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gixxerific
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Remember a clean garden is a happy garden.

I went out today to clean up the garden a bit. I took out a volunteer cucurbit that was going out of control. It was going down my fence about 10 foot one way than about 10 ft the other way around the corner of it.

So I cleaned that up and that is gone now. while i was cleaning that up I found hundreds (probably really a thousand or more :shock: ) sqaush bugs from tons and tons of eggs all the way to the adult stage. So since I was cleaning the garden I thought it would be nice to give all those bugs a nice bath in some soapy water. I hope i did it right I come to find out that I should have used "soap' not "Detergent", I hope I didn't hurt them. :twisted: :lol: Well now I have a reclaimed space and a ton of nice clean bugs. I think I did good today. Oh I also found a few SVB both worm and adult as well as cucumber beetles they all got to take a bath too. Every thing is so squeaky clean.

There was a multitude of squash bugs on the ground to just swarming the place they were all dirty so I sprayed them with some NEEM thinking the oil coat would make them shine. They all seemed to like my cleaning cause they are all sleeping now I think they are just enjoying my kind nature to clean them up.


So remember a clean garden is a happy garden. :flower:

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In another post I mentioned I recently tilled about 2/3 of my garden but it rained cats, dogs, mice and squirrels this past week. It turned into a quagmire.

I had to get in the garden to pick some Okra, Eggplant and Cucumbers but first I had to remove my shoes because the ground is so wet I sunk past my ankles. I was hoping to be able to make my rows and get some of my stuff in the ground but it will now have to wait till things dry out a bit.

I'm with you gix, I like my garden clean. It is sometimes a real chore, but a labor of love.

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"spit and polish" gixx? :lol:

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LOL, dude, when I read the thread title what came to me was an OCD gardener out in the back tomato patch with a vaccuum, cleaning up all that dirt.... (Incidentally, I use a wet/dry dustbuster against potato beetles, so it probably wasn't all that far off....)

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I'm not so sure about the spit polish recommendation.

I'm doing more and more cut and drop all the time. More like nature. Walk through the woods sometime, what a mess. Everything is tangled, growing over each other. There are no woodland fairies going around raking up all the litter. Do more [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9bcn7sRRVg]polyculter[/url]and you'll probably have less insect and deases to deal with.

We are also finding out that all the antibacterial soaps, handy wipes, etc.. are creating super germs and sickly people. Low immune systems. Moms these days, don't touch that, wash your hands.

Go out and get your hands dirty.
Eat dirt
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gixxerific
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First off thanks for you comments but what does that have to do with me removing an unwanted plant? And what does polyculture have to do with throwing your scraps on the ground. Mine did go in the compost pile. I am lucky I didn't cut and drop cause I might have and extra thousand or more squash bugs partying in my garden. A forest can handle these problems because of their density and diversity. I have a small garden and that will not work so well. I do throw a lot of my weeds and veggie scraps on the ground but that means I will have MORE not less insects. That could harbor hiding places for the bad guy's but hopefully it is more of the good guy's decomposing my scraps into humus thus adding to my soil.

I cleaned up so that I could have a place to plant some more for fall. In the forest whatever is stronger will grown in those places, I want lettuce not another weed or tree.
:D

My original post was mainly to make a joke about giving my bugs a bath. :lol:

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I hope it works!
I sprayed them with soap, nicotine water, bt, and fish emulsion (for the poor plants) and all they did was breed after they were all clean and gorgeous...
I thought about capturing them, and putting them into a jar, to brew up some nasty bug juice, and use that as a warning to others of their kind?

Actually, I considered a blow torch to that bed... with all the hay it would burn nicely, and get rid of the harlequins since nothing else has interrupted their life cycle.
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Maybe I should have said, be sure to wash under their wings, and left it at that. :lol:

I was trying to get across, "diversity" interplanting. The whole idea of being very clean and removal all unwanted vegetation is not a good thing.

I have nothing against keeping beds in production, I'm all for it

Good fall harvest to you
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Double Dog - I really like your posts and I'm not at all disputing, just trying to keep developing my understanding. I'm finding that I have two conflicting theories in my head.

