Please Ask For Help, First

>> Saturday, July 5, 2008

I listen to a three-hour radio garden show on Saturday mornings, Greenhouse Garden Show, on KSL FM 1o2.7. After listening to this guy for four years now and reading magazines, books, etc, it’s getting to the point where I can almost always answer the callers questions myself but am still surprised by some answers given by the expert. And I always defer to him because I don’t feel I am an expert yet.

Anyway, I am still blown away by the number of people who call in saying they have some problem or other and have already tried all sorts of chemical pest controls BEFORE asking for help. In some cases they have used two or even three different chemicals. Some of them learn that what they have been spraying for is not even a pest but a disease or vice versa. Very different treatment requirements.

I just want to toss out a quick reminder that there is nothing wrong with asking experts to identify a problem before applying what ever fix is called for. It is very important to not use chemicals just because of what you heard a chemical company advertises.

Especially at this time when we are seeing an increase in the number of new gardeners we don’t need to see an equal increase in the sales of chemicals. There are many very viable organic alternatives to common problems. But first the problem needs to be properly identified.

PLEASE, ask for help FIRST. We have got to keep these chemicals out of our food chain. This stuff gets washed into the road gutters and then into the sewer and finally into rivers and streams.

If you can start your garden on an organic path from the beginning everyone will be better off. Also, learn what you can about how to attract beneficial insects as well and you may not even need to resort to any other type of control. It requires a bit of knowledge on how to properly balance your crop diversity but it can be done. Also, attracting birds to your yard will go a long way to keeping down the insect population.

Okay, now that I have had my say on that subject, here are some great sources for learning about common problems, their causes and good organic methods of treatment.

Your area Cooperative Extension Office specializes in all manner of crops that grow in your state. They also offer services such as soil testing, insect & disease identification and their proper control and they will be happy to tell you what time of year to expect outbreaks in your area.

Natural Insect Pest Control for the household

Organic Pest Control Guide

Tips on how to get rid of pests the natural way

Tips on Organic Fertilizer plus

Organic Fertilizer and Soil Amendment Guide

Information on Organic Fertilizers

Beneficial Insects

Make Friends with your good bugs

Beneficial Insects & Biological Pest Control

Project Wildlife: Attracting birds to your backyard

Attracting birds to your feeders and Backyard

This should help you get started. Now go out and have fun. Oh, and start a blog so we can all share in your successes.


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