Properly cultivated, healthy plants defend themselves against pests and diseases. Interestingly, as recently as 100 years ago, very little attention was paid in horticultural textbooks to attempts to control diseases or how to get rid of pests. The advice was mainly about correct cultivation, fertilization and nursing. Much information on this subject appears in new publications. Why? Because there is actually more organisms we call pests or pathogens.
Nature’s reaction to our mistakes
It is often nature’s reaction to various unfavourable changes, or even violations of the laws of nature by humans in the environment in which they farm. As a result of not very well understood progress, connected with many years of crop chemistry and plant protection. Also often the breeding of new varieties, systems of cultivation, care, we have so strongly destroyed biodiversity, violated harmony that nature defending itself against further violation of its rights, sends in a way into battle organisms, which we call pests and pathogens. Their task is to bring the environment back into balance by removing the weakest elements.
In this case, unfortunately, these are the plants grown by man, in a sense the most delicate and least adapted to a self-dividing life in the garden, in the field, etc. The above mentioned determination of the causes of pests and diseases also allows us to determine in which direction the gardener’s actions should go, so that the garden and the plants are more resistant to threats and thus healthier. Removing mistakes requires time, perseverance and above all a change in thinking, looking at the garden and nature. This is extremely difficult for modern man.
12 Ways to get rid of pests through appropriate cultivation:
- Choose old, native, resistant varieties. They are a little less efficient, but they resist diseases and pests much better, making them ideal for an organic garden. It’s not a question of returning completely to the original species, but to those that were still commonly grown in the early 20th century. At that time, protective treatments were really something very rare. Of course, new non-intensive and resistant varieties can also be used sensibly.
- Let’s give up monocultures i.e. identical plant areas of the same species. Instead of monocultures you should plant different plants next to each other.
- Coordinate crops, i.e. plants of different species growing side by side, are the easiest way to bring diversity into your garden. You can differentiate between strip crops, a system of leaving individual plants among specimens of another species, or releasing self-seeded vegetables or flowers in places not theoretically intended for them.
- Good neighbours. The principle of maintaining biodiversity is supported by the proper selection of plants that are good neighbours and avoiding plants that are bad neighbours. This is a natural way to reduce the occurrence of diseases, pests and even weeds.
- Leave weeds where they don’t interfere with cultivation (on paths, under trees, shrubs).
- Create places where plants grow wild (the so-called St. Francis rule). It was him who, centuries ago, advised the gardeners to leave the garden fragments to nature and not to cultivate them.
- Let us carry out care treatments (cutting and natural fertilization), taking into account the sun and lunar rhythm, that is in accordance with moon phases.
- Sow the seeds of traditional plants, from which the gardener will be able to collect the seeds and then sow them again.
- Let’s plant fruit trees of old varieties and with high natural crowns is the easiest way to protect against many fungal diseases.
- Let’s attract as many useful insects, animals, amphibians, reptiles and other living organisms as possible into our garden. This can be achieved by choosing the right plants in your garden, e.g. planting herbs, aromatic plants. Also growing plants throughout the entire development cycle, e.g. carrots are grown in the second year so that they bloom and give out seeds. This in turn causes a lot of insects to come to its flowers. Some insects will also live in her canopies, where the seeds are.
- Let’s leave the dying plants in the garden. Both in the form of abandoning the weeds that have been torn out on the beds and leaving some plants to die naturally and remove the remains at a later time than the practice of the conventional
- Simpler tools. When running an ecological, traditional garden, it is worth looking at it with a more gracious eye and using simple gardening tools more often. An example of this can be the abandonment of the use of mechanical mowers (especially rotary mowers), which reduce the number of insects and small animals when mowing grass. Ideally, if possible, replace them with hand mowers and mowers.
Running a biodiverse garden
By running a biodiverse, ecological garden, we have a guarantee that our crops will be the most biologically valuable and healthy. Besides, we will eat them calmly, because we know perfectly well how vegetables, fruits and herbs were grown and harvested. If we followed ecological rules, such food will increase the preventive value of our diet.
In addition to getting rid of pests it is also important that by cultivating an organic garden, we protect the family. By maintaining biodiversity, we are saving many species of dying plants and animals.
We also protect our environment and climate, because in a biodiverse garden the circulation of matter is correct – as it happens in nature. Importantly, we don’t destroy nature by introducing artificial fertilizers, which often use huge amounts of energy, consume a lot of oil, emit carbon dioxide and many other toxic substances, and so on.