kcinaz
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Arizona

Thoughts on spraying organic pesticide in garden???

I have had it with all of the bugs in my garden. I can't seem to get much control over them. I ordered lady bugs and spread them throughout the garden over the course of a week. There were 500 of them and I have only found about 2 or 3 of them remaining. I live in Surprise, AZ, so the temps are really hot. Not sure if that has to do with why the ladybugs won't hang around for long.

I'm trying to keep my garden organic, but the amount of bugs I have is horrible. Does anyone have any thoughts on just controlling them with organic pesticides? I have an organic gardening book with a recipe for 1 gallon of water, 2 tbsp blue dish soap, and 1 tbsp cooking oil. Would this be too harmful for the veggies if I were to spray it in my garden on a regular basis?

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ldylvsroses
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:23 pm
Location: Long Island New York

Did you water the area you released the ladybugs in before you set them free & also did you set the free at night?
As far as the spray you are planning it sounds harmless enough but it may also kill off any benificial insects you may have. :?
MaryEllen;)

kcinaz
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Arizona

Yes, I made sure to water everywhere before I set them out. I set a few out early in the morning and they were gone the next day. The next time, when I set the rest of them out, I did it in the evening. There are about three of them left after a week. Most of them were gone the next day. I'm still having lots of holes bored into my roma tomatoes and still tons of white flies (especially on my zucchini), so I'm thinking they just aren't really doing the trick. I would have thought that with my infestation they would hang around for sure.

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

Well, *that* is frustrating, for sure. :x

Soft-bodied insects (like aphids and some species of scale) will succumb to the dish soap & water spray. Be sure to get the undersides of leaves, too. And verify that you're using dish SOAP, not detergent. Doesn't have to be blue; in fact, Dawn (a blue dish substance) is a detergent.

There are also neem-based products to help fight against insects, and Scott (Helpful Gardener) has found success with pelargonic acids. I have absolutely no experience with them, but I have used neem. Dilute according to label recommendations, and spray well towards dusk, since it will also kill many pollinators. However, since bees, butterflies, etc. travel during daylight, they won't be around at dusk, and thus will be spared. :)

Other members of this forum have found that foliar spraying of compost tea improves the health of their plants such that the plants are no longer of interest to pests. :)

I'm sorry the ladybugs didn't hang around....sounds like you had a buffet ready for them. :(

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

kcinaz
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Arizona

Thanks for the tips. I'll definitely try them :)

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