The Gentle Gardener: Organic Pest Control
For professional gardener George Gibbs, organic gardening is a practical application of his general philosophy of treading softly. Gibbs eschews pesticides, herbicides, and killing creatures, in general. For him, human prosperity isn't separate from protecting the planet and its other inhabitants.
This week on the Green Life, we're asking Gibbs to share a few practical tips for organic gardeners.
Tip #1: Relocate and redirect pests.
If a snail or a slug is munching on one of your plants, pick it up and put it in your compost bin. According to Gibbs, whatever they eat, “they excrete compost for you. It makes sense: Put them to work for you.”
If even gloves can’t make plucking up mollusks palatable, construct a barrier. Rimming planters and beds with copper foil deters slugs, but only if the foil gets enough sunlight. Warm foil turns slugs away; otherwise, they’ll just scoot over your miniature blockade.
Whatever you do, Gibbs advises against “non-toxic” pesticides like Sluggo, which essentially makes slugs permanently lose their appetite.
For plant pests, recycle. Pile several layers of cardboard and compost to suffocate weeds.
Tip #2: Coming Soon. Check the Green Life tomorrow to learn how to deter your garden's furry guests.
Mackenzie Mount is an editorial intern at Sierra. She's cleaned toilets at Yellowstone National Park and studied sustainable cooking at The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas.
READ MORE:Mr. Green's Advice on Composting Paper
- image by istockphoto/chris2766