without dealing with dangerous chemicals!
Mulch comes in a variety of textures and color. Materials can include natural wood chips, pine straw, compost, or grass clippings. Using mulch will block sunlight from penetrating the soil. That means no plant (good or bad) will grow. Use 3-4 inches of mulch in your desired areas and you will be weed free!
Many gardeners use landscape fabric to smother weed seeds and block the sun from enabling weeds to grow. You can purchase this fabric in long woven sheets with small holes to allow for water to penetrate the soil. You can even use landscaping fabric in tandem with mulch.
This one is popular for all those big kids out there that love to play with fire. Flame weeders are basically a fancy blow torch designed to kill weeds with fire. Not only can flame weeders kill weeds they also destroy most of the seeds that are dropped by weeds, which means you don’t have to fight against nature again and again.
You read that right, Vodka isn’t just for parties, it can also kill of unwanted plants! Pouring a little vodka on the plants you hate the most will ensure that you won’t see those weeds again. Just make sure not to get it on the grass.
You can purchase sticky traps at your local nursery or hardware store and place then in bug hotspots through your garden area. You can buy a bunch and place them where ever you see pests, but be careful! Insect traps don’t discriminate between good bugs and bad bugs.
Add Beneficial Insects
Some say “fight fire with fire” but in this case we are going to use bugs instead. You can use ladybugs to kill aphids, praying mantises, lacewings, and parasite wasps as well. Before releasing your new insects in your yard, make sure you haven’t sprayed any pesticides for at least 10 days. That way you don’t accidently kill off your allies.
Practice Crop Rotation
For people who like to grow crops, make sure you change it up every year. Keeping the same crops in the same place over a consistent time period will attract its number one bug eaters from miles around. If you choose to rotate your crops, you will minimize the number of bugs you attract to your precious crops.
Avoiding harsh chemicals may not be the easiest course of action, but the benefits far outweigh the work. You will have a healthy garden with a good balance of desirable plants and bugs and you can have peace of mind knowing you are doing your part to keep this planet healthy.