Pluckin' and Chuckin'!
We're talking bugs, as in, "pick em right off that leaf." Pluck 'em and chuck 'em! Granted a nifty catchphrase doesn't address details—though I think we all know what I'm talking about here—but it does address the facts: when growing organically, the job of bug killing now belongs in your capable hands. Gloved hands, if you know what's good for you.
While others will spritz chemicals from their spray bottle, or a toss some toxic powder along their beds, you refuse such tactics. No way, no how are you going to add potential hazards to your otherwise healthy garden. But organic methods require you to be smarter than the bugs. Quicker than the fiends.
You must be vigilant, determined, and yes, skilled in the art of dispatch. Take heart sensitive gals, killing isn't a requirement. Simply relocate the pesky invaders out and away from your garden (so they can't devour your leaves and vegetables) and you're good to go.
Delegating this task is another great way to control pests. (Delegate? Who in the world am I going to convince that this is the job for them?)
Besides your son? How about inviting a few of your neighborhood ladybugs to move in? While you're at it, ask a few frogs over. Hey, let's say we make it a party and invite a few friendly dragonflies to join the mix, some hoverflies, a few lacewings and heck, give a shout out to some gorgeous cardinals. Why?
Because according to the laws of Mother Nature, everyone needs to eat—insects, birds and amphibians included. Did you know ladybugs absolutely love aphids, while frogs consume crickets and spiders like they're going out of style? Dragonflies make a feast of mosquitoes and flies …and cardinals? I hear they feed grasshoppers to their young.
Have you ever heard of anything more glorious? I mean, grasshoppers can prove to be a horrible nuisance when it comes to plants. And I must confess, anything that keeps them on the run receives an extra star in my garden journal.
For those with squeamish bellies, relax—you'll get over any ill-feelings quite quickly once you witness the devastation wrought by these garden marauders. Incredibly, all your hard work and plant care can be reduced to stems in a matter of hours.
Seriously. But you can combat this nonsense with daily garden visits. Not only do they make for a lovely stroll, you'll spot any damage before it becomes a problem. (think: infestation). Aphids will suck the life out of your plants and tomato hornworms? Don't even get me started on those bad girls! Or your child's favorite; the hungry caterpillar.
The good news? Hornworms and caterpillars are easy to catch—albeit difficult to spot—and easily plucked from the vine. Set some beer out for slugs and snails. Seems they have an affinity for the stuff, but find it easier to get "in to" than "out of." (Where have I heard that before?) Diatomaceous earth will wreak havoc on the insides of many garden pests while garlic spray will work to repel them. Neem oil is another good bet and widely available in most garden centers.
And don't forget companion planting! If you organize your garden accordingly, you can avoid many of these problems altogether. For instance, rosemary deters cabbage moths, dill attracts hornworms, marigolds repel whiteflies while lavender nourishes a host of beneficial insects.
These are just a few examples. With a bit of homework , you can discover a wealth of others and then take heart in knowing your garden is chemical and poison-free.