12 Reasons to Start Growing Sweet Potatoes

12 Reasons to Start Growing Sweet Potatoes

Growing Sweet Potatoes / KΕ«mara (Ipomoea batatas) in your home garden is a great step toward self-sufficiency. Sweet Potatoes are my favourite permaculture plant and are an easy crop to grow for beginner gardeners. It is important to grow plants that support and encourage other plants and beneficial insects in your garden. Creating a cohesive ecosystem that promotes the growth and success of your garden’s health and supports abundant harvests.

Many people do not know that the leaves of the sweet potato plant are also edible. This is most likely because the leaves provide no economical value in the mainstream food system and so they are discarded. Our learnt behaviours tend to come from what is around us but the key is to question things more often. Can I eat this? How do I cook this? We are very lucky to have so much knowledge available to us at the click of a button.

If you want to learn more from outside “the box” subscribe to my blog and let’s get into all things, Sweet Potato!

WATCH my top 12 Reasons to start growing Sweet Potatoes or scroll down to read more.

12 Reasons to Grow Sweet Potatoes

1. The Whole Plant is Edible

Not only does the Sweet Potato plant produce delicious edible tubers underground but, you can also eat the leaves and stems of the plant too ( It rarely flowers but these are not edible). Sweet Potato is not actually part of the potato family but is part of the morning glory family. Unlike potatoes – the sweet potato leaves are edible and packed full of *vitamin A, C, K, B1, B2, B3 and B9. Sweet potato leaves also have minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Sweet potato leaves are used in a similar way to spinach. The young leaves and shoots can be added fresh to salads and smoothies or to curries, stirfries and soups. They can also be sauteed to make a delicious side dish of greens. Sautee in butter and garlic or tamari, garlic, chilli and ginger is another delicious way to use sweet potato leaves.

2. Produces an Abundant Crop on each Plant

Sweet potatoes produce many large tubers underground from a single plant. These tubers are high in calories and carbohydrates which can form a great “base crop” on your journey to living more self-sufficiently. Growing base crops such as sweet potatoes or pumpkin can increase your ability to make wholesome meals entirely from the garden. You can store sweet potatoes by letting them harden off for half to a whole day in sunlight or diffused sunlight. Then store them somewhere dark and cool for a few weeks or up to a few months. They will keep until they start sprouting or start to go soft and spongy. It can be a good idea to make meals from them and freeze them to preserve your harvests that way. Curried sweet potato soup is one of my favourite ways to prepare and save my sweet potatoes.

3. Grows Quickly and Easily

Sweet potatoes like warm weather and once the soil warms up in spring and summer they will take off and grow vigorously. They are a very low-maintenance plant that can still produce well with neglect. They can handle low water or dry spells but will produce best when kept well watered. They require free-draining soil as wet, boggy or heavy clay soils may cause the tubers to rot. Promote healthy, free-draining soil with lots of compost. The leaves may get holes and be eaten by bugs but they are very hardy and it would take a lot to restrict their growth. Sweet potato is fairly pest resistant but as the tubers form they will get closer to the surface of the soil. If they are exposed to the surface, rodents such as rats and mice may find them. Check that you can’t see any above the soil and if so, rebury them.

4. Can be Grown all Year Round

In warm climates with mild winters like we have here (Perth, Australia), Sweet potatoes can be grown all year round. It slows down in winter but you can still harvest the leaves. I have found the purple varieties grow best during winter. In cooler climates, it’s best to harvest your sweet potato before the winter sets in and grow it annually. You can, however, take cuttings and grow them indoors in jars of water or pot them up and have lush house plants over winter. Once Spring arrives and the soil warms up you can replant them back out into the garden. To get the most out of your tuber harvests it is best to harvest annually and then replant your patch. You can leave some tubers in the ground and they will remain dormant until the soil warms up and they will just pop and regrow by themselves!

5. You can Harvest in Stages

If you have a large sweet potato patch and multiple plants you can harvest your sweet potatoes in stages to get the most out of your harvests. When veggies are ready all at once it can be hard to utilise them and not get overwhelmed. Towards the end of summer and autumn, I will also just go out and harvest one or two for dinner. Here in Australia, we call it “bandicooting”. Bandicoots are marsupials that look kind of rat/rabbit-like, that fossick around for food. Find where the main stem of your sweet potato goes into the ground and have a light dig around to see if you can find any sweet potatoes near the surface.

