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Organic Sprays to Control Garden Pests

Tim Blank shares some useful tips on growing a healthier garden. Organic Sprays to Control Insect Pests "For APHIDS, Mites, Thrips, Whiteflies, and Other Small Insects This is one of my favorite sprays because it provides different ways to kill the various stages of insect development (and even Continue Reading

Organic Sprays to Control Garden Pests

Tim Blank shares some useful tips on growing a healthier garden.

Organic Sprays to Control Insect Pests

“For APHIDS, Mites, Thrips, Whiteflies, and Other Small Insects

This is one of my favorite sprays because it provides different ways to kill the various stages of insect development (and even serves as a mild fungicide). Neem oil contains a natural chemical from the neem tree called azadirachtin — it’s a natural insect growth regulator that prevents further life stages of an insect pest.TG neem oil

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon horticultural grade neem oil
  • 1 tablespoon horticultural grade insecticidal soap (or liquid dish soap, such as pure castile liquid soap — not dishwashing detergent)
  • 1 gallon water

Instructions:

  • Mix ingredients well and shake periodically during use.
  • Apply once a week during light pest season, or twice a week during heavy pest season.
  • Always spray in morning (before sunrise) or in late evening. Never spray in sunlight, or you’ll risk scorching your plants.
  • Spray plants liberally, and be sure to get the undersides of leaves, where many pests feed.
  • After the application, discard any remaining spray. It will not store well.
  • Clean your sprayer thoroughly after each use.

For All WORMS and CATERPILLARS

For small infestations of worms and caterpillars, handpicking is usually the most efficient method of control. But if your plants are really under attack, apply this solution.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon (or label rate) Bacillus thuringiensis (BT, brand name Thuricide)
  • 1 gallon water

Instructions:

  • Mix ingredients well and shake periodically during use.
  • Apply at first sign of worms or caterpillars.
  • Always spray in morning (before sunrise) or in late evening. Never spray in sunlight, or you’ll risk scorching your plants.
  • Spray plants liberally, and be sure to get the undersides of leaves, where many pests feed.
  • After the application, discard any remaining spray. It will not store well.
  • Clean your sprayer thoroughly after each use.

For THRIPS, Beetles, Stinkbugs, and Many Other Large Insects

Pyrethrin concentrate, which is derived from the chrysanthemum flower, has been used to control beetles, stinkbugs, and many other large insects — as well as thrips — for decades. For this one, I recommend using less than the label rates, as Pyrethrin concentrate can easily burn many vegetable crops.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Pyrethrin concentrate (residential grade)
  • 1 gallon water

Instructions:

  • Mix ingredients well and shake periodically during use.
  • Apply at the first sign of pests. For thrips, spray twice a week.
  • Always spray in morning (before sunrise) or in late evening. Never spray in sunlight, or you’ll risk scorching your plants.
  • Spray plants liberally, and be sure to get the undersides of leaves, where many pests feed.
  • After the application, discard any remaining spray. It will not store well.
  • Clean your sprayer thoroughly after each use.

Organic Sprays to Control Plant Diseases

For Leaf Fungus (e.g., Dampening Off, Leaf Spot, Powdery Mildew)

Liquid copper fungicide is a good way to protect all kinds of seedlings and plants from problems caused by bacteria and fungi pests. But keep in mind, copper can build up in a closed system (like Tower Garden) and become toxic to plants after extended periods of use. Copper also stains white plastic. So, use with caution.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon liquid copper fungicide
  • 1 gallon water

Instructions:

  • Mix ingredients well and shake periodically during use.
  • Apply once a week.
  • Always spray in morning (before sunrise) or in late evening. Never spray in sunlight, or you’ll risk scorching your plants.
  • After the application, discard any remaining spray. It will not store well.
  • Clean your sprayer thoroughly after each use.

For Leaf Fungus (e.g., Powdery Mildew)

Another great solution for fungal pathogens is potassium bicarbonate (brand name Mil-Stop).

