Organic Gardening in Myrtle Glen

Here in Myrtle Glen you will find leaves that are not perfect, fruits that were munched on my critters and *gasp* the occasional aphids and mealybug invasion. BUT - you will also find rain worms, frogs, lady bugs, birds, Praying Mantis, and *gasp* the occasional snake.

What I want to say here is, Balance is the key! We share our loquat fruits with the birds and they help us control the caterpillars. The lady bugs eat the aphids, lizards eat insects, the fish eat the mosquito larvae, etc.
It is a circle, and with a little patience it all works out the right way.
Take aphids for example, wait and lady bugs will arrive. You can help it along by buying lady bugs and releasing them in your yard.
Using industrial insecticides destroys this natural circle, one or more links are killed.
Chemicals kill the pests, but hurt the beneficial insects as well. The first set of pests is killed, but since the garden friendly insects are killed as well, any other bad insect can just come in and take over. By not harming the beneficial insects, we ensure long-term insect pest control.

Our goal is to create a balanced Ecosystem, by letting Nature handle it.

We try to make Myrtle Glen attractive to the good bugs, by planting host plants (Fennel, Dill, Lemon Balm, Parsley, Sunflowers), providing shelter (leaf litter, rock piles), food (feeders) and water. 
We increase the health of our soil, by adding natural fertilizers like cow manure and compost, bone meal and fish emulsion and we attract earth worms with used coffee grounds and leaving the Crepe Myrtle leaves as mulch.

But if the situation gets out of hand, we practice IPM (Integrated Pest Management)

Of course we try also to keep a close eye on everything, it is much easier to get rid of aphids at the beginning of their invasion, using a strong blast of water from the garden hose. 
To discourage birds from eating our fruits, we hang glittery things in the trees. No, it does not work 100% ;-) And I protect the yummy looking tender flower buds of my potted orchids by wrapping them in netting. 

Using common sense, we read up on the pest and learn about it, we target that specific infestation with biological control and we do not whip out the weapon at the sight of one bad bug. 
There are many organic pest control products available that make spot control easy. 

So yes, we have some damage like not blemish free fruits, spots on leaves, defoliated tomato plants…. is it worth it to us? Yes!

Read more:

used coffee grounds
Lasagna style flower beds

'Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished'  
[Lao Tzu]