One is that if you read many articles about how to deal with a variety of different insect pests and diseases, they all say clean up all garden debris, that many insects and diseases can over winter in plant debris left lying.

The other is the more naturalistic theories we are learning and expounding here. Fukuoka who cuts plants down and leaves them (buries ? I'm not very far in the book yet) Etc.

So far the way I'm reconciling this, is clearing away any leftovers (dead stuff, stems, leaves, etc) from the plant that grew in that spot, but replacing it with lots of organics - compost, fall leaves, wood chips, straw, etc. My theory being that if there is an insect / disease specific to that plant, it is more likely to be harbored in the debris of that plant. But this is just something I made up. Not sure if it is supported by any science or experience. Maybe plant debris is plant debris.

It is not do-nothing gardening to expend a lot of effort clearing everything out of a particular flower/ veggie bed, just to bring more stuff back.

I'm still trying to figure out if I need to be doing this.... Comments?
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One is that if you read many articles about how to deal with a variety of different insect pests and diseases, they all say clean up all garden debris, that many insects and diseases can over winter in plant debris left lying.
I have also read that if you have healthy plants, they mostly take care of themselves. Sickly plants grown on poor soils usually are more prone to attack.

I have 25 raised beds. When I'm weeding, I pull from one bed and drop on the one behind me. Maybe this is biodynamics. Should I be weeding clockwise or counterclockwise. :) I'm trying for less and less energy gardening. Weeds are mulch, mulch is less weeding. Keep the soil covered.

I brought up the over use of disinfectants, I.e. antibacterial soap, herbicides, insecticides, because of the mutations. The more we use, I believe, the worse things will become.

Mimic nature. Maybe we should have trees in are vegetable gardens. Grow tomatoes on the southside, of the tree, in full sun. Plant lettuce and other cole crops in the shade of the northside. Guilds, more Permaculture.

Maybe this is all to much thinking for a small garden?

Eric

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This is the way I'm understanding this admittedly anti-textbook concept. Eric's view might not be the same.

Let me quote what you said:
1. "many insects and diseases can over winter in plant debris left lying" and
2. "clearing away any leftovers (dead stuff, stems, leaves, etc) from the plant that grew in that spot"

Look at it this way:
1'. Yes, #1 is correct, but not only the pest insects but also some beneficial insects.
2'. The plant that grew in that spot attracted pest insects specific to that plant. But the attracted pest insects in turn attracted predators specific to those insects. Now they're all cozy and going to overwinter, and the predator eggs, larvae, pupae were left there BECAUSE upon emergence, there was going to be the pest insects for them to eat.... 8)

If you don't have the full set of blocks (ecosystem), you can't play this way. I think the difficulty is that at some point, you have to make that switchover, and the transition can be rough.

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Yes this is a confusing subject Rainbow. I have always thrown my scraps on the ground heck that is where all my leaves and grass go so why not huh? From the soil to the soil, right!? Not too long ago I have been reading as RBG stated that all that scattered debris can be a haven for pest and disease. This year actually I have been trying to clean out as much as possible just to see how that goes. But it feels wrong to me. When I'm out weeding or trimming a plant I sometimes throw it in the compost but probably half the time I do not and I almost feel guilty like should I go on doing this or are all these people wrong and I should go on as I have for years. Trust me all the talk I did about my bejillion volunteers was not from having a clean bed. :lol:

Of course I don't save anything that is insect or disease ridden.

I do my best to add variety you should see my beds they are a potpourri of this and that. I still don't see what that has to do with leaving or not leaving scraps. But that is a whole 'nother thread. Or a good addition to this one. How am I to say. :wink:

By the way DDF I wasn't getting on your case I was just confused by your post a bit. It did totally send this post in a whole new direction from where I had it going. 8)

By the way I should go check my my bug friends they have been in that bathtub for a long time. They are probably getting all wrinkly from being in the tub too long. My bad. :P

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gixxerific
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Apple you were posting while I was trying to.