6. Easy to Propagate

Propagating and growing more sweet potatoes is very easy and there are multiple ways to do this. If you do not already have sweet potatoes growing at home then you can start a patch with a single tuber from the farmers market. You can bury the whole tuber in the garden or cut it into 3-4 pieces and start multiple plants. Another way to grow a plant from the tuber is to place the tuber in a jar of water until it sends off shoots. The shoots can then be cut and placed in water to grow roots. Let the shoots get above 10cm before cutting them off. You can keep doing this and using your tuber to farm multiple plants.

Once you have an established patch you can cut sections of the vines off ( known as “slips” ) and regrow more plants. Either plant the slips directly into the soil or place them in a jar of water to form roots first. If you plant them directly into the garden make sure to keep them well watered while they strike roots.

To learn more about growing food from cuttings, check out my ebook. It’s a great way to establish an edible garden for little to no cost.

grow food from cuttings
Grow Free Edible Plants

7. More Varieties Available

There are a lot more varieties of sweet potatoes than the ones you commonly see in the shops. Growing your own food opens up so many more exciting options and varieties of vegetables. The varieties available at the supermarket have been bred to aid in mass production, pest resistance and shelf life. Rather than on the quality of nutrients, texture and flavour. I know which ones I would pick! I am growing the Orange, Red and White, Hawaiian (white skin with purple flesh) and Purple skin with Purple flesh variety. They all have unique qualities and cooking properties. The Purple and White are deliciously roasted, whereas, the all-purple variety is not great roasted but delicious mashed. Once you have established some plants you can then swap and trade with others who may be growing different varieties to you.

8. Amazing Living Mulch/ Ground Cover

The Sweet Potato naturally grows as a vine along the ground. It will send off side shoots and quickly become a thick and lush ground cover. This protects the soil from the harsh sun and creates a healthy habitat for beneficial insects. Having lots of beneficial insects is an essential part of growing a natural, thriving garden. This lush ground cover provides an excellent bottom layer of a food forest system. I have Sweet Potato vines growing all in between and underneath my fruit trees.

9. Grows in Sun or Shade

Sweet Potato prefers full sun but will grow in a wide range of locations from full sun to full shade. The plants that grow in shade will be slower to produce but will still grow well. This means you have more options in choosing a location to grow your Sweet Potato. I actually find that during our harsh summers in Perth, my Sweet Potato prefers some shade. Versatile plants are great for the garden because you have more flexibility and options for choosing a location to plant them. It also means they are a little more forgiving for beginner gardeners because they won’t up and die if the sunlight isn’t just right.

10. Grows in Containers or in the Garden

Urban gardens often mean utilising container gardens and selecting plants that grow in both is amazing! Ok, you can see why I love this plant! It is just so easygoing. The Sweet Potato plant can take off quickly and grow very vigorously. This means it can shade out smaller plants and take over the garden. If you are short on space or have small space, or urban gardens, then it may be best to grow it in containers. Don’t be afraid to cut off the edges if it starts to take over.

11. Can be Fed to Animals

Sweet Potato leaves can be feed to many animals including chickens, pigs and rabbits. When you are harvesting the patch or just trimming the edges, then this can be a great way to add feed to your animals. They are full of vitamins and nutrients to help boost your animal’s overall health. Plus, it promotes a sustainable cycle and the animal manure can then be composted to use on your gardens and grow more Sweet Potatoes!

12. Save Money!

Sweet Potatoes can be expensive! Especially if they are not the common variety. Recently the Red and White ones were over $9 p/k at my local store. With their ease of growth and abundant production, Sweet Potato is such an economical plant to grow in your home garden.

growing sweet potatoes

As you can see I could talk about growing sweet potatoes all day! They are my favourite permaculture plant because they are versatile and have so many benefits and interconnected relationships within the garden.

If you have any questions about growing, harvesting or propagating sweet potatoes please leave me a comment below. If you found this content helpful please share it with your friends. Sharing my articles will help me inspire and help more people to start growing their own food. Every little bit counts towards growing and inspiring a greener world.

Holly 🌱

*Macro nutrient reference: https://horticulture.ucdavis.edu/information/sweet-potato-leaves-family-nutrition-overview-research

DISCLAIMER: Links included on this page might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my blog so I can continue to provide you with free content each week.

