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