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Control Garden Pests Organically
Organic pest control for the farm and garden is important for maintaining a permaculture and symbiotic relationship with your land. The barn and garden are two very different battlefields, but they do share some organic pest control methods. Gather together a few simple supplies such as a spray bottle, and prepare to win the war against destructive and harmful farm and garden pests. Many organic pest control methods can be purchased at your local farm or tractor supply store.
- Squash Bugs
- Cabbage Worms
- Squash Vine Borers
- Japanese Beetles
- Tomato Hornworms
- Cucumber Beetles
- Corn Earworms
Organic Garden Pest Control Methods
Hands down when it comes to garden pests the most effective organic pest control for garden vegetables is your own hands and eyes. You can pick up and dispose of slugs and tomato hornworms – chickens and ducks absolutely love them. Grasshoppers can be great fowl food as well, if you can catch them.
You can also let your ducks follow you around your garden, though I would not suggest allowing your chickens loose of their yard, however. Your ducks won’t care about your veggie plants, but your chickens can quickly destroy them by pecking off young leaves and scratching up the roots. Chickens are not an effective organic veggie garden pest control option.
Row Covers are another option for garden rows. You want to look for a light-colored fabric that’s breathable and makes it impossible for the bugs to land on top and lay eggs. Row covers double as protection from birds too!
Organic Garden Pest Control: Sprays and Shakes
Neem Oil is a very popular organic pest control for garden vegetables. This naturally occurring oil from the Neem tree is purchased in a concentrate and diluted into a spray that you can use on plants or directly on the bugs, their eggs, and any larvae. This is a very good option for most beetles and bugs.
Diatomaceous Earth is probably the next popular, multi-bug killing organic garden pest control product. This powdery substance lands on the bugs, slugs, and snails and absorbs all their oils and moisture. The sharp edges and corners help it quickly dry out the bugs and kills them. Food Grade DE is what you want to look for in the garden and can often be difficult to find.
Tip: DE can be used on your livestock. You can add it to their food and sprinkle it over them without causing any harm.
Soap and water work wonders on a number of different bugs as well. You can spray it directly on bugs and watch them die. Use it to spray down plants that have had an infestation of any kind, then rinse with fresh water to help them recuperate.
Pest Specific Solutions
Slugs and Snails are very susceptible to beer traps. These are fairly easy to make at home. Purchase a regular beer (you don’t want anything that is ‘diet’, or ‘sugar-free’, or special in any way. Our slugs and snails prefer Miller) and use it to fill a container with a lid about halfway. You want to have enough liquid in the container that the slugs will drown without crawling out. We’ve had the most success with used plastic food containers for organic veggie garden pest control. The slugs are attracted to the fermenting sugars, drink until drunk, and then drown!
Aphids have one of the simplest solutions. All you need is some petroleum jelly and a disposable yellow cup. Smear the jelly on the outside of the cup and set the cup between your plants. The aphids, and many other small pests, will be drawn to the bright yellow, get stuck in the jelly, and die!
Whiteflies are a nuisance for hothouse plants; not just tomatoes and peppers, but also exotic flowering plants like the hibiscus. They latch onto the underside of leaves and slowly but surely drain the life from your plants. These pests can be destroyed by making sure your plants have excellent airflow and through regular spraying of diluted horticultural oil. Like Neem oil, this oil comes in a concentrate that you dilute and spray onto your plants with a spray bottle.