Pest control for vegetable garden (Best Organic Ways)

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Being a gardener is great when you get to grow your own vegetables, harvest them, savor them, and even share with your families and friends. However, it gets a bit challenging when you have to take care of plants from seeds’ germination to full-grown plants to harvest the plants. Taking care of the plants’ requirements like the ideal temperature, sunlight, potting mix, water, and fertilizers is a pretty basic thing to work with. Let us check out the best pest control for vegetable garden.

However, even when you have successfully met all these needs of your plant, there is a chance that one significant aspect of nature itself can be responsible for ruining all the work you had put into growing your excellent harvest. 

Pest control for vegetable garden
Pest Control For Vegetable Garden

That aspect is the effect of pests of your plants that could affect the yields at any plant growth level. If you are a gardener being a beginner or experienced, you need to be cautious to make some arrangements of pest control for that matter. So here we are going to discuss ways through which you can ensure a pest-free garden easily.

Vegetable gardening pest control

Let us check out Pest Control For Vegetable Garden. There are all kinds of insects and animals. Some are bad for our plants, and some are even good. Some insects actually help our plants to grow well and pollinate like butterflies, bees, etc.

However, some insects and worms destroy our vegetable gardens, and we call them pests, and we should aim to keep them out of our garden as far as possible.

Let us discuss how to but before then that these are some of the pests, namely:-

  • Insects
  • Weeds
  • Aphids 
  • Whiteflies 
  • Beetles 
  • Fungi
  • Slugs/snails
  • Nematodes
  • Gophers/moles
  • Garden ants, etc

Pesticides that are not good to use

Certain pesticides in the market may look like they solve the issue with the pests momentarily, but they tend to do more damage than just pest control in the long run. Some of these kinds of pesticides with their disadvantages are-

Insecticides

Some of the insecticides, together with killing the insects that destroy our plants, also kill the good insects that are beneficial for our plants and gardens. Hence it results in adverse effects on the health and proper growth of our plants. Some of such insecticides are namely 

  • Carbamates 
  • Organophosphates 
  • Pyrethroids and
  • Neonicotinoids

Most of these insecticides get into the pollen or nectar parts of the plants because of what they become poisonous for the butterflies and bees that might have landed on them and would have helped in the process of pollination.

But the presence of these toxic insecticides kills these butterflies and bees as well. Adding on to that loss, they are also poisonous for even us humans and other animals or fishes whoever may be going to eat these vegetables and has an adverse effect on our health.

Fungicides 

Fungicides may be used as pest control for prevention. But are mostly based on the temperatures and humidity levels. The issue of using fungicides is resistance. 

Herbicides 

Herbicides that are used as a pest control mechanism are mostly water-soluble. This means that they dissolve in the water that may accumulate on the ground’s surface or even percolate with the groundwater.

Even though they may not be poisonous for humans or animals, they are still very harmful for consumption when they get mixed with water that may be consumed by either of the two. Also, herbicides make the soil contaminated with them, creating the quality of the ground degraded.

This may hamper the quality of the earth and hence affect your produce in the next season.

Molluscicides 

These kinds of pesticides have baits that contain the chemical metaldehyde that is very harmful in nature for animals, including your own pets and even aquatic life. 

Rodenticides 

The chemicals in them work like acute poisons against the pests. They are harmful to other animals like the hawks and foxes and can even be poisonous for children if you have children moving around who may come in contact with them somehow. 

Pesticides that we can use for vegetable gardening pest control

organic pest control for vegetable garden

Even though many pesticides in the market can be readily available to us and look like they do their job of controlling our pests’ primary issue, but still, these pesticides contain a lot of poisonous chemicals and stuff that, together with helping us get rid of the problems, also creates much more damage to the health of humans, animals, and nature at large.

Here are some pesticides that you can use for vegetable gardening pest control that are organic in nature and help in pest control without the use of poisonous chemicals. Let us discuss the organic pesticides together with the pests that they are suitable to use against-

#1- Organic pesticides for caterpillars and all kinds of worms

There are times when our vegetable gardens are infested with caterpillars and worms that eat the leaves and damage the produce. It is mostly advised that if you see such pests on or under the leaves or anywhere else on the plants once in a while, you should simply handpick them and put them in a bowl containing soap water.

