Hi I’m Shiran from Aqua Gardening.
In this Frequently Asked Questions Video for Thriving Aquaponics & Hydroponics Gardens – we are going to look at the challenges that pests present when growing healthy food for your family.
Because the food we grow at home is much tastier than the surrounding plants, there are many living things that like it as much as you do!
But don’t worry, we have tried and tested many pest control products and methods for years and we have discovered the tricks and tips to get rid of the little nuisances that love to eat our food- this is why we are Australia’s leading Experts on these systems. In this video I will discuss the most common pests you will find in your garden, and how to deter them and how to get rid of them.
The most common pests are Aphids. They are 1 to 4mm long, and usually green, but can also be yellow or red. They hide under the leaves, in the flowers and on the stems. If you see ants on your plants, you know there are around. Aphids suck the sap from plants, reduce the plants health, and transmit disease.
The second most common pests are White Flies. They are 3mm long and have white wings. They hide under the leaves, and you will notice them when you shake a plant and they fly off. They also suck the sap from the leaf and cause them to wilt. Leaves will turn silver and yellow after a white fly attack.
The third most common are Spider mites and two spotted spider mites. They are 1mm long and you will identify them by their Red or yellow colour with 2 black spots. You will find them under the leaves, and when there is alot of them you will find them on silky webs. They suck the sap until the leaves turn yellow, and they will cover your plants with their webs.
The fourth most common pest is mainly found on indoor plants or in poor quality potting mix, they are the Scarid fly larvae and flies.
They are 3-5mm long, and the Larvae are legless and clear with black head.
The flies look like small black mozzies. You will find the larvae in the top layer of the growing media, while the adults fly around and lay eggs in the media. The larvae eat young roots what can lead to root disease and weaken the plants. The adults can carry fungal spores, but usually don’t cause damage to the plant.
The fifth pest are Mealybug They are 3-4mm long , white and powdery looking, and you could mistake them for powdery mildew or mould.
You will find them on the plant’s stems busy sucking the sap and inserting toxic saliva, resulting in distorted plant growth and dead leaves.
And the final pests are caterpillars. They are little green worms and can be as little as 1mm and as big as 30mm, you will know they are around when your leaves are eaten and there is small black dots of poo on the plants or on top of the growing media.
If you can’t find the pests, get some yellow sticky fly traps and place them around your plants.
If it is a flying pest, it will be attracted and stick to them so you can have a closer look to identify the pest.
Now when you know which pests are around your garden, let’s see what we can do about it.
When growing your own food, you don’t want to use any chemical because there is a chance they will stay in the plant and we’ll end up eating them.
So prevention often involves solutions we can do ourselves, and not necessarily products we need to buy.
The best ways to prevent pests in your garden are:
- Number one, follow a companion planting chart, for example planting Chives, Coriander or Nasturtiums to deter Aphids.
- Make sure your plants are healthy and getting all the nutrients they need. A low immune system means that they are easy targets, just like us!
- Make sure your garden has enough air flow by not overcrowding the growing area with plants. If you are growing indoors or in a sealed green house, check your fans are suitable for the room size.
- Place yellow sticky fly traps to detect the pests early.
- Plant flowers that attract good bugs to your garden which will eat the pests and not your food. The bed and breakfast seed mix is a great way to start.
- Use organic products such as eco oil for prevention.
Be aware that not every pest treatment is suitable for each occasion, and even organic products or homemade ones can harmful to fish. Some organic pest treatments are not safe for edible gardens too.
In our online video training we share with you the ways to use the products and more tips, tricks, homemade pest treatment, and much more. You can also find out if the product is suitable for your garden buy checking its description on our website.
At Aqua gardening we believe that prevention is the best way, while keeping your plants healthy and calling in some help from Mother Nature with beneficial bugs is the way to go. You will be amazed how quickly a box of lady beetles will clear your garden from Aphids!
I’m Shiran From Aqua gardening - Safe, healthy food that grows itself.