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  #1  
Old 06/06/05, 07:08 PM
elliemaeg's Avatar  
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Organic way to keep bugs off garden plants

Would anyone have an idea of how to keep bugs off our garden vegetables? We are just beginning to get a few bites on our tomatoe and green bean leaves and do not want to use anything chemical on our garden. Any ideas?
Thanks
Vicki

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  #2  
Old 06/06/05, 07:57 PM
 
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Diatomaceous Earth.
I am ordering more right now

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  #3  
Old 06/06/05, 08:05 PM
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3 hot green peppers......3 cloves garlic........3/4 tsp dish soap.......3 cups of water

puree the peppers and the garlic then add the soap and the water let stand 24 hours strain and use in a spray bottle

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  #4  
Old 06/06/05, 08:12 PM
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I've heard putting marigolds close to veg. plants will keep bugs away, as they dislike the spicy scent.
Can't vouch for it personally, but I'm going to try it myself. I don't want to use alot of pesticides, either.

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  #5  
Old 06/06/05, 08:15 PM
 
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I have literally hundreds of marigolds planted all around and amongst my garden. Granted the bugs don't eat the marigolds but they still eat everything else.

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  #6  
Old 06/06/05, 10:34 PM
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I like to confuse the critters.

For cucumber and other beetles, I put aluminum foil on the ground shiny side up. The foil reflects light on to the underside of the leaves. This confuses the bugs who like to approach the underside of the plant to feed and breed, because they think it's the top (sunny) side of the leaf.

I've also used diotomaceious earth to good advantage. Handpicking also works with some bugs. (But I skeeve out when I smash tomato hornworms -- green guts!!!)

Heard of some folks taking the dustbuster out and vacuuming!

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  #7  
Old 06/06/05, 11:08 PM
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Bacillus thuringensis It is nontoxic to people, wildlife and pets. It's great for caterpillars of all types which cabbage loopers and tomatoe hornworms both are. It's a bacteria sold in a powder and when the caterpillar eats it, it produces a toxin in their gut and they're dead the next day. It works great on tent caterpillars too...any caterpillars. I found it at Lowes sold with the trade name Dipel.

Another strain of BT is sold as Mosquito Dunks, little round donuts you put in ponds, watering troughs, any standing water. It will kill the mosquito larvae.

Diatomaceous earth. It's the silica skeleton of a diatom. A little, teenie tiney sea creature. It's the stuff that makes up the Selma Chalk (for a little geography trivia). It works by making it's way in between the exoskeletal plates of insects and causes them to dehydrate.

Neem oil. It's an oil from the Neem plant. It's great for all sorts of things. It will kill fleas on your dog, in your carpet, on the lawn. It will kill ants. It will kill those little flea beatles that like to eat your vegetable plants. It even works on alot of fungi like that black spot on roses.

Japanese beetle traps. Hang these around the edges of the yard.

Fly traps. Hang these outside your barns.

Encourage lizards and toads. Provide hiding places in your garden with broken clay flower pots.
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  #8  
Old 06/06/05, 11:13 PM
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Oh yeah, that pepper, garlic, vinegar, soap, oil stuff works great too. Have you ever forgotten to wash your hands after picking cayenne peppers and went to pee? You will hurt for days.

I have heard that squash leaves, chopped up and allowed to "digest" for a few days in a closed milk jug full of water, will deter flies and mosquitos. It would probably deter me too. And while I'm at it, a neighbor used to keep a bucket of dirty diapers on her front porch so the flies wouldn't come into her house.

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  #9  
Old 06/07/05, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DayBird
Bacillus thuringensis It is nontoxic to people, wildlife and pets. It's great for caterpillars of all types which cabbage loopers and tomatoe hornworms both are. It's a bacteria sold in a powder and when the caterpillar eats it, it produces a toxin in their gut and they're dead the next day. It works great on tent caterpillars too...any caterpillars. I found it at Lowes sold with the trade name Dipel.
I can testify that Bt is non-poisonous to animals. My ding-dong Buster dog went and lapped some up that fell off the potting table, and no ill effects whatsoever. (Though I probably scared him a bit when I yelled at him!)

