Sunday, June 19, 2016

Chemical Free Organic Pest Control: Smoke Your Garden

This is going to be the shortest post in this organic pest control series and very likely one of the most controversial. When I have mentioned it to friends, they either fall in love with the idea or tell me it is pure BS. To me, it is just another way of re-purposing garden waste

Since I haven’t been able to find much either way in my research but have used this method of pest control successfully, in my own gardens, for several years now, all I can say is “I” recommend it and encourage you to give it a try. What I’m talking about is smoking your garden.

Blowing Smoke

First, let’s be clear, When I say smoke your garden, I’m not talking about growing tobacco or ganja. I’m talking about applying smoke to your garden as a way to control the pest.
The process is very simple and best used on days with very little to no breeze blowing and the weather is not too dry. It takes moister for the scent of the smoke to cling to plants and if they or the air is too dry it won’t hold.

1.      Take an old pan, shovel, banana leaf, or anything that won’t burn easily and pile moist but not wet grass, leaves and other combustible waste in it and start a small smoldering fire. If you have been cooking out with charcoal, the left over coals from your pit work great as a base fire.

2.      Place the smoking fire in your garden, allowing the smoke to flow over your plants and trees for 10-15 minutes and then move it to treat another area.

3.      Repeat a couple times a week.

4.      That is pretty much it.

What Pest Smoke Helps With

Based on my personal experience, smoking your plants helps on all fronts, with the exception of ants. All animals from insects to the larger foragers instinctively avoid fire and the smell of smoke is abhorrent to them.

The smoke itself drives the vermin out and the lingering smell acts as a preventive measure.

I would like to add as a note of caution here that if you have a beneficial insectary in your garden to try and avoid these areas as best you can. Predator insects and pollinators will return faster than foraging insects, but they will still be affected.

Mosquito Control

An added bonus to this method of pest control is that beyond common garden pest it seems to be especially effective and controlling mosquitoes. With all of the news we have been seeing about mosquito borne illnesses, this is a benefit that I feel is worth mentioning.

Zero Waste

This method is very simple, though it can be time-consuming. It is zero waste process, as it takes lawn and garden waste and converts it to ash that is a very healthy aid in maintaining your soil quality. Just throw it on your garden when finished burning.

Give this method of natural pest control a try and let me know what you think. As always I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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