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Natural Pesticide For Garden  RSS feed

 
Brandon Greer
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Location: 1 Hour Northeast Of Dallas
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My 3 sisters gardening attempt last year ended in failure. Insects, namely grasshoppers, decimated every last plant. I've made a few tweaks which hopefully will help but should the insects return, I need to be ready!

What natural remedy can I use if they show up again? My wife says "just buy some chemicals, that's how grandma does it" but I really want to avoid chemicals if at all possible. I really would like to use something that can be produced on my own land. For example, I've heard something about making a spray solution using dried hot peppers. Can anyone else confirm or refute this idea? Or any other things along this line that might be useful? My goal is to find something whose input I won't have to bring in from the outside more than once.
 
Meryt Helmer
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Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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try and find a way to attract natural predators to your garden. the easiest way would be to get some bird feeders.
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Haha Chickens. They'll probably eat your garden too but the grasshoppers will be gone.
 
Meryt Helmer
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elle sagenev wrote:Haha Chickens. They'll probably eat your garden too but the grasshoppers will be gone.


yeah I almost suggested ducks for the same reason! but then you need to do something to protect your plants. that is why my first suggestion is a bird feeder. they won't damage the plants as much. you need a way to attract predators. I wonder if a little frog pond could help?
 
elle sagenev
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Meryt Helmer wrote:
elle sagenev wrote:Haha Chickens. They'll probably eat your garden too but the grasshoppers will be gone.


yeah I almost suggested ducks for the same reason! but then you need to do something to protect your plants. that is why my first suggestion is a bird feeder. they won't damage the plants as much. you need a way to attract predators. I wonder if a little frog pond could help?


I mulched my garden bed last year with straw and I'm noticing a slug problem in there now. I've also noticed my ducks in there foraging away. My asparagus is in there, and I'd be upset if they ate them all, but I suppose better the ducks eating it than the slugs.
 
Meryt Helmer
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the reason I have 9 baby ducks in my kids bedroom is my hopes that they will help with slugs! we also get crickets or grasshoppers here later in the year and if they help with them I will be pleased! my asparagus bed seems very very empty so perhaps the slugs (or something else) ate all my asparagus but I will plant something else there if that is the case.
 
elle sagenev
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Meryt Helmer wrote:the reason I have 9 baby ducks in my kids bedroom is my hopes that they will help with slugs! we also get crickets or grasshoppers here later in the year and if they help with them I will be pleased! my asparagus bed seems very very empty so perhaps the slugs (or something else) ate all my asparagus but I will plant something else there if that is the case.


I have 3 ducks at the moment. They always get overly confident and stop going to the barn at night, nesting in the open and getting eaten by...something. Anyway, ordered 25 sexed ducklings to arrive in June. Super excited! I bet your kids love having the ducks in there. Ducks are so funny and adorable!
 
Brandon Greer
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I had planned to put a bird bath in there. I was told a bird feeder can cause lots of weeds to spring up in the garden. Is that not a valid concern?
 
Meryt Helmer
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I think weeds are a valid problem with bird feeders. I don't know if that would be worse than the grasshoppers though. bird bath is a good idea if you get a little solar powered floating fountain set up it may help attract more birds. they like the sound of splashing water.
 
Shannon Sheridan
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Neem oil?
 
Pia Jensen
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Reading this thread causes me some curiosity - is it preferable in all circumstances to not use any sort of insect killer, natural or otherwise?

I understand one goal to be balance within the ecosystem resulting in some order of predatory control.

What I also understand from having used the hot pepper (capsicum), garlic, onion, water, smidgen of liquid dish soap (substitute with neem oil?) is that it is effective on certain highly invasive and damaging insect such as spider mites. esp. the red spider mite. But, you have to stick with the spray one day one week, spray again at two and three weeks (every seven days) to ensure you eliminate the mites and their offspring. When in a pinch and no fresh hot pepper is around I let dried pepper sit awhile in the mix to let it be fully absorbed.

I used rubbing alcohol on the mealy bugs in the only cabbage that made it through early weeks with cutters in the garden.

What is the permie consensus on natural insect sprays?
 
Meryt Helmer
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I recommend predators because I think in the long run it will be easier and work better. I am not against using some sort of natural pesticide but I have no experience using them. I think that one downside is they can kill beneficial bugs and then things can get further out of balance so sometimes they can make problems worse. planting things that attract beneficial bugs would be helpful and also sometimes people plant something that will attract the pests as a sort of sacrificial crop that all the aphids or whatever go after. I don't think that would work so well with grasshoppers. I think grasshoppers are harder to deal with using pesticides honestly.
 
Brandon Greer
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Meryt Helmer wrote:I recommend predators because I think in the long run it will be easier and work better. I am not against using some sort of natural pesticide but I have no experience using them. I think that one downside is they can kill beneficial bugs and then things can get further out of balance so sometimes they can make problems worse. planting things that attract beneficial bugs would be helpful and also sometimes people plant something that will attract the pests as a sort of sacrificial crop that all the aphids or whatever go after. I don't think that would work so well with grasshoppers. I think grasshoppers are harder to deal with using pesticides honestly.


Yes, I'm planning to add some plants in there that attract good insects. That along with my bird bath idea was some of my "tweaks" I mentioned.

The natural pesticide is my last line of defense.

 
Brandon Greer
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Pia Jensen wrote:

What I also understand from having used the hot pepper (capsicum), garlic, onion, water, smidgen of liquid dish soap (substitute with neem oil?) is that it is effective on certain highly invasive and damaging insect such as spider mites. esp. the red spider mite. But, you have to stick with the spray one day one week, spray again at two and three weeks (every seven days) to ensure you eliminate the mites and their offspring. When in a pinch and no fresh hot pepper is around I let dried pepper sit awhile in the mix to let it be fully absorbed.


This is the exact recipe I was reading about earlier today during my research. I'm glad to hear it has worked for you! Thanks also for the tips on its use!

When you say "one day one week" do you mean once every week? I assume so...just want to clarify.
 
Pia Jensen
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Brandon Greer wrote:
Pia Jensen wrote:

When you say "one day one week" do you mean once every week? I assume so...just want to clarify.


glad to help, yes one day per week, three weeks (miss one week and they can get ahead ahead of you. Even .gov has recipes (page 8 here alternative pest solutions I have used up to six cayenne, with one medium onion, 1 head of garlic, small amount of dish soap in large batches. Liquify in blender or chop real fine what you can, mix, strain out the "pulp" put in a sprayer ad be sure to get the undersides of the plant leaves. Test spots to see if it's too strong for oms plants, adjust.

Rodale also describes the spray http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/natural-pest-spray
 
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