What are your worst garden pests?
I have three that come to mind immediately. (Give me more time and I will come up with a few more!) Squash Bugs, Asparagus Beetles and Colorado Potato Beetles are my top three. I want to use only all-natural means of control in my gardens so sometimes my battles can become difficult. Since all-natural vegetables are important to me combined with the fact that killing everything (insects, worms, etc) will only make matters worse, I am willing to fight the good fight.
I have three lines of defense against these top three pests:
·Hand picking (I really hate this but it does work)
The most important part of hand picking is to be thorough! Check the undersides of leaves, the base of leave stems as well as the main trunk or vines. It is also a good idea to check your garden at different times of the day. Some pests prefer to feed in the morning, some during the day and others in the evening.
I spent considerable time this past winter studying which plants will deter squash bugs. This year I will be growing borage, nasturtiums and tansy around the squash plants. I will also cut mint and sprinkle this around and on top of the plants. I have read reports of growing peppermint and chocolate mint with the squash and having good success. Since plants from the mint family are very invasive I will not be growing it in the garden but will sprinkle it after I cut it from where it grows in another place in my yard.
. Pyola(I just started using this last year)
I also had success with Pyola last year. As with most all-natural controls, you need to reapply it after a rain and be diligent with using it.
This is the first spring I have used Pyola on asparagus beetles. I am very pleased with the results. In past years, after a couple of weeks of picking, the beetles would ruin my asparagus. But I'm still picking asparagus after several weeks. The shoots aren't deformed and there are no signs of the nasty black larva they deposit on the stems. I also used hand picking along with the Pyola. Pyola helps control Colorado Potato Beetles. The list of target insects is really quite long, check it out, you might be amazed.