Funny thing about ripping this plant out was I didn't see a single predator on the leaves or stems. Just lots and lots of Squash Bugs etc. When I said maybe a thousand counting eggs it may have been in reality 2 thousand.

:shock: I'm not kidding they were em mass and heavily entrenched. I got to one spot and there were literally hundreds of them in one small area. I was %100 percent shocked.

Now you can't expect me to leave this laying around for next year. I have been fighting these buggers fiercely to no avail all year. Another thing to not this plant was VERY healthy so as far a healthy plant fending for itself. I'm not so sure on that. I know it will help more with disease but looking at this case it is not the case.

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I have seen one ladybug and that is all year long!
:roll:

I think that what you did was great Gixx, excellent from an organic, non-permie stance! :wink:

Organic does support diversity, and diversity is not harmed by removing an overgrown plant.

I just hope the soap got the bugs! Did you see any actually dead?
My harlequin don't die, nor do the stinkbugs, they are riding tiny chargers (grasshoppers) and I think they are wearing armor! :lol:
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gixxerific
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Oh yeah the soap got them.

Taking out that plant also helps the chard that was being strangled of light beneath this massive unknown plant. I kept thinking I should have taken pics. It was massive if only the one I wanted to grow would be that healthy. :lol: But it was a hybrid gone wrong. There were actually several fruit on it and most of them are very different from each other. In size, shape and color, some are lumpy some smooth. Pretty weird. I don't think I will be eating any of this.

Maybe I will pawn them off on my unsuspecting neighbors/guinea pis. :lol:

Oh yeah I do have some ladybugs, lizards, frogs, birds etc, but they are way outnumbered. WAY outnumbered. :evil:

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DoubleDogFarm wrote: I have 25 raised beds. When I'm weeding, I pull from one bed and drop on the one behind me. Maybe this is biodynamics. Should I be weeding clockwise or counterclockwise. :) I'm trying for less and less energy gardening. Weeds are mulch, mulch is less weeding. Keep the soil covered.

....
Clockwise (deosil) or counterclockwise (widdershins)? Whichever word feels/sounds better when you say it! I have no idea whether it's biodynamic, though.... :lol:

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I like deosil or Sunwise. :D

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My original post was mainly to make a joke about giving my bugs a bath. :lol:
I got your joke, BTW, Gixx. Hence, my "spit and polish" comment. :>
"Igor" voice (with a bit of Gollum from LOTR thrown in): "Niiiice bugsses... Shiny, cleeeeaaann, bugsses.... Mwahahaha." :twisted: :P :wink:

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In a goat forum that I am in, there is recommendations for parasite programs one for nothern folks and one for the south. It is stated:
With identical management, identical feeds etc. The parasite and disease load will be heavier on the southern animals, because of the warmth, the longer summer temps give more generations per year.

Also soil deficiencies are not evenly spread over the globe.
If your soil is copper deficient and you grow plants there, and mulch and compost onsite only... your copper deficiency will remain. I mean how many dandelions can you grow? Surely not enough to fix a copper deficiency. And many pests and diseases are more predominant in areas with one or more deficiency. It has been proven animals raised on copper deficient soil have more parasites than animals on copper supplements or where soils are not deficient. They are also prone to disease due to the soil being deficient. And it is by area, so if you buy local feeds, the problem remains.

And then we see some areas, when this was wilderness, were prairies, some were forests and some were deserts that have been tamed, there are different challenges in all these areas.

And it is not fair to say: Well, I don't deal with early frosts it must be your management... that is the equivalent of saying to a southern gardener... those bugs are your mismanagement, your poor gardening! I call foul, unfair! With identical management, the northern areas will still have later frosts in spring, earlier in fall, and the southern areas will have more bugs, and diseases to deal with... fact of life!

