Organic Gardening / How to dissuade garden pests...

Although I went vegan for health reasons, there have been two unforseen side-effects:

  1. I decided to grow some of my own organic veggies, because I’m sick of buying over-priced vegetables from the supermarket.
  2. I seem to have developed a reluctance to kill animals :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, Snails are eating my tomato plants! :imp: I was going to poison them but I just couldn’t… One of them poked it’s head out of it’s shell, and waved it’s little antennae… It looked so cute… And I spent this morning reading Ghandi quotes in a t-shirt shop :unamused:

Anyway, I would be worried about the plants absorbing some of the poison, and it contaminating my tomatoes :astonished:

People have suggested putting down salt, or setting beer traps, but this would still kill the snails. :frowning: I’m almost curious to see how they get on :laughing:

There was a gardener on the radio (Gardeners’ Question Time) who was promoting organic gardening, years before it became popular. He would enter gardens in the Chelsea Flower Show, but refused to use pestcides or artificial fertilizers. The other gardeners would criticise him, for having greenfly all over his roses, etc. But by the time the competition started, some bird or bug would have eaten the pests, and his garden would be in a beautiful natural balance. 8)

Maybe I need to plant something that will attract snail-eating birds? Do certain garden layouts, or mixes of plants, promote natural balance?

I’m interested in the same topic, I currently can’t find cherries without worms in them (I mean sweet cherries) Is there a organic way of getting rid of those worms?

Hmm, we (my family) used to pick wild blackberries and sloes when I was little… We would put them in a big bowl of salted water, and leave them to soak. This draws any worms or bugs out of the fruit, and also kills any bacteria or fungus. Then you just rinse them and eat (or bake a massive blackberry pudding… :smiley: )

Do you have your own cherry tree? :cherry: I’m not sure how to prevent the worms eating the cherries… I’ve been reading a little about Companion Planting (plants that attract bugs away from your vegetables), but the recommendations are only for certain vegetables. :frowning:

I did read somewhere that you can attract birds into your garden by providing some water, even if it’s just a small bowl for them to drink. Then the birds should eat the bugs. But birds sometimes eat soft fruit too…

So one might also need a bird of prey, one which hunts for those birds which eat fruits.
Here we go.
“Watchbird” by Robert Sheckley :laughing:

I’ve been wondering how to naturally rid of bugs.
And pesky birds eating all of our strawberries…

And BigBecka, its sweet that you won’t kill the snails :smiley:
I can just imagine that snail popping its head out of its shell…

Hehe…thats me:

Birds and strawberries are (fairly) easy… you can put nets up over the stawberries :smiley: My Dad uses them: they work fairly well, though you might occasionally get a persistant bird…

Sadly, they do not stop local teenagers: they are the main pest threatening my Dad’s allotment :confused: They stole all his plums last year :laughing:

Aw, thanks Lauren :smiley: One of the snails has grown to a mighty size, and the other one appears to have gone off somewhere else… It’s been raining bucket-loads (traditional Glastonbury weekend…) so the garden is now knee-high and full of interesting bugs :slight_smile: Probably ought to mow the lawn before my landlady sees… :unamused: My tomato plants are looking quite sorry: they are being attacked by white fly now :frowning: But the parsley and chives are thriving: the chives have huge purple flowers :smiley:

How have I never heard of this author?!?! :slight_smile: I downloaded “Bad Medicine” from Project Gutenberg - it has been making me smile during a bad week :wink:

I don’t recall this one, but Sheckley is kinda notorious for his [reasoned!] sarcasm.

But wasn’t those berries salted after rinsing in salted water?

No, but my grandmother has and earlier ones are without worms, but late ones are almost all with worms. :frowning:

I also was looking for solution, but so far I only found chemical means, which I’m trying to avoid.

There are birds in the garden, we even have a starling-house build, but it doesn’t help much, may be those birds eat different kind of insects.

Ah, yes: sorry, I should be clearer! You soak in salted water, then rinse the berries (very thoroughly) with clean water. :unamused:

:frowning: Maybe you could pick the berries early, and ripen them on a windowsill? I don’t know if that would work… :dontknow:

I find this funny - Starlings are a pest over here! :laughing: Mind you, I heard that they are now rarer :frowning: I guess there are less trees? We have a bird table, but the little birds prefer to nest in the roof, away from crows - maybe I should be concerned, but it’s only a rented house, and I think they’re sweet :unamused: They’re not eating many bugs either…

Ah, I spoke to my father about the cherries (he’s a keen gardener). He doesn’t know about cherries, but there is a similar problem with plums being attacked by worms. The remedy is to grease the trunk of the tree in spring (?!?!?!) :laughing: This is because the bugs that lay eggs in the fruit cannot fly, and crawl up the trunk of the tree :unamused:

They will not have the same taste. Fruits ripen on trees are always better than fruits ripen on shelves.

By the way, what sort of cherries you grow there, sour or sweet?( we have here 2 different words for these cherries)

In the spring we lime trees for the same reason, but it doesn’t always help, even with plums.

There aren’t any cherry trees here :frowning: The south-west is quite rugged and wet. Apples and pears are grown in the more sheltered bits - lots of cider and perry! - and there are elderberries and blackberries growing wild everywhere. :smiley: Then there’s the marijuana farms in more remote areas… :laughing: When I lived in the north-east of England, the council planted cherry trees all around the housing estates. (The east of the country is better for growing most plants). They blossomed each year, and looked very pretty, but there were never any cherries worth eating. They might grow in other parts of the country… we have a pretty varied climate here :toothy2:

Anyway, we tend to refer to “black” cherries and “red” cherries. I think the “black” ones (dark red) are the sweeter ones :smiley: When I was little, fresh cherries were always expensive: I only ever ate them in cakes (glace cherries in Christmas cake and on Bakewell Tarts, and black cherries on Black Forest Gateau :stuck_out_tongue: ). Well, they’re still £2 for a small bag… Nowadays the supermarkets sell them by species: Morello cherries from Turkey and Acerolas seem popular.

Which reminds me, it’s time to start baking my Christmas Cake… 8)

I talk about food way too much… :laughing: You’re so lucky to live somewhere you can grow fresh food easily! I was talking to some Italian guys today: they were saying it made them feel ill to eat fried / starchy food all the time like the British :astonished:

The most important step in pest management is to maintain healthy soil. It produces healthy plants, which are better able to withstand disease and insect damage.Compost improves soil structure, texture, and increases the soil’s water holding capacity. It also promotes soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development.Organic pest control is a comprehensive approach instead of a chemical approach. Create a healthy biodiversity so that the insects and microbes will control themselves. Using natural products and building healthy soil is the best long-term treatment for pests. Hope this can help :smiley: