concerned about pesticides

Discussion in 'General Gardening' started by knuckledragger, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. knuckledragger

    knuckledragger New Member

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    I am new to beekeeping (will be getting my first 2 hives next week) and my wife gardens. She normally uses sevin on the garden, but I understand that it is harmful to bees. Are there other things that we can use to protect our squash and zucchini without hurting the bees?
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I'm sure others will have their own suggestions and views, but my take is this- if you want to start raising your own wholesome food and keeping bees and eating your own honey, you might want to investigate other ways rather than spraying poisons and insect killers on the vegetables you are going to eat- it can not only poison your bees, but frankly speaking if you want to eat vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticides and fungicides etc, then it's much cheaper to get them at the supermarket.
    There are various less harmful ways to reduce insect damage in the home garden- diatomous earth, simple diluted soap or hot pepper spray, ladybugs, preying mantids, companion planting, even hand picking of tomato worms. I don't use anything in my veg garden other than my rabbit/deer fence, and I only get the occasional bug damage- I think it's because I use plenty of organic fertilizer and the plants are thriving and strong. I have a theory where insects move in when there is a weakness or deficiency, like how woodpeckers start working on a tree that looks ok, but is actually dying and riddled with insects on the inside. I used to have lots more bug damage in my veg garden when i was using chemical fertilizers like MiracleGro. Since I switched to only organic fertilizers and manure, each year I have fewer and fewer bugs going after my veggies. This is of course just my own biased opinion, humbly offered. Here's some pix from my vegetable garden:
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9fPBEJTqGzw/T ... 2010_1.jpg
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9fPBEJTqGzw/T ... erhead.jpg
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_9fPBEJTqGzw/T ... ounter.jpg
    If cabbage worms, beetles, or caterpillers are your squash problem, my first suggestion would be to look into dusting with diatomous earth or using a soap or pepper based spray.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Good looking garden Omie, why the high fence? to keep the deer out?
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Thanks G3, yes the heavy gauge wire strands at 5, 6, and 7 feet is to keep the deer out. We have lots of deer around here. The wire mesh is 4 feet high and sunk 1 foot below ground to keep out the rabbits and woodchucks.
    Those 3 animals cause the most damage if they could get in. My husband jokes about my 'vegetable compound' and how no carrot or beet could ever escape from it. lol!
     
  5. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    I agree with Omie that you can grow without pesticides and chemical fertilizers.Diatomaceous Earth works wonders and little tips like 1 or 2 drops of mineral oil on corn silk helps control those pesky corn borers.It's an easy search for more remedies ,but the ones Omie mentioned are most of what you'll need.The tomato horn worms are another story and an inspection every few days and like Omie said to hunt and pick them off.

    BTW Omie your garden is gorgeous,nice looking fresh veggies too,Martha Stewart would beam with pride with a garden that nice.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Is that Kholarabi in that last pic? Never seen it that red before.
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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  8. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    Omie was that chard or rhubarb I saw in one the pics in your 2nd. post?I used to go up to my grandfolks farm in Tilbury Ont.,and my grandmother used to bake me strawberry-rhubarb pies.I tried to grow them down here ,but they didn't do well and the closest I can get to rhubarb was chard which isn't the same.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Sevin dust will kill your whole hive. The bees carry it back to the hive and everything dies, even the next colony of bees you install. Don't use it. If you must use a chemical, use a liquid that becomes ineffective in a few hours.Spray at night.

    I use white, powdered lime on my veggies, flowers, grapes, berries, and many other things. It works well, but doesn't harm the bees.

    viewtopic.php?f=27&t=3043
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Cracker, that was red swiss chard.
    I used to grow rhubarb in my old place but it takes up too much room for the few times i use it. I like rhubarb pie too! But chard I use way more often.

    Iddee, I didn't realize Sevin was quite THAT bad. Yikes, bad stuff to use on stuff you are going to EAT I guess!
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    In the bee world, sevin dust is the scourge of the earth. It should be banned and only the liquid form allowed. Then only after application classes are completed.
     
