Should You Go Synthetic, Organic or Homemade in Your Battle with Garden Insects?
After this never-ending winter, the idea of working in the garden seems like heaven on earth for those who love their gardens.
You can go the synthetic insecticide route and use something like seven dust. You can choose to use the organic options, like insecticides from farmers coop. Or, you can use organic sprays you make at home with peroxide or baking soda.
Seven dust is an insecticide that's been used since 1958, and while it's deemed safely for use on fruit, vegetables, shrubs and flowers, make sure you wear rubber gloves for safety. It kills just about any insect that might attack your garden, but it's indiscriminate. It also kills the ones you want, like lady bugs and spiders.
Insecticides from farmers coop are in line with organic farming and the National Organic Program (NOP) which prohibits the use of synthetic chemical pesticides. Organic growers use natural pesticides from a list approved by the National Organic Standards Board. Check with your local farmers coop for advice on organic insecticides.
Organic sprays you make at home with peroxide or baking soda can be effective and easy on the pocket book.
Hydrogen peroxide is used to prevent bacterial and fungal problems on outdoor plants. While it causes no harm to plants or soil, it should not be used on young transplants or direct seeded crops until they're established. It is important to use the common H202. Do not substitute food grade H202. Spray plants with undiluted three percent hydrogen peroxide. Cover tops and bottoms of leaves.
Baking Soda Spray is used for anthracnose, leaf blight and spots, early tomato blight, powdery mildew and as a general fungicide. To make: Mix one tablespoon baking soda and two and a half tablespoons vegetable oil with one gallon water. Shake thoroughly. Then add one half teaspoon of pure Castile soap. Spray immediately. Cover upper and lower leaf surfaces. Repeat every five to seven days as needed.
Once the insects that damage your garden are under control, you can stop and smell the roses, or whatever it is that your garden grows.