Every organic garden has insects. Some of the insects are pest and some are not. As I frequently tell my son, we're outside, that's where the bugs live. The question then is what to do about the insects that want to harm your organic vegetable garden. If you were not an organic gardener, there was a time you would spray some horribly toxic chemical and kill every single bug in the garden and create the silent spring in your own patch.
















We all want to live healthy, grow healthy, safe food, and don't want to kill all the insects. We want to manage the insects so that they can live and our vegetables can thrive. A few pests in your garden won't harm your production and will provide food for the natural pest predators that patrol your garden patch. We want to encourage the population growth of the good insects and manage the harmful pest population down to level that does not harm out vegetable production.

In order to control the insects, you have to identify the bugs. Spend time with your plants and learn to recognize the signs of insect damage to your fruits and vegetables. After a time, you will learn to recognize which insect is causing the damage to your plants. If you keep a garden journal, your experience in recognize the insect pests will result in a steeper learning curve and healthier plants. It is vitally important that you recognize the particular scourge that your a fighting before taking action. Remember, most if the insects in your garden are harmless. We only want to control the problem bugs.

The sooner you are aware of an invasion, the quicker and easier it is combat the problem. Use traps as an early warning system. You may ask your self, what is this trap of which you speak? There are cover traps, sticky traps, handpicking, and spraying forcefully with water. These methods work to remove most of the pests from the affected plants. There are numerous pheromone traps that attract the insects by emitting sex hormone that lures the unsuspecting varmints into a pit of despair. Codling moths are attracted to red spherical sticky traps.

If handpicking and mechanical control fails to protect your garden patch, you move on to natural sprays and dusts. Some insects can be fed to death. Dry wheat bran, when ingested by Colorado Potato Beetles causes the beetle to explode. When you dust plants infested with cutworms, the cutworms die because they cannot metabolize the cornmeal. Some folks report that a dust of one part salt and two parts flour will control the cabbage worm.

Sometimes spraying is more effective than dusting. You can spray bug juice, insecticidal soap' garlic spray, horticultural oil spray, and hot pepper spray. Make sure that you read the directions before use. You can increase the effectiveness of your insecticidal soap by adding isopropyl alcohol (about one half cup of alcohol to each quart of soap) to you insecticidal soap. Adding isopropyl alcohol to your horticultural oils likewise increases effectiveness. Combine one cup of alcohol, a half teaspoons of Volck oil, and one quart of water. The alcohol will kill the bugs on contact and the oil will smother the unseen baby bugs and the eggs. You can use this spray daily until the population of varmints is under control.

Did you know you can make your own hot pepper spray. Get all kinds of MacGuyver on it. Chop or grind hot peppers until you have a half cup of fine particles of hot peppers. Mix the half cup with a pint of water. Strain out the solid bits and you have spray. Even easier is using hot pepper powder powder (for example cayenne pepper) and water.

You have lots of natural options to control insect pests in your organic vegetable garden. So get out in your garden, pay attention, and have fun. Remember, don't panic.

John C. Shelton is a recovering attorney. After 15 years in the wilderness he is listening to his muse. As an added benefit, I can save money at the same time. We all want to live better for less. I can help you live better and save money.
http://www.johnsorganicgarden.com
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