Did you know that insects sense vibrations? Rather than looking at your plants and thinking ‘mmm, they look tasty’, they instead feel the vibration of your plant to determine whether it is healthy or not.
If your plant is struggling, weak or diseased, it will have a much lower frequency vibration than a plant that has great health and a strong cell structure. When insects feel the lower vibration, they will lay their eggs on that plant and the plant will become a host for their eggs to grow. This is why infestations can occur at hatching time. They are attracted to the lower vibration. Nature always preys on the weak – it is nature’s way.
So how do you ensure your plant has a high-frequency vibration that repels insects? With great soil health – which in turn nourishes your plant and supports production.
It all starts in the soil, HEALTHY SOIL = HEALTHY PLANTS. Also remember what grows in your area at each given time of year, with the given climate you have to work with. Now as the climate changes, we are seeing we must adapt what plants we grow. Some plants may no longer be suitable for your areas due to climate change, so it is better not to fight against nature with this and suffer disappointment – change the mindset and embrace the new things you will be able to grow.
Top tip: If buying a plant from a nursery or garden centre, it is imperative to check the plant carefully and really look into the plant itself and under the leaves for any sign of disease or insect presence. You don’t want to make the mistake of introducing a problem you didn’t already have by choosing the wrong plant, so this is really critical. Plants are typically weakened by travelling from their nursery to the garden centres and so it is easy for them to fall prey to one of these along the way…
It is also good to check to make sure the plant isn’t root-bound in the pot. By this, I mean that the roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot or round and round in the pot which is an indicator that they have been in the pot way too long and they have become stunted in growth, thus making them more susceptible to pest and disease.
I strongly encourage you all to get to know your plants. Over this summer period in NZ, I have received many messages about whitefly infestations in kale and what to do about it.
My advice would be to use nature. This is a host plant in summer for your whitefly and they will stay on this plant, so simply let it become a sacrificial plant. The ladybirds will love you forever – they lay their eggs in here and their nymphs will munch their way through about 1,000 whitefly per day.
Learning to understand nature is very, very important to the organic gardener and remembering that there is a reason for everything.
Over the following months I will be sharing advice on beneficial plants and insects with you and how they can revolutionise your garden. I am very keen to hear from you if you live outside NZ about your beneficial plants and insects, so please drop me a line.