Whether your garden is large or a mere window box, growing (at least some of) your food is a joy that requires neither artificial fertilizer nor pesticides — Nature knows all the tricks.[under construction!]
The Real Seed Company: They only sell seeds that will come true (no hybrids or GMOs), so you can save your own seed to replant and never buy seeds again!
Grow Wild: Supported by the Big Lottery Fund, Grow Wild is the national outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. They inspire communities, friends, neighbours and individuals across the UK to come together to transform local spaces by sowing, growing and enjoying native wild flowers. This response to the loss of wild flower meadows in the UK (98% since 1930) can turn unloved spaces into beautiful, inspiring and colourful wildlife havens, encouraging people to care for and enjoy nature. Every year, they distribute (non-GMO!) wildflower seed packets, and they also fund 150 projects around the UK.
There is no such thing as a selective pesticide. If it kills one type of insect, it will kill ALL of them. At a higher dosage, it would also kill every form of animal life, including yourself. It’s completely insane to put these out on the soil, in the air and water when Nature already has all the answers to discourage, from spices to planting certain plants together.
- For a natural ant deterrent, cinnamon essential oil is radical (and peppermint works too). Mix 5-10 drops into a cup of warm water, shake well, and spray on the trail of ants (optionally, add a squirt of liquid soap as emulsifier). Warning: spraying it directly at the ants will kill them instantly, so if you don’t want to do that, rub it in their path instead. Also, find their entrance hole and rub neat cinnamon oil around it (or push the tip of a Q-tip, saturated with oil, into it). They won’t use it again. I had an extreme invasion both in my kitchen and in my bathroom, but after I used this, the ants apparently declared my house unfit for habitation and never returned. Make sure not to breathe in too much of the spray yourself, you’ll get a headache.
- To keep spiders out of your house, start by vacuuming any old cobwebs to also suck up egg sacs. Prepare the same spray as above using peppermint, tea tree or lavender essential oil (I expect cinnamon would work too). Spray anywhere you’ve had spiders, or where they might elect to live.
- If squirrels are munching your flowers or getting into your bird feeder, sprinkle a little chilli powder. Birds can’t feel the heat, but mammals can and won’t like it!
- [more to come]