Growing your own fresh vegetables is great way to control how “pure” your produce is. Home grown vegetables taste wonderful and are easy to grow. Unfortunately, they also taste wonderful to a large array of pests that can destroy your whole vegie garden. With the warmer weather, pests will start to become more active and feed on the new growth on your vegies.
As a start, keeping good gardening practices (good soil conditions, regular fertilising and watering) will result in strong vigorously growing vegetables that are better able to resist attack and outgrow damage.
Also be familiar with the normal healthy appearance of your plants so that when there is a problem you will be able to tackle it quickly and hence prevent excessive damage to your crops.
So how to tackle a pest problem in your vegie garden? Nobody likes to use toxic chemicals on the food they eat. A naturally based insect spray like Richgro Beat-A-Bug which is made with garlic and chilli is ideal to use on edible crops. This is a true classic and should be part of every gardeners arsenal. It is highly effective for small sucking insects such as aphids as well as caterpillars. It also works on Ants, Cabbage Moth, Earwigs, White Fly, Thrip, Leafhopper and other pests. Apply at the first sign of attack and then keep in a good routine of spraying over the leaves (don’t forget underside) every 10-12 days to repel them.
Finally don’t forget to mulch! Most vegetables stop growing if soil temperatures get too high. Covering your garden beds with a good quality mulch will keep the soil cooler, resulting in active root growth. Also the application of a soil wetter, especially as the weather starts to get warmer, will ensure that your crops get all the water they need.