We planted our first in-the-ground vegetable garden this year. When we moved into our new house, we were so excited to get some vegetables growing on the property.
The previous person who lived here owned a nursery, so there are a whole bunch of beautiful plants and flowering shrubs all around the property. There is ALWAYS something blooming and I have a hunch that he timed it that way. He picked plants that would provide the property with a continuous bloom.
Maybe because of his clear passion for gardening, we have a ton of gardens around the house. There are ones built up with lumber or brick, ones that are level with the ground, and even some fancy work with stone.
When we were evaluating our gardens and trying to figure out which to plant vegetables in, we ultimately decided on the garden that we did for the purpose of pest control. Slugs are a big issue in our area, being that it rains so much, so the garden we chose has a brick wall built around it and plenty of room for bark mulch. If we needed to, we could put some copper tape or wire around the edges of the brick to scare the slugs off, though it’s not a concern yet.
Despite our well-intention efforts to choose the right garden for our produce, I found a small spider mite on the spinach the other day. Upon further inspection, I noticed that they were crawling all over all of the plants.
Spider mites can be detrimental to the vegetables in the garden. They are known to chew through leaves and suck off the chlorophyll, which if you know anything about plants, you know is what really keeps the plant going. Chlorophyll to plants is like blood to humans.
Our garden is organic, and we want to keep it that way, so while I am sure there are dozens of chemical products out there made to kill these little pests, we decided to take a holistic, natural approach.
After quite a lot of research, we found out that there are some different, natural pest prevention methods that you can use to clear them out of your garden.
The first we tried, as it was the lowest effort, was spraying off the plants with water. Apparently using a higher water pressure spray nozzle and being very thorough can get rid of a good portion of pests. It worked for us for a little while, but the next week there were plenty of spider mites all over the plants again. I suspect that if you have a smaller infestation, it’s easier to use this method.
We next decided to try using ladybugs (lady beetles) to fight the mites. This method of using predatory bugs that are harmless to the plants to kill off the pest is well used by the pros. Lady bugs were specific to spider mites, but every small pest (aphids, for instance) will have a predator. Try to find out what that is if you are interested in using this method, but be sure that the predator isn’t’ going to be more damaging to your plants.
There was a .. bug farm? closeby, so we bought a whole bunch of ladybugs and set them loose on our vegetable garden.
This was a fairly effective method of getting rid of these pests, but you have to have quite the stomach for buying bugs and actually putting them on your property instead of removing them.
We haven’t had to use this method yet, but there are a ton of natural spray on pest remedies. Google your specific situation and you will find more than one for it, I’m sure. Spraying rosemary oil was recommended for our specific pests, but soap water, garlic, vinegar and even lemon water are common remedies for garden pests.
I’m glad we were able to deal with our issue organically and naturally. Have you ever had an issue with pests in your vegetable garden?
Chipmunks and rabbits ate several of our veggies early on. We put up a mesh fence and that took care of it. We didn’t have to use any chemicals. We just needed a barrier.