Three-step process for identifying and treating gardening problems:

  1. Correct any cultural conditions contributing to the problem, and maintain plant health organically.
  2. Identify the problem/pest correctly.
  3. Choose the least toxic strategy for addressing the problem/pest.

Least-toxic solutions for common gardening problems:

APHIDS:
Spray a blast of water every 3 – 5 days.
Release ladybugs & avoid all pesticides thereafter.
Spray with fish emulsion every 5 days.
Spray with insecticidal soap every 5 days.

BLACK SPOT:
Pick off the most damaged leaves; rake up fallen leaves.
Spray Potassium Bicarbonate.
Spray Serenade Disease Control.
Spray Garlic GP.

CATERPILLARS:
Pick off offending caterpillars.
Spray B.t. (Bacillus thuringensis) in the evening.

CHIGGERS:
Apply diatomaceous earth or dusting sulfur.

CHINCH BUGS:
(All areas of lawn in full sun need to be treated).
Apply Green Light Organic Lawn & Garden Spray (Bioganic)
Apply diatomaceous earth. (d.e.)(not the swimming pool kind)
Apply a d.e./pyrethrin product.

FIRE ANTS:
Apply beneficial nematodes.
Use a mound drench such as citrus oil or Erath Earth’s Compost Tea.
Apply Green Light Conserve bait.

FLEAS:
Apply beneficial nematodes.
Apply Green Light Organic Lawn & Garden Spray (Bioganic).
Apply d.e. or d.e./pyrethrin.

GRASSHOPPERS:
Apply Nolo Bait to entire property. (Encourage neighbors to do the same).
Apply a solution of Kaolin Clay to the leaves of plants. (will leave a white residue).

GRUBWORMS:
(There is no need for control if there are fewer than five grubs per square foot).
Apply beneficial nematodes.

MOSQUITOES:
Drop Mosquito Dunks or Bits into standing water or over wet areas of soil.
Spray Mosquito Barrier throughout yard as a repellent.
Apply Dr. T’s Mosquito Repelling Granules.
PECAN WEBWORMS:
Release Trichogramma wasps in early May, mid-June, & early August (at the first sign of the moths).
Open webs and spray inside with B.t.(in the evening).

POWDERY MILDEW:
Spray milk.
Spray Potassium Bicarbonate.
Spray Serenade.
Spray Garlic GP.

SCALE:
Spray with Organocide horticultural oil.

SNAILS & SLUGS:
Place half-full, shallow containers of beer into the ground in shady areas.
Apply Sluggo.

SPIDER MITES & WHITEFLIES:
Spray Organocide horticultural oil weekly, at least 3X.
Apply Green Light Organic Lawn & Garden Spray (Bioganic) weekly, at least 3X.

SQUASH BUGS, STINK BUGS, LEAFFOOTED BUG:
Pick bugs by hand and squash or drown in soapy water.
Dust with d.e. or Diatect V
Vacuum them up with a shop vac.

SQUASH VINE BORERS:
Slit open stem lengthwise; remove borer; cover stem with soil.
Inject stem with B.t. solution weekly.

THRIPS:
Spray Organocide horticultural oil weekly, at least 3X.
Always remember the beneficial creatures out there, assisting you in your garden and landscape. Learn to recognize bats, ground beetles, birds, fireflies, frogs, ladybugs, ladybug larvae, lacewings, praying mantids, garden snakes, spiders, and even wasps as allies. Cultivate a low toxicity outlook on maintaining your outdoor, and indoor, environment.