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Pest & Pesticide Free Gardens

Contributor:
Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown

Growing your own vegetables is a great money saving tip – but the cost of pesticides (to your pocket, your health and the earth) can be pretty steep.   Luckily there are eco-friendly ways to save your money and your conscience.

I’ve never been one for chemicals and sprays around the home – I always get the feeling that the fly spray is doing more to hurt me than those pesky little blow-ins.  So when it comes to spraying products full of words I can’t pronounce on the food I’m going to eat is just not something I can swallow.

On the other hand, having my investment in the garden decimated by hoards of crawling insects is not something I can afford either.  We recently planted a punnet of Wombok (chinese cabbage) only to wake up in the morning to find them completely leafless!    Our spring onion seedlings suffered a similar fate.  We’ve since discovered it was the work of cabbage moth caterpillars.

Well, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and “knowledge is power” as they say and we discovered a simple solution to keep cabbage moths from laying their eggs in the first place – egg shells!   Thanks to the Sustainable Gardening Australia website, we discovered (amongst other great tips) that these cabbage moths are territorial and when they see the egg shells, they think they’re other moths and stay away.  Well that sounds a whole lot safer and cheaper than any chemicals!

Well, it’s early days yet of course, but 3 days into the experiment our lettuce and spring onion seedlings have remained safe from harm and time will tell as to whether we win this round or not.  I’ll definitely keep you posted.

On the upside, we’re currently enjoying our crop of cos lettuce, our cucumbers are flowering madly and our tomatoes are fruiting like crazy – there’s nothing like the eager anticipation and smug satisfaction of even this small amount of self-sufficiency.

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