Get rid of those nasties, naturally
Natural Pesticides that deter the bad bugs but don't harm the good bugs. This will be one of your challenges when you start your Organic Veggie Patch. Keeping the vegetable garden pests and diseases away is not as hard as you may think.
If you have a small garden these are very easy to manage but you're going to enjoy your organic vegetable gardening sooo much that your garden will get bigger and bigger...
Other methods apart from natural pesticides to deter the pests include: Companion Planting, introducing good bugs like lady bugs, covering up young plants (with an empty soft drink bottle with top and bottom removed) or covering vulnerable plants with netting.
Each plant is different so keep an eye on your veggie patch
I have some simple natural pesticides here for you to help with these common problems.
White Oil - sticks to bugs and suffocates them so it's a great spray to have on hand.
To make your own White Oil:
Neem Oil - Insects do not like this one. You can buy products already pre-mixed or you can buy the oil and use for many things. I'm using my neem oil for the garden, to help my dog and horse who both have bad itches and as a nit repellent for my daughter's hair. Versatile product this one and well worth checking out.
This site on Rhubarb Pests shows there are many options for protecting your veggies from pests and diseases.
A FEW COMMON PESTS
Aphids - nasty little green bugs that LOVE roses as well as some vegies. Warm soapy water or White Oil will get rid of these. Lady bugs love to eat them so look after them if you see them in your garden.
Mealy Bugs - White hairy little things, found on back of the leaves - these little guys will suck the life out of your plant. These are usually found on houseplants. If you find you have these then isolate the plant (not near the veggie patch though!!). Wash down the plant with a mix of 1 part alcohol, 1 part water and some dishwashing liquid. You may need to do this again a few days later.
Snails - Make a beer trap. Put a small amount of beer in the bottom of a container and dig into the soil. The snail will go in, get drunk, drown and .... Let's just say he'll go to a better place! If this doesn't work for you - visit the garden in the morning and simply pick them up (great job for the kids!)
Caterpillars - The hungry little caterpillar! will eat the leaves on your plants - pretty easy to know when they're about. Others will live inside your fruit. Pick them off if you see them and give them to the chickens for a treat. Use a garlic spray if you need to spray. If you see the moths about then catch them in a butterfly net or use netting over your plants. If you notice plants that get attacked by caterpillars often (like my Pak Choy at the moment) try to plant them away from your other plants so you can isolate the problem, then if you have to spray, you aren't spraying your whole garden. Get the kids involved with helping get rid of these guys.
And there's more... If you see your plants suffering then have a look to see if you can see any bugs on the plant or flying around. Don't forget to look under the leaves. You can do a search for the particular plant ie "tomatoes" "pests" this will give you more thorough information on the specific pests that are likely to attack your veggies.
If plants are looking yellow, it may not be pests, it could be a soil problem, too much or too little water or a disease. A good garden center could also help - take a plant sample into the store in a plastic bag.
A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows. ~Doug Larson
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