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worried about pests

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worried about pests

Post  Darcyf5g on 4/9/2013, 1:24 pm

Hello, I'm new to SFG and I am just getting started. I'm just about ready to set up my beds. I have plans to build critter cages and such to protect from cats and squirrels etc and slugs can be dealt with. But I am haunted by the bug problems my mother had in her gardens years ago. For example, wormy carrots, worms in pea pods, aphids on beans and icky green worms/caterpillers? on brussel sprouts and broccoli. She gave up growing our favorite veggies and we ended up with tons of squash, beets and chard. We tolerated the aphids on the beans but I hated having to harvest them, Eeww! Any tips would be much appreciated.

Darcy

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Re: worried about pests

Post  camprn on 4/9/2013, 1:34 pm

Here's my advice, don't waste all that time and energy with worry about it until it becomes evident you actually have a problem.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: worried about pests

Post  Darcyf5g on 4/10/2013, 9:55 am

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure Smile

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Re: worried about pests

Post  gwennifer on 4/10/2013, 10:32 am

If you plant it, they will come. That's what I learned. I think you kind of do just have to go for it, and deal with what shows up, but I totally understand where you're coming from. I can tell you one preventative measure - the brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower) can be covered with tulle from the get-go and then the cabbage moth can't lay the eggs under the leaves that produce the icky green worms.

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Re: worried about pests

Post  littlesapphire on 4/10/2013, 11:56 am

I used to worry about this too. I think the first year or two are the worst. Why? Because the pests have found your garden, but the pest predators haven't. Last year was my best year ever because I finally started getting predators. I had a humongous population of dragonflies, some lady bugs, lots of spiders, and a whole bunch of ground beetles. You want to make sure that your garden is a safe place for the predators. I've read that actually using pesticides can make your pest problem worse, because you end up either killing the predators or you kill all the pests and the predators have nothing to eat and then leave, and the later a big swarm of pests comes and there's nothing to stop them.

However, there are preventative measures you can take, like the tulle that Gwennifer suggested. Or putting cardboard rings around plants to stop cut worms. I've had a little success with putting foil around squash stems to keep out SVB, too. Aphids can be handled pretty easily with a blast of water.

It's funny that you say that slugs can just be dealt with because they're actually my biggest problem. There's hardly anything that eats them in my garden, and the ONLY thing that I've found that works to keep them from taking over my garden is daily hand picking. Actually, I don't even pick them. I go out with scissors and snip them right in half. But still, if I miss even one day, they're up in the garden eating everything in sight. I can't even have a fall garden because they eat the seedlings as soon as they come up.

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Re: worried about pests

Post  camprn on 4/10/2013, 12:05 pm

@Darcyf5g wrote:An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure Smile
Being prepared for probable issues is quite different from worrying about any possibility of insect pests in the garden...

I like the point about predatory insects too. Not all insects are bad.

____________________________

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: worried about pests

Post  jjlonsdale on 4/10/2013, 12:47 pm

@littlesapphire wrote:Actually, I don't even pick them. I go out with scissors and snip them right in half.

You just snip the slugs in half??? EWWW!!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked

OK, OK, I'm not judging... this is my first year gardening, so if I get a slug infestation I'm sure I'll go all Predator on their little slug behinds. Twisted Evil

Still, that's quite a mental picture you gave me!

To the OP -- there's a lot of great information on here about natural repellents/pesticides.... it seems that various combinations of neem oil, vegetable oil, dish soap, and water can take care of a lot of problems. (And you can buy ladybugs to control the aphids, and ladybugs are CUTE!)

Good luck! Very Happy

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Re: worried about pests

Post  Lindacol on 4/10/2013, 2:24 pm

@jjlonsdale wrote:
@littlesapphire wrote:Actually, I don't even pick them. I go out with scissors and snip them right in half.

You just snip the slugs in half??? EWWW!!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked

I do the same thing with grasshoppers. They are hard to catch or kill otherwise and I usually come across them when pruning and often already have the scissors handy.

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Re: worried about pests

Post  littlesapphire on 4/11/2013, 9:52 am

@jjlonsdale wrote:
@littlesapphire wrote:Actually, I don't even pick them. I go out with scissors and snip them right in half.

