This means cover your soil with grasses, leaves or any natural material that reduces the heat from the sun and the washing away or flooding of soil by heavy rain.
Any amount of mulch is better than none, but if you can get 2 inches of mulch cover you will have enough to reduce the amount of weeds that may grow.
2. CROP ROTATION
This means planting a variety of crops at different times throughout the year. Just as children are a part of a family, so are different crops and each family uses similar parts of the soil for their nutrients, to grow well. They also attract similar pests. By changing crops you do not take all the same benefits from the soil too quickly and pests do not get a chance to grow too comfortable.
Learn about the various crop families and change your crop types at least twice per year.
This allows the soil to grow healthier crops and keeps the amount of pests very low.
Some crops can be grown that will benefit the following set of plantings.
3. KEEPING PLANTS HEALTHY
Organic growing requires healthy soil and a mixture of the good things that are in the groundke humans, plants need some level of sunlight, water, oxygen, adequate space, and a well rounded, natural diet in order to thrive and grow healthily.
Different pests not only eat plants, or suck the life out of them, pests also cause the plants the equivalent of what we humans call stress. Too much or too little sun, water, too little space and too much food can also be stressful to plants.
Soil that contains well composted, natural amendments, allows crops to grow more happily as their roots can expand in a loose, well formed and balanced environment. The balanced soil allows plants to take just how much benefits they need from the soil, when they need it.
Plants, like humans respond well to care and attention, so pull weeds from around the crops. Drop your weeds into a compost heap and when they have dried out, add them back to the soill as mulch.
ORGANIC PEST CONTROL
If we can keep our plants healthy and stress free, they will be more resistant to pests.
If we use crop rotation as a second strategy we will also reduce pest impact. It is important to inspect your crops frequently and to indentify pest or disease damage before the problem is too far gone.
It is also important to recognise and encourage natural insects that will eat the pests.
The use of sprays, even natural organic sprays is the 3rd and most often, last option.
Permitted Organic Inputs
Composted animal manures (if composted for 120 days). Manure can be left in an area and covered with galvanise for a similar period.. Can also be used as liquid feeds.
Green manures, Legumes planted as part of a rotation.
Sea weed as a soil amendment and as liquid tea.
Formulas made from fish waste as liquid feeds.
Effective Microorganisms.,Epsom salts, act as microbe activators and nutrient facilitators in the soil.
Organic Pest Controls inputs
Neem teas or oil. (teas can be made from soaking neem tree trimmings or berries for 7 days)
Garlic teas as repellants.
Small amounts of washing up liquid and water (1 teaspoon liquid per gallon water)
Yellow sticky fly traps (Whitefly) Blue traps (Thrips) to both monitor and capture.
Pick off pests and observe and protect beneficials. Ladybugs, spiders & birds can be helpful.
Sweet marjoram plants for ants and other plants as repellants