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 Post subject: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 3:29 pm 
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So gardeners, how do you keep bugs away? In Portland I was spraying with diluted peppermint Dr Bronners, but I think that the Nebraska bugs are much more hardcore.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 3:47 pm 
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I found this website a while back and all of the remedies have worked well for me so far.
http://www.shelsgarden.com/natural.html

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 4:11 pm 
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What bugs are you dealing with? If you have a small garden, sometimes just going out early morning and evening and handpicking is the best approach.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 6:46 pm 
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We've had fair luck with garlic extract for certain critters. We also found a organic certified pest control company. If I remember right, their formula uses chrysanthemum of some sort.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 1:54 am 
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Also don't just look at formulas, there's also different ways to mulch/companion plant to help this kind of thing out. I can't really advise how yet because I'm just starting to look into myself, but it's an idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 8:03 pm 
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I use wire, agribon & clothespins (also some rocks, & I even tried velcro) to cover the plants.

I put heavier agribon on to extend the season, then lighter weight to keep away the bugs in the summer. It worked pretty well for cabbage worms, squash vine borers and cucumber beetles last year.

Pictures and explanation how I made them here: http://grow-peace.blogspot.com/2010/06/ ... tures.html

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 10:40 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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I use different methods depending on the plant and the bug, but neem oil is awesome on pretty much everything. We keep a spray bottle of water with red pepper flakes in it, and spray down all the things that squirrels and birds like to eat. It also seems to help keep the aphids off the kale and broccoli.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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Oh! And we have some great organic pest management guides on our website:

Integrated Pest Management and Companion Planting
Natural Insect Deterrents for Your Garden (This one was scanned out of an old book but it's awesome and I use it all the time.)
Pest Management Solutions (In a chart!)

And if you have a really bad problem, covering your plot with remay works great.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 10:55 pm 
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abbierae wrote:
I use different methods depending on the plant and the bug, but neem oil is awesome on pretty much everything. We keep a spray bottle of water with red pepper flakes in it, and spray down all the things that squirrels and birds like to eat. It also seems to help keep the aphids off the kale and broccoli.


be careful with the neem! it kills everything including the beneficial predators and the pollinators!
xo
kittee

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 10:58 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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kittee wrote:
abbierae wrote:
I use different methods depending on the plant and the bug, but neem oil is awesome on pretty much everything. We keep a spray bottle of water with red pepper flakes in it, and spray down all the things that squirrels and birds like to eat. It also seems to help keep the aphids off the kale and broccoli.


be careful with the neem! it kills everything including the beneficial predators and the pollinators!
xo
kittee


Yes! I should have said that we use it on the farm all the time for particularly vulnerable veggies, but I only use it at home if there is a serious problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:34 am 
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In the past I've also used diluted Dr. Bronner's but this year I'm trying out clove oil.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 10:03 am 
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We always had large but lethargic flies in Maine and I put oranges in the window ledge (inside) and it kept them at bay.

I use cinnamon for ants in the doorway as well in the summer.


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:29 am 
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ol' garly cooch
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couroupita wrote:
In the past I've also used diluted Dr. Bronner's but this year I'm trying out clove oil.

Good luck!


clove oil will kill the plants. it's one of the main ingredients in our non-selective weed elimination products.

i echo the other sentiments about monitoring and eliminating. when watering in the morning i give the leaves good blasts with water to hose off eggs/aphids/etc. aphids can get outta control mighty quick because they ARE BORN PREGNANT. i shiitake you not. they've found secondary embryos inside the existing ones!

beneficial insects are very popular at my workplace, but are expensive. they will control, but not eradicate the problem. since most-(not all) but most pests have a soil stage, i suggest beneficial nematodes:
http://www.wormsway.com/detail.aspx?t=prod&sku=BN700

the great thing about the nematodes is that SO MANY insects have that soil stage. i've used these for flea and tick control.

i also suggest you buy them in a 6 pack to save $, because you need to repeat applications every 8 weeks. you can store them in the fridge too.

keep your gardening space dark at night so moths won't lay their eggs on your leaves. if you cannot cut out the lights, get a row cover to keep moths away.

like kittee mentioned, i'm not a fan of neem oil because it can clog the stomata of the plant. a cheaper solution is hot pepper wax. i also know the community garden makes a slurry of dead insects-(not vegan!) and sprays the plants with them. problem insects won't hang out where they smell dead bugs. i've never tried this.

make your garden inviting to predators of problem insects: toads, frogs, and birds oh my! hummingbirds love insects. wasps are beneficial in the garden, and frogs/toads will happily nom those bugs and slugs.

i also like safer brand products. they do have chemicals, just not as harsh. and i've learned to love sluggo-(iron oxide slug bait) and BT. BT is a bacteria that kills caterpillars. i've lost too many crops of kale and tomatoes in the past to the looper and hornworm. it really works.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:06 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
So gardeners, how do you keep bugs away? In Portland I was spraying with diluted peppermint Dr Bronners, but I think that the Nebraska bugs are much more hardcore.


This plus a little bit of canola oil. Shake really well and spray. It got rid of aphids and ants that were killing a bunch of bushes in my front yard.


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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jewbacca wrote:
couroupita wrote:
In the past I've also used diluted Dr. Bronner's but this year I'm trying out clove oil.

Good luck!


clove oil will kill the plants. it's one of the main ingredients in our non-selective weed elimination products.


Thanks for the heads up! I had heard clove oil was good for bugs but not that it was an herbicide. Guess it's back to soap sprays!

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping bugs away without gross chemicals
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:11 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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abbierae wrote:
Oh! And we have some great organic pest management guides on our website:

Integrated Pest Management and Companion Planting
Natural Insect Deterrents for Your Garden (This one was scanned out of an old book but it's awesome and I use it all the time.)
Pest Management Solutions (In a chart!)

And if you have a really bad problem, covering your plot with remay works great.

Thanks so much for the links, I printed them off and I'm going to plant nasturtium & calendula with my herbs in the hope that they don't get eaten this time.

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