Preventive plant protection - of course without chemicals

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Organic gardening is in. Although the really poisonous pesticides for the home garden are already no longer allowed for some years, but in biological pest management, there are many hobby gardeners around the principle. They see it as a challenge to keep their plants healthy in the fruit, vegetable and ornamental garden without chemicals. This is achieved by preventive crop protection: It tries to protect the plants by perfect growth conditions and special care measures against diseases and pest infestation.

floor care

If the soil is healthy, the plants are less likely to be ill. Provide your soil regularly with mature compost in the spring. The organic material increases the humus content and improves the soil structure. Even with the sowing of a green manure from lupine or yellow mustard you can loosen the soil deeply and enrich it with humus. Before the seed is ready, the plants are crushed and left as a mulch layer on the surface or easily incorporated. In the ornamental garden, mulch can also work wonders: plants that have their natural habitat in the forest or at the edge of the forest will bloom with a cover of bark mulch or dry grass clippings.

Site selection and planting

The location has great influence on plant health. For example, planting a rose in the shade will make you sick faster, as well as ignoring the beautiful flowers for lack of light. Regardless of the lighting conditions, good air circulation is also important, for example to prevent leaf diseases. In windless locations, the foliage stays moist for longer after rainfall and leaves mushrooms have easy play.

Sow pumpkin

Sowing Pumpkin Seeds: Pay attention to sufficient planting distances, especially for large plants

Sufficient plant spacing is also important for preventative crop protection. On the one hand, because the plants are better ventilated, on the other hand, because pests and diseases can not easily spread to the neighboring plants. For this reason, it is also important not to put too many identical plants next to each other. Instead, simply plant your vegetables as a mixed culture. The different types of vegetables are planted in rows next to each other and promote each other due to their different nutrient needs. In addition, some species excrete certain substances that protect neighboring plants from pest infestation. Which plants are in perfect harmony with each other can be found in a mixed culture table.
In the vegetable garden, crop rotation is an important measure to maintain soil fertility and to cultivate vital, resilient plants. For example, you should grow starvation feeders such as cabbage, potatoes and zucchini on a different bed each year. The old bed is then planted in the second year with Mittelzehrern as onions, carrots or salad and in the third year with weak-eaters such as beans or peas. In the fourth year you can sow a green manure, in the fifth year the cycle starts again from the beginning.

Cutting with pruning shears

Secateurs: Clean and disinfect your cutting tools after use with spirit

Plants need properly dosed nutrients to stay healthy. Too much of a good thing makes them susceptible to disease and pest infestation. In particular, mineral fertilizers with high nitrogen levels should be used with caution, as a high nitrogen intake softens the tissue and facilitates the penetration of fungal spores. Aphids and other sucking pests are also pleased with well-nourished plants, because the sap is particularly nutritious.
Therefore, fertilize your plants only after prior soil analysis and if possible do not use whole fertilizers, because they always give you all the nutrients - even if some of them are not needed. Long-term statistics from soil laboratories show that most garden soils are sufficiently supplied with phosphate and potassium. Some even contain such large amounts of these two nutrients that the plants show growth disorders.
In many cases you will end up in the garden with compost and horn fertilizers. Compost supplies sufficient quantities of phosphate, potassium and trace elements, while nitrogen requirements can be met by horn chips or horn meal. The advantage of horn products is that the nitrogen is organically bound and unlike mineral nitrogen is hardly washed out. Note, however, the long lead time until the fertilizer effect begins. Horn shavings, in particular, take up to half a year for the nutrients to be available to the plants. But over-fertilization is almost impossible.


Ladybugs are eager aphid killers

Biological protection measures

There are many methods to keep certain pests at bay without the use of pesticides. For example, glue rings, which are laid in late summer around the trunks of the endangered trees, help against the frost-breaker. Close-mesh vegetable nets protect cabbages, onions and carrots from cabbage white and various vegetable flies. Various ground-dwelling pests such as the larvae of the weevil may be decimated well with parasitic nematodes. For the control of pests in the greenhouse, various beneficials such as robber bugs, lacewings or parasitic wasps are suitable. In order to strengthen plants against fungal diseases, mineral-rich herbal broths from comfrey, horsetail or nettle have proven their worth.

Video Board: Plant Disease Management Lecture.

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