Weed and pest control in your organic garden
Ilene and Phil Freedman
Just as with our digestive system’s human health, the healthy ecosystem of the soil is a living fungal-bacteria balance. Feed your garden healthy wholesome food, rotate your crops as you would the food you eat. It strengthens the immune system for both. Prevention is the best medicine for the body and the garden. Create a strong, resilient body and a strong, resilient living soil. ~~Ilene Freedman
¨Soybean meal or bloodmeal (nitrogen)
¨Rock phosphate (phosphate)
Ilene and Phil’s Resource Book List
Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Green Resource for Every Gardener
Garden Insects of North America by Whitney Cranshaw
How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons
Durable woven landscape fabric--a nonwoven kind at Lowe's to try it out, larger woven fabric rolls like we use are at Nolt's Garden Center
Some common garden pests
Know them, look up their photos, and be on the lookout for them or their eggs on your plants.
Flea beetles—you will hardly see them. Expect them on eggplant and green beans. They’ll turn the leaves to lace. Prevent all this with floating row cover from the start.
Cabbage moths—they come out in June and lay nasty green eggs inside your broccoli and cabbages. Prevent them from doing this with floating row cover on your brassicas/cabbages from the start.
Colorado potato beetles—we only got these in the first couple years of our garden. Soil supplements and crop rotation took care of them. Pick them off, even if they are few, into a cup of soap water.
Squash bugs—hard to avoid. We get a good crop and then expect these guys to eventually take the plants. Look on the underside of leaves for golden or bronze eggs and rub them off. Plan to plant zucchini twice (two different sites) for a longer season. Keep your cucumbers far from zucchini since squash bugs like all cucurbits. Know the assassin bugs, so you keep them around, they are good bugs.
Stink bugs—hardly a cure around, but they trend and invade, and last year was low.
Tomato hornworms—They attack weak tomato plants. Blend in with leaves. Pick em off if you have tons. Watch for tomato hornworm with white “eggs”—they are parasitic wasp eggs (a tiny beneficial insect, braconid wasp) hatching on and in the hornworm. Let these stay, they will mature and lay eggs in other hornworms, controlling their numbers.
Ilene White Freedman and Phil Freedman
Farmer-educators, House in the Woods Farm
Ilene White Freedman and Phil Freedman operate House in the Woods organic CSA farm in Frederick, Md, established in 2000. Ilene has a masters degree in Environmental Psychology and Behavior from The University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. Phil has an engineering degree from The University of Rochester. The Freedmans were one of six MOTHER EARTH NEWS Homesteaders of the Year 2013.
Ilene blogs about making things from scratch, putting up the harvest, gardening and farm life at www.motherearthnews.com (http://goo.gl/WpnsL or search my name), easy to follow from House in the Woods Farm Facebook page.