Helpful Tips For The Organic Farmer: Bugs!

Tomato horn wormBugs! They’re here!

Those nasty little bugs that eat everything in your garden have arrived and it’s time to mount your attack! However, when making your plans, remember that not all bugs are bad for your garden.Many bugs and insects can be helpful to us humans and can even help your plants grow! The real trick to a bug free garden is to keep them out in the first place.

• Invite Helpful Frogs, Birds and Bugs

Frogs and toads love nasty cutworms, while birds think white flies are a delicacy. Chickadees, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers are famous for their bug appetites. Add a birdbath or birdhouse and you have a bird paradise!

• Plant Herbs & Flowers the Bugs Hate

Bugs hate marigolds! Many people plant marigolds around their tomatoes to keep bugs away. I’ve done this very successfully with very good results in Texas.

Have fleas? They can’t stand the smell of lavender.

Aphids? Try planting Nasturtium or parsley. And if you can’t stand potato bugs… plant a bit of horseradish.

• Defense!

Make sure your garden is clean, clean, clean! Remove dead leaves & branches. Be sure to clean up good after you work in the garden.

Also remember that compost tea helps the plant to fend for itself. See AESL online learning for our recipe.

Organic Bug Control ——What You Need:

• A Few cloves of garlic, mashed • Several Onions, chopped • Hot Pepper (5 or 6 dashes)

• Water Combine the above ingredients and soak overnight. By the next morning, this concoction will be strong enough to make a grown bug cry! Strain this mixture and fill a sprayer with the bug juice. This spray will kill existing bugs and will help prevent new ones from coming around.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

August 18, 2009 at 07:08 PM

We are a multinational couple committed to helping orphans. We value people, in this case the kids and young adults here. We hope to do so by helping equip them with the means (knowledge, experience, training, and tools they need) to help them gain self respect, self confidence, and build character. And at the same time VALUE i.e. Fish, and produce while working with nature. This in turn will provide them with a better diet and the joy of seeing the fruits of their labors first hand. Helping to break the cycle of poverty in their lives and in their land.

August 21, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Adding a birdbath is a great idea to invite birds into your garden. Will remember that when we get our backyard garden going. Thanks for the idea!

August 21, 2009 at 03:08 PM

I have been thinking about starting a garden, i didn’t know the best way. I don’t want to use harsh chemicals to keep the bugs away. I wouldn’t have ever thought of these great tips. Thank you. Know i can start my garden and know that my family is eating healthy.

August 21, 2009 at 03:08 PM

I would have thought that leaving dead leaves and branches in he garden would be helpful… I would have left it. And tea, thats great. its a lot cheaper to go organic then i thought!

Bill Burnsreply
August 21, 2009 at 06:08 PM

One of the reasons I don’t like growing tomatoes is fighting bugs. Thanks for the tips on how to get rid of them. I’m ready to try growing tomatoes again.

August 21, 2009 at 11:08 PM

I can’t wait to get the first plants of tomatoes and onions! I looove tomatoes, but not the bugs with them! Thanks – great tip!

August 22, 2009 at 10:08 AM

I KNEW there was a reason my mother always planted marigolds when I was a little girl growing up in Michigan! I never thought they were a “beautiful” flower…but now I realize she probably didn’t either…it was to keep the bugs away. I can’t wait to try it!

May 04, 2012 at 06:05 AM

Slugs! Those are the main culprits in my garden. I get to shoo them away by sprinkling salt at them and my plants. I might as well add a birdbath as you suggested.

May 04, 2012 at 07:05 AM

Another tip would be to spray weeds with common full-strength household vinegar, on a sunny day. It’s an organic weed killer that’s safe for you and the environment. Thanks for the tips!

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