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  #10  
Old 06/07/05, 07:53 AM
 
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Actually, the bt I accidently sprayed in my face tasted pretty good. A few mushrooms, a little scallion and it would make a good soup.
The basic idea is to make your plants smell like something else.
You can also handpick a bunch of the bugs, wizz them up in a blender with a bit of bullion and let it set in a warm place for a few hours. Strain and spray on your plants. There is some danger to people with this but I've done it and it seems to work.

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  #11  
Old 06/07/05, 08:03 AM
 
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What we use with good results is 1 cup Murphy's Oil Soap to one gallon of water. Put this solution in a spray bottle and apply to your plants. You will need to re-apply after a rain.

~Berta

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  #12  
Old 06/07/05, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BertaBurtonLake
What we use with good results is 1 cup Murphy's Oil Soap to one gallon of water. Put this solution in a spray bottle and apply to your plants. You will need to re-apply after a rain.

~Berta

Really? It doesn't make the plants taste like furniture polish? Well, I guess not. The Neem Oil I use is in the form of an organic flea and tick shampoo I get from the petstore. I just dilute it down and it works great.

I had heard of smushing up the bugs and using that to spray back onto the plants. I may have to give that a try. Imagine the look on my 4 year old's face when I really do make bug soup in the kitchen. :haha:
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  #13  
Old 06/07/05, 08:40 AM
 
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Daybird,

It does not make the veggies taste "off" at all as it is not absorbed, only on the surface. I have friends who use dish liquid and vegetable oil mixed with H2O with good results, too. I have no idea what theit "recipe" is, but it all stays on the outside of the plant as a deterrent for some bugs and kills others.

Plus it gets the veggies really shiny and clean

~Berta

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  #14  
Old 06/07/05, 10:01 AM
 
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When I worked at a greenhouse that grew tomatoes and peppers, they used about 12 oz. denatured rubbing alcohol in a gallon of water and added about 3 drops of Palmolive dish soap. Worked great.

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  #15  
Old 06/07/05, 10:57 AM
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I think ticks are going to be thick this year, too.....felt one crawling up my face last night......

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  #16  
Old 06/07/05, 12:01 PM
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Tobacco works, as well, especially on aphids. Just crumble a cigarette or two into water, let soak a few days and spray.

In addition, for some bugs, just a regular showering with water will do. Nothing added. It breaks the reproductive cycle or something.

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  #17  
Old 06/07/05, 02:27 PM
 
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tobacco pesticide

Not sure but tobacco may not qualify as organic if you're official- doesn't here in UK- and it is quite toxic ie good poison for the spouse as well as the aphids so be VERY careful. Also tobacco is related to tomatos and potatos so there's a possibility you can get tobacco viruses on your plants from composting your cigarettes or using tobacco as a pesticide on them.

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  #18  
Old 06/07/05, 02:57 PM
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rotenone powder is a natural product from a type of flower.
It will deter biting and gnawing insects of the plant leaves. I've used it on potato and tomoto plants.
A spray can be made from harmless ingredients by mixing a 40 to 1 ratio of water to liquid dish soap. Add to that some crushed garlic juice and crushed seeds from hot peppers. Strain it before bottling it in the sprayer.

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  #19  
Old 06/07/05, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannyG
When I worked at a greenhouse that grew tomatoes and peppers, they used about 12 oz. denatured rubbing alcohol in a gallon of water and added about 3 drops of Palmolive dish soap. Worked great.
Sounds good Granny G, will try. Thanks
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  #20  
Old 06/07/05, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BertaBurtonLake
Daybird,

It does not make the veggies taste "off" at all as it is not absorbed, only on the surface. I have friends who use dish liquid and vegetable oil mixed with H2O with good results, too. I have no idea what theit "recipe" is, but it all stays on the outside of the plant as a deterrent for some bugs and kills others.

Plus it gets the veggies really shiny and clean

~Berta
This also sounds like a good way to deter pests. Thanks so much
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  #21  
Old 06/08/05, 09:01 AM
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I'll have to try the soap mixes. I hesitate to use BT, as it's not species specific. I don't like using things that kill unless they are either specific, or controlable. Yeah, I despise those cabbage loopers, but I like the monarchs, and question marks, and lots of other butterflies that are killed by the stuff. It may not harm mammals and birds, but it harms way too much other wildlife to suit me.

