Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > May 2015 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - CHOOSING PESTICIDES WISELY

GARDEN TALK with DOUG - CHOOSING PESTICIDES WISELY

There is a new culture brewing amongst avid gardeners when it comes to using pesticides.  Gardeners are trying to be more environmentally friendly with their use of pesticides – me included.  We are asking ourselves if we really need a pesticide.   If you are an older gardener like me – remember when our choices of product were Isotox, Malathion, Diazinon, Orthene, etc.  Now, we have more environmentally friendly pesticides to choose from such as Captain Jacks Dead Bug Brew, Bonide’s Bon-Neem, Bonide’s All Seasons Horticultural Spray Oil, Bonide’s Thuricide, or Bayer’s Natria.  And, Sevin Dust and Dipel Dust can be effective against chewing insects.  All these newer products are to help us become better stewards of our own environment.
                Before you use any pesticides ALWAYS read the label and apply according to direction!!   And, you should answer some important questions…
  • Is the damage actually caused by a pest?  Could it be due to the weather or a cultural practice e, such as over or under watering or improper fertilization.
  • If it is a pest, what kind of pest? 
  • Are there nonchemical ways to control it?  Is the damage severe enough to warrant chemical control?
  • Can the pest be controlled by a chemical at this stage of its life cycle, or would application at a different time be more effective?
 
Some good cultural practices will help reduce the need for pesticides.  Use the following guidelines to keep your plants healthy.
  • Select plants adapted or native to our area.
  • Control weeds -  use mulches and hand-pulling where possible.
  • Water adequately – overwatering and underwatering can be equally damaging to plant health.
  • Do not crowd plants.  Planting too close weakens plants and increases disease.
  • Add organic matter, such as compost, to the soil – rich soil produces healthier plants.
  • Control pests before they become established – hand-removing insects or damaged leaves as soon as you see them.
Proper identification of the problem is essential before you select any type of control.  Just because you see insects does not mean that insects are a problem.
 
Posted: 5/15/2015 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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