Alternatives to Pesticides

The threat of winter frosts are finally over here in Colorado, which means gardeners can get serious. Gardening is a relaxing and fulfilling activity. It is wonderful to see a flower garden grow and bloom into something spectacular with colors shooting everywhere. A vegetable garden satisfies the hunger and the wallet. But, gardens are not all fun and games.

It is impossible to avoid the bugs and rodents that are known to invade a garden. A fence can keep out deer and if installed underground can keep out smaller, burrowing rodents as well. But a fence does nothing for bugs, which can cause an even bigger problem. Tomatoes attract a certain type of bug that kills the plant. Even after a thorough cleaning in fall, the bugs still remain because they live in the ground through the winter. If you plant the tomatoes in the same place the next year the bugs invade and kill the plants again. This is just one of the many examples of how rodents and pests are always a problem to gardens.

Pesticides are an easy fix for these problems. They spray on quickly and they are pretty much hassle-free, but they are not the friendliest for the environment. Pesticide run-off ruins the soil and can kill more than just the bugs. If seepage makes it into any sort of water source, fish and other water dwelling creatures can be affected as well. Pesticides are a major problem, but so are pests. What are you to do?

There are many natural remedies that can be used to protect your plants as well as the environment. Many different types of bugs (like Praying Mantises and lady bugs) will kill harmful bugs and leave your plants alone. There are also certain plants that pests don’t like and will keep them away. These include marigolds and chives. You can either plant these in and around your garden, or create a spray using a mixture of the leaves or petals and water. You can also use a garlic spray, but I have seen plants wrinkle when it was used. These are all environmentally friendly fixes as well as cost effective. You can always research more ideas for organically getting rid of these beasts.

That just covers the bugs, but what about those four legged friends who always seem to want to ruin your plants? Well, I just read an article from BBC about farmers in Israel using owls and other prey birds to get the rodents that enter their fields. All they are doing is building nests and attracting these birds to live near their fields. This is very cost effective and it is a very natural way to get rid of those bothersome animals. I would be curious to see if this would work in small, private gardens.

You can follow this link to learn more about the owls and prey birds in Israel –

Until next time, we hope you will comment on our blogs here the Institute of Ecolonomics, and we ask you to always think about the best things you can be doing for our planet. Have a great day!