Natural Pest Control for Healthy Plants in your Vegetable Garden

[Music] Most gardeners have experienced the
disappointment of carefully raising a vegetable crop, only to have it damaged or destroyed by
an invasion of pests such as slugs, aphids or other bugs. The traditional advice in such situations is to heavily spray crops with pesticides, but many of us prefer to use nature’s
own organic controls for the foods we’re going to eat. Using nature’s own checks and balances
to keep pests down is an age-old technique, and you can give nature a helping hand by following some of these key principles: Plant a range of crops in your growing space, including some flowers that will add an
attractive visual element to your garden but more importantly will add color and
scent, which will naturally attract beneficial insects and provides a source
of food for them in the form of pollen and nectar. These beneficial insects will eat other flying
pests, such as lacewings eating aphids. Provide shelter and habitat to encourage predators, where they can shelter and reproduce. You could leave a section of your garden to remain wild, leaving rocks and other natural items, and not cutting anything which grows there for a season. You could make or buy a bug hotel which provides lots of nooks and crannies for the insects which can be hung easily in a tree or next to a shed. Or, you can provide shrubs and hedges. Plant sacrificial, or trap, crops, which are plants you add to your garden to attract pests away from the main crops you’re growing. Even pests have preferences for the sorts of
plants they prefer to eat, so by choosing the right ones the pests
will be attracted to the sacrificial plant, and do less damage to your crops. Some of the best
trap crops include nasturtiums, which are very attractive to aphids such as
blackly, greenfly and whitefly which will often completely cover the
stems. Nettles also attract aphids, especially early on
in the season. Chervil is very attractive to slugs
especially at the seedling stage, and French marigold attracts slugs,
thrips and nematodes. It’s usually sufficient to plant sacrificial plants at the edge of your crop growing spaces, which is the first place pests will
attack from. Companion planting is the planting of flowers or herbs to attract beneficial insects such as lacewings and ladybugs (or ladybirds) which then feed on the pests. The best plants to choose are those with flowers that provide lots of protein-rich pollen, and that provide a source of nectar
throughout the year. Many highly-bred ornamental flowers fall short on these, so always check the packet. Many are now
labeled as insect-friendly. Some of the best flowers to choose
include calendula, marigold, chamomile, poached egg plant, phacelia, and comfrey. If you don’t want
to rely on nature exclusively, barriers can be used to prevent pests
reaching your crop, and are particularly effective for keeping out birds, small mammals such as squirrels, and pets
which like to dig in freshly prepared soil. Use cloches to protect easily-damaged
crops like lettuce from slugs, snails and aphids and to stop birds pulling out the crops,
especially when they are small. Cover crops with netting throughout the
growing season to keep most of the larger pests out. By using a system of netting and canes with plant pots on top you can easily and quickly get access to crops and raise the height of the netting as your crops grow. This is also effective protection from
butterflies which are particularly drawn to brassicas, where they lay their eggs which later turn into cabbageworm (or caterpillars) which can devastate a crop. If you choose the size of the netting carefully, beneficial pollinating and predator
insects will still be able to get through and give you a helping hand. This is
particularly useful to protect soft fruit from birds, but it’s also a good idea to use
something to scare the birds away too, such as a row of old CDs to prevent them
from getting tangled in the netting. There are many ways to trap and kill
slugs, and a host of different products on the
market that promise to do just that. An easy way to trap and kill them is to sink a dish or a used fruit skin like a grapefruit filled with beer into the
soil. The slugs flock to it, get drunk on the
beer and drown, and you can empty this every few days and
refresh as a continuous trap. Use jets of water from your hose or
squash by hand any aphid populations that seem to be
getting out of control. It’s messy, but a great way to get closer to your plants! Keeping on top of pests throughout the
growing season might seem like a never-ending battle
but remember – nature has checks and balances in place, and you can help out by following the key steps: Provide the ideal conditions in your garden to attract and retain pollinating insects; use trap, or sacrificial plants; add flowers
as companion plants to confuse pests; and use barriers and traps. [Music]

27 thoughts on “Natural Pest Control for Healthy Plants in your Vegetable Garden

  1. I have a problem with these black ants in my strawberries. It's been killing my strawberry plants. I've been taking them out by hand it has helped a little. Is there anything else that I can do? Would appreciate your opinion. Thanks it' a great video.

  2. Ants like dry conditions, so keeping the strawberry bed moist may help, and blasting with water from a hose can dislodge ants and send them scurrying off temporarily – this probably won't get rid of them completely though. Surrounding the plants with diatomaceous earth may help to deter them. If you're feeling particularly sadistic you can pour boiling water down the ants' nest to kill them.

  3. I think that it gets real hot and maybe I have to wet them everyday while the heat is on. We have had as high as 102 degrees. I can't put hot water because it's a canister. I started to kill them by hand. Thanks because I forgot that ants likes dry areas. thanks for your help really appreciate it

  4. but, remember: boiling water wreaks havoc on bacteria and worms, too, so it depends on your tolerance and your holistic approach. Not a judgment, just an expanded view.
    Happy Gardening! Love my GrowVeg program!!!!!

  5. Many tips good to practice, and sure will help. Good video, thanks for sharing.Killing ants has to be done (sorry), they are getting inside the house and around anywhere in the kitchen. While my balcony plants when there is ants – sure aphids as well. Spray for ants..and sure …..

  6. I found this post very educational! This video presented various ways on how to control pest which is very useful to all kinds of gardeners. Through this video, I've learned how to protect and conserve my garden. You will never regret on watching this! One thing for sure is that I will truly recommend this video! 

  7. Thanks for the tips. feel free to checkout some of my gardening vids and tell me where you think I might be able to improve. Thanks

  8. Wow, unlike most videos I've been looking at this one was actually helpful. Now I know the importance of flower power

  9. Hi, I live in Costa Rica and since here is really humid and rainy some of our trees suffer from a weird kind of fungus that starts growing in the bark. Can you do a video about this other type of "pests" or any other type of harmful stuff that can affect the plants rather than insects? That's happening to our mango tree but I'm concerned that it might also affect other stuff I'm planning to plant on some pots. It haven't affect any other plants on my garden but I'm still concerned though.

  10. Someone recently suggested to a gardening group to which I belong using duct tape to remove eggs and insects from the leaves of your plants. He said it works very well, so make that one more non-standard way to use duct tape.

  11. 0.55 How does showing what I belive to be a small (cabbage) white butterfly on a leaf with white flies, demonstrate lacewings?

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