Berrysmith Foundation

Chemical Free Pest Control

Natural control of slugs and snails: Slugs and snails feast on soft stems and leaf tissue as well as fruits and vegetables. Now is the time that they are most active – especially during cool, wet weather under the cover of darkness. Young seedling plants are especially vulnerable and can disappear overnight. Sure signs of slug attack are irregular holes and silvery trails on leaves, stems and soil. 

A quick and easy method of slug and snail round up that works a treat is the newspaper slug trap. Fold an old newspaper a couple of times until it’s about the size of a laptop. Lay this on your bed amongst plants and anchor the corners with some soil or stones. Come back in a day or so and you’ll see a load of slugs have slithered underneath it to hide in the damp shade. Deal with them as you see fit and reload the trap! 

Controlling aphids:  Aphids are starting to appear on crops and their numbers can skyrocket unless kept under control. Garlic is naturally rich in sulphur which is toxic to a range of leaf sucking and chewing pests such as aphids and whitefly. Garlic is also a useful anti-fungal agent thanks to its sulphur content. The soap in this brew works to break down the protective coating of their exoskeleton causing death by dehydration.

•4 cloves of garlic + boiling water to cover
•2 table spoons of liquid soap or washing up liquid
•1 litre of water
•Spray bottle

How to make:
•Mash or chop up your cloves of garlic.
•Place in a preserving jar or heat-resistant container that.
•Pour over enough boiling water to cover.
•Put on the lid and leave to steep overnight.
•Strain the infusion the next day through muslin or an old tea towel.
•Add liquid to 1 litre of water and 2 table spoons of liquid soap.
•Mix together.
•Fill spray bottle.

How to use: Spray insects on your plants as soon as they appear to keep numbers down. Pay particular attention to stems and the underside of leaves. Use only when pests are visible and re-apply after rain.
NB: Garlic can kill beneficial predators as well as pests so don’t go overboard with your spraying. Try to be targeted and give any plants that are suffering an attack from sucking or chewing insects a liquid feed to strengthen them.

•Label solution and date it.
•Keep solution out of reach of children and pets.
•Wash any treated produce before eating
•Test solution on one or two plants before widespread use.
•Wear appropriate protective clothing during use.
•Wash your hands after use
For full-scale, seasonal edible gardening advice and inspiration see or check out Pod Gardening on facebook.

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