Organic pest control options

A few simple and easy tricks to turn your little organic garden into a brag-worthy harvest!

Even small gardens are a great way to supplement your pantry with fresher foods. But what do you do when the squirrels and pesky creatures come a-knocking, or your kale needs just a bit of extra TLC? If you’ve planted an all-organic garden, you might not want to stray off the chemical-free path with pesticides and fertilizers. So here are a few things that will help your vegetables stay beautiful and taste great:

Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper won’t hurt your plants but it will keep many small animals away. Every few days, sprinkle about ¼ cup of cayenne pepper throughout your garden. It gets washed away by rain and blows with the wind so it does need to be replenished, but you can buy it inexpensively, and it often solves the problem of unwanted visitors overnight. No more teeth-marks on your kale if you sprinkle this magical red dust around.

Marigolds: These easy-to-care-for annuals serve two purposes. Not only do they come in stunning bright red and orange hues that attract bumble bees and make your garden look pretty, they may also help keep pests away. Try planting them all along the border of your garden as a type of “no trespassing” barricade for bugs and creatures.

Fireplace Ash: Instead of adding any synthetic nutrients to your garden, do some quick research about what natural ingredients you may have around the house that you could add to the soil. In certain parts of the country like our native New England, you may have a wood stove. Wood ashes contain potassium, some phosphorus, and magnesium. Nutritional value varies according to the species of wood, but all ash contains nutrients. Give your fireplace a quick sweep and work the ash into the soil around your newly planted seedlings. For even better results, try this out before all of the seedlings have been planted. But regardless, the nutrients can make a difference in growth rate in just about a week or two.

These three natural tricks seemed to have beefed up our personal vegetable gardens, and we’re thrilled they are so easy and harmful chemical free. Many factors can affect performance, so lots of experiments are best until you find what works for you. What types of natural tricks do you use? Tell us on Instagram!