The organic gardening is very important to Richmond Vale Academy, not only because it provides food security to the school, but also because it is a way to show local people how to be climate compliant through implementing climate-smart agriculture techniques. This is why a useful organic pest control is really important for the garden in RVA.
But, as every agricultural practice, it presents various challenges.
One of these challenges is pests we had to avoid if we want to protect our organic food.
As you may know, organic gardening discards using all kind of chemical products.
And, since they are harmful to the environment and to humans. There is where the challenge begins.
Considering we are under tropical weather, the proliferation of undesired bugs in your garden is something to be aware of, and have an organic pest control system is necessary.
Also, for the school is especially difficult considering that the amount of people is always changing.
Besides, sometimes, the garden team struggles to keep up with the tasks required.
So, how are we dealing with these situations?
Ideally, a garden designed under Permaculture principles will be bio-diversified enough to have natural predators to the present pests.
Additionally, it should have a crop mixture that avoids pest concentration in specific areas.
Hence, this is what we are trying to do.
And, now, we are planting perennial plants, which are plants that last for more than two growing seasons.
So, most of our perennials are herbaceous and have pest repellent properties due to their natural scent.
These plants are accompanied with other flower that bring color to the garden and attract beneficial insects.
But, this is not enough, so we have to use organic pesticides.
There is a variety of pesticides that are useful but to specific pests.
We find that plants from the family of solanaceous, like eggplant and tomato, are more susceptible to pests.
The way we are dealing with it is to spray them 3 times a week with a garlic, pepper and soap mix.
So far, it has worked, but there is still work to do if we want to keep our garden pest free.