You have put a lot of hard work into your garden, and now it is time to protect it! The biggest pest problem you face is insects, and the easiest way to prevent insect damage is to create an ‘unfriendly environment’. Your best defense is a HEALTHY GARDEN. Here are a few tips:
Clean up: make sure that you keep your plants clean by picking off any dead or dying leaves and stems. Make sure to get rid of weak plants and take all of the plant material away from the garden area. You want to keep weeds and debris out of the garden as that is a perfect spot for insects to breed. Keep your tools clean, and disinfect if you have been working with infected plants.
Dry Foliage: We want you to provide your plants with water, but it is important that you water in such a way that you keep the foliage dry. Wet, soggy foliage encourages fungal growth, as well as insect infestation. The best time of day to water is in the early morning, as that allows the foliage to stay dry for the majority of the day. Drip irrigation is a great method to water the root system while leaving the foliage dry.
Feed Them: We recommend a diluted feeding of seaweed fertilizer once a week. Although it is a bit smelly, seaweed contains trace elements of iron, barium, calcium, sulfur, zinc and magnesium to encourage healthy growth and give them the strength to fight any potential disease. Our favorite product is made by Neptune’s Harvest: http://www.neptunesharvest.com/fs-191.html
Use Them: The more you use them, the better. Spending time pinching back, pruning or harvesting is time well spent. Routine inspection of your herb plants is a good means of not letting anything get out of control, and it is also a great way to relax.
Plant Based Insecticides: In the event that you need use an insecticide, we recommend using a plant based product. Plants actually produce many powerful chemicals to defend themselves against insects. Pyrethrum is a safe and natural insecticide made from certain species of chrysanthemum, has relatively low toxicity and breaks down quickly.