However, if your garden is heavily infested by such pests and handpicking is not suitable for you anymore, then you can use an organic pesticide using the following-

  • Take a tablespoon of bacillus thuringiensis (Thuricide)
  • And mix it in a gallon of water.

So you can make this mixture and put them in a spray bottle. Make sure the spray bottle is clean every time you use it. Try to use the entire batch in the same go as if you want to store the same mixture for future use; it might not work well the next time. So prepare it when you are willing to actually spray it on your plants. 

The best time to spray this mixture is the morning time or the evening time, and you should avoid using it during the sunlight on your plants. As we know, caterpillars and worms might be present under the leaves as well. So make sure that you spray the mix all over the plants and especially under the leaves. So using this, you can ensure vegetable gardening pest control against worms and caterpillars.

#2- Organic pesticides for insects like Aphids, whiteflies, thrips, mites, and other insects.

Many insects attack our plants and destroy them. In order to control these kinds of insects, we can use the neem oil mix as an organic fertilizer. Neem oil has a chemical called azadirachtin that helps in preventing the growth of such insects naturally and regulates them without causing any damage. For making this mix-

  • Take a tablespoon of neem oil of horticulture grade.
  • And then take a tablespoon of insecticidal soap or horticulture grade, or you can also take a non-dishwashing detergent dish soap, for example, pure Castile liquid soap.
  • And mix them in a gallon of water.

After mixing them well and putting them in a clean spray bottle, they are ready to be used. It is organic and does not create poisonous damage, unlike other pesticides. This mix can be used twice in a week in the season of massive pests and once will be sufficient during the season of moderate to low pests. Try to use up all the mixture as they are not suitable to be stored.

Ensure that you spray this pesticide on the leaves and even under the leaves since many insects stay hidden underneath.

#3- For large insects like beetles, stink bugs, thrips, and other large ones.

Since decades gardeners have used pyrethrin to concentrate as pest control, and it is one of the best ways to grow a healthy pest free crop. For this, you can 

  • Take a teaspoon of pyrethrin concentrate of residential grade. 
  • Mix it up in a gallon of water

These pyrethrins are found in chrysanthemum flowers and are organic and fair to keep the beatles and large insects away. You should use them the same way as told above. 

#4- For leaf fungus

Sometimes the plants can have fungal problems like powdery mildew, leaf spot, leaf dampening, etc. due to different kinds of bacterias and fungal pests. It can affect the seedlings and mature plants, causing lots of damage to them.

For this, you can use potassium bicarbonate, garlic extracts, or liquid copper fungicide that can help you in dealing with harmful bacteria and fungal issues in plants. You can use these components by mixing them in a gallon of water and using them in clean spray bottles. 

Spray on the leaves as well as underneath. You can spray pesticides in the morning or evening but don’t use them during the daytime when there is sunlight as it may damage the plants. These pesticides are generally for single time use and hence try not to store them as it will not be so good in that condition.

Additionally, you can also do vegetable gardening pest control against fungus by planting such varieties that are resistant, to begin with. 

Things we can do for vegetable gardening pest control

Let us see what are the things we can do for vegetable gardening pest control? Using organic pesticides is a way to control pests in your garden, but there are many other things that you can do as well to ensure that your garden remains healthy and grows appropriately. So here are some ways that you can save your garden from pests.

best organic pest control for vegetable garden

#1 Grow Resistant Varieties

There are many variants available for most kinds of vegetables. Depending upon the type and variety of plants that you would like to grow due to the zone of America you live in, you could choose the plant’s variant accordingly.  However, select the varieties of seeds that are resistant to diseases caused by fungus and bacterias. 

When you choose a good quality and healthy breed that is resistant you ensure that you will have a healthy plant to begin with. You can get these seeds in your local markets or even online. Thus instead of taking the measures later when your crops get attacked by pests, it is advised that you use the seeds that are healthy right from the beginning to grow your plants without any such hindrance.

#2 Crop rotation

Do not grow the same family of plants at the same spot every year. Keep rotating the plantation areas of the same kinds of plants every year since it gives the diseases a chance to build upon them. The plant families should be turned to a different place with adequate sunlight conditions to grow well.

