Thursday, May 9, 2013

Organic Pest Control

Photo by:  Hans
Yesterday, I told you how to keep snails and slugs away from your garden and fruit trees. Today’s blog post will help you rid the garden of other pests such as aphids, beetles, and rabbits using natural, organic methods. 


Marigolds are pretty flowers that look nice in window boxes, planters, or flower gardens. However, some of the older generation gardeners planted them throughout their vegetable gardens. Marigolds have a reason for being in the garden in the first place. Grow some marigolds around the perimeter of the garden or scattered intermittently between vegetable plants as a natural way to repel the Mexican bean beetle and aphids. They also help repel, rabbits, moles and other varmints. When planted by the tomatoes or melons, they can help to boost the tomato and melon fruit production. If you know where you want to plant tomatoes next year, plant some marigolds in the plant marigolds in the garden spot this year. The plants will give you at least 50 percent more in yield. 

Yellow Sticky Tape
Control aphids, whiteflies, thrips, and other insects in the garden by hanging up yellow sticky traps. Reflected light from the plant's surface, or the color of yellow is what often attracts insects. You can either buy yellow sticky traps at your local garden supply store or make your own. To make your own, simply color a piece of heavy cardboard yellow. When the paint dries, spread on a thick layer of Vaseline. The insects make their way to the yellow traps where they become stuck. When the traps become full, throw away the ones you bought. If you made yours, simply wipe away the bugs and reapply the Vaseline. 

Garlic and Onions
Garlic and/or onions growing around your plants will help control aphids. You can mix up a garlic spray and apply that to your plants. An easy recipe for garlic spray is to combine 10 ounces of water and 2 teaspoons of liquid dish or laundry soap into a pot. Add several cloves of garlic, minced fine along with a finely chopped cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and boil for several minutes. Cool and then strain the mixture to remove the garlic and cayenne pepper, or they will clog your sprayer. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and then spray your plants.

Hand Picking

Japanese beetles, potato bugs and other beetles are often a problem for the home gardener. The best method to get rid of those beetles is to pick them off by hand. Do this early in the morning or late in the evening when the day is cool. Beetles cannot fly unless they have a body temperature of 73° Fahrenheit. Pour several inches of hot soapy water into a gallon pail or other bucket. You can also use diesel or gas for this purpose. Pick the beetles off and then drop them into the bucket where they will drown. Place the lid on the bucket or pail and leave it in the sun. If you use diesel fuel or gas, do not spill this in your garden, as it will kill your plants. 

If picking bugs makes you squeamish, cover your plants with mesh cloth. If you have beetles bothering the flower garden, plant dark colored flowers. Beetles don't like them as well as the light colored flowers.

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