|Farming with a Difference|
|Farming with a Difference|
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Listed below are some necessary and important steps that can be taken to attain food that is free of inorganic chemical sprays.
1. KEEP PLANTS HEALTHY
Provide a vigorous planting medium consisting of a good mixture of organic material, nutrients and soil. Nutrients should be consistently replenished to help plants recover from insect attacks.
2. ENCOURAGE BENEFICIAL INSECTS
Provide appropriate environmental conditions to attract beneficial insects that prey on other organisms (pest) that are harmful to the crop. A common example is a ladybird feeding on aphids.
3. PRATICE COMPANION PLANTING
Interplant between crops, plants that deter insects.
A common example is to plant onions, chives and garlic with cauliflower and cabbage.
4. PRACTICE MULCHING
Cover the soil’s surface with organic mulches such as dried grass clippings or shredded newspaper. This practice in addition to trapping soil moisture, will deter the growth of weeds which harbor pests.
NON- CHEMICAL PEST CONTROL METHODS
Hand picking pests is one of the most underrated means of pest control. However it is one of the most effective means used to control pests. An example of this is crushing the cabbage white butterfly in its egg stage or picking the pest in its larval stage (caterpillar). However; when the population is too large, hand picking will have a low impact, and other methods can be used. These include:
Bowls containing stale beer can be placed in the garden. This would attract snails and slugs which crawl into the beer and eventually drown.
Bright yellow boards smeared with petroleum jelly or glue can be placed near pest infested plants. These insects would then be attracted to the board and be ensnared. Sticky traps can be used to catch whiteflies and aphids.
BIOLOGICAL PEST CONTROLS
This is a method used to control pests based on predation, parasitism, herbivory or other natural mechanisms. An example of such is the use of wasps to control white flies. The bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis can be used to control the cabbage worm.
NATURAL PESTICIDE SPARYS
Natural sprays can be made by mixing separately or combing, garlic, neem, hot pepper or soap with water.
Described below is an example of an organic pesticide that can be homemade.
1 garlic bulb
1 quart of boiling water
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
Finely mince the garlic and onion. Mix all ingredients except the soap and leave to stew for one hour. Add the soap and you are finished. Your spray is now ready to be used! The spray can be kept in the fridge for one week.
The recipe outlined above can also be used to create a hot pepper spray. Just change the main ingredient to hot pepper.
Do enjoy farming with a difference!