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DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

How to Preserve Edible Flowers

How to Preserve Edible Flowers

I grow a lot of edible flowers in my urban permaculture garden. That way, I not only have plenty of flowers for the bees, but also lots of beautiful edibles to brighten up any meal. Edible flowers have so many health benefits and valuable nutritional qualities. Flowers don’t often last long on the plant and a great way to preserve and harness their energy is to press or dry them. This way you can make infused oils, herbal teas and still have beautiful bright flowers to use throughout the year.

What Time of Day is Best to Pick Edible Flowers?

Pick your edible flowers in the morning but after the sun has come up. First thing in the morning the flowers will still be closed so wait until they fully open up. They will be at their best in the morning, full of life and well hydrated. Throughout the day they can lose moisture and become damaged by insects or wind. Make sure you select flowers that you know don’t have any chemicals or sprays on them. I only use flowers I have grown in my backyard as I can have more control over their surroundings.

Should you Dry the Whole Flower or just the Petals?

You can do both! If the flower has a thick base or bud I tend to remove the petals. Flowers such as Sunflower and Hibiscus, I usually remove the petals. The base will take a very long time to dry and most of the time will not be palatable/hard and bitter. Calendula has many healing properties in the base, leave this on if you are going to use it for infused oils and balms.

Air Drying Flowers Naturally

The main way that I preserve my edible flowers is to air dry them naturally. I keep a bowl or plate in my pantry and add petals and flowers to it regularly. Each time I go out to the garden to pick veggies, I will pick edible flowers as well. If I don’t use them fresh in my meals I will just pop them aside to dry. It is very hot and dry here in Perth, Australia during the summer, so they will dry within a couple of days. If you live in a humid or cool climate or it is winter, it would be best to oven-dry or use a dehydrator. You want to get the flowers as dry as possible with no moisture left. This is to prevent them from going mouldy or growing bacteria.

Oven drying flowers

Turn your oven on to 40-50degrees Celcius and spread your flowers out on a tray. If your flowers have thick buds or bases it will be best to separate them out and just dry the petals. This may take a while depending on the size and moisture levels of your flowers. It may take around 4-6 hours and gently turn and mix your flowers around during that time to help them dry evenly.

Drying flowers in the dehydrator

Lay your flowers out flat on a tray and turn your dehydrator on to 40-50 degrees Celcius. It will depend on the moisture levels and size of your flowers but it will take between 4-6 hours to dry. Make sure they are completely dry and they may sound crunchy to touch.

Pressing Edible Flowers

Another way I like to preserve my edible flowers is to press them. You can do this with any flower press or to press flowers without a flower press, simply place your flowers between sheets of paper or a notepad and stack some heavy books on top. Press whole flowers or petals but if the bud or base of the flower is quite thick, I would remove it and just press the petals. Pressing flowers will take a while to ensure that they are completely dry. Depending on your temperatures and climate it can take between 2-4 weeks to dry your edible flowers.

How to Store Edible Flowers

Once your flowers are completely dry you can store them in an airtight container out of sunlight. I keep all my air-dried flowers in jars in my pantry. My pressed flowers that I want to keep intact, I store in a glass container with a bit of paper towel. In dry conditions, these will last quite a while. I have some from a year ago that are still great.

preserved flowers

How to use Dried Edible Flowers?

There are so many ways to use your dried flowers. Here are some of my favourite ways to use them.

  • Herbal Teas
  • Cocktail Garnish Mixes
  • Infused oils
  • Infused Vinegar
  • Cake decorating
  • Everyday meal garnishing
  • Botanical Salts
  • Arts and crafts
  • Bath bombs or decoration
  • Hand scrubs
  • Infused spirits
  • Healing body balms

WATCH my Video on How to Preserve Edible Flowers

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
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DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

DIY Worm Tower

DIY Worm Tower

Composting is a great way to reduce waste, build soil and grow healthy thriving plants. Part of a naturally occurring cycle that feeds an ecosystem. Urban composting may mean smaller systems need to be used but they can still be very effective. I have a tumbler compost bin and now I have made a DIY worm tower to go in my Container Gardens. This tower is made from recycled PVC pipe we had left over and a recycled plant pot was used for the lid. The worms love it and so do my plants!

