Organic way to keep bugs off garden plants

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by elliemaeg, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. elliemaeg

    elliemaeg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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
     
  2. LiberalCountryBoy

    LiberalCountryBoy Well-Known Member

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    Diatomaceous Earth.
    I am ordering more right now
     

  3. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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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
     
  4. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  5. LiberalCountryBoy

    LiberalCountryBoy Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  6. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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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!

    Pony!
     
  7. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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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.
     
  8. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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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.
     
  9. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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!)

    Pony!
     
  10. brosil

    brosil Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  11. BertaBurtonLake

    BertaBurtonLake Well-Known Member

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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
     
  12. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    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:
     
  13. BertaBurtonLake

    BertaBurtonLake Well-Known Member

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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
     
  14. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  15. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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    I think ticks are going to be thick this year, too.....felt one crawling up my face last night......
     
  16. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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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.
     
  17. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  18. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  19. elliemaeg

    elliemaeg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds good Granny G, will try. Thanks
     
  20. elliemaeg

    elliemaeg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This also sounds like a good way to deter pests. Thanks so much