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Author Topic: Organic/homemade pest control  (Read 4706 times)
Ellen M.
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« Topic Start: May 28, 2010, 10:19:24 am »

Hi all! I've undertaken the most ambitious gardening project of my life (which is not saying much, but it's the thought that counts) and I'm trying really, really hard to make this as organic a garden as possible. My plants are already getting nibbled on, especially the sage and jalapeño plants, and I was wondering what the best course of action would be for someone who didn't want to go out and buy a jug of chemical bug spray.

I've heard everything from planting marigolds and lavender, to mixing water and hydrogen peroxide on the plants and then dabbing it off the leaves, to filling a spray bottle with water, dish soap, garlic, and crushed chili peppers. What sorts of things would you guys recommend?
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« Reply #1: May 28, 2010, 01:20:17 pm »

Hi all! I've undertaken the most ambitious gardening project of my life (which is not saying much, but it's the thought that counts) and I'm trying really, really hard to make this as organic a garden as possible. My plants are already getting nibbled on, especially the sage and jalapeño plants, and I was wondering what the best course of action would be for someone who didn't want to go out and buy a jug of chemical bug spray.

I've heard everything from planting marigolds and lavender, to mixing water and hydrogen peroxide on the plants and then dabbing it off the leaves, to filling a spray bottle with water, dish soap, garlic, and crushed chili peppers. What sorts of things would you guys recommend?

Well, I'm not growing any vegetables, just flowers and a few herbs, but I've had some success this year. I guess it depends on what's eating them.

Marigolds seem to stop the neighborhood cats from using my flower beds as litter boxes, I don't think they like the smell. I've heard coffee grounds work for this too, but I've never tried it. I was having some problems with rabbits, so I transplanted some wild violets near the place where the rabbits were getting in. It grows like crazy and they seem to like it. Now they leave my other plants alone. I do have lavender planted in one of the beds. Nothing has been bothering the plants in that one.

I can't help much with bugs. The big problem I had last year was aphids. None of the natural remedies worked and my roses were in really bad shape. This year, as much as I hated to do it, I went for the bug spray as soon as I saw the first sign of them. But, I've only had to use it once, my roses have been aphid free for about two months!

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Ellen M.
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« Reply #2: May 28, 2010, 01:44:22 pm »

Well, I'm not growing any vegetables, just flowers and a few herbs, but I've had some success this year. I guess it depends on what's eating them.

Marigolds seem to stop the neighborhood cats from using my flower beds as litter boxes, I don't think they like the smell. I've heard coffee grounds work for this too, but I've never tried it. I was having some problems with rabbits, so I transplanted some wild violets near the place where the rabbits were getting in. It grows like crazy and they seem to like it. Now they leave my other plants alone. I do have lavender planted in one of the beds. Nothing has been bothering the plants in that one.

I can't help much with bugs. The big problem I had last year was aphids. None of the natural remedies worked and my roses were in really bad shape. This year, as much as I hated to do it, I went for the bug spray as soon as I saw the first sign of them. But, I've only had to use it once, my roses have been aphid free for about two months!

Thanks for the advice! My lavender plants aren't large enough to be flowering yet, so I think that's why they're not doing any good. I might pick up some marigolds and put them around my peppers, though.
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« Reply #3: May 28, 2010, 02:22:27 pm »

What sorts of things would you guys recommend?

Garlic/soap sprays are awesome, but do test a leaf or two before spraying whole plants (some don't tolerate even organic sprays).  I've had good results with neem oil as a soil drench for below-ground pests, but even though it's organic, it's potent stuff.  Go easy, and keep in mind the lifecycles of beneficial/harmless insects when you use it.

Brina
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« Reply #4: May 29, 2010, 04:21:49 am »

Hi all! I've undertaken the most ambitious gardening project of my life (which is not saying much, but it's the thought that counts) and I'm trying really, really hard to make this as organic a garden as possible. My plants are already getting nibbled on, especially the sage and jalapeño plants, and I was wondering what the best course of action would be for someone who didn't want to go out and buy a jug of chemical bug spray.

