Having your own garden is a great way to help the environment. It means that you are able to grow plants and trees which will help to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, it means that you provide a habitat and food for the local wildlife, and it may even mean that you can grow your own fruits and vegetables. It is also a great testament to going green and one that you can use to make others see the appeal of going green.
However if you really want to go green by having a garden then that means gardening in a certain way – by going organic. Using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers might seem like a good way to keep your garden healthy, but ultimately they can find their way into our diet and harm the local wildlife. The question is then, how do you go about preventing slugs and aphids from eating your plants when you don’t have any chemicals in your arsenal? Following are some suggestions that will show you how to do just that, and how to take advantage of the natural ecosystem to kill off bugs and other pests.
Make a Ladybird Garden
By attracting ladybirds to your garden you can get rid of aphids, simply because the ladybirds will eat them. To attract ladybirds just create a small patch for them called a ‘ladybird garden’ – a small square that you keep moist and where you let the grass grow long. You can also buy ladybird houses which are designed for the same purpose and either will help you go green and avoid aphids.
Use Egg Shells
Another pest is slugs, but slug pellets are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to harmful pesticides. Much safer, better for going green (and not to mention cheaper) way of avoiding slugs is to use broken egg shells and to scatter these around your plants. This works because the slugs can’t crawl over the sharp shells. And if that wasn’t good enough for you your plants will also benefit from the calcium and protein in the shells. Alternatively diatomaceous earth is also sharp and can kill off slugs in the same way.
Hedgehogs will also help you out by eating the slugs and other insects. You can encourage hedgehogs by leaving a little milk outside in a bowl for them to drink. They’re also cute to watch and you’ll be going green by giving them somewhere safe to eat and drink.
Use Beer Cans
If your hedgehogs and egg shells aren’t enough, then you can also use an almost empty can of beer. The smell attracts slugs and snails, but when they go in they’ll quickly die from alcohol poisoning.
Good old sodium will kill off cabbage worms, spider mites, slugs and snails.
You can make a spray for aphids by mixing a bit of garlic, water, soap and oil. The soap will help it to stick to the plants, while the oil will smother the aphids and the garlic will repel them. Then just spray this on your plants as you would a normal pesticide from time to time.
Use ‘Companion Planting’
Anyone who’s interested in going green via their garden should look into companion planting techniques. Essentially these involve putting plants together that can look after each other – for instance by planting garlic plants next to others you can repel both aphids and blue beetles.