Posted By: Michelle Kuehler /
Pesticides may seem like the most efficient way to help your garden stay healthy, but they may just have the opposite affect and may pose a health risk to your family, pets and the environment. Fortunately, there are other options to help your garden grow naturally.
Why Not to Use Pesticides
Harm to Humans: Exposure to pesticides can cause symptoms ranging from mild skin irritation, to birth defects, serious illnesses and even coma or death. Children are more susceptible to pesticides because of their smaller size and because they are still developing. Children may be exposed due to their closer proximity to the floor and natural tendency to put contaminated objects in their mouth. Pesticides can enter your body through the inhalation of aerosols, dust or vapor that contain or are contaminated by pesticides, through your skin by direct contact with pesticides and by consuming food or water. Pesticides are sprayed onto many fruits and vegetables and these pesticides can end up in soil, air and groundwater, which can end up in drinking water. A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found pesticides in the blood and urine of 100 percent of the people tested.
Harm to Animals: Over 30,000 pesticide related poisonings are reported in pets per year. Pesticides can also contaminate the food, water and shelter that wild animals rely on to survive. The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 72 million birds are killed by pesticides in the United States each year and aquatic wildlife can die of suffocation or starvation from pesticide contamination from land runoff. They also kill thousands of beneficial insects, including honeybees, wasps, and ladybugs.
Harm to the Environment: Pesticides contaminate our rivers, oceans, ponds, wells and drinking water; pollute the air as dry particles or by evaporation and kills beneficial insects, macrobes and microbes which keep our soil healthy.
Pesticides Don’t Fix the Problem
Pesticides may get rid of those nasty aphids for a few months, but they’ll be back. Most plants will need a good dose of pesticides for every lifecycle of the pest. Pests and fungi are also becoming resistant to many pesticides, but many beneficial insects are not. The natural alternative is all about a little TLC and good planning.
Plant a Healthy Ecosystem: With a little planning, your garden can do a pretty good job of taking care of itself. There are many plants that complement each other when planted near each other because of their beneficial insect attracting or pest repelling properties. Do your research to determine plant companions. Also, take into account the needs of your plants. Planting with light, soil, water and space needs will keep your plants healthy, enabling them to better fend off pests and diseases. Make sure your garden is diverse and make sure to rotate your crops often. Also, try Grower's Secret 521, an organic fish emulsion fertilizer which helps to strengthen a plant’s resistance to disease and pests.
Treat Your Soil Right: Healthy soil is the canvas for healthy plants. Make sure to add compost every year to increase the amount of healthy macrobes and microbes in your soil. You can also add Nature’s Balance 231. Nature’s Balance 231 enhances biological activity in the soil by providing soil microbes and fungi with the natural organic nutrients, proteins, minerals, and oils which they need to thrive.
If all else fails a strong soaking of water can knock pests away or a soap water mixture can usually kill pests without harming the plant.