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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Reinforcements in Organic Garden

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Patty from Yorktown
quiltbea
kbb964
H_TX_2
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Reinforcements in Organic Garden Empty Reinforcements in Organic Garden

Post  H_TX_2 4/13/2012, 10:35 am

I really liked the idea of an organic garden and being able to just pick something and eat it. The only pest killers I have applied to my garden are B.T. and neem oil. Last weekend I saw a little green caterpillar inching it's way down the wall of my house toward my garden so I reached for the chopsticks I keep stuck into my garden. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw something move and it was a nickel sized spider; needless to say that green caterpillars minutes were numbered at this point. I reached for my phone but then remembered I let the kids borrow it. The spider made his way over and snatched the caterpillar.

A few days ago I saw an interesting bug in my garden and started to reach for the chopsticks but decided not to because he didn't look like the kind of bug to harm my plants. The next day I saw another bug like it but smaller so I had to look it up and it was an assassin bug. This morning as I was quickly looking through my basil for caterpillars I saw another small assassin bug under one of the leaves.

Awesome. Now thanks to not killing every kind of bug that exists in my garden I have beneficial insects helping me to kill the pests in my garden. I know a lot of new gardeners come here so I wanted to post this. The organic control will not work overnight but it is so much better in the long run.


* If you are new to gardening and want to encourage beneficial insects in your garden then right now look up images of the squash vine borer and know what the adult moth looks like. Don't kick yourself later because you were fooled by one of these sheisty characters.
H_TX_2
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Post  kbb964 4/13/2012, 10:44 am

I hate bugs. I am going to make a garden sign "buzz off bugs"
I bought some spray, forget what it's called now, from Home depot. Its for pests and is totally all natural ingredients for Organic gardening. I will let you know how it goes.

I have not had a problem with bugs for 6 years but you never know!
kbb964
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Post  quiltbea 4/13/2012, 10:59 am

I, too, am an organic gardener and don't even use Neem oil. I pick off bugs that I don't like or I cover my crops with row covers to save them. Works pretty well. I've never lost a plant to bugs, but those Japanese beetles on the peas are a pesky bunch. I have to go out 3 times a day to pick off those guys and pop them into a jar of soapy water.

I leave Mother Nature's combat troops to do the work and watch the lovely butterflys hovering in my garden. Wouldn't want to kill them off with pesticides. I can also eat any crop right in the garden without worrying that some insecticide has poisoned the fruits and it needs heavy washing before I eat it.

And when it comes to squash bugs and the Mexican bean beetle, they look like Ladybugs but one has exactly 14 dots (7 each wing cover) and the other 16 (8 on each wing cover) so are easy enough to spot.
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Post  H_TX_2 4/13/2012, 11:24 am

kbb964,
Is the organic stuff only non-harmful to humans or does it somehow not harm the beneficial insects. I used neem oil early in the season and now that I am getting a lot of beneficial insects I doubt I will use it again because it will kill them also. If you wipe out all the bad and good bugs then after the treatment wears off the bad bugs move back in and there is nothing to stop them.

I noticed after the treatment of neem and B.T. I found caterpillars during the day just sitting still on branches in my garden. I don't know if this is normal since it was a Saturday and I am normally gone during the day but I don't think they do that normally. I am guessing the neem and B.T. made them sick and lethargic so the beneficial insects came in for an easy meal. You want those beneficial insects because they work full time to help your plants.
H_TX_2
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Post  Patty from Yorktown 4/13/2012, 11:47 am

Some organic pest control products will kill all bugs and some will not. Read the label, always read the label. After reading the warning label on Neem, I was not sure I wanted to eat a veggie that had been sprayed. An other way that organic pest control works is; if you kill all of the bad bugs the good bugs will go somewhere else to eat. You can rotate crops or plant resistant plants/seeds. Plus healthy plants will fight there own battle (the science of this is not well understood yet.) I think that learning a good bug from a bad bug will make a big difference on how you can help your garden. Hope your garden is mostly bug free this year.

Patty from Yorktown
Patty from Yorktown
Patty from Yorktown

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Post  H_TX_2 4/13/2012, 12:59 pm

I just realized that this post is in the wrong category. Is there any way to move it to the general discussion?
H_TX_2
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Post  kbb964 4/13/2012, 4:26 pm

I will NOT be using the product I bought, I have reciept and will return it promptly. I read the PDF file, found out it is made by Miracle Gro and full of nasties and SOOOOOOOOOO NOT for Organic growing !

this is the one I bought foolishly.......

http://marysgardeningendeavors.blogspot.com/2011/06/ortho-elementals-is-lie.html
kbb964
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Post  Chopper 4/13/2012, 9:22 pm

It has been my experience that the first year of a garden is the worst for bugs. I think partly because the predators are slow to follow. But, things left on their own usually balance out.

Btw, at a farmer's market recently I saw a booth called "natural" produce. She said that certified natural means no use of any additional chemicals, not even organic ones. Who knew? Not me obviously.
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Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut 4/13/2012, 11:36 pm

H_TX_2 wrote:I just realized that this post is in the wrong category. Is there any way to move it to the general discussion?

I moved it to the SFG "pests" area...let me know if you think it should go somewhere different. Smile This is a GREAT thread and addresses some of the thoughts I'd been having as I begin year 2. Smile
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Post  FamilyGardening 4/14/2012, 3:25 am

today i walked thru a spiders web that ran from one of our raised beds to our dogs fence.....What a Face

most of the time i would have ran off screaming Shocked and brushing my self off making sure that there wasnt any spiders on me.....Mad

well...this time...i stopped Reinforcements in Organic Garden 523562 ....so not to hurt any spiders :scratch: .....gently looked and found one on my arm cyclops .....now granted he was a little ity bity guy Wink ....so i was able to lift his web off of me and place him onto our telle that is covering some of our cold crops...Reinforcements in Organic Garden 311672

......wierd huh?.....so amazing how i look at our garden critters now.....Razz

granted....if he would have been a big bad boy Reinforcements in Organic Garden 217255 ....i would have freaked out Reinforcements in Organic Garden 471599 .....ran....sceaming into the house....Reinforcements in Organic Garden 615992

hugs

rose
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Post  H_TX_2 5/8/2012, 10:05 am

BlackWalnut thanks for moving this to the proper category. My milkweed assassin bugs are getting bigger. I am just as excited to see them getting larger as I am watching my veggies getting larger.
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Post  TejasTerry 5/8/2012, 11:54 am

FamilyGardening wrote:today i walked thru a spiders web that ran from one of our raised beds to our dogs fence.....What a Face

most of the time i would have ran off screaming Shocked and brushing my self off making sure that there wasnt any spiders on me.....Mad

well...this time...i stopped Reinforcements in Organic Garden 523562 ....so not to hurt any spiders :scratch: .....gently looked and found one on my arm cyclops .....now granted he was a little ity bity guy Wink ....so i was able to lift his web off of me and place him onto our telle that is covering some of our cold crops...Reinforcements in Organic Garden 311672

......wierd huh?.....so amazing how i look at our garden critters now.....Razz

granted....if he would have been a big bad boy Reinforcements in Organic Garden 217255 ....i would have freaked out Reinforcements in Organic Garden 471599 .....ran....sceaming into the house....Reinforcements in Organic Garden 615992

hugs

rose

So glad your working thru the spider issues. They are such good little guys...even the big ones.. Very Happy
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