Have a pest problem but don’t want to use harmful chemicals or other inhumane methods? Earlier this week on ITV, I talked about eco friendly pest control tips to help you protect your garden with common ingredients found in your kitchen and home. See how many of these techniques you can apply to your garden!
Eco friendly pest control: Prevention
Sprinkle eggshells around plants
Did you know that you can use eggshells to prevent slugs and snails getting to your plants? Once you’ve used your eggs, pop the egg shells in your oven for 30 minutes to remove their slimy inner layer, then scrunch them up and place them in a ring around plants – especially young seedlings.
Spray vinegar to ward off ants
Ants can often be a worry if you house plants near your kitchen, as they are attracted to any sugary foods. Spray vinegar around the little cracks where the ants enter your home, like doorways, windows and also between the cracks in paving stones near entryways, and they’ll be put off!
It shouldn’t matter what kind of vinegar you use, but the best kind is white vinegar – and it has plenty of other uses around the house for cleaning!
Sacrifice a few potatoes
Plant potatoes around your root crops to make sure the root predators visit those and not your prized crops! You’ll see common pests such as carrot fly avoid your plants and go to the potatoes instead.
Spritz milk on your roses
A milk spray can help prevent black spot on roses. Spritz a weak milky solution onto your roses early in the spring, and this will help prevent those awful black spots and the yellowing around them on your lovely roses. Keep spritzing every few weeks during the summer as a preventative measure.
Dust chili powder on bulbs
Getting ready to plant tulip bulbs? Dust chili powder on your bulbs when you’re planting them to discourage predators such as moles, voles or rats. They’ll detect the spice and decide it’s too hot for them!
Save your houseplants with baking soda
Clean houseplants with a baking soda solution to keep them fresh and healthy. When houseplants get covered in dust, they can’t photosynthesise, so it’s important to clean off the dust to prevent them from dying! The baking soda is really effective at
Keep moles away with garlic
Deter moles with the scent of garlic. If you have molehills in your garden, lightly crush a clove of garlic and drop it down the hole. Moles will stay away from it!
You can also grow alliums nearby, which will have a similar effect, as they are from the onion family and have a garliccy fragrance.
Catch up with current affairs
Stop weeds by spreading newspaper on the border around your plants. The newspaper acts as a weed blanket whilst at the same time creating mulch around your plant and keeping moisture locked in. If you don’t like the look of the newspaper, sprinkle about half an inch of soil on top.
Scare off cats
Neighbour’s cat leaving presents in your garden? Use strongly fragranced herbs to keep him or her away from your plants. Lavender and mint are excellent for this purpose, as they’re highly perfumed and cats don’t like the scent!
Attracting the right kind of insects
Be nice to bees!
Bees are working hard all day, and when they get tired, they need to refuel quickly! Leave a shallow solution of sugar and water in a few bowls outside for bees to hydrate and regain energy.
…And be nice to butterflies!
If you’ve got some spare fruit, leave it outside for butterflies. This provides carbohydrates and other nutrients, again helping to refuel your winged friends.
Ladybirds love raisins
Aphid problem? No worries! Attract predatory ladybirds to your garden by placing raisins in ladybird feeders.
Build a hedgehog hideaway
For friendly hedgehogs, as well as insects, create a tiny wildlife sanctuary in a quiet area in your garden. This is really easy to do – just find some logs and stack them into a sturdy little fort. It doesn’t need to be big, just large enough for a cosy little hedgehog hideaway.
Feeding your garden with common ingredients
Cut banana skins into pieces and soak them in water for two weeks, then use that as a tonic for your roses. It provides them with potassium, which is shown to encourage bigger blooms.
Give your plants a calcium boost
Crushed egg shells aren’t just great for keeping snails and slugs away – they’re also a great calcium tonic for plants, encouraging strong root growth.
Turn salt into sweet
Mix Epsom salts around tomato plants to make the fruits sweeter! Once a month, mix a tablespoon of Epsom salts into water when you’re watering your tomato plants. You’ll achieve stronger plants which are earlier to ripen, and the fruits will be a lot redder and sweeter in taste.
Spread the coffee love
Used coffee grounds are a great fertiliser. Sprinkle them sparingly around the garden and they will release nitrogen, which is ideal for achieving glossier plants.
If you enjoyed these eco friendly pest control tips, leave me a comment or let me know on social media! Also, let me know if you have any great tips that work in your garden.