By Gail Thomas for Australian Horticulture.

(reproduced with permission)

If the pests are taking hold, this useful reference has plenty of quick and easy organic solutions to getting the upper hand in both the garden and home.
With a host of ideas, strategies and answers this new revised edition has been updated and expanded, documenting more than sixty relevant plants along with traps, barriers, sprays and more to assist in addressing all manner of pest problems while maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle and garden.
Penny Woodward who has a wealth of knowledge, having penned seven herb and garden related books has divided the plants and recipes in this volume into four categories; those that will kill pests, actively repel them, those that can mask the scents of plants targeted by pests and those that will kill or control fungi and bacteria.
Importantly it is imperative to take a holistic approach in maintaining a balance between pests and predators and the book also features tips and safety guidelines when making and using homemade pesticides.
The comprehensive A-Z of plants and organic remedies is fully illustrated with clear colour photographs throughout and also includes recipes using many easily accessible household ingredients including coffee, bicarbonate of soda, milk, molasses, flour and garlic.
Many plants have multi-purpose benefits – dill helps repel spider mites and white cabbage moths while simultaneously attracting bees and other beneficial insects to the garden, sage not only has a natural culinary affinity with pork, it also helps repel ants and is used medicinally as a tonic for colds and sore throats while a simple milk spray can be used against powdery and downy mildew and botrytis blight.
A further A-Z chapter on pests contains a diagnostic chart to head you in the right direction identifying various problems along with cross references to suggested plants, sprays, traps and barriers to safely remedy the challenges at hand.
Listings of useful websites and suppliers further extend the scope of this invaluable reference which is highly recommended and is a must-have for those seeking chemical-free alternatives to a balanced organic approach to both home and garden.
If you want to buy a copy, get it from an independent bookshop, borrow it from the library or buy a copy online from the store.