The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Organic insect control in the garden

Row cover

When it comes to bad bugs in the garden, a stitch in time definitely saves nine.

Japanese beetlesLast week, the first Japanese beetles showed up in our garden. I pick intruders once or twice a week at this time of year, simply dropping the beetles into a cup of water that I later pour into the chicken tractor. Since these beetles set up mating territories when they first appear, if you snag the early birds you'll end up with little damage later in the season.

Cabbage worms are a bit trickier. I mostly try to avoid them by not having crucifers in the garden during the summer months. This year's early broccoli was perfect since we harvested nearly all of the heads before the voracious caterpillars showed up. But I wanted to plant brussels sprouts early to get a head start on the winter growing season. What to do? How about covering up those beds with row-cover fabric to avoid the bug problem entirely?

If you'd like to learn more about my low-work, completely chemical-free pest-control practices, I hope you'll check out my book The Naturally Bug-Free Garden. Hopefully your garden ecosystem will be more complete and your harvests more abundant after the read.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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