Memorial Day is coming up and you can be sure of one thing; the pest insects have already arrived in your neighborhood even though you have not had any problems yet. The aphids and slugs may have already left their calling card.
Here is one of the most important facts you should know as a vegetable gardener: Every time a pest insect or disease strikes a plant in the garden, that plant was in stress BEFORE the insect or disease came along. The obvious conclusion is that if a plant is really healthy and not in stress for any reason, it is unlikely to be bothered by insects or disease. It can defend itself.
Here are five tips to help minimize any problem with pest insects:
Try to identify the bugger. Go to my websitewww.yardener.com and in the search window type in the name of the vegetable in question. In that file you will find a list of symptoms of the pest insects that might attack that plant; that helps to know what are the solutions.
Ants are good guys in the garden
The two to three inches of organic mulch is the best pest insect control that there is. That mulch becomes habitat for the three most effective beneficial insects in the garden; ants, spiders, and ground beetles of all kinds. A healthy population of those friends will mean few pest insects will get numerous enough to make any visible damage to your vegetable plants.
This is definitely an optional step but if you spray your veggie plants once a month or more with Organica’s Plant Growth Activator, the plants will definitely be feeling less stress and be better able to fend off pest insects. PGA is made up of over 50 beneficial bacteria and 6 beneficial fungi; sort of giving the plant some active reserves to fight the good fight.
If you are growing a variety of a vegetable that is not appropriate for your weather conditions and zone, that plant will always be in stress. So if a certain variety you have been using for a few years is always bothered by pest insects, that is a sign to change varieties next year.
If you need to use an insecticide, use only organic forms; never use a synthetic insecticide in your garden – ever. Insecticidal soap and horticultural oil are the two most commonly used organic insecticides at botanic gardens across the country. Neem is another product that is safe and effective in certain situations.
What is happening in nature this week?
If you are lucky enough to have some Monarch butterflies showing up in your yard, this is the week they will begin laying their eggs on the undersides of milkweed leaves. If you have no milk weed plants, they must go someplace else to find it because that is the only plant on which Monarchs will lay their eggs.