Gumbo has a wet garden at the moment, he will have disease issues due to this wetness, and likely fungus too, not his fault, not his mismanagement... just fact of life! Whether he tills, or is a permie guru, the location does affect lots of issues! Would I trade less bugs and disease for more cold weather and snow and ice? No way! I would consider moving farther south, farther into bugs and disease, but not north into more cold and snow.
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I hope i did it right I come to find out that I should have used "soap' not "Detergent", I hope I didn't hurt them. Well now I have a reclaimed space and a ton of nice clean bugs. I think I did good today. Oh I also found a few SVB both worm and adult as well as cucumber beetles they all got to take a bath too. Every thing is so squeaky clean.
That works for me! Nice clean bugs. I use Dawn dishwashing detergent, and it works for me, but everytime I say it I get abused because of using detergent instead of SOAP. Well, you try to find SOAP. If you look up the MSDS on all the stuff called soap, you may be surprised. Technically detrergent means a cleaning product. Even water qualifies. Hey if it "cleans" the bugs and doesn't burn the plants I am OK with it.

A clean garden to me means no living weeds. There can be all sorts of dead and uprooted weeds and other organic matter scattered, but that is just fine with me. Weeds and plants that are finished are mulch and can stay where they land. I don't take anything off the garden, but the edible portions.

Years ago in my early gardening days, I would spray everything a couple of times to keep the bugs down. I have long since quit doing that and find that I have less problems with bugs than before. Perhaps it is because of more predators? I don't know. I will use some DE on the cabbage, but mostly things do quite well without too much bug damage. I am fortunate that our cold winters will kill lots of wintering bugs. This is especially so when the temperatures go cold before we get an insulating blanket of snow and the ground freezes a few inches deep.

Keep washing those bugs. ;)
Last edited by jal_ut on Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jal_ut
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there are different challenges in all these areas.
You hit it on the head with that statement. Yes, every plot has its own mini environment and what works for me doesn't necessarily work for you. We can swap ideas, but the test is to find what works for each of us.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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gixxerific
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jal_ut wrote:
there are different challenges in all these areas.
You hit it on the head with that statement. Yes, every plot has its own mini environment and what works for me doesn't necessarily work for you. We can swap ideas, but the test is to find what works for each of us.
That is so true Jal. When I read OL's post I was thinking of you. You might have one of the furthest climates from the "norm" of all the U.S. members on HG.

By the way I did know about the soap vs. detergent ordeal before this. That is why I threw that crack in there. :wink:

Yes Jal you are VERY different from me you have early than late extreme cold, here it does get pretty cold but not for that long. But the summer is what kills us gardeners and not the bugs. It's hot an humid and the bugs just love it.

Just looking at my soon to be removed pumpkin patch (!&@*&@#*@Q&# SVB) there is another colony of squash bugs over there as well. Just running rampant. Nothing I seem to do matters. You all should see the number of little orange casings around these plantings which I assume are from the SVB's.

I just don't know what to do anymore I have NEVER EVER EVER had an infestation even close to this. EVER!!!!! :evil: :evil: :evil:

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Ozark,
With identical management, identical feeds etc. The parasite and disease load will be heavier on the southern animals, because of the warmth, the longer summer temps give more generations per year


I don't doubt this one bit. That is why we should have different gardening strategies. (not sure why this in a big font)
I mean how many dandelions can you grow
Only enough for my salad and no more. :D All soil are not equal, but we do the best we can. It's far better to return the vegetation to the soil, then to remove and discard. I have over the years introduced [url=https://www.azomite.com/]Azomite[/url]to the soil. It has 70 active minerials and trace elements. Azomite can also be added to animal feed. Something like 10%. This is a mined product and has it's own issuses.
And it is not fair to say: Well, I don't deal with early frosts it must be your management... that is the equivalent of saying to a southern gardener... those bugs are your mismanagement, your poor gardening! I call foul, unfair! With identical management, the northern areas will still have later frosts in spring, earlier in fall, and the southern areas will have more bugs, and diseases to deal with... fact of life!

