Need a natural, safe insecticide for my greens
which are being eaten alive by something. Any suggestions? My husband told me to sprinkle eggshells around the base of the plants, but I don't use enough eggs. It would be worth it, if I couldn't find something better, to use up a couple of dozen eggs anyway somehow. My greens' leaves are loaded with holes from some kind of pest that is eating them up.
And how about a natural, safe fertilizer? I'd welcome any advice. Thanks.:)
If its slugs use the suggestions on this web site:
might give you some ideas too.
You need to look for evidence of what kind of beast you are looking for -- slimey silver trails or black droppings -- which may only be eggs of cabbage butterflies for example.:)
Egg shells or any other sharp edged stuff may stop soft bodied things crawling to plants but if they have wings or are hatching there you may need something else. Netting can prevent some of these visitors.
Look for tiny flies if the greens are indoors-- you can use sticky yellow papers to catch them. (White or black in colour.)
Hope you solve your problem -- there is nothing more upsetting than losing all your crop after working hard. We raised loads of plants when my daughter was small -- we put them all out and went in for dinner. We came out to find that the chickens from next door had visited and had a wonderful feast!! Put my daughter off for life!! She hates gardening with a passion.
Whisper, thanks for taking time from your busy day to give me this information. We will have a good look at it and try to figure out what to do. I might be of the same mind as your daughter though. I'm glad I listened to my mother (82 now - gardened all her life) as she said to "keep it small". So much to learn and so many things I'd rather be doing. :)
Organic oil and water in a spray bottle works. Just spray the leaves and what ever is eating them should slide right off.
And YHWH said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food. Genesis 1:29
The problem with using/spraying anything is, it will stop the good guys as well. For instance, I've got critters eating my cabbage and doing a darn good job of it. I was told to spray diluted detergent on it. Only problem with that is, it also kills ladybug larvae and ladybugs are what are needed to eat the guys that are eating my cabbage.
A couple potential solutions ~ buy some ladybugs and praying mantis. Cathy (lafsalot) also said, make your yard bird friendly. They'll pick the lil green caterpillers off your plants to feed their babies. They may even like the ladybugs as well.
So, what we're doing is, instead of pulling the cabbage, leaving that for those that want it. The rest of our plants seem to be doing quite well.
Don't give up!!
Noo!! Don't give up -- once you find the solution you will have the wonderful experience of picking and then eating your very own vegetables. Tomatoes to die for -- the gorgeous smell as you knock against them -- cucumbers that melt in your mouth - radishes that taste so different from the shops.............. Just find the little culprits -- try the easiest methods first -- several at once -- you will succeed!;)
Going now -- got myself hungry at the thought of those tomatoes!!!!
One natural repellant you can use is a few cloves of garlic pureed in a half gallon of water with some dish soap. Spraying that will keep all manner of bugs away from your greens. I used that combination when I grew collard greens in an oversized container...works great and the greens were yummy! :)
As for fertilizer, some good amendments you can add to your watering are...
2) kelp powder
3) spent tea bags (chamomile and peppermint especially)
Plus, you might want to consider starting your own compost pile. I live in an apartment and have a mini-pile on my patio under one of my lawn chairs in a big flower pot. I add stuff like veggie/fruit pulp from juicing, wilted produce, shredded newspaper, dried wheatgrass & sprouts that have went past their prime, etc. Once you get some good compost started, you'll always have fertilizer on hand.
Hope this helps!
p.s. - Gardening is my favorite pasttime!
acjazz28 - Many thanks!
I only just now found your reply to my question about insect repellant. What a simple solution - I will definitely try it (garlic, dish soap etc...) And what neat, easy fertilizers! Thank you so much. Have a great day. BTW, I just read about your sprouting seeds on cheesecloth. I want to try this too.:)
Have you tried neem oil. Its pretty natural and bugs hate it.
i heard the other day that spritzing the leaves with vinegar and water solution helps.
The key to eliminating or reducing insect damage that debilitates your plants is to ensure the soils fertility..The more fertile the soil, the higher it's humus content, the healthier the plants will grow..If you eliminate & or reduce substantially other stress factors, such as providing adequate water at all times; your plants will shrug off minor insect damage..Insects are mostly attracted to those plants in stress..Animal predators ALWAYS look for the weak, the wounded, the very young before attacking a full-grown healthy prey..Insects are the same in that the weakened, stressed plant is ALWAYS more attractive, & will be attacked first, than will a healthy, stress-free plant..
Hand-picking off the offending insects is another course of action..
After hand-picking, I would recommend a foliar spray using a well decomposed compost made into a tea..If that is not available you might try a good quality liquid seaweed concentrate mixed with water for a foliar spray..
My personal experience has led me to the same conclusion as many others have reached..A truly fertile, well balanced soil that is high in humus will lead to plants that are completely unaffected by insects, or else the damage is slight enough to not interfere with photosynthesis & a good harvest..
Whenever I have had troubles growing a particular plant it was usually due to a deficiency of some kind that effected that particular species of plant..My soil might have otherwise grown spectacular plants of other varieties, but for some reason the soil was deficient for that plant..This can sometimes be the most frustrating thing to deal with when gardening organically..It can also be the most rewarding thing when the solution is finally worked out..Which, in a couple of cases for me, took several years..
Insecticides, even organically approved ones, don't discriminate between the "good" & the "bad" species of bugs..So use them with judicious care if you must..
Keep careful notes of what the problem is, the solutions that you try, & their effectiveness..The more info the better..You won't regret the note taking as it will simplify things in the future should the same problem reoccur..
Good luck finding an answer to your problem..
Last edited by baltochef; 07-03-2008 at 08:14 PM.
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