By now you’ve probably heard about Organic gardening,
...but not entirely sure what the benefits are?
Well, in a nutshell:
Organic gardening helps to prevent 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.
...Yes! You can eliminate all of the above by simply choosing Organic alternatives (instead of chemicals and poisons).
....there’s actually more!
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.
So, 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?
Cape Garden explores 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 insects you WANT in your garden:
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 aphid’s 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.
Beneficial insects you WANT to have in your garden:
...Ladybugs, honey bees, lacewings, praying mantis...just to name a few.
Instead of using chemical treatments designed to eradicate garden pests, 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!
*Organic products Cape Garden stocks:
With a bigger demand for organic products, we now stock a large range of organic alternatives.
....Come have a look!
Some of the organic products we stock:
*Eco Snail & Slug trap (Efekto) @ from R119.95
*Ludwig’s Insect spray @ R129.95 (200ml)
*Organicide plus @ R79.95 (100ml) – Mahkro Home & Garden
*SK Eco oil @ R49.95 (100ml) – Makhro Home & Garden
*Eco Trap-A-Roach (Efekto) @ R119.95 (5)
*Margaret Robert’s Organic Fungicide @ R89.95 (100ml)
(Photos: Cape Garden)