Although there are quite a few non-toxic methods of pest and disease control available to the organic gardener, it is essential to understand that all living things have a purpose and a right to life.
As time passes without using any pesticides a balanced ecology will develop where natural predators will increase their numbers. If a plant is weak or growing poorly it will be attacked by insects. Don't remove the plant. Give the insect a home and a place to reproduce. It will be happy and leave other plants alone. Remember that a well grown, well-nourished plant growing strongly will have a built-in resistance to disease and insect attack.
Predators always follow pests and if you notice a pest infestation, wait a day or two to see if a natural predator has come to your aid. Lizards, frogs and birds will feed happily on caterpillars, slugs and other 'pests'. Learn to accept some damage to crops — the leaves of silver beet are just as nourishing with a few holes in them.
Make time for a daily walk in the garden, or every second day if time is short. Inspect trees and crops for insect damage or disease because early attention can often save serious problems later. I love observing plants developing and fruits ripening. Picking a delicious broccoli head or a plump, healthy cabbage or some juicy strawberries can also become part of your daily garden walk.
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