Instructions:

  • Follow instructions on label.
  • Mix ingredients well and shake periodically during use.
  • Apply once a week during light fungus season, or twice a week during heavy fungus season.
  • Always spray in morning (before sunrise) or in late evening. Never spray in sunlight, or you’ll risk scorching your plants.
  • After the application, discard any remaining spray. It will not store well.
  • Clean your sprayer thoroughly after each use.scout

Happy (Pest-Free) Gardening!

So, there you have it. My six steps for simple, successful pest control:

  1. Grow in a good location
  2. Choose the right crops
  3. Start with strong seedlings
  4. Harvest from your garden frequently
  5. Scout for signs of trouble often
  6. Spray plants when necessary”

Logan Nickleson gave some great tips in The Ultimate Guide to Garden Pest Control.

“Repel Garden Pests with Plants

Did you know some plants actually have pest-repelling properties? Growing such plants in your Tower Garden is one of the easiest ways to prevent pest problems (especially if you’re growing indoors).

There are a number of plants that fall into this category. But when it comes to deciding what to grow, I’m a fan of maximizing value. In addition to repelling most pests, the following 4 plants also attract good bugs, offer health benefits, and taste great!marigold

  • Catnip prevents aphids, beetles, caterpillars and shield bugs.
  • Dill prevents aphids, caterpillars, shield bugs and spider mites.
  • Mint prevents aphids, beetles, caterpillars, shield bugs and whiteflies.
  • Nasturtium prevents aphids, beetles, caterpillars and shield bugs.

In addition to these, other great plants to grow for pest control include

  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Rue
  • Summer savory
  • Thyme

Control Garden Pests with Good Bugs

Attracting natural predators is another simple solution to garden pests. And in my opinion, it’s also the most interesting. When I found an assassin bug nymph, well, assassinating a pest on my tomato plant, my immediate response was, “I’ve got to take a picture of this!” (Thus, the following photo.)

OK, now that I’ve revealed my inner nerd, here is a most-wanted list of garden friendlies:ladybugs on lettuce cropped

Ladybugs and their larvae feed on aphids and other soft-bodied pests. Rejoice if you see these red-orange, spotted beetles in your garden.

Lacewings and their larvae devour lots of bad bugs, including aphids, caterpillars, leafhoppers, scales, thrips, whiteflies and even insect eggs.

Hoverflies resemble small bees (and they actually help with pollination!). Their green, slug-like larvae feed on aphids.parasitic wasp copy

Parasitic wasps are often almost too small to see. They prey on aphids and caterpillars.

Predatory true bugs, which include spined soldier bugs, assassin bugs, pirate bugs and others, feed on various caterpillars and beetles.

Spiders may not be what you love to see on your Tower Garden, but they’re valuable allies, eating all kinds of pests. Plus, those that typically inhabit gardens aren’t poisonous.

Tachinid flies, which basically look like houseflies, are natural enemies of caterpillars, beetles and shield bugs.

So how do you get these good bugs in your garden? You can actually order them online and introduce them to your garden. But I’m a fan of attracting the good bugs naturally (which increases the likelihood of them sticking around, too).”

If you are interested in saving money on produce and creating a sustainable garden, and giving your family the cleanest, best tasting produce, consider growing tower garden veggies. Because there is no soil and no digging, no weeding and no bending, growing is now easier that it ever was in a traditional dirt garden. Check the links below and email your questions.

Submitted by Gwen O’Neill.

Gwen O’Neill has been a gardener for over 40 years and has always been a passionate cook. Her own health challenges led her to experiencing a variety of healing modalities. After finding that her health improved with eating more whole food and improving her nutrition using a real, whole food based supplement called Juice Plus, she committed to sharing this experience with others. The aeroponic Tower Garden by Juice Plus makes it easy to grow produce right outside your kitchen door.

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Juice Plus real food!

 

GwensHealthyLife.com

facebook.com/gwenoneillstowergarden

@HealthyGwen

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