Do natural pesticides work in Crestview, FL vegetable gardens? It depends. The region offers a climate of mild temperatures and an extended growing season. This advantage comes with a risk, however, since the environment also encourages the presence of a multitude of pests that can sabotage your gardening efforts. Since natural pesticides have a more limited success rate, using more toxic alternatives often seems necessary to combat spots on leaves, evidence of blight, wilted plants, and the loss of produce. These alternatives, however, are also toxic to pollinating honeybees, valuable earthworms that aerate the soil, ground and water tables, and of course, the health of those who consume the vegetables that are harvested.
Yet there are sustainable ways to proceed that can counteract a large part of the problem if used in a focused and consistent way. They require some planning, but in the end require less effort than dealing with the fallout of dusts and sprays. Here are a few examples. These methods include taking preventive steps at the very outset of planting, such as adding flowers to the vegetable garden that deter insects, and attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs to the garden that will feed on the unwanted pests. Tomatoes, onions, and herbs are susceptible to specific insect populations, such as Aphids, the Tomato Hornworm, and Onion Root Maggot. Flowers like sweet alyssum draw in hoverflies, who enjoy a diet of aphids and are harmless otherwise. Growing borage serves as a deterrent to the Tomato Hornworm. Parasitic nematodes can help control Onion Root Maggots if you pack them around the bulbs.
In addition, the following local insects can also show up—the Silverleaf Whitefly, Miners, Colorado Potato Beetles, Grubs, Slugs, Cutworms, Pepper Weevils—a long list of creatures interested in enjoying a vegetable garden below and above ground. A non-toxic spray called Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) and an organic spray made with Neem oil (Neem II) both have shown great effect as deterrents for these.
In the end, and in sustainable terms, creating a garden that doesn’t cause stress to the plants or to the gardener is the goal. Want a Pest Control company that cares about the environment like you? Call Spears at 850-682-5354 and allow us to give you a free estimate for your pest control needs in Crestview, Niceville, Defuniak Springs, and the Fort Walton Beach FL surrounding area!!