I've heard everything from planting marigolds and lavender, to mixing water and hydrogen peroxide on the plants and then dabbing it off the leaves, to filling a spray bottle with water, dish soap, garlic, and crushed chili peppers. What sorts of things would you guys recommend?

This isn't strictly an organic pesticide, but can be a useful tip anyway. Don't plant in blocks of one type of crop. Mix your planting up, putting several different crops in the same bed and spreading each crop as much over your garden as you can.

Most pests have their favorite plant and putting them together is like putting up a big red flashing neon sign for the pests that says "pest paradise can be found here". If you mix up your planting the pests have a much harder job getting from plant to plant and don't find your garden so appealing.
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« Reply #5: May 29, 2010, 08:54:45 am »

This isn't strictly an organic pesticide, but can be a useful tip anyway. Don't plant in blocks of one type of crop. Mix your planting up, putting several different crops in the same bed and spreading each crop as much over your garden as you can.

Most pests have their favorite plant and putting them together is like putting up a big red flashing neon sign for the pests that says "pest paradise can be found here". If you mix up your planting the pests have a much harder job getting from plant to plant and don't find your garden so appealing.

Ahhh, gotcha. Unfortunately it may be too late for my block of jalapeños, but I'll try to do that with my bell peppers. Another unfortunately, I'm mostly focusing on herbs and have been told not to mix herbs and vegetables in the same bed. The reasoning behind this is, as I've been told, the peppers are very, very thirsty plants, while my herbs need to completely dry out in between waterings. (Of course, I could just be more precise with how I water my plants, and probably should be, water conservation and all.)

Thanks for the tip! Right now I'm digging up more turf to make room for more beds, and have some time to plan before my next plantings.
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« Reply #6: May 29, 2010, 01:56:19 pm »

Ahhh, gotcha. Unfortunately it may be too late for my block of jalapeños, but I'll try to do that with my bell peppers. Another unfortunately, I'm mostly focusing on herbs and have been told not to mix herbs and vegetables in the same bed.

You may find it useful to look into companion planting; some plants do well planted near other crops.  Sometimes this supports the growth/nutritional content/flavor; sometimes it helps with pest control.

A useful book is Carrots Love Tomatoes.
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Ellen M.
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« Reply #7: May 29, 2010, 03:12:19 pm »

You may find it useful to look into companion planting; some plants do well planted near other crops.  Sometimes this supports the growth/nutritional content/flavor; sometimes it helps with pest control.

A useful book is Carrots Love Tomatoes.

It turns out my local library has that! I'll definitely check it out asap. Thanks! Smiley
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« Reply #8: July 10, 2010, 10:44:40 am »

Pyrethrin, made from Daisy like chrysanthemum flower. Ive been meaning to check out which species/cultivar and see if I could obtain and grow some, to use as tick repellant when I go into forest, but have not gotten to it yet.
Check out this website

http://doyourownpestcontrol.com/pyrethrin.htm

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« Reply #9: July 10, 2010, 11:38:01 am »

Hi, OwlMedicine - please don't forget to quote, even if you're replying to the first post in a thread.  Thanks!

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« Reply #10: July 10, 2010, 03:59:00 pm »

Hi all! I've undertaken the most ambitious gardening project of my life (which is not saying much, but it's the thought that counts) and I'm trying really, really hard to make this as organic a garden as possible. My plants are already getting nibbled on, especially the sage and jalapeño plants, and I was wondering what the best course of action would be for someone who didn't want to go out and buy a jug of chemical bug spray.

Neem essential oil plus soap is a terrific spray.  Go very easy on the neem.  It's potent stuff.  I use a small squirt of an all-natural, biodegradable dish soap, half a teaspoon of neem, and a quart of lukewarm water.  Shake the hell out of it, and test a leaf or two before spraying whole plants.

Brina
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