We devoted a great deal of effort to compiling a list of plants to flower in spring, summer and autumn. They're chosen to be attractive to pollinators, and "easy to grow", without the use of pesticides.
Do not use pesticides
Here are some tips compiled by our members for controlling pests:
- Use boiling water on ants
- Garlic kills aphids - spray plants with water infused with garlic powder
- Pick/scrape off the eggs of black and green fly when they appear, use Diatomaceous Earth for both - plus much more - attract ladybirds to eat green fly
- Put out trays of vinegar (weighted down with stones) to deter cats
- To get rid of honey fungus (which is more common in trees) remove the affected shrub and burn everything after digging down a metre
- To reduce the risk of mildew, prune plants so that air can circulate freely throughout them, but don't compost anything already affected as doing that would only cause the mildew to spread
- To deter slugs, use copper (from stripping old wires) egg shells, hair, Vaseline, wool - or attract hedgehogs!
The overwhelming advice from organic gardeners and institutions is to follow good gardening practice to avoid problems with pests in the first place. Use traps and barriers such as collars around plants: collars work well around cabbages. Crop rotation is an essential practice - don't always put plants in the same place each year because bugs get into the soil and wait for the next crop. Use covers, mesh and cloche to minimize airborne attacks. Make sure there is a reasonable gap between seeds: overcrowding causes infestations to take hold. Use rubber lining for tree planting. Burn plants affected by mildew: donít compost them as that spreads the mildew. Buy rust-resistant varieties to avoid rust infestation. Never water the leaves of a plant. Neem oil from India has been fairly successful against the spider mite. One organic method of pest control is to use a seaweed mixture.
There's a wealth of information available about "green" weed control - here are a couple of suggested books:
- Controlling weeds without using chemicals, by Jo Readman, HDRA/Search press
- How to enjoy your weeds, by Audrey W. Hatfield
To kill weeds in cracks, pour salt on them, then boiling water, or use a mechanical device such as a weed wizard or a twist weeder, or an electronic one such as a weed sweeper, or a manual one, such as a weed knife.
Remember: Prevention and planning are better then cure - techniques like Companion Planting to attract other insects and wildlife such as birds are much better for all living things, including you, your children and your grandchildren; it is future generations who will inherit the planet - let's do as much as we can to halt the current poisoning of the Earth and prevent total ecocide.