Row by Row Episode 53: Organic Pest Control Solutions for the Garden

How Can We Control Pests?

We cannot always expect to fully eradicate pests, but we can control them in our vegetable gardens. By eliminating larval and younger individuals of the insect populations, we can break that life cycle and prevent further reproductively mature adults from being added to the population. It is also important to only plant certain crops when success can be expected. If pest pressure is extremely high during a given portion of the year, don’t try to grow certain susceptible crops during that time. It can be different for everyone depending on your climate and local biology.

Organic & All-Natural Pest Controls

Insecticides:

The most popular organic insecticide is Neem Oil, which will work best on insects in the nymph or immature stages. They even use Neem Oil in conventional farming because insects do not build a resistance to it. Another great organic insecticide is Pyrethrin, which is a contact insecticide. This means that it will kill whatever it touches. Because of this, it should be sprayed or applied late in the evening when the pollinators have gone to bed. Our Take Down Garden Spray includes pyrethrin and canola oil for a more residual control. The Take Down Garden Spray is not OMRI certified because the canola oil is not organically sourced. However, our Bug Buster also has pyrethrin as the active ingredient and it is OMRI registered. Horticultural Oil is a great option for controlling insects on fruit trees. Use it before bud break to help control insects that can attack any type of fruit trees. Our Fruit Tree Spray is a combination of both Neem Oil and Pyrethrin, which has a synergistic effect. All these products are concentrated and they will help control any of your soft-bodied insects. If you have any problems with worms or caterpillars in your cucumbers, you should definitely use B.t. B.t. is a naturally occurring bacteria and will kill the worms when they try to eat a plant that has been sprayed with it. This will break the pest cycle and prevent those larval forms from becoming reproductively mature adults. Spinosad is another treatment for worms, and it is a little more powerful than B.t. Spinosad is a naturally fermented product that can kill an insect either by contact or ingestion. For slugs and snails, we have a product called Sluggo, which is spinosad in a pelleted granular form. Sluggo works as a bait for slugs and snails in the vegetable garden.

Fungicides:

An OMRI registered option like our Complete Disease Control can be used for your fungal problems in the vegetable garden. You can use it either by soil drench or foliar spray as a protectant. When used as a soil drench, it can help with some of your soil-borne diseases. When used as a foliar spray, it covers the plant and protects it from disease pores. A widely used agricultural fungicide, Liquid Cop is great for controlling powdery mildew, downy mildew, and blight issues. Used especially for powdery and downy mildew, Bi-Carb is a great product to protect against those mildews on roses, vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamentals.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, Greg brought some of his Calypso Cumcumbers, which is a hybrid pickling variety that is really productive in the vegetable garden. The guys taste test and compare the Calypso and Lemon cucumbers. Greg definitely recommends growing the Lemon Cucumbers in your garden. Travis talks about one of the most productive crops in the entire vegetable garden — Tiger Collards.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment, the guys answer questions about their relation and their Hoss seed selection process. They also provide information on succession planting and vertical growing. Yes, Greg and Travis are related but they are not brothers. They choose seed varieties based on what they have tried and been recommended by seed and variety experts. They are always looking to provide new seeds and try new varieties that are easy for the home gardener to grow, but that may be difficult to obtain from another company. Greg explains how vertical growing is a great way to save space in the garden. He suggests vertically growing crops like rattlesnake pole beans, running butterbeans, and cucumbers.

Products Mentioned in the Show

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