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change"

Can you point to the post that made these comments? I find it interesting. I didn't know we could control Mother nature. Well, we can sort of. I'm surprised that floating row covers are not being taken advantage of. They will do both. Raise the temperatures by 4 degrees, protection from light frost. Control insects and birds. I have not crunched any numbers, but I bet the covers are cheaper then insecticides over the long run. We need to adapt.
Gumbo has a wet garden at the moment, he will have disease issues due to this wetness, and likely fungus too, not his fault, not his mismanagement... just fact of life! Whether he tills, or is a permie guru, the location does affect lots of issues! Would I trade less bugs and disease for more cold weather and snow and ice? No way! I would consider moving farther south, farther into bugs and disease, but not north into more cold and snow.
I'm sorry about the whole Katrina problems. Under 3 plus feet of water. sheesh. Not his fault, but he is living on the planet. We are the problem. Global warming is a whole nother subject.

Gumbo should not be tilling wet clay soil. One of the quickest way to destroy soil structure and create hardpan.

Also when you say North. You need to more specific. The Northwest has far less rain and snow then Northeast.

Eric

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Ozark Lady
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I wasn't quoting anyone, anywhere in my post. There are no references. I said it in the post that you highlighted!

I see lots of folks on here with opinions, and they don't have to prove what they believe. Like global warming, not proven, and very political, so let's don't go there.
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Today!

Right now at noon it is 83 degs, clear and sunny, with a relative humidity of 23%. I haven't seen a squash bug, vine borer, nor cucumber beetle this year......... knocking on wood.

So what is really giving your plants stress, does not exist here. I am loving it. (dancing)

You could go to some strong spray and spray the whole squash patch. Anything you may put on it will also take the beneficials too, but then there may not be many of those round or you wouldn't have the problem. Its a decision you will have to make. You like most of us on this board would rather avoid anything that drastic. Would you use pyrethrins?

Have any DE? Take your vacuum out and put it on blow and aim the output at the squash patch and sprinkle the dust in the stream. My son does this on apricot trees to keep the earwigs off. Stand upwind!!!

Something I tried on Colorado Potato Beetles was to catch about 50 or more of them then put them in the blender with some water and liquify them. Then strain it and put it in your sprayer and go spray the potatoes. The theory is that every infestation carries the organism of its destruction. All you have to do is spread it around. Hey! The beetles left.

Edit to add: If you decide to hit the whole patch with something, please do it in the afternoon after the blossoms close. (for the sake of the bees)
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Ozark Lady
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We are pushing 90 and the humidity is at 44%. But the real stress is:
We haven't had a decent rain since May. We get an inch and in a month we get another inch.
This is no where close to our usual rain. It is all being dumped on folks who already have too much water.

I haven't used a true pesticide on my garden ever, oh I use Bt, milk, and occassionally DE. But, these bugs have me to the point of deciding, till it all under, solarize it and forget 2010, or go for the poisons. Nothing is having any effect on the harlequin bugs, and only lots of water is helping the plants fight off the grasshoppers. Since I don't use pesticides, I should have a decent balance, in theory. In reality, I won't get the good guys until I have enough bad guys to support a good population of predators and even then, it takes time to breed them. Then when they eat all the bad guys, they will starve. And the battle begins anew.

If I was only dealing with drought, or only dealing with bugs, then it would be easier, but one stress leads to the other. Lack of water, drives bugs to leave the weed patches and hit my garden, since it is watered.
Then the bugs bite the plant, and it is losing fluids, which is a moisture loss and increases the issue, and more bugs, and no rain! Mulch is too dry to break down and nourish the soil, so it is also not helping at this point. I am having to resort to tea for the plants to get anything at all.
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I see lots of folks on here with opinions, and they don't have to prove what they believe
True, and I hope it continues. This is a lot more informing, educating then a high five for some tomato we have grown. Don't get me wrong, I like seeing everyones gardens and harvest, but what were your techniques.
don't have to prove what they believe
Can 2 billion Chinese be wrong. YES!

