No dig gardens essentially strive to be their own ecosystem. This is the sign of the best sort of garden, one that is in tune with itself without the need for pest or disease control. Starting with a weed free bed and clean compost, the garden should get off to a roaring start on this front.
That doesn't mean pests or disease won't ever be present, but it may be minimised under these conditions. Once your garden is underway, factors may change to alter the harmony in your garden. There is an astonishing range of things that can bring your garden plants under attack. To rectify problems, always go with the least toxic option for your garden's sake and for your sake, starting with these home recipes.
To discourage animals and some insects from eating your plants, combine one cup of water, 5 garlic cloves and 6 large hot peppers. Blend thoroughly in a blender, then strain into a spray bottle. Add another cup of water and spray away.
For red spider mites, mix 4 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in one gallon of water. Spray plants weekly until mites are gone, then monthly to stop them from returning.
Encourage native birds into you garden with bird houses, water baths and native flowering vegetation. They will eat many times their own weight in insects.
Cucumber peels on an ant route will make them go away.
For hardshell scale insects, mix 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon mild liquid soap in two gallons of water. Spray or wipe on plants once a week for 3 weeks or until gone.
Put beer in a shallow pan in the garden to trap snails and slugs overnight. Vinegar in a shallow pan will do the same thing.
Salt sprinkled on snails and slugs will kill them instantly. Go out in the evening with a flashlight and salt shaker and protect your plants!
Orange or grapefruit halves hollowed and turned upside down placed around the garden will also attract snails and slugs. Go out in the morning to shake salt on those hiding under the peel.
Put a whole garlic bulb through a garlic press and let it sit in a glass jar with several ounces of mineral oil. Mix a few spoonfuls with dishwashing liquid, hot pepper sauce and water in a spray bottle. This will discourage rabbits, gophers and woodchucks from entering your garden. It will also keep beetles off most vegetable plants.
Another important method for pest control in the garden is companion planting. Some examples include: Planting garlic to deter flying insects; while mint and sage near cabbage will repel the cabbage fly. There is more information on companion planting on my site www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com.
Judy Williams (http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com) splits her time between being an executive and an earth mother goddess. No Dig Vegetable Gardens represents a clean, green way to grow your own food. The site covers all aspects of growing, cooking and preserving your harvest.