How to Control Pest and Disease in your Garden Organically

The weather is warming and the summer plants are off to a great start; some further along than others.

I often hear people ask at this time of year: “is it too late?”, “ have I missed the planting window?”

In answer to this, I feel summer is only just beginning so go for it before it gets too hot…. The ground has warmed and is ready for summer crops.

Along with the warmer weather, pests and disease arrive, bugs are hatching, insects are laying eggs and reproducing. It is a fertile time out there in the pest and disease world. It is time to be mindful in the garden and to be observant of all your plants and fruit trees.

If leaves are curling look underneath for the culprits. If you see disease, remove it to stop it spreading.

Be aware of aphids, green fly, white fly, green shield bug babies, eggs laid under leaves and general plant health. If these problems aren’t dealt to early on, they will multiply and infest your garden.

Remember that most problems arise from unhealthy plants or stressed plants, because they are easy prey for insects when the plants are vulnerable and have no defence against infestation.

Healthy soil creates healthy plants.

Plants and insects work on vibration and when your plant is in good health, it gives off a high vibration, deterring pest and disease.

Another tactic is to create a companion-planted garden to deter pests. Take calendula officinalis for example – if you plant this on the borders of your garden it will attract the white fly, green fly and greenshield bugs. The green and white fly get stuck in it and the green shield bugs will infest it and eventually cause it to die, which is when calendula acts as a sacrificial plant in the garden.

Plant marigolds, tomatoes, basil, capsicum, chilli and lettuce together as these plants are friends.

Another set of friends are corn, beans, sunflower, courgette, pumpkins and cucumbers. These plants benefit each other if planted together. Lettuce, beetroot and carrots are friendly with everything in the garden so can be planted with all things.

On another note, next week I am off on a six week food, compost and microbe adventure. I am honoured to be going to the EM (effective microbe) farm in Thailand for a personal tour and more learnings. I am buzzing with excitement for this as this is one area where my passion truly ignites. I will be bringing back and sharing my teachings.

I will be looking at composting systems on small and large scale in four different countries and exploring the way they grow their food and deal with their waste. Also I get to have a wee holiday with my Dad. I will update you along the way through my travels in Thailand, Spain, Malta and the UK.

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Happy Gardening!

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