Would you use pyrethrins
Here is my anwser!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrethrin
Toxicity
Pyrethrins are used in many varieties of insecticide, fogging products and in some pet products. Care should be taken when using this substance around humans and animals. Overdose and toxicity can result in a variety of symptoms, especially in pets, including drooling, lethargy, muscle tremors, vomiting, seizures and death.[5] Toxicity symptoms in humans include asthmatic breathing, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, headache, nausea, incoordination, tremors, convulsions, facial flushing and swelling, and burning and itching sensation.[6]

Pyrethrins are extremely toxic to aquatic life, such as bluegill and lake trout while it is slightly toxic to bird species, such as mallards. Toxicity increases with higher water temperatures and acidity. Natural pyrethrins are highly fat soluble, but are easily degraded and thus do not accumulate in the body. These compounds are also toxic to bees

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My feelings too on the Pyrethrins. I have never used them. They may be natural, but they are bad toxic.
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Wow SO MUCH being discussed and commented on in this thread! :D

I'm just going to pick one little aspect and say that in the absence of predators, I consider myself to be one. I would work on eliminating them if there were so many squash bugs too, though I do believe it helps to allow the pest insect load to build up some and not rush into wholesale massacre at the first sign.

When I walk around the garden, I grab handfuls of stinkbugs and harlequin bugs at varying stages of development, throw them on the ground and stomp on them. 8) :lol: Same with Japanese beetles (I don't always feel like going back for that container of soapy water or a plastic bag). :wink:

@JAL -- I think we've been emphasizing "soap not detergent" because so many new gardeners post their tales of woe after blackening their first endeavors with detergent spray. It's safer to recommend soap. What is YOUR formula/recipe? The DE dust cloud emitter via vacuum output idea sounds like a good one for a large scale application. I have one of those hand-crank duster with a long nozzle and a directional scoop. I've also re-purposed ketchup and mustard containers for pin-point targeting on garden plants as well as for using on indoor plants.

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I'm just going to pick one little aspect and say that in the absence of predators, I consider myself to be one.
or parasite :>

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Most of us non-permies don't post our techniques on here, because of abuse by the permies. We are ridiculed and criticized about all aspects of gardening that does not line up with permaculture.

Not all of us want to be permaculturists. Not all of us even agree with their theories!

So, we will talk recipes, rain, bugs (maybe, but that opens the door to attack), and maybe show a tomato. Non-permies are so limited, by the aggression of the permies. I thought I had learned to say nothing here, unless it is recipes, but guess that I still haven't. :roll:
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

DoubleDogFarm
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I don't consider myself a permaculturist, more of Apiarian. I take little pieces of gardening information from all styles. I borrowed this term, I believe from Thomas Jefferson.

I say, show some confidence, stand behind what you believe.



Eric

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Ozark Lady
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Main Entry: api·ar·i·an
Pronunciation: \ˌā-pē-ˈer-ē-ən\
Function: adjective
Date: 1801
: of or relating to beekeeping or bees
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

DoubleDogFarm
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Yes, I know it means bee keeping.

Thomas Jefferson was actually talking about religion. He was saying he is not Atheist, but Apiarian. Like a bee going from flower to flower, he takes parts of many beliefs.


Eric

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applestar
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Oooohhhh, NOW it makes sense! :wink:
... parasite, eh? ... :>

DoubleDogFarm
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I was KIDDING. sheesh.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

:lol: :roll: I know, but I had to get you back, didn't I? :> Truce? :D

... waay, OT, I know, but we're still carrying on the humor :wink:

DoubleDogFarm
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truce,

I'm done.

Eric

ps. Sorry Gix for stealing your post.

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gixxerific
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It's all good DDF. That first post was just a shocker that's all. :wink:

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jal_ut
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What is YOUR formula/recipe?
I don't know that I have ever measured the amount of Dawn that I put in the spray bottle. I am thinking those bottles hold about a quart and I would think no more than a Tablespoonful of Dawn. I just squirt some in. No matter what you use, it would pay to try it on a few leaves and wait to see if it is going to burn them. Soap sprays work fast when you get it on the bugs. Give them 30 seconds to tip over in most cases. You can then wash your plants with a fine spray if you want to. The soap has no residual effect. You must get it direcly on the bugs. I have found that it knocks earwigs, aphids, boxelder bugs, and daddy long legged spiders. I don't know how well it would do on squash bugs or Japenese Beetles.

There are several brands of insecticidal soaps available, but they do not all use the same ingredients. Check the MSDS for the particular product if you are interested in what is in it.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-



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