Of course, to deal with pests of all stripes, it’s easier to buy a couple of bottles of chemicals. It is worthwhile to bear in mind, however, that you will harm not only rodents and insects, but also the soil and plants that you are trying to protect: nature does not tolerate gross and unreasoned human intervention well.
It is useful to recall that our ancestors cherished the garden and the harvest and, lacking the option of buying chemicals in the hypermarket, they successfully managed the process by natural means. Let’s talk about some of them.
Nicotine, a harmful substance which is well-known from the frightening pictures on cigarette packs, is also a “pesticide” that acts perniciously on aphids, caterpillars, and the larvae of the sawfly of all ages. To prepare 10 liters of broth, take 400 grams of crushed dry raw tobacco or 1 kilo of freshly brewed tobacco. Then, over the course of one day, boil the mixture for 2 hours, filter it, and pour it into glass dishes. Before spraying, add 40 grams of laundry soap to the broth, and dilute the entire solution with water in a 1:2 ratio. The resulting solution will effectively kill up to 80-85 percent of pests.
The easiest way to kill night moths is to catch them in a “light” trap. Take a medium-sized box, partition it in half with piece of glass about 40 centimeters high, and hang a light bulb in front of it. It should be turned off late at night, as the pests that feed on the garden and garden crops fly mostly at night. Butterflies, seeing a bright light in the darkness of the night, fly there, but, after colliding with the glass barrier, fall into a bath filled with salt water or an insecticide solution, where they perish.
On the list of the enemies of mice appear not only cats and mousetraps, but also far less obvious enemies – like agrimonia. It’s worth putting it in the pantry or in the right garden area – and the mice do not seem to go there, because it’s not so easy to get rid of the thistles once they are stuck.
Beans and windmills
Absolutely harmless beans can provide effective help in the fight against moles, which are capable of overtaking a site in the course of a night as well as a tractor. The secret is simple: animals absolutely do not tolerate the smell of the bean plant, so it’s enough to plant beans in “strategic” points in the garden.
Various children’s toys also have a deterrent effect – including windmills. Stick a few toy windmills in the ground in the area where the moles are active: the sound of the spinning blades is transmitted underground and reminds the moles of their worst enemy – weasels. If you are careful about where you place the “windmills”, you will achieve a good version of garden design.
Ash – the main old-fashioned tool for protecting potatoes from the Colorado beetle. For greater efficiency, it is necessary to sprinkle wood ash shavings in the ground before planting the seeds, and after the seedlings have risen, repeat the procedure, only this time sprinkle the entire planted area with an ash solution. Prepare it in the following way: in 10 liters of water stir 2 liter cans of ash and add to the resulting mixture a little laundry soap. Then one liter of the resulting solution is again diluted in 10 liters of water and the potatoes are processed.
A lot of gardeners spend time in fruitless attempts to put an end to the fruit moth without the help of poisons. The simplest method is to treat trees with water heated to a temperature of 60 degrees. As long as the water reaches the leaves of, let’s say, an apple tree through the sprayer, its temperature drops by 5-10 degrees, which is safe for the plant and is detrimental to caterpillars.
Listen to nature
The result of the right approach to designing the garden and caring for it is a beautiful patch of nature in which everything is organized as organically as possible for its inhabitants. To take good care of the site, do not give yourself needless headaches by creating futuristic compositions that will need to be constantly maintained to maintain their original form. Plant only those crops that correspond to the local climatic zone and weather conditions, and use all the features of the land: in places of moisture accumulation, dig out ponds and place moisture-loving plants; in arid zones, on the contrary, plant low-maintenance crops. It is not superfluous to consult a landscape designer or an experienced gardener – their advice can help to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
Illustration: Nina Johnson