Urban Composting

You don’t need to have a large garden to start composting your veggie scraps at home. There are some great urban composting solutions including Tumbler Composts, Bokashi and Worm Farms. There is even an app called Share Waste that connects people to others that have composts in your local area. Whichever solution you choose it is a fantastic way to reduce your waste and stop it from going to landfill. Food scraps that end up in landfill do not break down in the correct environment so they produce methane emissions that contribute to our climate change crisis. The more scraps you can use up or put back into the earth the better!

How to Make a DIY Composting Worm Tower?

Using things you already have at home is a great way to recycle and get the most out of everything you use. Left over PVC pipes are great for turning into worm towers. The worms can go between the garden and the worm tower to feed and help break down the veggie scraps. This will in turn provide natural fertiliser for the plants to thrive. Creating a balanced and diverse ecosystem is so import for healthy gardens.

  • To make these I used a 6 inch PVC pipe and cut it down so that it was the height of my pallet plants.
  • We then drilled holes around the bottom half of the pipe approximately 10mm in diameter. Big enough for worms to fit through.
  • I then dug a hole in the centre of my pallet planter and buried the pipe with the holes at the bottom and covered the sides back up with soil. Try to bury as much of the pipe as you can as to reduce it’s exposure to the sun.
  • A lid is important to stop any flies, rats, mice or household pets from getting in and eating the scraps. It will also keep any smells away so your gardens don’t give off a bad odour. The lid we made from the bottom of a plastic garden pot we had spare. I tested out a few for size and chose on that fit tightly over the pipe. It needs to be secure so that the wind won’t blow it off or animals cant easily overturn it. If your pot has drainage holes in the bottom cover them up too.
  • Once the pipe and lid are secured in place you can start adding your veggie scraps. Use only scraps that will break down relatively quickly and do not place any meat or dairy scraps. You can also add a sprinkle of soil on top of the layers to reduce odours if it is a concern.

IMPORTANT

Make sure your recycled materials are food safe and haven’t been used previously with any chemicals.

Healthy soil grows healthy vegetables!

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

18 ways to become more self-sufficient

18 ways to become more self-sufficient

There is no better time to start growing your own food than NOW. Creating your own food security and using your time to help create a greener world is win-win. I have always had the dream of growing my own food and living a more sustainable lifestyle and it is something that I have been continually building and working towards for years. I don’t want to be 100% self-sufficient because there are just some things I either won’t be able to grow or choose not to grow. But there are plenty of ways to supplement my homegrown food supply such as trading, swapping, and local farmers markets. I have put together (in no particular order) 18 simple ways you can start living a more self-sufficient lifestyle today.

1. Start a Herb Garden

No matter whether you have a big garden or live in a tiny apartment, growing herbs can be easy and takes up very little space. Grow in small pots, recycled containers, hanging planter,s or windowsill planters. If you like to use herbs it is a great first step towards self-sufficiency. And no, that does not mean buying those packed herb pots from the supermarket…. they are often grown hydroponically and then placed in the soil so they rarely survive long and don’t handle being planted out into real life. Get a packet of seeds and try growing your own πŸ™‚

2. Start a Vegetable Patch

The best way to learn how to grow vegetables is to simply start trying! Start small with either a planter box or convert one small patch of your garden or even driveway into an edible vegetable patch. You can also start by simply integrating edibles into your established garden. Once you start growing some things you can start expanding bit by bit. Goodbye grass πŸ™‚

3. Plant Fruit Trees

I love fruit trees because although they take a while to get going, once they do, they are abundant and don’t require as much care as vegetables. You can plant them in either a large pot or directly into the garden. I would recommend going to a local specialist fruit tree nursery so they can help you choose the best fruit tree for your location. Also, make sure you get something with fruit you actually enjoy! With the abundant produce you can then preserve, swap, and trade with others!

4. Grow Base Crops

I couldn’t think what else to call them but growing crops that will feed you for longer and create a good base to fill your pantry. Crops such as Pumpkins, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, and Sweet potatoes will provide decent amounts of food that you can store and use throughout the year! A great base vegetable to feed a family.

5. Grow Soil

Composting is not only great for the fertility of your soil and the secret to AMAZING vegetables but also stops waste from going to landfill. There are a whole bunch of ways to do this depending on your living situation. You can make your own compost bin out of recycled wood, find a second-hand tumbler online or purchase one. You can also simply dig a hole in the garden and bury it (be careful of attracting pests though). There are also some new ways for people with no land to connect with others that do and give them your compost scraps. Either community gardens, local Facebook groups or now in Australia there is even an app! Sharewaste

6. Save Seeds

This is just as important as growing food and will be a huge step towards your self-sufficient journey. Saving seeds helps you maintain food security knowing that you have more healthy seeds to grow next year. Save seeds from your healthiest plants that thrive in your garden. Keep them in a dry dark place.

