Insects, grubs and slugs are all garden pests at one time or other but the gardeners ideal is to have a natural balance and enough predators to save your specimen plants. Below are some quick tips of environmentally friendly measures you can take. If everything else has failed you could always play them this record ‘Insecticide’ to create your own Nirvana.
Preventing Pests better than Cure
- Camomile deters small flies. – Make your own pesticide by infusing flowers in hot water for 10 minutes. French Marigolds, Rue and Tansy also have repellent properties.
- I dot onion plants around the garden to deter pests and larvae – they don’t take up much space or look out of place. Greenfly do not like garlic so try odd plants grown from garlic cloves.
- Protect some plants and prevent larvae hatching by surrounding plants with a cardboard collar.
- Birds are amongst the best insect catchers so encourage Robins, Finches and Blackbirds.
- A pond will encourage frogs or toads who will then eat slugs and snails.
- Good house keeping, clearing dead foliage, will help control the number of pests by removing their food
- Sulphur dust or powder can cure mildew on your prize roses but keep it away from ponds as it kills fish.
How Do You Stop Rabbits in the Garden ?
- Rabbits are harder to repel but scattering dried holly leaves or other spiny leaves is said to keep them off your tender vegetables.
- Plagues of Rabbits need to be fenced out with wire mesh starting 10″ underground and standing 2 feet high with a top 6″ bent away to stop them climbing (a bit like Colditz).
- Surround individual plants and shrubs with its own wire mesh cylinder.
- Wrap the base of saplings and young shrubs with protective cloth 2 feet high to stop the rabbits from feeding on the tender bark.
- I do not know if sonic repellents work on Rabbits but the Americans have ‘Critter Powder’ which uses the scent of the fox to frighten them to death (I don’t think).
- Bigger pests like cats can be deterred from small areas with citrus peel or citrus oil but commercial repellents may harm birds.
- For moles there are various devices including a solar powered run insert.
- Mice can play havock with bulbs and it may be wise to put wire mesh over any special plantings.
The biggest pest can be gardener’s children who walk where they shouldn’t but time will cure them!