Texas gardeners go green

There has never been an easier time to go green. And you know what? It’s about time!

Thank goodness gardening products like malathion, dursban, diazinon, spectracide, triforine and a thousand others are no longer viable options to combat our garden pests.

Thank goodness also that we no longer have to rely on toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons and organo-phosphates to do the simple job of controlling a few pesky insects.

Today, enviro-friendly choices abound. No longer are they hard to find. They fill garden center shelves everywhere.

At the forefront of the green gardener’s arsenal are beneficial insects. You can buy ladybug beetles, praying mantids, lacewings, trichogama wasps and beneficial nematodes to kill grubworms, aphids, leafminers, spider mites and caterpillars (larvae).

Biological sprays also abound. Spinosad, a soil bacterium, is an effective, broad spectrum insecticide that controls just about every garden pest. Thuricide (Baccilus thurengensis), a beneficial bacteria, targets the larval stage of insects. If it’s a caterpillar it doesn’t stand a chance.

Serenade (Baccilus subtilis) is a beneficial bacteria that controls fungus, early blight on tomatoes and powdery mildew on roses, squash, and crape myrtles. All are rated as organic and safe. (Be sure to following instructions on the labels.)

There are also choices such as soap and oil sprays that suffocate insects. Diatomaceous earth, for example, scratches the outer shell of most crawling insects. Neem oil from the Neem tree (Azaditachta indica) smothers insects and also acts as an anti-feedant. When insects sense Neem, they go the other way.

How does Neem oil work? It enters the system and blocks the real hormones from working properly, according to the Discover Neem website. “Insects ‘forget’ to eat, to mate, or they stop laying eggs. Some forget that they can fly. If eggs are produced they don’t hatch, or the larvae don’t molt.”

With today’s organics, it simply doesn’t make any sense to choose the more toxic option. Make the right choice, and feel good about your contribution to a safer, greener, less toxic environment. Happy (organic) gardening everyone!

Comment on this Article

About Author

Comments are closed.