Meg

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  #22  
Old 06/08/05, 09:06 AM
 
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neem

don't know if anyones mentioned this (haven't read the entire post). but neem works good for us.

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  #23  
Old 06/08/05, 05:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DayBird
Oh yeah, that pepper, garlic, vinegar, soap, oil stuff works great too. Have you ever forgotten to wash your hands after picking cayenne peppers and went to pee? You will hurt for days.

I have heard that squash leaves, chopped up and allowed to "digest" for a few days in a closed milk jug full of water, will deter flies and mosquitos. It would probably deter me too. And while I'm at it, a neighbor used to keep a bucket of dirty diapers on her front porch so the flies wouldn't come into her house.

That diaper thing gave me a good laugh!!! I might try a different version with some cat mess. I am soooo sick of flies in my house. My daddy was from Alabama and I know those country fixes work. :haha:
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  #24  
Old 06/09/05, 10:07 AM
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I heard at a farming conference that you can use coffee to get rid of slugs, dries them all out. Maybe just spray it on?

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  #25  
Old 06/09/05, 11:59 AM
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Best way to get rid of bugs in the garden is guineas They will eat all those little bugs including the nasty green tomato worm and all the ticks in your yard too. We are virtually tick free round here :haha: Good little birdies they are.

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  #26  
Old 06/09/05, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrygrrrl
Tobacco works, as well, especially on aphids. Just crumble a cigarette or two into water, let soak a few days and spray.

In addition, for some bugs, just a regular showering with water will do. Nothing added. It breaks the reproductive cycle or something.
Be careful not to spray your tomatoes with tobacco, it will kill them. It is reccomended that you should wash your hands after you smoke before handling
tomatoe plants.
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  #27  
Old 09/28/05, 10:43 PM
 
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I use earthworm castings and putting them in a Mircle-gro waterer this mixes the castings into the water and when it dries out it leaves a dust on the leaves and stems and we didnt have any beetles biting on our plants>it doesnt hurt people or pets but it does fertilize and has been used as a pesticide in the California areas.We produce earthworm castings and have found that is a good thing to use but it doesnt even bother the worms that find the garden.

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  #28  
Old 09/29/05, 08:25 AM
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Wink

Boiled and stained rhubarb leaves. The leaves are poisonious.

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  #29  
Old 09/29/05, 10:00 AM
 
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There are a couple of new products approved by the Organic gardening groups for use the same day as harvest. Unfortunately, I don't have the names handy, but will repost them soon. I bought them from Johnny's Seeds.

The first is a water soluable version of BT. This eliminates some of the difficulty handling and applying a dust and provides uniform coverage. Those who dust recognize how sometimes the volume applied is not very uniform.

The second product is a water soluable combination of Diatomaceous Earth and botanic grade pyrethrin. It has the same advantages as above. Pyrethrin is the oil from the Pyrethrin chrysanthemum. Pyrethrin combined with the synergist piperonyl butoxide is extremely common on the market place, but is not organic garden approved because of the piperonyl butoxide. (jury still out)

Another technique is to use row covers. These products let most of the light through, but if used properly prevent access by many bugs.

Keep in mind that using the terms, pesticide or chemical, is politically correct mumbo jumbo. Non-toxic is an oxymoron. Everything is made of chemicals. There are no tests to determine whether something is a pesticide. A pesticide is anything used to kill a bug. Anything SOLD as a pesticide must conform to EPA laws which require safety data etc. Home made remedies are still pesticides, even if they are made of seemingly harmless ingredients. Many home made concoctions are more toxic than commercially available products.

The advantage to using a commercial product versus a home made concoction is that the toxicity data is known, mixing percentages/application instructions are included and information about which insects are affected is on the label.

Most soaps have pesticidal qualities. There are insecticidal soaps available, but they are a bit pricy. The advantage to using them is the label instructions. I have heard of 1 tbs dish soapn per gallon for treating some insects.
Gary

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Last edited by gobug; 09/29/05 at 10:02 AM. Reason: word ommission
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