Bugs

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Last year I tried to go without any insecticides in my garden. Me and my son did slug hunts at night, I spread diatomaceous earth for bugs (especially squash bugs), and sprayed with neem when my tomatoes got soft rot. It was a disaster, the bugs and rot got everything edible, until late in the summer when I broke out malathion and seven, and physan (benzalkonium chloride).
The squash bug nymphs are back already and destroying(and infesting) my lettuce and they have already killed the cucumber and squash seedlings. How do I manage things without resorting to poisons again?!
Help me be green.
Jim
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wrote:

Read some of the myriad books on organic gardening. The more you use poison, the more insects you'll have.
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wrote:

I think what you are saying is if you misuse insecticides you will help develop resistant strains of pests. If so, that is true.
But, if you choose to use insecticides, you must learn how to use them properly including techniques to avoid encouraging the development of local resistant strains.
JMHO
John
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Well, so you know which plants the squash bugs like. Try going a year without planting those plants. Or if that is too much, at least plant them in a different place than the squash bugs were last year.
Be willing to do some hand-picking of insects (potato bugs respond well to this, for example).
Try to get your soil fertile (compost, manure, whatever you have available) which can leave your plants a bit less vulnerable.
Plant a wide variety of crops. Rotate their locations (never grow the same annual in the same bed two years in a row). If a plant is consistently getting attacked, try another species or another variety.
Experiment with plants which may repel some pests (e.g. marigold) or attract beneficial insects.
My firsthand experience is that I haven't had a lot of insect issues which are big enough to prevent me from getting a good crop. I'm not really sure whether I'm just lucky, or whether these practices have prevented problems.
Organic gardening (as I've learned it anyway) is a bit more than just replacing your malathion and physan with neem and diatomaceous earth. There isn't one simple solution, but a variety of techniques based on different situations and trial and error.
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Well met and good on ya"
Charlie
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Thanks for the suggestions. I did my reading: two books on organic gardening, and one on garden pests and control.
Yes, I have a massive Squash Bug (Anasa nistis) problem. My garden site... actually my whole yard is part of my problem. Our property sits next to a field that was used for years to grow pumpkins. Add to that my garden sits next to my shed and not too far from the neighbors virtually abandoned barn; adult squash bugs over winter in and under structures, yeah.
As of last week the squash bug nymphs were suck the juices from everything there were even punctures on green tomatoes. I hit then with Pyrethrin...oh the slaughter. But virtually nothing kills the adults (Sevin may work) so I will have to keep spraying all summer. It looks like the farmer planted pumpkins this year...may the squash bugs will migrate the 50 yards and go bug him instead of me.
One the bright side I picked my first two tomatoes tonight. Not bad for Zone 6b.
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wrote:

pollinators. It is possible to clamp the flowers closed and carefully dust around them and then open them.
READ THE LABEL!
John
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wrote:

Sevin on food? I don't think so. Your yard is out of balance. Suffer it out for three years and I assure you will have a balance where no insect will infest anything. Don't use organic poison either. I haven't used anything in years and my garden has a balance.
The tomato plants don't have tobacco horn worms on them because they are busily eating the datura I plant as a catch crop. The datura withstands complete defoliation and then we have magnificent hummingbird moths which pollinate. With the disappearance of bees, this is vital!
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wrote:

The balance issue is true. This year our garden is seeing hardly any baddies. I have had to pick a few cabbage loopers off the brussels sprouts is all. The bush beans are clean, the zuchs are clean, the cukes are clean. No flea beetles this year.....yet, and hopefully not!
Healthy soil grows healthy plants, which the baddies are leaving alone.
Agreed....tough it out and improve your soil. THings begin to happen.
Charlie
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On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 11:36:59 -0500, Charlie wrote:

It's the hard part...the waiting it out. In commercial applications it is harder because of the monitary association with good yields, but for the homeowner the only drawback are the appearance of eaten foliage and insect damage. When I first moved into this house nothing was on the property sans the house. We had insects I never heard of, let alone manage. Like, what the hell is a cicada killer? We had a major infestation of them. Huge flying wasps that sting, but it only hurts for an hour. They zoom by, lumbering their gigantic body, buzzing while carrying a cicada to put into their hole for the larva which hatch out next year.
I was not happy about it, but my husband cut them down over a two year period using a tennis racket. They'd make a giant bong noise when hit. Horrible.
But, if people would just tolerate some or a lot of damage the first year, much less the second year, and the third year the amazing relief with minimal insects. Tons of birds, lizards, snakes and they really do manage it all.
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wrote:

Oh gawd......we have those too! They are ......fearsome. Scare the bejeebers outta me when they are on the hunt, though I know this is irrational. During prime zirry bug season, they are pretty busy. Never been tagged by one, but I let them have the area when they appear.

