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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:34 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:27 pm
Posts: 2
Hey guys! I'm new here and hoping someone has some suggestions that can help me. I've grown vegetable gardens the past 6 years, (in Plano, TX)and EVERY year, I find myself fighting pests that are destroying my vegetables. I'm tired of it. Every day it's something new. Every year I fight spider mites on my tomatoes, cucumber beetles on cucs, etc. Bugs seem worse this year and here much earlier. (I'm guessing due to weird weather we've had this year..)Every year I say "Enough, I'm not growing anything next year!" Yet of course I do...I can't stop...I love gardening so much, and nothing beats homegrown veggies! (no matter how few I actaully get to harvest before the pests damage everything) But on the flip-side, it's getting really expensive to treat the pests, especilly since nothing seems to work well.

I'm growing English garden peas for the first time, and everything was going great..first peas are almost ready to harvest. My husband and I were so excited, and our mouths were watering! Then 2 days ago I noticed aphids on the pea leaves. Sprayed with organic insecticidal soap. Helped for 1 day, then today, aphids are back as well as black caterpillars eating holes in the pea pods.

Planted 8 cucumber plants, 4 zucchini, and 6 squash plants, all the plants were so so pretty and healthy that I grew from seed, and today found little tiny green worms all over the leaves, (look like inch worms..) and the edges of the leaves are turning brown. Tomatoes were doing great, then yesterday bottom leaves on all 8 plants are covered in tiny perfectly round holes. As well as all the green tomatoes on lower vines having larger holes eaten in them.

Things I have tried over the past years:

Neem oil products-Seems to help, but no matter what, always seems to burn the plants (as does any oil spray I use) Yes, I apply in evening and on cooler days.

Soapy water-nothing.

Garlic Sprays, Pepper Wax Sprays-Never seems to even slow pests down

Seaweed spray-Nothing.

Comapanion plants-in past years, seems to help deter bugs for a couple of weeks, then no effect. No effect at all this year.

Beneficial insects-May help some, but the bad ones end up winning and killing all my plants.

Sulphur dusts seem to work somewhat, but then the bees and butterflies leave and so cucs, zuccs, and squash lose pollinators.

The other thing that does work is Spinosad spray, when used all over the entire side yard where the veggie garens are, but 2 questions about this...1.) I'm scared of hurting beneficial insects with such a wide application, and 2.) will this spray hurt all of my young plants, since normally I only have to use it in mid summer when plants are mature.

One more question: When my cucs, and zucchinis develope powdery mildew, other fungus, or viruses,(which they always do by mid-summer) will sprays and dusts (copper or other) for these drive off or hurt butterlies, bees, and ladybugs? I'm always so hesitant to use them, but sometimes have no choice...

Any suggestions for organic pest control that have worked for you guys would be appreciated, I'm so frustrated! :cry:

Thanks guys, and I'm sorry this post is so long!

PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 4:31 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:21 pm
Posts: 34
i deeply empathize...similar problems here in Oak Cliff (dallas)...

my yard has been pesticide free now for almost 10 years, and my neighbors are also reducing their use of pesticides...this appears to be helping the renewal of bees wasps and dragonflies, so i am hopeful these will help in the battle...

"the enemy of my enemy is my friend"...try encouraging some frogs or toads to move in....set a saucer of water near your vegetables, and set up a rock hide for him, or buy a toad-house....

my Dad (88) uses beer traps, and swears by them....i have resorted to mechanical methods for pest elimination....i have set some boards down in the garden...after a rain, or early morning, i turn the board over and pulverize any pests hanging out (snails, pillbugs, squash bugs)

for other bugs (inchworms, etc) i have been known to go out at night armed with a flashlight and a coffee can, in which i gather anything crawling on my tomatoes, squash, greens...

but i still don't know what to do about aphids...

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 12:24 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:42 am
Posts: 142
Location: Denton, Texas
- What are your watering practices?
- Are you using lots of mulch around your plants?

1. Water very deeply less often. Do not water just a little and often.
2. Mulch the hell out of your plants with CEDAR mulch.
3. I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos XX.
4. Stay thirsty my friend.

PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 6:31 am 

Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 5:35 am
Posts: 14
Well, I always use fresh beer, stale beer doesn't work for me. Some of my neighbors has introduced lizards to their gardens and they are getting good result. Lizards are carnivores. Let's hope for the best.

Green living

PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 11:54 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:27 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks for the suggestions guys! (and the "Stay Thirsty my friends") had me laughing so hard! Love those commercials!

I had mulch down, but not cedar. Went and got some and will apply the bejeezus out of it tonight.

My husband found a product called Organocide while he was at Lowe's yesterday, it's an insecticide and fungicide. He bought it and when he gave it to me, I thought "oh *!&@!" not another oil based one.....No way am I using this. Went to their website which says that it doesn't burn plants even if applied in hot or sunny weather....(yeah right, maybe not in Texas) Out of desperation, applied last night to several cucs and tomatoes that had turned into a buffet for the spider-mites and aphids. This morning, it's of course sunny and pretty warm. Went to garden expecting burnt-to-a-crisp dead plants.

To my HUGE surprise, plants are thriving, NO spider mites or aphids seen, and the mild case of powdery mildew that was starting on one of the cucs is gone. The plants are all really green and happy looking! Something must be about to go really wrong, 'cause this is too good to be true..... :shock:

If anyone is interested, the web site for Organocide is:

I'll keep you posted if anything bad happens this afternoon, like a delayed reaction??? LOL! Thanks again for all the help!

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