Gardening with Nature
Gardens are special places where, as gardeners, we’re privileged to get up close to the natural world. But gardening with nature also makes you realize how precious it is. Our impact on the planet is well documented and it’s up to us to adopt more environmentally conscious ways of living. Growing your own food’s a great start, but how you grow it makes a big difference.
As new young growth becomes evident, so will many gardening pests!
Companion planting is an ideal way to naturally deal with pests. Nasturtiums are an attractant and can also be made into a natural insecticide for aphids, red spider, scale and mealy bug. Planting them amongst your vegetables draws the aphids away.
RECIPE - Pour 500 ml boiling water over 2 handfuls of fresh Nasturtium leaves and allow to draw for 15 minutes. Dilute 10 drops Nasturtium “tea” in one litre water for aphids and red spider and 150 ml “tea” in 2,5 litres water for scale.
Herbs that repel pests:
- Ants - feverfew, mentha varieties, rue
- Flies - artemesia, feverfew, lemon verbena, marigolds, mentha varieties, rue and tansy
- Fleas - artemesia, catmint, lavender, rosemary, tansy.
- Aphids - catmint, feverfew, lemon verbena, lavender and tansy
- Ticks - artemesia, catmint, lavender, marigolds.
- Slugs and snails - feverfew, marigolds.
- Mosquitoes - artemesia, mentha varieties, rue.
- Whitefly - lemon verbena, lavender and tansy.
- Mice and rats - lavender.
- Mealy bug - tansy.
- Moths and fish moths- artemesia and lemon verbena.
If you choose to use pesticides try to be a responsible pest controller:
Do’s and Dont’s
- Do identify the pest/disease (our team can help you if you bring a photo or a leaf showing the pest or damage).
- Do consider using organic pesticides or homemade remedies (see our point-of-sale)
- Do read the instructions on pesticide labels and pamphlets carefully
- Do wear protective equipment like masks
- Don’t spray when it is about to rain or in windy conditions
- Don’t spray in open flowers – this will harm bees
- Don’t pour leftover pesticide down the drain. It will eventually end up in our rivers
Bees will only thrive if they have access to a diversity of flowering plants throughout the year so you our loyal customers are helping them not only with your beautiful gardens but also when you purchase any plants listed in their brochure, we will make a donation to this good cause. You can also consider donating a hive for their relocated bees.
WATER-WISE GARDENING – it is very necessary to become more conscious of ways to conserve water. Mulching reduces evaporation and the need for frequent watering during dry spells and if it is spread in sufficient depth (3 cm), it will smother most weed seeds. When planning your garden, group plants that require similar water and shade requirements. We also have coir blocks which you can soak in water - they swell 16x their weight and then you can mix it into your garden beds or containers.