If you’re keen to keep things natural and organic in your veg patch, then have a read of these top tips.
- Know your enemy! Learn which pests are most likely to be a problem in your plot and how you can prevent them. Talk to neighbours – the chances are that if they have problems with cabbage whites, or flea beetles, then you will too. Then work out what you can do to prevent the common pests from getting at your plants. Netting and fleece are often easy ways to protect your plants, but there are other tricks too, like brassica collars (pictured) and garlic sprays.
- Source organic compost/mulch – remember, everything starts with the soil, and the fewer nasties that you bring into your plot with compost and mulch, the better. You’d be surprised at how many things can creep in. We’ve heard of surprising additions to the veg plot via horse manure laden with equestrian rubber and so on. Ideally you would make your own compost – it’s such a sustainable practice, and so easy to do. If you’re short on space, consider a small worry instead. By making your own compost, you’re in control of what goes in it and you can be sure there are no nasties there!
- Use companion planting – planting lots of companion plants and wildflowers is a good way to bring beneficial wildlife into your plot which in turn will help you to keep on top of pests.
- Make natural feeds – you can easily make nettle feeds, or comfrey feeds to add nutrients to the soil and give your plants a bit of a boost. Simply soaking lots of nettles or comfrey leaves in a bucket of water overnight will provide you with a great feed to use, and any soaked leaves can be fished out and added to the compost pile.
- Keep your plot tidy – by this, we mean free of debris that provides hiding places for slugs. It can be very tempting to turn to slug pellets when they’ve eaten all your carrot seedlings, but if you can keep slug damage to a minimum by reducing their numbers naturally, then so much the better.