I am finding that I am able to spend more time enjoying and observing, as opposed to having to actually *work* at it.
Care Charlie
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Charlie, I thought that Brussels sprouts were a fall crop. What the hell you doing planting them going into summer?
I just know I'm gonna hate the answer. Come on. Lay it on me.
--
Billy
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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wrote:

Double cropping, old son. One crop in early as possible in the spring, another in the ground late summer for fall harvest. I have sprouts as large as a fingernail and growing well. We use them fairly small, not the size of the monster frozen ones you get at market.
Usually get good results. This year I tightened up the spacing and so far they appear to be handling the "crowding". They, like the bush beans have formed a solid canopy, a living mulch, that keeps the ground under shaded and moist and cooler.
Think biointensive. As one crop is harvested and done, it is replaced with another. I'm learning the whatfors and howtos as we go along.
A surprisingly small amount of space can produce an amazing amount of produce.
Lots of cool season crops can be planted on both ends of the growing season. Serious cold snaps and frosts can be avoided with mulching and row covers, etc.....though some tolerate, and may improve in flavor with a light frost.
I have been seeking, and finding, varieties of, oh, say cukes and melons, that are more heat and drought resistant. Planted some true lemon cukes that are supposed to take the heat well, along with mexican Sour Gherkins.
Oops, went a little over on that answer.
Charlie
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Never!
Will the fall crop come from the same plants or do you start all over again? I left one Brussels from last year to make seeds but it wont let the pods dry out and keeps making more flowers. What am I gonna have to do to get seed? Drive a stake through its' . . . ? Don't have one does it? What's a feller to do?
--
Billy
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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wrote:

Yeppers
Fall crop is new plants.
I am on a five minute break and will have to get back to you on the seed saving. Suffice it to say, you picked a difficult one to start with, accordinf to Suzanne Ashworth.
You gotta get the book, Billy.....it is the Kama Sutra of All Things Garden.....as far as reproduction goes.
Charlie, the Poolboy
BTW.......I stuck a probe in the soil under the brussels sprouts, canopied over......77 deg. Bare soil full sun.....105 deg. Air temp........92 deg.
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wrote:

From Seed to Seed.......paraphrased and condensed.
Biennial.......You got that.
Will cross with all varieties of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, collards, kohlrabi, and kale.
Don't save seeds from one plant only.
Self-incomapatible, needs insects for pollination.
Plants grown for seed must be isolated by one mile or caged with trapped insects.
Hmmmmmmmm............get the hammer and stake.
Charlie
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Here Frost date is Oct 15 Last frost May 15 if lucky
July 4 100 days till above
Frost tender
85 days Snap Beans by July 25 97 days Corn by July 4 86 days Cucumbers by July 25 110 Days Tomatoes By June 25 81 Dayss Squash by Aug 1
Iv'e got Survive Light Frost and Survive Heavy Frost if anyone wants me to type it. Stuff from Organic garden Mags early on.
Bill
--

S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 15:13:38 -0400, William Wagner

Indeed I would!
I'm sure Billy needs the education, as well.
Thanks Bill. Gettin' to be lots of Billy Bills round these parts.
Care Charlie
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Can't swing a cat without hitting a Bill, or a Billy, or a Memo. Sheesh.
--
Billy
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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Late Planting Guide From Seed From an Old Organic Magazine
Frost date is Oct 15 Last frost May 15
Your dates may differ due to your climate
July 4 100 days till Oct 15
Frost tender
85 days Snap Beans by July 25 97 days Corn by July 4 86 days Cucumbers by July 25 110 days Tomatoes by June 25 81 ays Squash by Aug 1
Survive Light Frost
90 days Cauliflower by July 25 84 days Chinese Cabbage by July 25 74 days Beets by Aug 15 113 days Endive by June 25 63 days Kohlrabi by Aug 30 76 days Loose Leaf Lettuce by Aug 1r 96 days Head Lettuce by July 4 70 days Peas by Aug 15
Survive Heavy Frost
99 days Cabbage by July 4 85 days Carrots by July 25 70 days Chard by Aug 15 90 days Collards by July 4 95 days Broccoli by July 4 120 days Brussels Sprouts by June 15 95 days Kale by July 4 42 days Radishes Summer by Sept 5 72 days Radishes Winter by Aug 15 64 days Spinach by Aug 25 51 days Turnips by Sept 15
--

S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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