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Natural Pesticides? Organic gardening really possible?

 
 
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 05:44 pm
This summer I grew a small variety of vegetables Razz - spinach, chard, pak choi, chinese leaves, etc. I also 'companion planted' nasturtium in the plot - apparently this attracts the butterflies, and hence keeps them away from your veg.. Smile Well, the nasturtium attracted the butterflies for sure! They were teaming with Red Admiral caterpillars! I tried to remove them, but it was too difficult to keep up! In the meantime, other caterpillars were ravaging Shocked the veg!
Have you ever had great success with companion planting??
Have you ever grown a member of the brassica family without being bothered by caterpillars?
What's your secret??
I'm ordering some seed catalogues, so would appreciate your companion planting secrets Very Happy
That is, successes you have actually had, not just ones you have read about, I'm not convinced they all work...
Cheers!!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,983 • Replies: 16
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 09:20 pm
I have not had that many caterpillers, ever, forwhatever reason..I am still in the stage where I think they are cute. I think banana slugs are cute too.

But I do own an apparent snail farm. Snail city. Snails are us. I have given up on the irises twice. I know, I know, copper strips lining the cap on the raised beds... I should be more assiduous. I did figure out that ammonia works wonders at snail decimation, if applied routinely.

But companion planting...I haven't really followed it, although I have this great little book, I don't remember where it is.

I never got caterpillers on brassaica, just scale.

Back in LA I got great squash bugs (I think they were) on my swiss chard.
They were very pretty bugs. Haven't planted chard in my new place yet.

So this is a long way to tell you no, I am no help.
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Thinkzinc
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 01:32 pm
Hi, thanks for replying!
Wow, can't believe you never have caterpillar problems! I've never had snail probs, but slugs, yes, yuck! I'm afraid I just used slug pellets in the end, luckily enough none of my neighbours have cats or other pets who might eat them. Caterpillars are cute, but when you cook some broccoli, and then see hidden caterpillars floating around in the water.... bleuch!
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 07:53 pm
Well, I never actually Got broccoli, due to the scale...

I haven't farmed or anything...just some raised beds in a few places I lived. My key enthusiasm is for tomatoes and herbs. I lived before and live now in my new place, in zones right by the coast, so mildew is a big reason not to plant lots of things.

But back to companion planting, I am interested, but not knowledgeable.
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AthalaReika
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Feb, 2003 02:53 pm
HELP! i need info on organic or natural pesticides!
Embarrassed Hiya, this is my first visit to this site, and i was looking for information on organinc or natrual pesticieds for eatable gardens. Last year, all my chard got eaten by afids, and many other pests continusly brought rampages on my garden. I love to garden and i wouldnt like to see a repeat of last years carnage Crying or Very sad . Please, if you know of any good repleants, pesticides or inceticides email me at [email protected].
thank you. Laughing
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Feb, 2003 03:01 pm
Welcome to A2K, AthalaReika!

Actually, there is no need to publish your email adress at all: any member here can send you posts by 'PM' (= private message), using the pm-button below.
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dream2020
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Feb, 2003 03:34 pm
I'm another one with no answer to your question, but I've learned to coexist with slugs, so i'll pass along my slug wisdom.

Almost everything I plant in the early spring (which for me means right into June) gets eaten up by slugs, so I've learned to plant a lot of of seeds of what doesn't transplant well (lettuce, sunflowers), so there's enough for me and the slugs. The stuff that doesn't mind being transplanted, I grow in big containers on the deck until mid-June, then put them in the garden when they're big enough not to be easy for the slugs to climb up to the tender greenery they love so much.

I'm forced by the slugs to pick my tomatoes when they're not quite fully ripe: the slugs wait for the full ripeness Twisted Evil before they dig in.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Feb, 2003 05:44 pm
Hi AthalaReika,

You can ask for a Private Message to be sent to you, which will result in a notification in your mailbox. And, I'd suggest that you edit your post (see the red edit button next to your post?) to take out your email address. This is a public forum and anyone - even spammers - can read it. Thanks and welcome to Able2Know! :-D
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Feb, 2003 06:00 pm
I don't know if this will be of any help, but here goes, for what it's worth.

I noticed that my new little feijoa & a camelia bushes were having a difficult time. New leaves were being systematically attacked & chomped into by aphids. Also, something (spiders) was causing the camelia leaves to curl up.
When I checked the appropriate section at a nursery I recoiled with horror Shocked ... All those product were full of very nasty poisons & had DANGER, DANGER warnings! (I think living with the bugs would have been preferable to using this stuff!)
Anyway, one of the nursery operators suggested this:
A mixture of soap & a little oil, diluted in water & sprayed onto the plants every couple of days. So far it seems to be working. Very Happy
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Feb, 2003 05:25 am
I do not think that natural pesticides are as efficient as the chemical ones. If they were, then all the harmful species were extinct long ago...
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Feb, 2003 06:56 am
Finally some garden posts. The pets and gardens section is being overrun with CAT stories.

I find that one companion planting never fails. Cucumber and squash plants are protected from borers by interplanting with radish.. This never fails.
if you can find a copy of the very old CROCKETTS VICTORY GARDEN book. (This was an NPR garden show back when the earth was still cooling). The Crockett book has an entire list of companion dos and donts. (Like dont plant peas and onions together)
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Feb, 2003 07:11 am
Thank you for the information farmerman. My idea of a wonderful garden is not only organic but pesticide free and no fertilizer. I like use plants to keep the bugs away such as surronding my garden with natural repllants from the plant world itself.

Bug & Pest Controls
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farmerman
 
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Reply Mon 24 Feb, 2003 07:46 am
Joanne, i dont think you can avoid using garden chemicals,however, many of the pesticides are really "organic" in my definition. For example pyrethrins are extracted from chrysanthemums,and bT spores can be a help for major infestations in dry years (like we had last year).
Remember, a garden is an unnatural collection of hybrid plants grown almost in monoculture conditions. In natural environments, plants and animal pests have evolved in a parallel fashion so that each can survive and no one will overcome and cause extinction of the other. However, humans have embraced monoculturing as the way to grow big crops of commodities. in doing so, weve permitted major infestations and unique evolution of insect pests., weve actually started the cycle .
i cultivate ladybugs and preyin mantids for my garden. I will use dormant oils and pyrethrins early in the season , but as soon as the mantids hatch, I stop any pesticides.
There used to be a big deal from Organic Gardening Mag (which is too much like a religious magazine to me) about using diatomaceous earth . Dont b other with diatomaceous earth it doesnt work at all. Its a big pile of crap started by the diatom advisory board.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Feb, 2003 07:54 am
If you bear with me
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Feb, 2003 07:55 am
Ill post a few lines here and there to see what happens
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Feb, 2003 07:57 am
when I reach 50 posts, cuz if i dont change from a newbie to a title more appropriate to someone of my advanced age, I will be sorely pissed.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Feb, 2003 04:49 pm
steissd wrote:
I do not think that natural pesticides are as efficient as the chemical ones. If they were, then all the harmful species were extinct long ago...


"Efficent" is a matter of relative perspective. Available chemical pesticides tend to "over-do" their job and end up killing a lot of "pests" that are quite useful outside of the garden.
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