Home >  Blog >  Bugs, Pests & Parasites - How To Protect Your Plants

Bugs, Pests & Parasites - How To Protect Your Plants

Posted on 15 February 2016
Bugs, Pests & Parasites - How To Protect Your Plants
We've all been there. You walk amongst your urban food garden & your heart sinks as you see your kale crop has been devoured overnight It's a tragedy. But before you jump for the chemical sprays to protect your plants, have a think about the safer & more natural ways you can stop the bugs feasting on your plants. We'll go through some of them today.

1: Natural Sprays

All natural sprays should be used within 2 days for maximum potency.

Garlic: Chop 10 cloves & add 1 litre of water. Allow the garlic to infuse into the water overnight, then strain out the cloves spray this over affected plants. Interestingly, the extract of garlic allicin has been used in the UK in large scale strawberry growing, as shared by biochemist Peter Josling in a podcast interview.

Basil: Chop 2 cups of fresh basil leaves then, in a bowl, pour 1 litre of hot water over the top. Allow to cool & strain the basil leaves out before spraying over affected garden areas.

Chilli: Mix 1 cup of dried or 2-3 cups of fresh chilli with 1 litre of water. Allow to stand for 4 hours; then strain out the chilli. Add in another litre of water to dilute, then spray affected areas in garden. This particular mixture should keep for a few weeks. Contact with spray may cause severe blistering.

2: Plant Strategically

Companion planting: Naturally, certain pests like certain plants. By avoiding any 'monoculture styled' areas in your garden & ensuring variety, you'll create pest barriers & can more easily isolate any problems which do occur.

Specific plants: Plants like Marigold/Calendula are well known for deterring common pests. When we create a colourful, abundant garden we also attract bugs like lady beetles which can actually feed on the unwanted pests in your garden! Plants like basil, lavender, lemongrass, mint & rosemary also are known to repel unwanted pests, so plant these strategically around your main crop.

Planting flowers such as nasturtiums, petunias & geraniums will also create an aromatic defence system against many different pesky pests.

According to Mother Nature Network:

  • Bay leaves: Repel flies. When you grow this plant, you won't have to rely on the dried leaves from stores to add flavor to roasts and soups. Just pick the leaves as you need them.
  • Chives: Repel carrot flies, Japanese beetle and aphids.
  • Dill: Repels aphids, squash bugs, spider mites, cabbage loopers and tomato hornworms.
  • Fennel: Repels aphids, slugs and snails.
  • Lemon balm: Repels mosquitoes.
  • Oregano: Repels many pests.
  • Parsley: Repels asparagus beetles.
  • Thyme: Repels whiteflies, cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, corn earworms, whiteflies, tomato hornworms and small whites.

3: Compost

When you have rich, biodiverse soil you have healthy plants with strong defence mechanisms. This is because the microbes in your soil actually 'fix' the nutrition into a bioavailable form for your plants to absorb, meaning they'll be able to bolster their internal defences against pests which might be after a quick snack or nest!

One of the best ways to ensure the richness of your soil is to compost regularly. For tips on how you can begin composting, check out our blog post here.


There is a certain touch of pride that comes with self-sufficiency in the garden & that includes pest control. Why use toxic chemical sprays & nasty chemicals when mother nature has provided us with so many well-equipped pest controls? You've just gotta' know how to use them.

Need help controlling your pests & establishing an organic, edible garden? Give us a call!

Tags: Gardening Tips

Urban Food Garden, Your Way To A Healthy Future

Contact us

1300 799 568

Be social with us