You just snip the slugs in half??? EWWW!!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked

LOL, well I USED to hand pick the slugs and put them in a cup. The problem was.... what the heck do you do with a cup full of slugs?! When you have that many, they're almost impossible to kill, and once you do kill them, what do you do with their disgusting slimy bodies?! When I read about someone just snipping them in half right in the garden, I thought that was brilliant! They die and go right back into the soil Smile

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Re: worried about pests

Post  Darcyf5g on 4/11/2013, 10:58 am

Thanks for the tips everybody. I like to be prepared and approach things worst case to best case. So I've been doing a lot of research on what I've known to be problems in the past.

I plan to use wire cages and crop cover. I do have some organic sprays available and a plan to fight the slugs. So hopefully I've armed myself well.

I don't know if I could stomach snipping slugs in half Smile . My husband has gone out at night hunting slugs with a flashlight and a wire spear. I plan to do that and use Sluggo, beer traps and sacrificial plantings around the perimeter of my garden area.

I would really like to hear about what pests other gardeners have encountered and how it was dealt with.

Darcy

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Re: worried about pests

Post  llama momma on 4/11/2013, 11:06 am

I pick off tomato hornworms and put them in the nearby bird feeder.

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Re: worried about pests

Post  Hoggar on 4/11/2013, 11:17 am

Just a little FYI... I read that a snails body caries up to 300 eggs and if you squish the snail the eggs will still hatch. I assume that sniping them in half the eggs can still do there thing.
Here is a good show on Natural Pest Control.
Growing a Greener World Episode 124 – Natural Pest Control

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Re: worried about pests

Post  Coelli on 4/12/2013, 12:04 am

This is only my second year with a garden but I am SO with you. An ounce of prevention..

So, my raised beds have tulle over them, there's bird netting over the strawberries, the squirrel trap is out and baited. The tulle hasn't kept everything out (especially flies, omg, so many flies and soil gnats!) but I think it would be worse without it, and my seedlings are no longer getting decapitated. In the morning when I take the dogs out to go potty I spend a few minutes inspecting everything with a bottle of water & peppermint Dr. Bronner's in hand. I also liberally use Sluggo Plus (the spinosad version) in the wood chips around the beds to take out the earwigs, which we have plenty of. I use diatomaceous earth on the ants.

Not everything is protected, like my 14 tomatoes which are in 5-gallon buckets, but those will get bird netting soon as they're already setting fruit.

I don't know if I'm down for cutting anything in half, though Very Happy And this from the woman who digs barehanded through the worm bin!

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Peppermint Soap

Post  Windmere on 4/12/2013, 7:16 am

@Coelli wrote:This is only my second year with a garden but I am SO with you. An ounce of prevention..

So, my raised beds have tulle over them, there's bird netting over the strawberries, the squirrel trap is out and baited. The tulle hasn't kept everything out (especially flies, omg, so many flies and soil gnats!) but I think it would be worse without it, and my seedlings are no longer getting decapitated. In the morning when I take the dogs out to go potty I spend a few minutes inspecting everything with a bottle of water & peppermint Dr. Bronner's in hand. I also liberally use Sluggo Plus (the spinosad version) in the wood chips around the beds to take out the earwigs, which we have plenty of. I use diatomaceous earth on the ants.

Not everything is protected, like my 14 tomatoes which are in 5-gallon buckets, but those will get bird netting soon as they're already setting fruit.

I don't know if I'm down for cutting anything in half, though Very Happy And this from the woman who digs barehanded through the worm bin!

I just had to put in my 2¢ about Dr. Bonner's Peppermint Soap. That stuff is amazing! It is well worth the price. It has even worked on flies for me.

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Re: worried about pests

Post  jimmy cee on 4/12/2013, 8:23 am

Don't forget Kaoilin Clay,,,,(surround)
It works

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Re: worried about pests

Post  TejasTerry on 4/12/2013, 9:27 am

I'm trying to let nature take it's course, and hoping the beneficials start heading in this year. I may even buy some lady bugs, etc. I also planted some trap plants this year, marigolds, etc. Giving that a try.

There is a 30 year plus gardner with lots of organic experience here near me in South Texas...and he says he does absolutely no pest control...and to give it time and things will even out.

John Kohler from growingyourgreens.com says plant enough for both the pests and yourself...lol I don't have enough land for that, but it makes sense I guess.

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Re: worried about pests

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