Blasting a herb garden with all manner of chemicals and toxins utterly defeats the purpose of growing them in the first place. If you’re happy to take home and eat the kinds of herbs that have been drenched with every poison under the sun, there are plenty of low-end food stores that have you covered.
Growing herbs at home is all about getting the very best from Mother Nature without having to resort to ‘weird-science’. Of course, protecting your herb garden from pests is important…unless of course you’re happy to share your harvest with a garden full of bugs and other pests. This does not, however, mean that there aren’t all manner of ways and means to keep your herbs pest-free without having to resort to unpleasant pesticides and treatments.
In With the Good, Out with the Bad
For example, there are some insects that won’t harm your herb in any way, but will make a pretty tasty feast of the bugs that threaten your plants. Ladybirds for example are brilliant for tackling aphids, even much-maligned wasps are helpful to have around to keep insect numbers under control. So even if you don’t choose to go so far as to attract such insects specifically, allow them to do their ‘thing’ and welcome them with open arms.
Use Insect Repelling Herbs Strategically
The bonus of the ‘companion planting’ approach is the way in which it gives you the perfect excuse to expand your herb garden! In short, there are certain herbs that certain insects just hate – aphids will keep away from mint, chives and anise for example, while slugs don’t tend to go near sage or rosemary. So if you plant your herbs in a strategic manner, you can use them to look out for each other!
Practice Good Watering Habits
If the top layer of soil around your herb plants is constantly soaking wet, you are pretty much begging the local slugs to turn up and have a party. In addition, too much water can also lead to the appearance of mould and fungus, which can in turn encourage more bugs to make an appearance. Be as precise and consistent as possible with watering habits.
Try Organic Products
There are plenty of organic treatments on the market you should feel free to try out – some are of course better at the job than others, but you at least know they won’t be doing you or your plants any harm.
Invest in Mesh Screens
Physical barriers are also exceptionally effective for keeping the good stuff in and the baddies out. It’s of course impossible to keep 100% of small bugs and insects out by using a mesh screen, but you’ll at least limit the number of bigger pests that get up close and personal with your herbs.
A Final Word on Pests
Never forget that the vast majority of plant pests and bugs multiply and spread at a rate that’s almost impossible to comprehend. As such, if you’re lucky enough to catch the very first signs of an emerging problem, you need to take all necessary actions to protect the rest of the plants in your herb garden – even if this means a rather painful cull.