Vegetable Gardening Without Pesticides

Overview

Insects are common garden pests that feed on plants and vegetables. Even though they are very small, garden pests can destroy plants and gardens. Pesticides are used to kill and prevent insects in vegetable gardens. The drawback to using insecticide is the toxic chemicals in pesticides. If you are concerned about the toxic chemicals in pesticides, use pesticide-free methods to keep bugs off of your vegetable plants.

Netting

Thin, lightweight netting (such as tulle) can be draped over rows of tender seedlings. The netting serves as a barrier, keeping pests off of the plants. If you plant in containers instead of directly in the garden, the netting can be wrapped loosely around the plant and container. Netting should be applied as soon as the seedlings are planted to avoid trapping insects inside the net tent.

Preventing Soil Insect Damage

Some insects live in the soil and do their damage to plants along or below the soil line. These insects include certain varieties of weevils and cut worms. To prevent damage from soil bugs, create a barrier around the seedling with a cup or some other rigid material. The top should be open to the air, and the bottom should be open to allow it to be pushed into the earth, around the seedling.

Growing Indoors

Growing vegetable plants indoors protects them from outdoor pests. Almost any vegetable that can be grown outdoors can be grown indoors. The basic supplies are the same: containers, potting mix and seeds or seedlings. Indoor gardens also need a very sunny window or the use of a suspended grow light.

Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a homemade preparation that kills and prevents pests in the vegetable garden. The mixture is pet, human and food safe. The recipe (see Resources) takes just a few minutes to mix and costs just a few cents per batch. Organic gardeners can use organic versions of the recipe ingredients to keep their gardens completely organic.

Ladybugs

Lady bugs eat adult pest insects and their eggs. According to PlanetNatural.com, each adult ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids per day. Purchase ladybugs in bulk to control pest populations in your home garden.

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About this Author

Cyn Vela is a freelance writer and professional blogger. Her work has been published on dozens of websites, as well as in local print publications. Vela's articles usually focus on where her passions lie: writing, web development, blogging, parenting, gardening, and health and wellness. She studied English literature at Del Mar College, and at the University of Texas at San Antonio.