|Gardening the natural way can be a little difficult when it comes to controlling bugs and insects in the garden.
In a natural veggie garden we do not want to kill every insect that may inhabit our garden. Some insects such as Australian native and European honey bees are most welcome. There are many others we could list such as some of the Lady Beetle family.
When we are confronted with an insect imbalance there needs to be some natural non synthetic chemical way of getting things back into balance.
In an Aquaponics garden we need to be very careful because anything we apply to the plants will affect the fish and vice versa.
We should be aware that natural alternative treatments are not necessarily always safer than synthetic chemical sprays. This can be the case for the fish, plants, beneficial insects and humans, so some care needs to be exercised when using a treatment that you have not used before...
When using a pest control measure consider the following.
Wear disposable gloves
Eye protection may be a good idea.
Wash out containers and sprayers after use.
Store any home made mixture in glass bottles clearly labeled and dated.
Store sprayers and bottles of treatment fluid well away from the reach of children.
Most alternative pest control mixtures work by direct contact, so you will need to make sure that you achieve good surface coverage. This may require you to spray the effected plant from several different angles such as the front, back and each side of the plant.
If using a new remedy test your plant by applying some of your mixture to some of the lower leaves first, wait a few days to see if there is any damaging reaction by the plant. Once you have tested the mixture it can be used with confidence.
It is not a good idea to spray foliage when the temperature is above 28 deg and if the weather is particularly dry as leaf burn may occur.
Be aware that natural remedies may not completely eradicate a particular pest. Natural remedies should be seen as control mechanisms rather than cure -alls.
Here are a few ways we can control some of the more common garden pests.
There are commercially made garlic sprays. If you choose to use a comercially prepared garlic spray check to make sure that the mixture does not contain other additives such as pyrethim or piperonyl butoxide as these are very harmful to the fish.