"getting rid of insect pests" --- poison free organic gardening Victoria BC
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poison free gardening, Victoria BC,  getting rid of insect pests


Getting Rid of Insect Pests

forgot it's name, because I haven't seen any for ages
Here we get rid of all the garden insect pests - naturally, without any poisons whatsoever, super-effectively, without lifting so much as a finger, and to top it all off, forever. The "without lifting so much as a finger", and "forever" is true - you'll see. It also doesn't cost anything.

To see one's crops devastated by insect pests, after all that work, is such a great hassle that it can rip the joy out of gardening right out of ones heart. And then to go and buy expensive poisons and douse ones crops with them - what we have grown for our tables - throws one's soul into the black hole of the macabre. I couldn't do it. Not to my family, my gardens, and to our customers. So, and instead, I turned to Mother Nature.

And Mother Nature came through with flying colours, and one hundred times better than any of our macabre poisons. Instead of a soul-searing hassle, this became one of the most and deeply rewarding joys of my gardens. Perfect, healthy, thriving crops all over the place, not an insect pest anywhere, and best of all, without really doing anything. It is impossible to describe the depth of the joy and satisfaction which came with the knowledge that everything in my gardens was as good and wholesome as only Nature can make it - for all of us, for the gardens, and for the whole fabric of Life which weaves us all into an inseparable whole.

Here then, is how: all we need to do, really, is to provide favourable conditions - that's it. And from then on everything takes care of itself. No further work, even attention, is required.

Step #1): Use a fertilizer which is derived from the sea (seaweed mulch, seaweed compost, seaweed fertilizer, fish fertilizer). This provides the 72+ trace elements all living things need to thrive and grow in robust health. This not only wipes out all plant diseases, but it also conveys very substantial insect pest resistance. Here is a little story.

As usual, I had succumbed to the irresistible charm of some new rose bushes, and at the same time, we also happened to have a small salmon which had been in the fridge a bit too long. So, I decided to plant it under one of my new rose bushes. Later that year, I was blown away by the incredible beauty of its leaves - yes, its leaves. I had bought it for its blossoms, of course, but I had never in all my life seen such perfect leaves; leaves which exuded so much health in all directions that it took my breath away. Seeing this incredibly beautiful health, I decided to try a little experiment.

Aphids love roses. And impressed no end by the perfect health of the leaves, I went a gathered some aphids from among the weeds and put them on a few leaves of this rose bush, just to see what this strapping health would do. You should have seen those aphids; they couldn't get off this rose bush fast enough. They acted as if their little feet were set on fire by the leaves and there was nothing but a mad scramble to get off those leaves as fast as they possibly could. It was marvellous.

And since we need to fertilize anyhow, we get all this without any extra work whatsoever.

Step #2) Get ahold of some wolf spiders - they are tiny (3/8 of an inch all in all) and native to coastal BC - and let them loose in your garden. Unlike most other spiders, wolf spiders do not build spider webs; instead they hunt, like wolves - hence their name - voraciously, relentlessly and mercilessly from dawn to dusk for all manner of insect pests, their larvae and eggs. And unlike lady bugs and preying mantises, they do not fly away. They stay put, and once you have them, you have them forever.

wolfspider, actual size   Wolf spiders are my all time *Star-Performers* for getting rid of practically all garden pests. All they need is a mulch for their natural habitat, and for this reason one never sees them. Tiny to begin with, and preferring to hunt out of concealment, I only saw them when I checked under the mulch to see if they are still there. And then you'll see virtual armies of them.

And mulch is such a fantastic all-around good thing that I did this anyhow; so there is absolutely no extra work entailed here either. And you don't have to lift a finger to have almost total freedom from all garden insect pests; the tiny wolf spiders do it all, and forever. One application is enough. Enough eggs and adults survived even the yearly spring plowing and rototilling (twice) to repopulate the garden in no time flat.

Step #3) Attract oodles of beneficial insects by letting one or two parsley plants go to bloom and seed in their second year. First of all, it gives you endless parsley plants all over the place as parsley self-seeds itself easily and readily from these plants. Secondly, its umbel type blossoms are just the perfect source of nectar for all manner of beneficial insects, chief among them the miniscule (about 1/50 of an inch all in all) trichogramma wasp. Dill and Fennel blossoms are also excellent sources of nectar for the barely visible trichogramma.

trichogramma wasp - Sinthya Penn/copyright Cornell University Totally harmless to people, it lays its eggs in the eggs of about 200 different garden pests. The trichogramma larvae feed and develop in these eggs over the next 7 to 14 days, hatching as adults to mate and begin their search for prey eggs in which to lay their own eggs. The adult trichogramma feeds on nectar and, since it is so incredibly small, needs a food supply near at hand to carry out its work.
No work required here at all; and you'll never ever run out of parsley in the bargain - no matter how much of it you use.

Step #4) Grow some Jerusalem artichokes, or buckwheat if you can.
Green Lacewing - Chrysopeia rufilabris/Sinthya Penn/copyright Cornell University These two plants exude extrafloral nectar on their leaves and stems, and provide a long lasting and steady source of nectar for many other beneficial insects, Lacewing larva
such as the common and green Lacewings. While the adults need nectar, pollen or honeydew to feed on in their reproductive phase, their larvae are voracious feeders on aphids, small worms, insect eggs, mites, thrips, immature whitefly, leafminers and other insects. Other than growing an easily grown gourmet vegetable, which a lot of people do anyway, there is no work required here either.

Step #5) For those who can manage it, come to a peace accord with the wasps around your place. It's easy, they won't bother you if you don't bother them. Wasps are now recognized as important predators of many insect pests, from cabbage worms to Medfly, and several kinds of wasps are now beeing reared in laboratory and commercial institutions as supremely effective insect controls. Our common Paper wasp loves cabbage worms and tent caterpillars, among many other insect pests, and the arisana wasp (Biosteres arisanus), only about 1/4 inch long, is a top predator of the Meditarranean fruit fly and Oriental fruit fly. Medflies attack more than 400 crops worldwide; oriental fruit flies pester more than 230. Let the arisana wasp do the hunting of insect pests - no work required here at all.

In summary, all of these methods do not require an iota of extra work; these are all things most gardeners do anyway, and in some cases, it's rather not doing something. And once these things are in place, you'll never have to lift as much as a finger for insect pest control. And you won't have any insect pests either. These methods are incomparably more effective than our best poisons.

Here follow a couple of things that require a bit of work, but only once.

Step #6) Put a bird bath in your garden. This attracts a lot of birds who will be all too happy to forage for insect pests in your garden.

Step #7) Encourage barn swallows around your place. Barn swallows catch insects in flight, and will patrol your gardens from dawn to dusk, and doubly so when they are raising their insatiably hungry broods, which they do twice a year, around our place. And the next year, all their kids come back too and do the same thing. I spent one afternoon making half a dozen barn swallow houses and putting them up around our place - under eves, southern exposure, and out of reach of cats. And you have the many joys of watching their kids learning to fly, as well as the incomparable satisfaction of knowing that your place and your garden are in beautiful harmony with the whole fabric of Life.

Next, we'll get into some major herbs.


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