ORGANIC PESTICIDES

If your garden is overwhelmed by bugs, you might want to resort to organic pesticides to save the crop.

ORGANIC VEGGIES







Organic pesticides for your hydro garden?


One of the advantages of hydroponic home gardening is the production of truly organic and pesticide-free produce. Fresh, tasty and nutritious... with no harmful chemicals. You likely started your own garden with high hopes and a leap of faith. And a resolve to never, ever use pesticides in your system.

In the early days, you admired your beautiful, sturdy new plants. They started budding out, and soon you were excited to find baby cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers on them! Then you went out of town for the weekend, leaving your hydro system on auto-pilot. Upon your return, you raced out to check your garden.... and YIKES! What is this? Hundreds of tiny white moths covered every inch of the garden!

Now what? You got on the internet and found out that what you had was a heavy infestation of whiteflies. Now this is a test of your resolve to never use pesticides, right? But what good is it to remain pesticide-free if you lose the entire garden to those little devils?

I will tell you the truth... we have sometimes resorted to the use of relatively safe, organic pesticides when our gardens were threatened by overwhelming bug-festations. And if you really need to use them, there are some fairly benign sprays available that kill bugs, then break down quickly and do not leave harmful chemical residues on your crops.

THE SAFEST ORGANIC PESTICIDES


"Organic" pesticides we recommend...

Safer's Soap
Don't Bug  Me
Neem oil
GoGnats

  • Safer's Insect Killing Soap  - This is an excellent organic treatment for several different types of pests. It is made from fatty acid salts and alcohol, and does not leave harmful chemicals behind. It is not toxic, and so must be used repeatedly (at least 3 times) and applied thoroughly. Kills aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies.
     
  • Don’t Bug Me Pyrethrum-  This broad spectrum organic insecticide is made from flower extract (mums). It is a powerful natural agent which kills spider mites, aphids and whiteflies, then breaks down quickly. Must be reapplied several times to catch new hatchlings and break their life-cycles. Pyrethrum is marketed under several different brand names (like "Don't Bug Me") but prominently states Pyrethrum as the main ingredient.
     
  • Neem Oil- A biodegradable oil extract from neem tree seeds; kills whiteflies, mealybugs, thrips and aphids. One brand is Safer's BioNeem.
     
  • goGnats- Poison-free alternative for gnat control, can be added to the reservoir. Use this and hang yellow sticky traps in the garden to catch the adult flies for best control.
     

TIPS ON USE OF PESTICIDES


  • Read package directions and follow exactly. Really.
     
  • Treat every speck of the plant surfaces, upper and lower leaf surfaces. These agents don't leave toxic residue and so must contact the insect directly to kill it.
     
  • Likewise, repeat your spraying every 4-7 days for at least three treatments to break the life cycle of the pests.
     
  • Apply in the evening after lights out (otherwise you can cook the plants).
     
  • Remember that pesticides may also kill good bugs (beneficial predators).
     
  • To be perfectly safe, stop spraying a week before harvest, and wash produce well before eating.

:-(   OH NO!


You may be disappointed that you broke your resolve to never use pesticides on your hydroponic garden. Just remember that if you stick to these organic pesticides, you are still much better off than with most store-bought produce, which harbor harsh chemical pesticide residues.

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