Everyone loves a beautiful garden. There’s nothing a patient, loving gardener hates more than plants that get destroyed by pests and diseases, and buying noxious chemicals and pesticides are going to do more damage to you and your garden than many people realize. Natural remedies are best, in order to keep you and your plants healthy, and to keep your garden beautiful and edible (if you’re growing a food garden). Here are some naturals ways to keep your garden free of bugs and disease.
Thin Out Your Garden
Basic, physical garden maintenance is a great way to make sure your plants survive and stay healthy. We all know about pulling weeds, but another thing to concentrate on is thinning out weak, small seedlings. These smaller plants have a greater chance of becoming diseased, which they can then pass on to perfectly healthy plants. Dead branches and shoots should be removed to allow air circulation and to keep the roots free for healthy plants.
Water in the Morning
Watering at night means damp leaves – there’s no sun to promote photosynthesis or evaporate excess moisture – which means the greater potential for fungus, which can destroy your plants. You should water in the morning, since photosynthesis starts once the sun comes up. It is always best water the plant’s roots instead of the foliage itself, too. Investing in a drip hose is a good idea, to send the water right to the roots, gradually.
Bring in Good Bugs
Many pests that kill your plants will be run away by the kind of bugs that will actually help your plants thrive. Ladybugs are a huge advantage to a garden, as they eat mites, aphids and the larvae and eggs of other destructive pests. You can also bring in lacewings, mantises and parasitic wasps. You can buy these from horticultural supply companies. While chemicals are rarely a good idea anyway, you shouldn’t use any at least 10 days before releasing the new helpful insects into your garden.
Chamomile – The Anti-Fungal Tea
Fungus is a huge problem for healthy gardens, but fortunately chamomile tea has been known to be fungicidal and antibacterial. Brewing up some chamomile teabags – or a bunch of dried chamomile flowers in water gives you a simple agent for delivering to tender seedlings from the bottom. It can also be used as a spray on plants to prevent plant diseases.
Garlic Prevents Plant Disease
Another great natural remedy for plant disease is garlic. Pureeing a couple cloves of the stuff and adding a quart of water and 1/8 teaspoon of liquid soap makes a concentrate for applying to plants. Mix 1 part of this concentrate with 10 parts water, put it in a spray bottle, and use it on the tops and undersides of the leaves of your unhealthy plant. Make sure to spray carefully, though, and avoid any beneficial bugs or their larvae, so that you don’t damage their development.