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Buddhism and Gardening

As a keen armature gardener, I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to get rid of pests on plants, such as Green/Black fly and Vine Weevils and there larvae without harming or killing them.

I have been told there is a chemical that will destroy the Vine Weevils larvae before the develop in to full Vine Weevils and eat and destroy the plants and the same for the Green/Black Fly.

But a Buddhist practiser I have taken a vow of no killing and I garden organically to help the balance of the environment, so using chemicals to eradicate the Vine Weevils, Green/Black Fly is unacceptable.

So if anyone has got any advice that would or could help me garden ethically and without having to use chemicals which would cause harm or even kill any insects or pests would be really appreciated.

Comments

  • genkakugenkaku Veteran Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    I know almost nothing about gardening, but watering tomatoes with a little garlic powder mixed in seems to keep some of the bugs away.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    edited April 2013
    I don't know about your specific pests because we don't have them here, but you will probably find better luck at preventing them/keeping them away from the garden than you will find methods to get rid of them without killing them. There are lots of natural (non chemical) ways to get rid of garden pests, but it will still kill them. So prevention is your best bet. I've been able to keep almost all the pests, slugs, cats, deer and other critters out of my garden by strategically planting garlic and marigolds. You will have to do a google search on natural methods to prevent them for your area though.
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran
    I think your best bet is 'companion planting'. Garlic and marigolds as karasti mentions. Make healthy organic plants and they have their own innate defense systems. Never underestimate how smart plants are. I had a bean plant that developed black fly and attracted ladybirds/ladybugs for munchies. The neighbouring bean plant, somehow became aware of this and developed black spots in just the right place to attract the predator insect, thereby ensuring any aphids were dealt with before they could establish.
    If your practice is sufficiently developed, you can ask problem insects to leave by chanting mantra to them . . .
    Another approach is to plant unusual, high resistant plants. So some plants are favoured or unfavouvered by insects. Birds will help you out but the killing might be too much for you. How do you dig the soil without mass killing?

    Good luck. Be kind even to the rain . . . :wave:
  • Thank you Genkaku, Karasi and Lobster for all you helpful hint, tips and comments they have been very useful

    om mani ped me hum
  • footiamfootiam Veteran Veteran

    As a keen armature gardener, I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to get rid of pests on plants, such as Green/Black fly and Vine Weevils and there larvae without harming or killing them.

    I have been told there is a chemical that will destroy the Vine Weevils larvae before the develop in to full Vine Weevils and eat and destroy the plants and the same for the Green/Black Fly.

    But a Buddhist practiser I have taken a vow of no killing and I garden organically to help the balance of the environment, so using chemicals to eradicate the Vine Weevils, Green/Black Fly is unacceptable.

    So if anyone has got any advice that would or could help me garden ethically and without having to use chemicals which would cause harm or even kill any insects or pests would be really appreciated.

    I believed I have read somewhere on a monk who removed pests in the temple ground to another location. That probably would change the ecosystem of a place, too many pests in one place and too little or none at all in another. Maybe, you could practise biological control, or grow hardy plants that attracts no pests instead or perhaps even give up gardening entirely. Otherwise, don't worry. Just spray the pesticides and pretend that they are just pest repellents.
    Kelsang_Tsering
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    I was contemplating this situation last night. I just recalled that we are on track for a cycle of tent caterpillars in our area. They come around every 10 years or so, and the last outbreak of them was in 2001. So we're due. They are actually really pretty caterpillars, but so so destructive to trees and gardens. It doesn't hurt the trees, but last time we had them here they ate 7 million acres of tree leaves. It looked like winter in June, no leaves on most of the trees. We had some in the area last year, and should ramp up to have an outbreak this year or next year. I'm trying to figure how best to deal with keeping them out of the garden. They come by the millions and completely cover roadways, the sides of houses, and so on. You can't just pick them off because there are just too many. So prevention is the only way and they are pretty tenacious animals. They can even walk across the surface of the water. So finding a way to protect the garden is going to be a challenge. It's impossible to avoid killing thousands of them in just the few weeks they are out unless you never leave the house. Not looking forward to it.
    Kelsang_Tsering
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    Can you imagine how many creatures 'suffered' when Japanese Zen Gardens were originally created?
    Everything is so sanitary, so perfect.... the lines calculated to look 100% natural - every artifice looks as if it has been in place - for ever.....
    How much attention was paid, intensely, I wonder, to the care and consideration for the creatures encountered? Was their well-being factored into the meticulous equations?
    I think not.

    Odd though, that we should be so fastidious with regard to the care, attention and well-being of an insentient object (the plant) yet occasionally care less for a creature (the insect) that may arguably be said to be more so....
    Kelsang_Tsering
  • ZeroZero Veteran Veteran
    It depends on the size of the garden.
    A mature garden is a complex ecosystem - by gardening, it is inevitable that one affects the ecosystem in typical ways.
    The best of chance of not killing is probably not gardening.
    Even if one 'gets rid' of a pest by say washing with water, the pest will probably die as it is displaced from its environment.
    Any intervention has a cascading effect.
    federica
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