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Six Parts of Soil
5. Life Above
There are caterpillars on my plants, how do I get rid of them all???
There are small bugs all under my leaves, I need them gone! How do I kill them?
Spray this pesticide to rid this pest.
Spray that insecticide to rid that insect.
Spray that fungicide to rid that mildew.
Spray that soap spray to rid those aphids.
Create this concoction and spray for that …
Spray Spray Spray….
Here at “No Spray Hawaii”, we like to focus finding the root cause of the immediate problem instead of trying to manage the single problem itself. This is the most important step in becoming a natural gardener. Pest are merely signs of life. If you have them, you’re doing something right!
U.S. farmers purchased $283 billion dollars worth of pesticides in 2007 alone!
We are taught to believe that pest are bad. There is good reason for this… money. In 2007, pesticides, insecticides and sprays purchased by farmers contribute to $283,000,000,000 BILLION dollar industry according to the US EPA in 2007. CLICK HERE to see for yourself from their own website! I can only imagine what it is today. A lot of propaganda is spread on the subject in the form of commercials, advertizements and products in forcing you to believe that “bugs” are pest and need to be “rid of”. This belief is what prevents lot of different people from gardening.
Solution… No Spray
Find the root cause of the immediate problem! Why do you have an outbreak of an unwanted pest? Find this reason and you can work on enhancing your soils ecosystem to promote natural checks and balances. These checks and balances are what forest, jungles, oceans and natural farmers rely on.
For instance, what do you do when you are first starting to garden and see that caterpillars are responsible for devouring your leafy greens that you spent so much time growing. A store will tell you to “Spray this product”, and it would make sense, stores are businesses and business need to make money. They aren’t concerned about the longevity nor health of you or your garden. They are there to make money. If they sell you a product they are following the directions their boss gave them and are “making money”!
Once you spray the product, who knows what it will do to your entire ecosystem. What other animals and bugs will be affected. A healthy teaspoon of soil will contain over a billion microorganisms. These organisms are responsible for moving and delivering nutrients to your garden plants in forms that they can take up.Spraying the “pest” on the surface of the plant and soil, cause more harm than good, as the life under the soil is also affected. LEARN MORE ABOUT SOIL MICROBES
To protect your soil microbes… “No Spray”. This is the simplest way to do so.
Why do you have an abundance of caterpillars?
This is the question that you should ask yourself. WHY. Why do you have so many leaf eating pest?!? The answer in this scenario is quite simple. You have a new garden. You just supplied all the bugs around the best possible food that they could ever imagine. The food that we eat as humans are some of the sweetest, nutritious and palatable plants available on the planet. But not just for us humans, but for all leaf eating animals and insects.
Setting up a new garden is like setting up a buffet in the middle of a camp site- everyone around who smells the food will be around to try it out. It’s different, delicious and easy to find.
As your garden matures it will naturally attract the predators to caterpillars. If you spray them all, when the natural predator arrives they will be the next pest to you. (understand that businesses and companies like this cycle…. this is how they make lots and lots and lots of money!)
So what can you do?
Here is a list of what you can do while waiting for nature to take control!
- Enhance soil ecosystem by mulching!
- Mulch provides the home for additional life.
- Mulch protects against drought by preventing all the moisture from evaporating on a hot day.
- Mulch protects against leaching by protecting the soil from heavy rain or irrigation
- Enhance soil ecosystem by adding compost and compost teas!
- Compost provides life to the soil in the form of IMO’s
- Compost provides nutrients
- Compost protects greens from several bacterial and viral infections
- Hand pick!
- It does make a difference!
- Stay calm!
- Nature will balance itself out… always!
- No Spray!
- Hold true to this for the children of the future!
NEXT: Encourage more life to your garden.
Create an ecosystem!
The more various types of plants that you grow in your garden the more versatile the ecosystem you are creating will become. This variety is what protects your plants from single outbreaks. Companion planting is key to ward off many pests. No Spray offers a comprehensive companion planting list HERE. Learn what likes to planted next to what. Learn what plants ward off specific pests.
The more variety of plants you have the more healthy of an ecosystem you will create. Promote areas in your garden for birds and bees. Allow moths to enjoy the flowers and pollinate the seeds. Don’t kill the spiders in the garden, they eat more “pest” than you could ever imagine. Encourage lizards to run free. Make sure you have plants that encourage lady bugs (they can consume hundreds of aphids a day!). Place praying mantis in your garden when you find them, they eat little pests, insects, caterpillars, as well as keep spiders in check.
Birds love caterpillars! They eat them like a child would eat candy from an open bowl on the table. Sweet, juicy and full of nutrients (they have been feeding off your garden). Offer a bird bath or berries to promote birds.
I have watched a lizard jump off a wire, 15 feet above the ground to eat a spider! Now that’s nature at its grandest! Watch the U-Tube video here:
Isn’t that just amazing that nature will balance itself out.
For the Complete Reference List CLICK HERE============================================================
About the Author:
Laura Rieber holds a BS in Agriculture with a focus on sustainability from the University of Hawaii, several certificates in agriculture business development, food safety and is a master gardener. The moment she realized the corporate lies that feed the world was the moment she was inspired to write about the truth about natural agriculture. She co-created No Spray Hawaii with her partner, Jesse Fujimoto to help others gain awareness. She teaches natural agriculture principles on the Big Island of Hawaii. CONTACT
Find another way!