Finally got hold of an aphid spray from an organic company – contains a small amount of rotenone, so I am applying it sparingly in the early morning, and it appears to be having some good effect. But the ANTS!!!! After careful snooping round the garden, it appears that my entire garden is one GINORMOUS anthill. Tried the boiling water routine, but after hours of solid kettle boiling, found I was just never going to get on top of the problem and have reluctantly resorted to a few drops of Nippon to try and calm down the problem.

Slugs – doing the usual beer traps and turning over of planks in the early mornings for the blackbirds. Ive spotted some organic pellets which claim to dry them out and can then be simply dug into the soil when spent. Has anyone used these? They werent too cheap, and as I water with a hose every evening, was concerned they would be useless after 24 hours.

Your going to love this, My source on this is the “Organic Gardener’s Handbook of natural insect and disease control” It is published by Rohdale and if any of you out there are just starting out into the Organic Gardening this is a must have book. First it is easy to read and understand and it has been on the market long enough to find it second hand. “THE ANTS”!!!! Go to your local convience store and buy two packages of bugle or top ciggerett tobacco. Take the tabacco and boil it for about 20 minutes in 4-6 quarts of water. Pouring through a strainer, fill as many glass containers as you need and allow to cool.Now take the boiled leaves and place them in a bowl and add beer and allow them to marrinate in the beer for about and hour. Drain off the beer and allow the leaves to dry. Then sprinkle them through out the garden and your slugs will be no more. Take your nicotine bug juice and cut it at a rate of 1 pint of juice to 1 gallon of water and spray your ants.Problem will be gone in about 3-5 days according to the book. Good luck!! PS wear gloves and don’t spray into the wind nicotine stains and tastes lousy.

I’ve also read about the nicotine solution… but with the caveat that you should never spray near peppers or tomatoes as you can transmit tobacco mosaic virus (?) or something like it. That advice was given in the Beheaded Thistles book.

True true about the nicotine. Thanks I’d forgotten that part. Also, I really enjoyed that quotation from Rachel Carlson. I’m adding that one to my collection! Is she a friend of yours or does she have a book out? One of my favorite verses comes from the Bible in the book of Romans in the 8th chapter, it says, “The whole of Creation groans in expectation and great yearnings for the revealing of the true sons and daughters of God.” I figure the apostle Paul had to be talking about Organic Gardeners. Enjoy your days and all the blessings they possess!

After reading some of the suggestions for ants, I decided to try the chili powder. I sprinkled it all over an ant bed in the middle of my cucumbers yesterday. This morning there’s not an ant in sight. I don’t know if they died or moved, but they’re gone and that’s all I care about! Also saw an aphid on one of my habaneros and sprayed it (all the plants actually) with Neem Away and it just fell off. Haven’t seen any more since. Everything seems to be growing well, hope it continues. My garden has been in the ground since the middle of March :)

I just found Aphids on one of my indoor plants. Can anyone help me with nontoxic ways to get rid of these little guys.

Aphids are probably one of the easiest pests to control organically. The control method with the least environmental impact would be spray the aphids with a jet of water to dislodge them. Most aphids don’t have wings and once they’re dislodged, can’t get back on the plant again. Hand squishing them will also get rid of any clusters that are easily reachable. If aphid numbers are too high or your plants are too delicate to do this, I find insecticidal soap very effective. It’s sold commercially under quite a few brand names like Safers, Green Earth, etc. so it should be readily available.

Does anyone have an organic solution to repel these? Ive heard about getting sprays of ladybird larvae, but to be honest, Ive left it too late, and I have a heck of a problem NOW! My blackcurrant bushes are suffering badly, and the leaves are coming up with some weird rusty looking patches that have small greenfly sitting underneath. I do pick them off by hand twice a day, but cant keep up.

I have not had this problem with my roses, but this is the recommendation I would try first if I did. “To control aphids, plant adapted varieties, encourage biodiversity especially beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, hover flies, and predatory wasps. Avoid heavy amounts of fertilizers. Spray infested plants with strong blasts of sugar water and release ladybugs. Garlic-pepper tea, Garrett Juice with garlic, neem, and citrus oil based sprays will also help.” I spray with this Garrett Juice(bi-weekly as a foliar feed) and citrus oil(as needed for insect control).

Sounds a little more serious than aphids kid, For you intial attack get your self some Rotenone wetable powder. Use about 4 tablespoons to a gallon of warm water. The warm water helps it disolve quicker and add a 12oz. can of flat coke(not diet) this helps the spray adhere to the leaves. Aplly in the early evening and allow it to work through the night. Liquid rotenone begins to break down when exposed to the ulraviolet rays of day light and on a warm day it will be harmless with in 6 hours of sun light.Cool huh? Then take the powder and sprinkle it around the base of the currants and rake into the first 1/2″ inch of soil and leave overnight also. Ultra violet light penetrates the soil up to 3 inches so guess what happens to the rotenone by late morning? Yep it useless.

How does it work on the intended victim? It causes thier digestive system to sieze up and no matter how much they eat they derive no nutrition so they essentially starve to death. In bugs this happens real fast (hours). Another substance that is in liquid form and does the same thing is called Pyrithium and like rotenone breaks down rapidly in the exposure to ultrviolet light. The next solution in the organic arsenal is Bacillus thurgenis commony referred to as BT it all so is in liquid form but it has alittle more staying power (2-3) days. The last big gun in the organic arsenal is tobacco juice. This you can make your self by buying one of the roll your own package of tabacco and boiling it for 20 minutes and then straining the juice into a container and allow it to cool. Dilution rate is one cup to one gallon of water. Use the boiled leaf in the garden as a snail bait. Or if your dog has worms a teaspoon in his dog food and he’ll be cured. So kiddo there you go.