Preventive pest control should be the gardener's goal as we continue in the gardening season. Non-toxic pest control in the home garden starts with keeping the bad bugs at bay and the attracting those that are good for the garden. This is the practice of organic gardening pest prevention.
Cultural Practices of Organic Pest Control
Sanitation in the garden is an important practice to keep bad bugs away. Clean up all left over plant remains and especially diseased plant material. If a plant appeared to have a disease last year, leave the spot bare or plant with a crop from a different family. Remove any debris that might prove a good place for pests to hide.
Identify Bugs in the Garden
Many books and websites exist that make it easy to identify the bugs you see in the garden. Organic pest control cannot be effectively practiced without some knowledge of which bugs are good and how to keep the bad bugs away.
Be aware of symbiotic relationships in the garden. When ants congregate on certain plants they are often happily feeding while warding off pests that would bring destruction to the host plant.
Plantings to Attract Beneficials and Deter Pests
Plant the right flowers and herbs to repel bad bugs and encourage good bugs and pollinators to stay in residence for organic pest control. Seemingly endless lists of plantings exist to invite beneficial insects to the garden. Marigolds, cilantro, dill, chives and dahlia are included in this diverse group and often repel the pests. Fragrant herbs such as lavender and rosemary repel some pests. Border the vegetable garden with plants such as these, providing non-toxic pest control without chemical intervention.
Consider the organic pest control that is already available in the garden before spraying or treating for pests, even organically. Microorganisms exist within the soil that are beneficial to the garden. The summer garden is alive with butterflies, bees and thriving flowers, herbs and vegetables existing without chemical controls of any kind.