Pests, disease and weeds

Here at Urban Bounty, we believe that when it comes to pests, diseases and weeds, prevention is easier than the cure. 

Lots of people ask why they can't keep their plants alive.  Apart from choosing the right plant for the right spot, one of the secrets to keeping your plants healthy is to ward off pests and disease before they can do too much damage.  

Steps for preventing pests, diseases and weeds

  • Choose plants suited to the conditions in your garden. Keep them well fed and watered so that they aren’t stressed.
  • Plant companion plants (like chives, borage, calendula, marigolds and fragrant herbs) that attract ‘good’ insects and deter pests.
  • Plant your herbs and vegetables in an easy to make raised garden bed and make it harder for pests to climb into your vegetable garden - our kitset garden boxes have you covered.
  • To avoid exhausting the soil, don’t plant the same vegetable in the same spot two years in a row.
  • Plant soil-cleansing mustard in your vegetable bed at the end of the season. Leave harvested mustard shoots on top of the soil for a week before planting next season’s crops.
  • Prune trees and bushes so the middle gets lots of air and sun. Clear dead leaves and fruit from the base (they make lovely homes for pests).
  • Weed regularly, digging out the whole weed - roots, bulbs and seeds. (Avoid weed sprays that can harm edible plants).
  • Set homemade traps for common pests. Try beer bait traps and copper tape for slugs and snails, rags soaked in neem oil and pheromone traps for codling moths
Pests and disease

Drastic times call for drastic measures
Despite our best efforts, nature sometimes gets out of balance. The key is to act quickly to remove diseased leaves and branches. Put them in the rubbish, not your compost.

  • Homemade sprays can work if problems are spotted early.
    • Try a mix of eco-dishwashing liquid and garlic steeped in boiling water for pests, or baking soda and water for mildew. You can also make a chilli spray to deter caterpillars. Spray cooled mixture on the underside of the leaves.
    • Steep mashed up fresh chillies in water overnight.  Add a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid to the cooled mixture and drench around the base of plants to deter ants.  (Be sure to wash your hands and fresh produce before eating!)  

  • As a last resort, try natural, bee-friendly sprays. Avoid spraying directly on fruit and don’t eat edible plants directly after spraying.

Plants can become pests too!
If a plant is invasive, please don’t plant it, as it can become a problem for native flora and fauna. Similarly, if you know that your plant spreads a lot (like mint, canna lilies or bamboo) it is wise to plant them in a contained space or a pot so they don’t take over!