No--most pesticides have a relatively short active life and your timing has to
be correct. Contact your local extension service and find out what pests are
known to be active in your area and approximate time they usually appear and
then be prepared to hit them at the first sign
No. Deal with bugs/diseases as they appear. If you wantonly apply
poisons to your plants, you may as well buy your veggies at the store.
Do a web search for "integrated pest management."
Don't worry about asking questions that you think are dumb. The only
way you'll learn this stuff is by asking and by experience in your own
Your state Cooperative Extension Service probably has loads of
publications about gardening in your area. Type [your state name]
and "CES" into a search engine. Most states have lots of stuff that
you can read with Adobe Acrobat, that you can download for free.
Do they have a CES-type program in Canada? I didn't realize that the OP was over
in Canada. The way everyone is spoofing their email addresses these days,
spam, it's hard to figure out where someone is.
If Canada doesn't have anything like CES, I think the OP should look at
in the US has a similar climate to his (Michigan, Wisconsin, New York?)
and look at
the CES stuff online from that state.
Ya'll will have to excuse my ignorance. I've never been east of Medicine
(But if I ever have to leave the US, I'm moving to Dawson City, YT, if
they'll let me.)
Jan in Alaska
USDA Zone 3
No. Absolutely not. I can see that there are a number of other replies to
your posting (that I haven't yet read) but, simply put, never apply a
pesticide until you know EXACTLY why you are doing so. Do NOT apply
pesticide on some vague concept of "pre-emptive strike" unless you
absolutely relish the idea of applying un-needed pesticide to your own
Hello ... that stuff is poison -- that's why it is effective. Do you REALLY
want to eat it?
I garden organically so I may be a little bit biased (okay, I am so biased I
can't see straight!) but if you ever want to have a garden whose health is
balanced between pest and prey at minimal risk / maximal benefit to
yourself, rather than reaching for a quart of this and a pound of that
poison, you'll take the time to learn the organic methods.
You might want to google for IPM (Integrated Pest Management). I can
especially recommend the ATTRA site.
In an organic garden, small amounts of damage are acceptable and human
intervention is called for only when pest populations grow too quickly for
predators to control and the damage becomes severe. If the pests don't get
a few bites, the predators will have nothing to eat and move on. From that
point forward, you and your chemical arsenal are on your own. On the other
hand, if you use cultural methods to limit the numbers of the prey to what
the predators can control, all who visit the garden -pests, predators and
you- will have healthy food to eat.
As you research the topic you will come to realize that there is never any
reason to use persistent or broad-spectrum pesticides. You will learn to
first identify a specific pest and then to seek the shortest term, least
toxic control available.
Since beginning to garden organically I have only used a copper-bearing
solution to deal with fungus (that one does work best used as a preventive
as it functions by putting a barrier between the fungus and the leaf
surface but even there, I wait until I see fungal damage to a few leaves to
apply), bT to deal with caterpillars, ferric sulfate and, looking to avoid
the pH changes continued use of that product would bring, fresh coffee
grounds to deal with the slugs. That's it. The garden, by virtue of
supporting both prey and predator and by virtue of having overall healthy
plants has simply never needed anything more.
There is a cycle to consider.
The first year a garden / farm is converted to organic methods, yields go
down (assuming the soil was under conventional cultivation previously)
The second year the yields go up to nearly the previous level. Most studies,
sponsored by fertilizer manufacturers, end there.
The third year, organic yields edge north of conventional yields and never
ever drop back to them. Moreover, since purchased inputs are considerably
lower, profitability pulls ahead, too.
To the small / home gardener, that means that the first year or two while
learning organic methods and setting the stage by building the soil,
clearing weeds and so on, the yields are not especially impressive. By the
third year, though, you will have a pretty good handle on what you are
doing, your soil will have recovered its natural vitality and insect /
bacterial populations will have begun to regain their balances.
It is in the third year that the backyard miracle becomes manifest. It will
repeat year after year for as long as that soil is held under organic
Although this is not a specifically organic newsgroup you will find that
many of us do follow these methods and we do get these results. Pat K. and
Glenna are especially knowledgeable (there are others ... these are just
the names that come quickly to mind because I have had personal exchanges
of ideas with them).
There is a lot to learn about gardening. Mastery does not come out of a bag
or a bottle but from learning the subtleties of your own soil and
manipulating it so that a wide variety of life, in and above the soil,
My own garden is exactly 280 square feet, all in boxed raised beds. You
wouldn't believe the yields I get from that tiny space. You certainly
wouldn't believe how little it costs me to produce it. Although I am out
there nearly every day, I probably average no more than 15 minutes a day in
my garden. Well, maybe an hour ... time flies when you're having fun. :-)
This time of year, most of that time is spent picking produce, pulling elm
seedings (my neighbor has a Chinese elm that literally snows seeds in my
garden). In the spring and the fall, it gets most of two days worth of
fairly focused labor planting, mulching and so on.
My cucumbers are 7' tall. Last year my tomatoes went well over 10' (one made
it 11 1/2 feet). I planted bush beans this year because my pole beans last
year yielded so much that we were only able to eat about 1/3 of what we
canned over the winter. We simply cannot use a whole lot of beans this year
so I used the ground to give several varieties of peas a trial. In about a
month, I will be replanting peas, this time with innoculant.
Life is very, very good in an organic garden. I'd like to strongly encourage
you to give it a fair trial ... three years ... to see if you don't agree.
Zone 5b (Detroit, MI)
I do not post my address to news groups.
Will these be for harvest next spring, or will you expect a
Agree. There are problems, there is insect damage, but it's
been absolutely minimal for me.
If I cover the brassicas (cabbage-family) with floating row
cover, that seems to be 99% of what I need to do for insect
I'm *not* an organic gardener (but I'm a pretty nice person
nonetheless :-) I agree absolutely that "pre-emptive strike" is a
waste of time and money, and unnecessary. I'd rather eat bees than
Sevin-dusted veg. In fact, I've pretty much managed (small and then
very small scale) with the pick-off-and-squish method of insect
control. Until a Japanese beetle chowed down my single woodruff -- I
may have gotten him by specific application of permethrin dust, but
the woodruff was, sadly, already toast. I also have used Bt San Diego
more widely (tomatoes, eggplant, & peppers) for Colorado potato
beetles, together with pick'n'squish.
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