7. Grow Community

Get your friends involved! Take them over a basket of homegrown food or preserves. Once they see your delicious fresh food they may also get inspired! Help them out with seeds, and cuttings and surround yourself with like-minded people. Community gardens can be a great place to learn, get involved, and even seed/ produce swap. It can be an amazing network of knowledge, especially in relation to your local climate and growing conditions. There are also some great social media forums and groups that are great for finding answers to your questions and local knowledge.

8. Shop Local

Explore your local farmer’s markets! Grab a friend and go have a browse! They are usually on a Saturday or Sunday morning and I look forward to it every week. Although I love my local farmers market (Kalamunda) every few months I like to check out other farmers markets to mix things up and find new and interesting produce. Bulk food stores have been making a come back and I am sold! Lucky for me there is a fantastic Bulk Store ( Replenish Kalamunda) right by my local farmer’s markets. So I head there straight after I have picked up some fresh veggies. They may seem daunting at first but there are always plenty of signs explaining how to do it. I also love how each product clearly states where they have come from as I try to only choose Australian products.

9. Learn to Cook from Scratch

This is a big one! Learning to cook a wide range of meals from scratch using simple ingredients is key! I mean we can all make a butter chicken right…you just get the sauce and pour it in… Ditch the sauces from the supermarket and learn to make your own. I am constantly experimenting and expanding my knowledge so I can make a wide selection of meals from the produce I grow. Try to buy vegetables that are in season and fruits and vegetables that you are planning to grow. That way you can practice and become a pro at recipes for YOUR future harvests!

10. Grow Food From Scraps

Ok, this is one of my favourites! It is so quick and easy and a lot of fun! Plus you are getting the most out of your food. Buy one get multiple free!! Cut off the ends of your farmers market vegetables such as Spring Onion, Leek, Pineapple, Sweet Potato and regrow!

11. Forage and Trade

Keep an eye out on your walks and day trips for wild or excess food. So often there are olive trees, fruit, nuts or wild apple trees going to waste. Do your research and learn how to identify plants. That way you will know what you are looking at. It is also important to be careful if things have been sprayed by the council. I would be always cautious of things such as blackberries. You may even notice a neighbours tree loaded with fruit that is going to waste on the ground. Politely ask if you can have some in exchange for some preserves or baking you make with it. They will probably be happy for it to be used!

12. Repair and Upcycle

Get the most out of your things by fixing or updating them! Even if you don’t know how you may be able to pay someone a fraction of the cost to fix it rather than buying brand new. We often are so quick to throw out and buy new, we don’t even stop to consider if it can be fixed or repurposed. My hair straighteners and been fixed multiple times by electrician friends over the past 12 years and are still working amazingly! Recovering cushions, and couches, DIY, get creative, and even find a local seamstress if you don’t have access to a sewing machine.

13. Shop Second Hand

I try my best to not buy new and it is something I am continuing to work on. Most items you want can be found on Facebook market place, Gumtree (Trademe, Craigslist, etc). You can usually pick up a bargain and keep things in the loop rather than consuming more new things. You can even post in your local community groups and borrow or buy. Especially with things like appliances as many people often have them sitting in the cupboard collecting dust…Pasta maker, I’m talking about you πŸ™‚

14. Backyard Chickens

Chickens make an excellent addition to sustainable living. They provide eggs, eat leftover scraps, produce manure for fertilising your garden, and can they also be incorporated into an integrated pest management system to help you keep your slugs and snails at bay. Many councils will allow backyard chickens in suburbia. Although I do not have chickens …yet (Pictured above is mums ‘Chick Inn’) my council allows x6 backyard chickens on properties 600sqm -2000sqm.

15. Back to Basics

Bread/milk/butter/pizza dough. The age-old skill of baking your own bread is a fantastic skill to have! How amazing to just whip up a fresh loaf of bread or make your own pizza bread without the preservatives or plastic packaging. Milk is super easy and you can make delicious plastic, preservative-free milk whenever you want! Whether that’s oat, rice or almond milk.

