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Organic Methods to Help Control Garden Pest and Diseases

Organic Methods in the Garden

When growing your own food in the vegetable garden one of the most important tasks is keeping the garden clear of any harsh chemicals and never spraying too many pesticides or fertilizers. The more organic products that we use will allow for a healthier garden and better quality produce. The great thing about all the products mentioned below is they are all-natural or organic methods and they're not toxic to the vegetable garden.

Insect Pressures

On this week's episode, Travis explains the benefits of using all natural or organic methods to help control garden pests and diseases. With any type of pest control whether it is organic or conventional, it's always important to have a program set in place for your garden so you have a system for rotating these different products instead of using the same ones repeatedly. If you use the same products over and over again that insect or disease is going to become resistant to that certain product. Travis likes to use Take Down Garden Spray and Neem Oil for insect control. The Take Down Garden Spray has a mixture of natural pyrethrin and canola oil which provides quick control over insects like aphids, beetles, ants, whiteflies, etc. This pesticide can be used on various crops and fruit trees like apples, figs, peaches, etc. This can be used inside, outside, or in the greenhouse. The Neem Oil is an OMRI registered product that has been derived from the neem tree. Mainly used for controlling fungal diseases like blight, black spot, rust, and powdery/downy mildew. Travis recommends rotating these two products to get the most effective control results in the garden. So the first week he recommends spraying Take Down Garden Spray, then the next week spray Neem Oil. If the insect pressure becomes extremely bad and hard to control then you should increase the frequency of spraying to more than once a week.

Fungal Diseases

When it comes to fungal diseases they recommended alternating between the Complete Disease Control and Bi-Carb. The Complete Disease Control helps colonize plant root hairs and prevent fungi and bacterial diseases from establishing. When used as a foliar spray application it can control powdery mildews, leaf spots, gray mold, etc. If applied as a soil drench it can help with diseases on plant roots or other parts of the plant in contact with soil. The natural Bi-Carb helps control powdery mildew on vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamentals. This is an OMRI registered fungicide as well. Travis likes to mix the Complete Disease Control and the Bi-Carb fungicide together and then along with that a little bit of  Monterey B.t for complete control. B.t. is another OMRI registered product that is great for controlling larval worms, caterpillars, or moths from snacking on the plants. It should be sprayed early on and repeated at weekly intervals to maintain control over these larval insects. Overall, since all these pesticides and fungicides are concentrated it does not take much to mix these together into our garden sprayer to get control over the pests and diseases in the garden. Most of these mix together with a ratio of one or two ounces of a gallon. So in a pint container, this will give you around 16 applications to spray in the garden. When treating your vegetable garden for pests and diseases you should be mindful of the chemicals you choose to spray. It is better for the vegetable garden if you always use organic methods for control and rotate those products in order to keep pests or diseases from becoming resistant.