Although creatures such as slugs, snails and certain types of flies can cause problems to gardeners, it’s important to remember that all these kinds of creatures form part of the natural eco-system and it is possible to still maintain a healthy garden without resorting to the use of pesticides.
Dangers of Pesticides
Many creatures rely on the presence of insects, snails and slugs as part of their natural diet. These include frogs, toads, birds and hedgehogs. Therefore by eliminating their food chain by using pesticides, you’re depriving these animals of food. It makes sense, therefore, to encourage these kinds of creatures into your garden to take care of insects etc. the natural way. You can do this by making your garden more attractive to them by growing flowers such as marigolds, wallflowers and primroses.
Slug pellets should also be avoided as they can be lethal to domestic pets if eaten. In fact, certain evaporating pesticides can also be detrimental to the health of small children, pregnant mothers, birds and other household pets.
There are many other things you can do to keep your garden safe from pests without resorting to using pesticides. You can buy or make natural barriers such as netting, row covers and plant collars to protect crops and flowers and use traps to catch the culprits. These can range from the sticky fly and mosquito traps which you can strategically hang around your garden and it’s a well known fact that slugs like beer so fill some old plastic pots with beer and bury them in the ground so that the top is level with the soil – the slugs will become drunk, fall into it and drown.
You should go around your garden and hand pick all the creatures that are ruining your crops where possible. For those not visible to the naked eye, a good dousing of water with the hose will usually do the trick. Additionally, spraying your garden with soapy water will usually deter them from returning.
Many people think that crops and flowers won’t flourish without chemical help in the form of fertilizer. However, most natural soils are easily able to supply all of our plants with natural nutrients. Plant growth will be steady, sustained and far more natural than the rapid growth produced by adding large quantities of artificial fertilizer. This can be achieved by recycling plant wastes in the garden and by introducing animal manures.
Benefits of Organic Gardening
Many of the vegetables and fruits that we consume daily all contain heavy pesticide residues. The most commonly treated are apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, apricots, cherries, cucumbers, spinach, peppers, potatoes and green beans and the only way we can rid them of pesticide residue is to peel off the outside layer. If you stop using pesticides in your cultivation programme, you’ll be guaranteed better tasting crops that don’t rely on artificial flavouring and do your bit to reduce environmental pollution.