16. Learn to Preserve Harvests

I am not really at a point yet where I have an abundance of produce to preserve but I have planted a lot of fruit trees…so I am starting to learn different ways to preserve things so that when I am flooded with produce (yay!) I will be able to make the most of it! Get some produce from the farmer’s markets and give it a go! Jams, chutneys, sauces, pickles, nasturtium capers and all those delicious things. They also make great gifts and can be used to swap for other produce with your friends and family and community.

17. Make your Own

Ditch the toxic chemicals and pesticides and start making your own natural cleaning and garden products. You can get a few ingredients from your local bulk stores such as white vinegar and bicarb soda and make a huge range of cleaning products. Check out my Citrus cleaner here. I also used crushed eggshells to keep slugs and snails at bay. Natural pest management

18. Learn, Read, Practice

I can’t stress how important this is! Knowledge is power. Join your local library and get a book on jam making or search YouTube for “how to prune a lemon tree”. Educating yourself and giving things a go will get you a long way on your journey to living a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Take things one a time and really try and master it before moving on. It can be overwhelming if you try to do it all at once and may lead to failure and giving up.

Small and slow solutions!

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

GROW FOOD FROM CUTTINGS – Get the ebook

Natural Pest Management

Natural Pest Management

I much prefer offering natural and sustainable solutions rather than a pointless list of negative things not to do. But this topic is something I am very passionate about and something new gardeners often get caught up in (including myself when I first started growing food many years ago). You will find my list of natural pest management remedies below πŸ™‚

When you first start growing food you will get slugs and snails eating your new precious veggies and will want to INSTANTLY fix the situation. I see some newbie gardeners pour on huge amounts of snail bait to combat the hungry predators. This is POISON, not only will it kill the slugs and snails but is also deadly to cats and dogs. Now, if it can kill dogs, having it covering the soil and getting watered in and absorbed into the soil that your vegetable will feed on, especially those root vegetables, cannot be good for us.

If you’re reading this and thinking…I do this..you are not alone. It is something that has been a β€œnorm” for way too long. But the first step you can take is safely throw out your poisonous slug bait. I would place it in something that animals can’t get into in case it crosses paths or they get into the bins. Even better, contact your local council to find the best way to safely dispose of it.

Watch my latest video

There are plenty of ways to naturally combat pests and have safe and nontoxic vegetables for your family.

  1. Eggshells – Save your eggshells and dry in the oven on low. Then crush into small pieces and place in a jar. Sprinkle this around the base of your vegetables and the slugs and snails do not like the surface so will stay away. It also adds some beneficial calcium to your soil.
  2. Plant extras – Plant a few extra plants in different areas of your garden so that if one gets attacked you still have plenty πŸ™‚
  3. Encourage beneficial insects – Plant diversity and flowers to create habitats and attract beneficial insects. You could even make an insect hotel using lots of different sized sticks and logs for them to live 🐞🐝
  4. Manually remove – Go out and check your garden and remove the pests by hand. I often do this when I am on the phone, its a great way to multitask.
  5. Beer Traps – Cheaper the better, there is no need to use up any fancy craft beer. Place little containers around your vegetable patch and this will capture the slugs and snails before they get to your precious veggies 🍺
  6. Coffee grounds – Often your workplace or local cafe will be throwing these out anyway. Sprinkle around the base. Only add a small amount as it will change the PH of the soil β˜•οΈ
  7. Companion Plants – Often very fragrant plants will repel pests. These are plants such as: Marigolds and Rosemary 🌼🌿
  8. Soapy Water – this is great for aphids. All my dishwashing liquid is non-toxic and greywater friendly so I just mix up some diluted in water and paint it on the new growth that is affected by aphids. This is the last resort though as it may harm beneficial insects too. Try and isolate the coverage.
  9. Chilli spray – Mix up some chilli powder in some water and spray on your affected plants. I have read crushed garlic as well but that is bad for dogs so I would avoid.
  10. Healthy Soil – growing healthy soil by composting and mulching helps keep your plants strong and healthy πŸ’ͺ this means that if they do get bugs they can survive and thrive after an infestation.
  11. Sacrificial plants – Usually one plant will just get attacked and I just leave it. It usually means the bugs will only eat that plant and the rest will be fine! Sorry for that one plant but it’s feeding nature…🌿
  12. Chickens and ducks are also a great way to integrate natural pest management into your garden. Win-win πŸ›πŸ¦†

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!