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Organic pest control
Advantages: Little or no use of chemicals makes for safe food growing for you
Disadvantages: organic pesticides require more time commitment and application
Organic pest control involves several types of controls...
• Physical controls - keep pests from reaching your plants: floating row covers, handpicking pests off plants.
• Cultural controls - keep plants healthy and reduce insect problems.
- Keeping a clean garden prevents insects from living in plant waste, especially over the winter to keep warm
- Rotating crops every year makes sure that one plant family doesn't keep attracting the same pests
- Applying mulch keeps weeds down, saves water, and nourishes soil
- Composting provides organic matter = improves soil health and nutrients for plants
• Biological controls
- Companion planting strengthen crops and trap crops attract pests away from other crops.
- Plant pollen and nectar producing plants to attract good bugs: alfalfa, anise, angelica, daisies, dill, coriander, hollyhocks, marigolds, yarrow, goldenrod, white clover, fennel, zinnias, parsley, lemon balm, sunflowers
Planting marigolds (scented) helps repel pests like Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, thrips, tomato hornworms, and whiteflies and attract beneficial insects to your garden. They're also quite beautiful!
Garden Pest Identification
Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects, grey, red, yellow, brown or green in color. They pierce stems, leaves, and other tender plant parts and suck out plant fluids. Attract beneficial insects like lady beetles, parasitic wasps (pictured above) and plant aphid repelling plants like garlic and coriander.
Homemade Chemical-free Pesticides
According to this helpful website, organic pest control mixtures start with
Check out this website for more homemade pest sprays. Apply selectively (mind the lady beetles and bees!).
1. In a blender (or finely chopped up), blend these ingredients in 4 cups of water:
• 1 whole garlic bulb
• 6 large or 12 smaller hot chili peppers (or 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper)
• 1 small onion
2. Let mixture sit for 1-2 hours and strain with a coffee filter or cheese cloth into a large spray bottle
3. After straining, add 1 tablespoon each of liquid soap and cooking oil
4. Use spray in the morning or evening, spraying the plants everywhere, especially under the leaves! Reapply after rain.