Tips for Organic Bug Control for Flowers

Every flower garden is home to a multitude of bugs, most of which actually benefit the gardener. A healthy flower garden will have a balance of insect life consisting of both bad and good bugs. Between the insects themselves and other predators such as birds, snakes and rodents a well balanced flower garden is capable of looking after itself. The gardener must also realize that nature is not perfect, if you want perfect grow plastic flowers. In others words gardeners may need to lighten up a bit. Practicing the following garden habits will help you create a healthy natural garden environment.

Keep Your Garden Clean

Remove weeds, dead or diseased leaves and garden clippings to reduce those areas in which insects like to breed. This also reduces the possibilities of plant disease. In return you will grow healthier plants which will be resistant to disease. When plants take ill garden insects quickly make note and prepare to attack.

Water Less

Plants that are slightly under watered develop a tougher outer layer to protect themselves from loss of moisture. This tougher layer is less bug appealing than tender juicy stems.

Keep Your Soil Healthy

To have a healthy flower garden you must have healthy soil. One of the best ways to enrich your soil with organic matter is by composting and digging your home made gold into your soil. You can also grow cover crops such as winter rye or clover. Let your green manure crop grow for 6-8 weeks then till back into your soil. Only use natural additives to your soil such as organic fertilizers or manures so you do not upset the natural elements and pH of your soil. Once lost this can be very hard to get back. Organic additives will also help keep the texture of your soil favorable for plant health.

Plant Tough Plants

Some flower varieties and cultivars are naturally more resistant to pests and disease than others. With so much plant breeding going on many of the newer cultivars have lost the natural defenses of their wild ancestors. When choosing plants for your garden pick those that are noted for their resistance to disease. If a particular flower variety always takes ill in your garden, get rid of it and plant something else more suitable.

Use Row Covers

This works best in the cutting flower garden which is planted in rows. There are several horticultural fabrics available which create a physical barrier between your plants and garden pests. Individual plants can also be protected this way.

Modern Ultrasound

These small electronic devises use radio type sound waves to chase your bugs away. Although humans hear nothing, the sound emitted by the devises is not agreeable to many insects.

Use Soap Sprays

Often a simple blast of water from the hose will rid a plant of insect pests. If you need something stronger use a simple soap spray. Soap sprays are safe and effective on aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, spittlebugs and grasshoppers. Use 3 TB of Ivory Snow laundry soap to 1 GAL of water and apply with a hand sprayer.

Use Garlic/ Pepper/ Herb or Tea Sprays

These sprays work because bugs are quite particular to the taste of their food. To make an infusion place your fresh or dried garlic or herb in a glass jar and add boiling water Let steep into a tea for a few minutes then strain and use in a hand sprayer. If you add 1 TSP of dishwashing liquid to your solution it will stick to the plant leaves better.

The use of harsh chemical insecticides and pesticides is never the answer.They cause huge environmental problems and usually are not long term solutions.

About Kathleen Casiano

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