A little bit of work now, during the winter, will set your garden up to welcome spring without needing synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
– Make sure your soil is protected. I like leaf mulch for this. Because of the incessant rain in my area, we didn’t finish spreading our mulched leaves over our garden beds until December.
– Did you have an insect problem on some of your small trees or shrubs last summer? Apply dormant spray after leaves have dropped to kill overwintering insects and fungi. Certified organic sulfur lyme spray or horticultural oil are commonly used, depending on the plant and the problem. But remember that all insecticides, even these, also kill beneficial insects, so only use locally where you have had a problem.
– Protect your plants from deer, rabbits, and other pests that are running out of easy food during the winter. If the plants are stronger, they will be naturally more resistant to pests.
I pledge to take care of my yard without synthetic pesticides, weedkillers and fertilizers except on rare occasions to resolve an infestation or to improve habitat for native plants and wildlife. I also pledge not to throw pharmaceuticals or chemicals down my drains or toilets.