The homesteading and garden-to-table trend is expanding across America. People are adopting healthier lifestyles that include organic foods. There have been some alarming reports recently concerning the dangers of pesticides. While new homesteaders are discovering the joys of growing their own food like our ancestors, they are also finding new ways to protect their crops without using harmful chemicals. The best way to protect crops is using help of professionals who provide pest control Phoenix. But if you want to try protect them by yourself you will find a lot of safe, inexpensive ways to control pests and grow healthy organic food.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get rid of unwanted garden pests was used by our grandparents. Insect soap is made from the fats of animals and destroys harmful insects quickly by dissolving their skin. The soap is poured into a spray bottle and is diluted with water. Gardeners with hard water may want to use distilled water to achieve good soap suds. Because insect soap can burn the leaves of certain plants, it is recommended to spray some of the plant leaves and then see what happens in the next couple of days. If the leaves that were tested show no signs of damage, then the whole plant can be sprayed. For best results, spray harmful insects directly. Cooler days are best for spraying and it is best to rinse plants off after a few hours if they are in direct sunlight. Insect soap successfully kills soft-bodied pests like aphids, whiteflies, and mites.
Another organic spray that is beneficial for trees is horticultural oils, sold in most nurseries. When trees are in the dormant season of late fall and winter, a heavier-weight oil can be used to kill spores and eggs of harmful insects. Light-weight oils are used during spring and summer, after peak budding season. Again, it is best to do a two-day test to make sure that the tree’s leaves will not be damaged. Spraying oil should be done on a cooler day and the gardener should try to hit the pest insects directly. Like insect soap spray, oil spray effectively destroys the same kinds of soft-bodied pests, in addition to leafhoppers and caterpillars.
Even though insect soap and horticultural oils are considered organic, gardeners have to be careful not to spray beneficial insects. Honey bees can be negatively affected by horticultural oil if it is sprayed on blossoming trees. Organic gardening is easy to do and it doesn’t require the use of harmful pesticides to ensure a healthy crop.