It is a beautiful Florida morning and I have already been out tending my small garden. We were created to be gardeners and to take dominion over the earth and everything in it. I think that’s the reason most people derive great joy from seeing things grow. There is just something uniquely special about growing food for one’s sustenance that resonates deep within and connects us in a greater way with our Creator. Not to mention, the best food for your health and well being is food grown in your own yard – from garden to table in one day – that makes it nutritionally superior to any other food you could eat.
Of course with the joy of gardening comes some trials as well. Those trials frequently come in the form of pests and other little critters that like to “worm” their way in where they are not welcome. The biggest pest we have to contend with (no pun intended) is our 18 lb Siamese named Bear. Because I am concerned about using harsh chemicals to control pests I did some research on natural pest control.
The number one natural pest control of course is making sure that your soil is rich in nutrients – so before planting, enrich your soil with good organic fertilizer/manure and peat. Second best form of natural pest control are other plants – this form of pest control is called companion planting. Marigolds give off a strong fragrance that pests don’t like and also may confuse their senses making it difficult to figure out which plant they want to eat. The marigolds seems to be working so far in the garden. I also planted red onions and they too are known for being a natural pest repellant.
Additionally, I discovered that sprinkling cayenne pepper and paprika around the garden will keep pests away. So far there are no signs of critters (rabbits, armadillo, opossum or kitty cats sneaking in and chomping on the young veggies). Surprisingly, there is no evidence of bugs or caterpillars eating the veggies either.
In Florida, there are always fire ants to contend with, but I had read that citrus works to keep them at bay. So a couple times I have sprayed my citrus based All Natural Veggie Wash on the ants and their mound and it seems to at least redirect them.
If all continues to grow as planned, we should have some red onions, romaine and maybe even broccoli ready for Christmas dinner.
To your health,