This awesome guest post was written by Aamar Khwaja, Inventor of modgarden (Mod Garden). Aamar is a health advocate and on a mission to see everyone eat healthily!
As organic produce and gardening has become more and more common in the past few years, we have become increasingly health-conscious and aware of the dangers that many commercial products present to our health. Today, you’ll find that most supermarkets have relatively good-sized sections of their store devoted to organic fruits and vegetables.
However, contrary to what many people believe, organic does not automatically mean that the products are pesticide- or chemical-free. In fact, in many states, organic farmers are allowed to use a variety of chemical sprays on their crops. And for those interested in their own organic gardening, what products can we use that are both safe and helpful in warding off pesky insects and weeds?
So, what does organic mean? This means that, if pesticides are used, they must be derived from natural sources and lightly processed if at all before being used. This is different from conventional agriculture, which uses synthetically-manufactured pesticides.
Furthermore, many organic farmers use other tools, such as insect traps and biological controls (like predator insects and microorganisms) to help dissuade insects from eating the crops.
Additionally, several rules apply to organic farmers, namely that pesticides cannot be applied with equipment that has been used to apply synthetic chemicals for the past three years. According to the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, the top two organic fungicides were copper and sulfur (1).
Because there is a wide range of practices, it is important to know your farmer. Buy locally whenever possible. Visit your local farmer’s market and interact with the farmers. Ask them about their methods to make sure you know what you’re consuming.
Organic Pesticides For Your Garden
There are more and more plants that produce natural bactericides, fungicides, and insecticides. Many nontoxic household products are often effective in fending off gardening pests, including hostile weeds.
The USDA Recommendation: Insecticide
1 teaspoon natural liquid dishwashing detergent
1 cup olive oil
1-quart tap water
In the spray bottle, mix the detergent and vegetable oil, then shake well.
Add the tap water.
You can use this mix at 10-day intervals as a spray to ward off aphids, spider mites, white flies, and much more.
Liquid Detergent-Alcohol Spray
1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent
1 cup rubbing alcohol
In the spray bottle, mix the detergent, rubbing alcohol and water.
Be sure to test on a few leaves to make sure it doesn’t irritate the plants.
Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar, and add about 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent. Spray directly on the plants you don’t want growing.
As the search for organically-grown produce with minimal use of pesticides becomes more challenging, growing your own vegetables or getting to know your local farmers is certainly one of the best options. Stay healthy!
Here are more great tips for your garden!