Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Pest Control for the Garden
Homes With Gardens: Maintaining or Just Starting Out
Homes may come in all shapes and sizes, including the front and backyards, but a garden can be fit into just about any sized space. You may have purchased a home with prior landscaping or you may just be starting out on the journey of creating your own privately maintained garden. Either way, there are a few things you’ll need to consider as you head into the spring planting season.
First, are you growing a garden just to improve the look and feel of your yard, or are you looking to eat what comes out of the garden? Regardless, you will want to consider sustainable pest control to keep your lawn, flowers, plants, and trees safe from harm and without causing harm to animals, birds, or the environment. Read on to learn more about how to do just that.
Raised Garden Beds: An Easy Homemade Solution
Garden boxes or beds made of sustainable wood are ideal for growing plots of vegetables and flowers. They keep out pathway weeds, provide good drainage, prevent soil erosion during heavy rains, and act as a natural barrier to pests like slugs and snails. They also make for the perfect DIY garden project. You can find out more benefits to raised beds from Eartheasy.
Where to Shop for Sustainable Garden Products
It may be difficult to find sustainable garden products at your local hardware or garden supply store as so many products contain toxic chemicals these days. A great indoor and outdoor broad-spectrum insect control product that’s easy to use is diatomaceous earth, which is a natural mineral that kills fleas, ants, and cockroaches within days but is safe for children and pets.
Again, the online store at Eartheasy.com has many solutions for sustainable living, and may be a good option for the aspiring organic gardener. You can find safe, non-toxic outdoor pest control products on their site.
Beware the Homeowner’s Association: Rules You May Need to Follow
There are always rules to follow when you’re under the umbrella of an HOA, or Homeowner’s Association. After all, you’re not writing that extra check each and every month to have them avoid checking on you, your home, and yes, even your garden.
It may pay in the long run to run any significant changes you have planned for your house or garden by your HOA before beginning a new project. It’s not unusual, for example, that exterior paint colors need to be approved to preserve the look and feel of the neighborhood.
Likewise, flowers, shrubs, plants, trees, and vegetable gardens may add or detract from the exterior look and feel of the community, and may thus be subject to the same scrutiny. The last thing you want is for the HOA to remove your plants or reprimand you for not using safe, environmentally friendly or pet friendly products on your garden.
The Case for Dogs and Cats: Pet Friendly Garden Products
Keep in mind your four-legged friends when picking the right pest control products for your garden. Dogs and cats like to roam free, and toxic chemicals on plants they might be sniffing or trying to chew on could make them sick.
There are pet friendly products available, such as bottled coyote urine. This product incites a fight or flight response in small animals, and marks your garden an “active predator territory,” thus keeping rats, rabbits, and raccoons from feasting on your garden. Most importantly, it is also safe for pets.
You may not want to spray it on your growing food, but you can create a perimeter to protect your garden and your pets from invasion by predators and pests.
Non-GMO Food: Safe Garden Pesticides for Human Consumption
Surprisingly, homeowners use about three times the amount of pesticides compared to farmers. Because of this, it’s important to use safe pesticides for your lawn and garden, as most wildlife poisonings and surface water contamination actually comes from single-family homes.
There are safe homemade sprays you can make at home with ingredients you may already have in your kitchen that will deter or kill insects, pests, or fungus and mildew. One example is mixing one tablespoon of canola oil and a few drops of Ivory soap in a quart of water to smother mites, aphids, or other soft-bodied insects.
We all have a great responsibility to our families, neighbors, pets, wildlife, and to the environment in general to use safe methods of keeping a healthy, chemical-free garden. Before the spring and summer planting seasons begin, make sure to put some extra time and research into maintaining an environmentally safe garden with these and other pest control tips – the planet will thank you for it!
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