  12. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I try to keep a healthy garden, but it doesn't hold a candle to Omie's! And I still get the critters. For squash, I try to keep an eye on the underside of the leaves and destroy eggs when I find them. Just tear off that part of the leaf and dispose. Plant will look raggedy, but they seem to survive. I have read (but not tried yet) that you can control squash beetles by laying boards on the dirt next to the plants, They will hide in the coolness under the board, and you go out, flip the board, and smash 'em. When the plants are past, get the old vines out of the garden ASAP. Plant in a different location each year.

    I had a horrid infestation of broccoli (cabbage) worms last year, that I squished by hand. It's really disgusting, even with gloves, but you do what you gotta do.

    This year something is eating my pea vines, and I can not figure it out. Between that and the chuck that burrowed under the fence, I'm having a tough time. (I did not take the time to bury the fence 1 foot, only a few inches. Live & learn.)
     
  13. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Frankly, I am really kind of amazed that there are so few bugs attacking my vegetables over the past few years. My cabbage is getting HUGE and looks gorgeous, no bug damage at all. A few earwigs hide in the lettuce, but you can't see any lettuce damage and they rinse off easily when you wash the lettuce. (they actually just float right to the top when I wash my lettuce in a big spaghetti pot of cold water) An occasional chipmunk eats the tops off the stringbeans, but I just plant more.
    Last year there were about 3 or 4 big hornworms on the carrots and tomatoes, but they were literally covered with eggs from the parasitic wasp, like this:
    http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9 ... k1M-PLsohg
    So I left them alone, knowing that each 1 worm would incubate about 100 new wasps that would kill off many MANY hornworms next year! The perfect natural hornworm assasin doing the work for me! :D
    Again, for years I used MiracleGrow as fertilizer, and always had the usual variety of bugs eating my veggies. The past 4 years i only use organic fertilizer and manure and it's hard to even find a bug or bug damage on my veggies, aside from a little hole here or there. The veggies seem much more robust. Can't be totally sure that's the reason why the bugs have declined, but I sure am not going to change anything now that it's working so well for me. Most of my veggies i grow from seed planted right in the ground.
    I should mention that I don't grow squash or broccoli, don't care for it much. Maybe bugs like it a lot and it draws them in? Who knows. And I also suspect bugs thrive more in the hot humid south, right?
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Here's the lime I use and how I use it.

    My rose bush. One of four.

    [​IMG]

    My grape vines.

    [​IMG]

    My tomatoes

    [​IMG]

    My squash and pumpkins

    [​IMG]

    When I finished, my hand looked like I was wearing a white glove half way to my elbow. I went over to the water hose and washed it off. I never felt any heat at all while doing so. If you mix the lime in a bucket of water, it will produce enough heat to burn you, so be careful if you make whitewash.
     
  15. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    iddee, does the lime work for japanese beetles? They devastate my roses, grapes and raspberries every year, and I have not come up with a solution.

    Do you wait until after flowering to put the lime on, or aren't the bees bothered by it?

    Just curious: If lime burns when mixed with water, why aren't the plants damaged if it rains?
     
  16. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I watched as Japanese beetles vacated my roses and grapes as I threw it on. I will see if they return.

    I don't wait. I am picking squash this evening, just after applying the lime. It, the pumpkins, and the tomatoes are in full bloom. I don't think it really kills any of the flying insects. I think it just repels them. ""Personal opinion only, no science to back it up.""

    As I said above, I washed off a very thick layer from my hand and never felt any heat. It must be very concentrated before it gets hot.
     
  17. divkabee

    divkabee New Member

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    Iddee - you may be using hydrated lime, which doesn't generate heat when mixed with water. Quicklime will generate heat. Hydrated lime is quicklime that has been reacted with water. Quicklime is calcium oxide (CaO) and hydrated lime is calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2).
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    OK. You may be right. I haven't tried mixing whitewash, so I haven't seen any heat. Even us old dogs can learn new tricks now and then.
     
  19. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Divkabee, you are 100% right. I checked the bag this morning. It is hydrated lime. So now I know why there was no heat. Thanks
     
  20. lindamiller40

    lindamiller40 New Member

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    What ever you try, it should be natural more resistant to concerns but mild to production. Good handy hints from omie.