We often get asked for gardening tips, so have decided to do a weekly post describing things we do to keep our garden going well with little effort.
I’ll collate them on this page.
You’ll often see Lavender in our garden
Folks visiting our garden often ask about pests and how we control them.
Our yearly pests include Slugs, Earwigs, Peach Slugs and Leaf Curl. We don’t seem to get much of anything else…just the occasional aphids or a quick attack of Whitefly in the aquaponics. We’ve had others but they don’t stay long enough to do any damage.
One of the reasons for the lack of pest bugs is good plant nutrition and dense, varied planting so that the bad bugs don’t get a foothold.
The other thing that I put our lack of pests down to is our extensive use of the Mint Family, Lamiaceae or Labiatae.
Bundles in trees and on the ground
We have them everywhere and grow them near all of our Citrus.
There’s Lavender, Rosemary, Oregano, Cut Leaf Mint to name a few. They are tough and vigorous and flower prolifically, attracting lots of predatory insects like Hoverflies and Ladybirds which get stuck into the pests before they get out of control.
Lavender and Rosemary are so fast and densly growing that we are often hacking them back just to make space. So that the cuttings don’t go to waste, I bundle them up and put them in tree branches and near new plants where the evapoirating oils deter pests. That’s why you’ll often see bundles hanging or strewn around the garden – pest control.
We also encourage small birds into the garden. They live to snap up the bad guys, although some do like to eat our chooks grain. I know that seed eaters aren’t always insectivores but it’s hard to keep one kind out and encourage the others in.
We also grow Marigolds and Mustards around the place, pretty well at random. Both plants grow quickly and their roots excrete chemicals that kill off bad Nematodes and Eelworms. Its called biofumigation.
There is one final way that we keep pests to a minimum. That is to eat or share the plants before they are noticed.
That’s the best way I my books.