Saw a Bug! Pest-Free Garden Update

| 9/26/2019 6:27:00 PM

Country MoonA couple years ago there used to be a television commercial where a woman screams, “Saw a bug!” and then she immediately calls an exterminator. Well, that is me in the garden. The other day I saw a potato bug and that started the ball rolling because, as we all know, seeing one bug means that soon that one bug will turn into a gazillion…however many that is.

Three years ago, I decided that if I was going to have a garden, I was going to control bugs, critters and weeds organically. I wanted to return to the days that we could pick a fruit or vegetable off the vine and eat it right then and there, when it tastes the freshest and not worry about pesticides or other chemicals. Needless to say, I met with a lot of guffaws and skepticism.

I am happy to say that my mission is accomplished and I will proudly put my garden up against any one that is laden with chemicals. My plants are healthy and disease- and pretty much pest-free…there are always a few stray bugs that die hard.

It took a lot of trial and error to get to this point and I am happy to share what I have learned, hoping it enlightens others that there is a better way to garden by getting back to basics. Let’s start with the potato bugs. Bonide makes a number of organic insect sprays that are made with naturally-occurring ingredients. The active ingredient in Colorado Potato Beetle Spray is Spinosad which is a natural substance made by a soil bacterium that is toxic to insects. It kills the adult bugs, as well as the larvae.


For non-specific insect control, I use Organicide which is an insecticide, miticide and fungicide all in one. It is safe to use on most all plants, so I buy the concentrate and use it on all my garden plants as well as flowers. It is nice not to have to spray three different products to get this same effect. To date, I don’t have fungal problems, even with the extra wet conditions we have had this year. It also keeps the bugs from munching on all the greenery. It is nice not to find holes eaten in all the plants’ leaves when I walk into the garden.

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