You should plan your gardening style in such a way that you can get success in having vegetable gardening with reasonable pest control right from the start, and taking care of crop rotation can be a game-changer in that case.

#3 Monitoring  

You could keep on monitoring your vegetable gardening to see the tolerable levels and keep checking on them. If you keep watching the plants regularly, you can analyze the garden regarding different kinds of pests and start acting on prevention from the start of the pest attack itself.

It will help you in taking the proper actions if needed right from the beginning and save your vegetable garden. You can use a mulch to protect the garden from weeds as well.

#4 Frequent harvest 

When your plants keep growing and start to mature, it feels great to see the foliage and the vegetable and fruits hanging from the plants. But it is an attraction to our eyes as well for the pests. If you keep your foliage growing and don’t harvest them, there is a chance that different types of pests can attack them and spoil your vegetable garden.

Hence you should keep harvesting as much as you can during the harvest season when the plants are harvested. If you leave them, there can be a pest attack and a danger for your beautiful crops. 

#5 Use sprays

When you notice pests in your vegetable garden, you should do something without delay. If the pests attack is only at its primary level, you can use the sprays mentioned in the article, depending upon the pest attacking your garden. 

Try to use organic pesticides instead of poisonous insecticides and fungicides since they do a lot of damage to our bodies on the consumption of such vegetables and contaminate the water bodies and affect the health of animals and fishes.

By using organic pesticides, you can get rid of pests without causing damages. So you must use sprays weekly in your garden if there is a moderate pest attack, or you can use twice in a week if more. 

#6 Water early and take care of sunlight

You should water the plants early in the morning as early as possible for you. This is because this will help the plants to absorb the water during the day with the presence of proper sunlight. If the plants absorb water, they can be dry during the nights. This will prevent a lot of diseases from damp leaves overnight. 

Wet leaves overnight can cause bacterias and fungus to grow on plants and hence cause diseases of many kinds. Therefore water the plants in the morning to avoid damp leaves at night that can make them susceptible to infections.

How do I keep bugs off my garden?

How do I keep bugs off my garden? Quite often, bugs do raid our plants and destroy them by making it their lunch. To get rid of these bugs, you can use some pesticides spray that is easy to make at home itself. For this, you can use some dish soap and mix it in water to make it as a spray.

This will kill pests like bugs. However, you should make sure about the quantity and proportions of soap and water you are using. 

If you use too much dish soap, you may end up harming the plants, soil, or anyone eating these vegetables as well. The right proportion to go about is one part of soap to 10 parts of water. Mix this mixture well and put it in a spray bottle.

Using this spray bottle, you can spray this mix on the plant and leaves. Don’t miss out on the part underneath the leaves as bugs and insects tend to hide under the leaves.

Will dish soap kill vegetable plants?

Will dish soap kill vegetable plants? If you are going for the use of natural pest control methods, there are several you can try out. For vegetable garden pest control, not a lot of people prefer to go for harmful insecticides. They can harm if not sprayed in the proper amount.

So, you can use Dish soap as an alternative. They would not kill the plants. It is surely not completely safe and needs to be used often, but instead of no water at all, this will work in small amounts.

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Final Thoughts

While gardening, especially vegetable gardening, pest control is essential for taking care of other things. Sure it is important to know the right kind of temperature requirements of the plants you want to grow, the soil mix suited for a particular type of plant, the plant’s sunlight requirements, the right kind of seeds, to begin with, the water, and fertilizing requirements. But to make sure your harvest doesn’t get ruined, you have to have proper controls for pests that may be ready to raid your garden and plants. 

Although many useful insects actually help in the growth of plants like bees and butterflies, there are also insects of small to large sizes like aphids, beetles, etc. and even some fungus and bacterias are going to make your plants their lunch and destroy them for you. Hence it is essential to make sure you take care of your garden and have good pest control

You can have many ways to make sure your garden has reasonable pest control. Some of them are using seeds that are resistant, rotating your crops, using sprays. However, try not to use poisonous insecticides and pesticides as they tend to harm your body and the soil, water, animals, and fishes. Try using organic sprays as mentioned above, and by following these measures, you can ensure that your vegetable garden is pest free.