Organic Gardening; Controlling weeds, pests & diseases nature’s way

By Andy McIndoe


How our approach to gardening has changed in the past half century. Who would have thought that we would allow clover to invade our manicured lawns, or be nurturing native species alongside our prize dahlias and roses? Looking back our approach to pest and disease control was both selfish and unthinking. As long as our precious plants and crops were protected we did not count the cost. Today gardeners are more aware of their responsibilities. We want to protect and nurture beneficial insects and the other wildlife in our gardens. We recognise the value of some of those organisms we regard as pests as part of the food chain. The broad spectrum garden chemical has largely give way to the low impact more specific products and the majority of gardeners choose an organic environmentally friendly solution.

 Cattleya orchid2

“Nature Friendly” garden products dominate the shelves of most garden centres and other garden retailers. But are they something new, or have they always been there? Neudorff specialises in natural gardening and the company was formed in 1854, that’s more than 150 years ago. The majority of products in the Neudorff range contain active ingredients that occur naturally in nature and some Neudorff controls utilise the behaviour of insects. The Company’s primary objective is to develop pest control products that interfere with the environment as little as possible alongside organic fertilisers and natural growth stimulants.

Pyrol Bug and Larvae Killer3

Take Neudorff’s Pyrol Bug and Larvae killer for example. The active ingredient is pyrethrins in the form of natural pyrethrum. This is derived from the daisy flower of the same name grown commercially for this purpose. It is effective against mature insects, their larvae and their eggs; particularly important if you are trying to control hard to shift pests suck as mealybugs and scale bugs. It has low toxicity to bees and avoids the use of products containing neonicotinoids.

Mealy bug on phalaenopsis blooms4

I find this a really useful way of controlling mealy bug in the conservatory which is a particular problem during the winter months. The ready to use spray is really handy when the bugs get going in the leaf axils and on the backs of orchid blooms.

Mealy bug in leaf axils5

As a natural product it is more pleasant and safer to use in this environment than a chemical one. Healthy foliage is always more resistant to pests and diseases and orchids benefit from gentle feeding after flowering and after any insect infestation. Neudorff’s Organic Orchid feed is derived from the natural fermentation of the by-product of processing sugar beet. This contains the trace elements and minerals that make such a difference to the performance of your plants alongside naturally occurring growth promoting substances.

Orchid Vitaliser6

You can use the natural spray Orchid Vitaliser at any time, even when your plants are in bloom if you mist the leaves and avoid the flowers. The plants love the increased humidity and the pray gently delivers absorbable nutrients obtained during the processing of medicinal and spice plants.

It is worth pointing out that the trial and evaluation process and subsequent registration process of an organic, environmentally friendly product is just as lengthy and rigorous as that of a chemical product. The formulation it is used in and the instruction and application are paramount to its success. Both new and existing products are continually tested to utilise their full potential.

Organic Moss Control for Lawns_application_300 dpi7

The Neudorff range covers products that you are likely to use throughout the gardening year. Even the reluctant gardener will probably try to control moss in the lawn which always takes a hold during the winter months. Organic Moss control for Lawns is simply diluted and watered on to moss any time from late winter. It is still effective at low temperatures so you can use it as long as the weather isn’t freezing. The active ingredient is pelargonic acid, a naturally occurring compound extracted from plants. It poses no risk to wildlife or pets so there is no need to exclude them from the area after treatment. All gardeners will appreciate the fast, visible results which make it simple to revisit and treat any areas you have missed.

Organic Lawn Feed&Improver_5kg_72 dpi8

As the weather starts to warm up in spring you can revitalise your lawn and build its strength for the coming season with Neudorff’s Organic Lawn Feed and Improver. This is a fast acting and long lasting organic fertiliser with added mycorrhizal fungi. These form a mycelium beneath the soil surface and work with the plant’s roots to aid growth and uptake of water and nutrients. They also make the lawn more drought resistant.

The lawn9

As an organic fertiliser this Lawn Feed and Improver takes the risk out of feeding your lawn. With chemical products it can be so easy to overfeed and to scorch areas of the grass; areas that can take a whole season to recover.


Environmentally friendly pest, disease and weed controls and fertilisers are the natural choice for all gardeners and the only choice for those wishing to establish a wildlife friendly garden. There are so many ways we can change our gardening habits to make our plots more wildlife friendly. Check out my course ‘Gardening for Wildlife’ in association with the Royal Horticultural Society. It will give you lots of ideas on what to grow to attract bees, birds, butterflies and other wild creatures to your garden

Do check out the Neudorff website to see what else is in the range and for lots of environmentally friendly gardening ideas and advice.

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Andy McIndoe

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