Benefit and Value of Insects in the Organic Food Garden

insects in the garden

Home gardeners often use more pesticides per square foot in their gardens than farmers do in the fields, thinking that if a little is good, more will be better. This is a serious mistake. Over-use of pesticides has a number of adverse effects: It makes your food less safe to eat, especially if there are …

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Black Pepper as a Pesticide

black pepper as insecticide

Organic gardeners have known it for generations. But scientists have now proved it. Black pepper, used as a pesticide, discourage insect pests from laying eggs on leaves and pose lower risk to humans and the environment than other pesticides, according to a University of Ottawa researcher. Biologist Ian Scott and his research team have tested …

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Beneficial Insects-Who are the Good Guys?

assassin bug ambushing a potato beetle larvae

Most people think only of pests when they think of insects. But, the beneficial insects found in gardens do not feed on or harm plants. The typical backyard contains hundreds of species of insects, yet only a fraction can even be observed because many are microscopic and/or hidden below ground or within plant tissue. Most …

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Integrated Pest Management

garden bug balance

Quick Facts… Many disease problems can be prevented or controlled without pesticides. Always choose plants that are adapted to your local growing conditions. Avoid bringing diseases into the garden or moving them around within your it. Eliminate the disease-causing organism after it has become established on a plant. The Garden as Ecosystem Twenty five years …

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What is a Trap Crop?

Nasturtiums as a trap crop for aphids

A trap crop is a plant that attracts agricultural pests, usually insects, away from nearby crops. This form of companion planting can save the main crop from decimation by pests without the potential issues and controversy involved in using pesticides. Trap crops can be planted around the circumference of the field to be protected, or …

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Colorado Potato Beetles

colorado potato beetle

Errrr… Colorado Potato Beetles I have grown potatoes in many parts of the United States and until this year did I have a single potato beetle show up for dinner. I am dead serious. Never. I have always heard about potato beetles I even looked them up once in an old class book from my …

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Blossoms falling off bean plants

Bean blossom drop can occur when temperatures stay consistently over 90 degrees and/or if the plants are stressed. There’s not much you can do about the heat except wait it out. It may help to put a breezy row cover over them to provide some shade. The plants may start producing again when the weather …

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Organic Squash Bug Control

photo courtesy: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

Let me share with you our squash bug control plan. I am not, I repeat NOT going to be overrun again this year by squash bugs! Young squash plants (especially zucchini and pumpkin) are generally more susceptible to damage by this pest, and if you don’t squish the squash bugs, young plants will die. They …

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