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post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 



I was just wondering what you guys use to control insects and pests. Last year my garden was ravaged my squash beetles and Cabbage moths so I used a bottle of Diazinon that I found in my basement and it cleared everything up. However, I've heard that this stuff is, to put it mildly, bad for the environment. Thus I will probably not be using Diazinon this coming spring. Anyhow, I'm wondering if you guys would be willing to share your insect control methods.




post #2 of 3

I am not sure about squash beetles and Cabbage moths, but I know my mom uses a preparation for aphids, made out of stinging nettle. You're supposed to be careful with it, not to make it to strong though, cause it can destroy the plant. I think you have to use about 1 kilo of nettle per 10 litter of water and let it soak for 24 h, it works really well. smile.gif 

post #3 of 3

Pretty sure BT will cure the cabbage worms and is sound.  I've found hand picking is effective for some pests (it can be challenging though).  Some Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a good route, but you need to provide tons of habitat from local flora and don't bother ordering them...just provide habitat and thinks like Brachonid wasps, lady beetles, etc will move in typically.  Whatever is local is a plus up. 


Although my gardening phase has wound down a lot due to some lifestyle changes...my approach was mainly this: 1) Create the healthiest soil and conditions.  Healthy plants are far less prone to infestation, there is even research going into evaluating chemicals that plants give off when stressed which might be linked to predation by insects.  2) Good sowing timing.  If your plants grow under optimal conditions they are much less prone to environmental stresses and will outcompete weeds and will recover from damage more readily.  3) Grow well adapted varieties.  Ask a local extension or experiment (same reasoning). I recall seeing cabbage moths flocking to my Collards but shying away from my Russian Red Kale completely. 4) Grow things that aren't usually affected.  Any Allium is typically really great to grow, almost zero pest issues and usually then those problems stem from improper conditions.  These also are more care-free so you have more time to invest in those things you "just have to grow" but might be a challenge in your locale.  Mustards are another great choice.  5) Diversify, diversify, diversify.  This way if one thing fails miserably due to one reason or another, you have an alternative crop that usually makes it through well. 6) Plant trap crops.  I noticed that Japanese Beetles (a problem where I live) tend to flock to the highest point. So a sacrificial hop bine that grows much taller than your pole beans seems to draw them.  Or a trap of pole beans when your main bean crop is runner. 7) Learn to ignore minor damage on leafy greens in particular.  Unless it's terribly obvious, most of the time the preparation will obscure those little flea beetle holes anyway.


That was my typical methodology, hope that helps!

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