Your Questions About Vegetable Garden Pests

John Your Questions About Vegetable Garden Pests

John asks…

Need advice on organic and/or evo-friendly pest control for vegetable garden?

I’ve got a nice vegetable garden, but grasshoppers and other insects are going after my broccoli plants something fierce. I’d rather not use chemical insecticides to stop them. Does anyone have any advice on how to protect my plants without resorting to Raid? I’ve heard of making solutions with dish soap and other household items; that’s the sort of stuff I’m looking for.

admin answers:

Contolling insect pests organically is multi faceted-there is no magic bullet

Keep the soil healthy and that keeps the plants healthy-pest insects prey on weak plants and will avoid healthy plants.

Realize that 95% of all insects are either neutral or beneficial

Know that your plants can lose 70% of their leaves to insect damage and still be fine

Strategies

hand picking and manually killing insect pests is amazing effective
soap sprays for soft bodied pests such as aphids

hang a humming bird feeder in your garden as they eat many kinds of pest insects

Have habitat for beneficial insects such as a small plot of tall weeds that have flowers like coriander or Queen Anne’s Lace as beneficial insect like to eat the pollen from such plants. Also have water sources for these insects.

Row covers are great at excluding insects. I use thousands of feet of these on my farm but they have to go on as soon as seed/seedlings are planted.

It takes many years to get a garden environment into balance so you don’t have too many pest insects (nor so few that the beneficial critters have nothing to eat). You will have damage that looks worse than it is for the next few years but resist using poisons (including organic) as this will set you back about 5 years for each application and keep you on the toxic chemical treadmill.

Donna Your Questions About Vegetable Garden Pests

Donna asks…

do you have toads in your vegetable garden?

do you have a toad house?
a pond?
how many toads?
are they helping with the garden insects?
i have about a dozen toads, 3 toad houses, a pond, and they seem to be keeping the garden free of pests. i am not using pesticides, i prefer the toads. tell me about your garden toads.
i love them. i take great care of them.
we used to have lots of crickets. even inside, but not anymore. there’s one big toad that sits on the welcome mat like she’s guarding the house from them.

admin answers:

We have 2 toad houses. We have 2 ponds. 10 toads. And yes they help the garden by killing all the insects.

Betty Your Questions About Vegetable Garden Pests

Betty asks…

What can I do to save my cucumbers and pumkins in my garden?

something is eating the leafs in my garden. I thought it was ants, because I do see a lot of black ants, but I can’t see anything really on the plant and eating it. The cucumber plant has barely any leafs left on it and my pumkin plant is getting just as bad. Does anyone have any advice on what I can use to rid my vegetable garden of pests? HELP!

admin answers:

Hi Yendy, I never recommend pesticide on food crops except in extreme cases! You sound like an extreme case.
If , you don’t have any flowers yet then put on the SEVIN or the MALATHION good and heavy. My guess is that you have slugs or bean beetles. If your plants have no leaves left you may not get any produce off them this yea rand so concentrate on cutting down on the insect population and try again next year!
You can also put down a GRUB killer in the lawn and garden.
Garden only if there is no fruit! You don’t want poison fruit and veggies! I think I would concentrate on cleaning out the mess this year with a great garden next year in mind!!!

Lizzie Your Questions About Vegetable Garden Pests

Lizzie asks…

What kind of garden pest/rodent is long and skinny with a rounded snout?

I saw a strange pest in my vegetable garden this moring…it had the body of a ferret (long and skinny with a curved back) but had the head of a mouse/rat (but no visible teeth or long wiskers). The animal was a brownish color and about 8-10 inches long, from snout to tail. Its tail had short hairs all over it. Again, his body was very slender. I’ve scoured the Web for photos of it but cannot find anything really similar to it. Any ideas?? (Also, we found a dead mole in the garden yesterday…I believe this is related to our new garden resident.)

admin answers:

I’ve never heard of a mole being 8-10 inches long before.

I would bet dollars to doughnuts that it’s a weasel. These are good little predators to have around as they will kill gophers and moles. But if you have any chickens they will go after them too.

Charles Your Questions About Vegetable Garden Pests

Charles asks…

Cats v Pigeons.Should Cats be considered Garden Pests the same way in which we view Pigeons?

The Pigeon scrubbing around and pecking away at my new vegetable shoots are nowhere near as bad as the piles of Cat Shite laying around every bare patch of earth in the garden.

So, if they are pests, then what should we be allowed to do when they visit our gardens? Shoot them?

admin answers:

Oh if only we could. Although I dont blame the cats as much as the irresponsible owners who chuck them out at night under the mistaken belief that because they’ve good night vision they’re supposed to be!!!. In my last house we were surrounded by the buggers, fighting and yammering all night – in everyone elses gardens but their own. Shitting everywhere – again – in everyone elses gardens. Eating the food I put out for the hedgehogs – if I didnt garden for wildlife I’d have laced a few of the suet pellets with rat poison!!! Damned things should be kept indoors all the time – and litter trained, they dont need exercise, lazy b’s at the best of times.

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