In the month of October we GO ORGANIC!!
But what is Organic gardening?
Well, in a nutshell: Organic gardening helps to prevent a loss of topsoil, toxic runoff, water pollution, soil contamination, soil poisoning, death of insects, birds, critters and other beneficial soil organisms, as well as eliminating pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide residues on food from synthetic fertilisers
So, why should YOU want to Go Organic in your garden?
The benefits of going organic in your garden are vast!
In addition to helping improve the environment and decreasing the chances of accelerated disease in your family, going organic can provide mental and physical benefits, long-term money-savings, and increased vitamin and mineral content in your soil, among other things.
Cape Garden explore a few aspects of Organic gardening:
The use of CHEMICAL PESTICIDES in the garden:
Although chemical pesticides are widely used in the home garden, it seems that the complete reliance on chemicals is no longer a feasible approach to pest control for the following reasons:
The major disadvantage which continues to erode the effectiveness of conventional insecticides is the ability of the pests to develop resistance to the pesticides being used over and over again.
Secondary Pest Problem:
Even chemicals which are effective against specific pests often kill or interfere with beneficial insects and other organisms. The situation created then allows an insect (not the usual pest, but another insect taking advantage of the available food) to rapidly increase in number since no predators are in the field to prevent the population explosion. Sometimes the resulting damage is greater by the secondary pest than by the pest originally targeted!
So, before you run for the pesticide, rather run through these first:
Identify the pest – not all insects are pests!
Establish a correct level of acceptable damage.
Control the nastiest pests, diseases and weeds by acting early, before the problem gets out of hand!
If spraying is the only option, start by using an organic product first. If it doesn’t work, escalate to stronger.
Record results to use in future strategy – preventative measures require planning ahead
The beneficial insect you WANT in your gaden:
How about helping nature take its course?
Let the beneficial insects in your garden sort out the problem - instead of reaching for toxic pesticides!
There's a saying in the gardening world that goes: ”The more you spray, the more you HAVE to spray”.
And unfortunately it's not completely an old wives tale!
Did you know that in nature, predators breed more slowly than their prey. Imagine how many lions there would be in the game parks if they bred as quickly as impala or springbok! The same law applies in the insect world.
Take for example ladybirds which feed on aphids. When you spray your roses, you'll certainly get rid of the aphids, but you also kill all other living creatures on the bush.
For a while you'll have no problems, but because of their shorter life cycle, the aphids will return before the ladybirds. So you need to spray again, perhaps wiping out more ladybirds and other friendly insects. And so the cycle continues.
You see what you've actually done is to remove the aphids natural predator from the food chain, and created an ecological imbalance. Try to find out a little more about the pests and their predators, and look for natural ways to control the problem. But if you must spray, do it in a responsible way. Spray only the affected plant, and follow the instructions very carefully.
Note: Beneficial insects you WANT to have in your garden:
Ladybugs, honey bees, lacewings, praying mantis, just to name a few.
Insect traps: Instead of using chemical treatments designed to eradicate garden pstes, you can use traps in the garden to reduce the number of
pests to an acceptable level without upsetting the balance of nature.There are many ideas for home-made organic traps for all sorts of destructive insects on the internet available.
Like the plastic soda bottle trap for mozzies. It consists of sugar, water and yeast. Easy to make and safe for all – except the mozzies of course!
Product Cape Garden stocks: Eco Trap-A-Roach: Pesticide free, safe and easy, contains roach bait and sticky tape. Bait consists of food ingredients and contains no pheromonal substances. R109.95
Gardeners have noticed for generations that some plants appear to have a direct effect on others growing near them. In some cases the effect is beneficial, but in others it might be detrimental. Roses for example seem to be more sweetly scented and less prone to disease when surrounded by garlic, and less troubled by aphids when lavender is grown underneath them.
You can take it a step further and do mixed planting – especially in your veggie garden:
Plants of different species, when grown together, compete less with each other than those of the same species, and make it more difficult for pests and diseases to spread. Planting broad beans and potatoes together can increase the yields from both crops.
Also plant onions with carrots to confuse both onion flies and carrot fies, and French beans with members of the cabbage family to keep away their respective pests.
Any member from the Allium genus planted beneath an apple tree will reduce attack on the fruit from scab and other fungal diseases.
(Source: Reader’s digest: 100 hints and tips for your garden)
Controlling the malicious MOLE organically:
Note: If you can tolerate their burrows, moles will eliminate many insects while aerating your soil.
Dig a trench roughly 15cm wide and 60cm deep. Fill it with rock or line it with wire to prevent burrowing pests from invading garden areas.
Natural garlic repellents work well to keep burrowing animals from lawns, gardens and other planting areas. Apply when tunnels or cone shaped mounds appear in soil.
Product Cape Garden stock:
Mole Repellent (Efekto) @ R139.95 (100ml)
Ultra sonic devices produce a penetrating sonic pulse that drives underground rodents crazy. Pets won’t be affected but moles find the noise irritating and move to quieter surroundings.
Product Cape Garden stock:
The Solar Moler:
A 100% eco friendly product. It’s powered by solar energy and is safe and easy to use. The device keeps moles and other rodents away from the garden or lawn by using both sonic and vibration technology at 30 second intervals. It’s effective for a 500 to 600 square meter area. R429.95
If environmental and personal health are the two main benefits of organic gardening, what else do you really need to hear to GO ORGANIC in your garden?