Happy Earth Day!
Over the past number of years, many municipalities across Canada have gone completely herbicide and pesticide free. Although commendable, the legislation does pose a problem for gardeners. In other years, when weeds started to poke through the soil, it was really easy to pick up a bottle of one caustic chemical or another and zap the living daylights out of it in seconds. Ahh … convenience.
Whether you’re into container gardening or something a little more involved, there are tried and true organic methods of dealing with weeds and pests. Most of them do require you to spend a lot more up-close-and-personal time with your plants. But there are a myriad of benefits: better health (our own and that of the plants themselves), more good bugs warding off the bad ones and more birds gracing the environment.
Here are some tips to help you get control over the wildlife munching in your garden.
• Choose native varieties of plants. These have built-in defences against pesky marauders.
• Use barriers. Cut the top and bottom of cans and slide it over the top of the plant. Slugs and cutworms won’t be able to scale the cans steep and slippery sides.
• Encourage a healthy population of good bugs (like spiders, wasps and beetles) because they prefer to dine on insects that typically destroy plants (like aphids and mites). They like to live wherever there’s a variety of flowering plants.