Are you tired of deer using your garden as their personal restaurant and reducing your yields?
Is your garden overrun by pests like aphids, mites, and slugs?
Have cockroaches, ant or flies taken over your house?
Do you need some help with wasps and birds?
Is it impossible to enjoy a good night's sleep or a night out on your porch because of mosquitoes?
Many people will turn to chemical sprays to get rid of these troublesome pests. But did you know that using chemicals is just as much a danger to you as it is to the pests you are trying to control?
Research has shown that chemical bug sprays, insecticides, and pesticides cause long-term medical side-effects such as cancer due to their toxicity.
It's time to go natural!
Homemade Organic Pest Repellents are not just for the environmentally savvy or garden enthusiasts. It is for anyone who wants a disease and pest-free home and garden. Here, you will find reliable, effective, non-toxic, all-natural and inexpensive solutions to common home and garden pest problems.
1. Build a Healthy Organic Soil.
The best defense against pests is prevention and the only way to do that is to create conditions that do not allow for their invasion. One of the cornerstones of that is to build healthy organic soil. If you have hard, dry soil, weeds will thrive in your garden sucking up remaining nutrients, chalking up your plants and attracting insects and other predators. So how do you build healthy soil?
Test Your Soil
You need to know the general health of your soil even before you start to plant in it. Sometimes it is easy to figure if your soil is damaged. For instance, if your soil is compacted whenever you water, you will notice pools forming and that it takes time for the water to absorb. You'll have a hard time digging and plant roots, instead of going downwards will spread out sideways because the soil is too difficult for the roots to penetrate. On the other hand, healthy soil will be easily turned when digging and water will soak quite easy.
Be sure and take samples from more different parts of your garden. Gardeners who find that their soil is highly alkaline will usually increase its acidity by adding acidic components such as minded sulfur, while those who want to raise their soils PH add alkaline components like powdered limestone, kelp, soybean meal, alfalfa meal etc to their compost.
Healthy soil requires compost. Compost adds nutrients to your soil and neutralizes any excessive PH that inhibits growth. Most importantly it supports the presence of soil-building organisms such as earthworms, bacteria, fungi and nematodes who eat the waste that is composed off and excrete a rich form of fertilizer that will keep your plants healthy and vigorous.
The exact composition of your compost will depend on what is available to you as well as amendments you need to make to your soil. Organic kitchen scrap, animal/human manure, excretion, lawn clippings, and fallen leaves will usually work quite well. Most garden enthusiasts dig a compost pit somewhere within their garden or buy a compost bin where they will gradually accumulate this material and allow it to decompose. The compost needs to be turned over a few times to ensure even decomposition.
It should be applied at the end of the season. i.e. after harvesting and before planting. This is not only to ensure that your new crops have the benefit of it, but also to ensure the safety of the food you put on your table.
I know at this point you are asking what does soil, compost and gardening have to do with repelling insects and pests. :) Well in the universe everything is connected, and if you want to flow within the laws of nature you want to ensure you are aligned completely throughout. All things matter and there is work to be put in at all levels so if you are seeking to create harmony, the work is well worth the reward. In no way can you expect to simply spray a concoction and your dilemmas cease to exist. However, if you adopt this lifestyle, you will gain much more than a release of pesky pests.
Apart from compost, every garden needs mulch to help build healthy soils and control pests. As opposed to compost, mulch isn't mixed in with the soil but rather applied as a top-dressing. The layer applied, exclusively made of other plants, acts by reducing the amount of evaporation going on which means the soil remains moist all the time. It also works to modify soil temperatures depending on the season. If it is a hot summer, it will cool the soil because it reduces evaporation. If it is cold, it will insulate the plants by providing additional warmth needed by the soil to keep from hardening.
By covering the soil that is not occupied by your plants, it minimizes the growth of weeds. In fact some types of mulch host crickets and carabid beetles which actually eat weed seeds. If the weeds still manage to grow despite the untenable conditions, the mulch will deprive them of light and eventually lead to their drying out. Organic materials like straw (not hay) and leaves make the best mulch. However, for best results, try seaweed mulch.
Seaweed contains nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and iron that increase the nutrition of your soil, improve the development of your plants and gives them the ability to withstand disease. Because of its salty components, it also repels soft-body pests like snails and slugs.
When applying your mulch check and make sure that it is clean, If you notice that it has some insects, don't apply it because you'll be adding pests to your garden and compromising your plants' health. Apply a three to four-inch-thick layer. Don't be concerned about bulkiness; as the mulch dries, it will shrink. Go through your garden, pushing it away from plant stems so that your plants have some breathing room.