Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

I grow my own veggies so that I'm not poisoning myself or my family with gmo, chemical and pesticide laden produce. 

I admit, growing an organic garden is not easy!  I have battled flea beetles, tomato hornworms, aphid infestations, powdery mildew and cut worms.  I've used organic pest control solutions that work and several that absolutely did not.  Below are a few recipes that have worked for me.


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Comment by Julie Clark on February 27, 2012 at 10:55am

We use vinegar for weeds. When we built our raised bed gardens, we first put down cardboard, newspapers, ad then compost on top of that, then shredded leaves and another layer of compost. Then we let it sit from fall until the next spring to plant in, topping off with more compost if needed. Very few weeds come up and what do come up are easy to pull.

As for the pests...proper watering helps. Tomato hornworms are easily picked off. They don't eat tomatoes--they've eaten leaves on the plants but never ate the tomatoes and the plant didn't seem stressed.

Good gardening practices, including using compost and keeping the garden cleaned up of spent plants, dead leaves, etc will help keep pests down. A drip water system will help with keeping powdery mildew down. My best pest solutions are drip watering, keep it clean, use compost (I make my own), planting flowers nearby will also help--we noticed that our gardens were pest free until a meadow near us was cut down and the pests moved in. So we created a small meadow that the birds, bees, and insects love! I try to not kill any insects because in killing "bad" ones, beneficials get killed, too--

Comment by Julie Clark on February 27, 2012 at 11:05am

I think that as much as we can do for the gardens, prevention is better than having to use insecticides...making all of those products is time consuming--I'd rather put the time in with good practices from the start.

Comment by Marianne Smith on February 27, 2012 at 12:28pm

I also use cardboard for weed control.  Maybe I just have some pretty voracious hornworms but they regularly eat my tomatoes.  I'm in south Florida and it gets pretty humid down here.  Powdery mildew is a problem so the garden needs a little help from time to time.

Comment by Julie Clark on February 27, 2012 at 12:33pm

The few hornworms we see, we pick off and the birds eat them. They've never touched our tomatoes (we're in VA) They seem to prefer the Queen Anne's Lace that grows in a nearby meadow, so we let the Queen Anne's Lace grow in our yard. Perhaps they turn to tomatoes if there isn't anything else. I prefer to work with nature in balance and use no insecticides.

In humid areas powdery mildew can be a problem. When t was in my garden some years ago, the plants looked bad but kept on producing. I learned to water in the morning, avoid splashing the plants with water so changed to a drip hose and we haven't had that problem yet--worth a try! I usually buy drip hoses at the end of the season when they're 50-75% off.


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