Organic Gardening : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Here's a good site for organic gardeners...especially those in Texas. One of the best gardens I ever saw was created by a guy who all but worshiped Howard Garrett.

-- Shelia (, April 29, 1999


Oh, great site, Shelia, thanks. Here's just a little excerpt to tempt others over there:

Garrett Juice

This is the heart of the foliar feeding program. It's completely non-toxic, highly effective, and you can make it yourself at home.

Per gallon of water:

1 tablespoon seaweed 1 tablespoon natural apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses 1-2 cups manure compost tea

For more serious disease infestations, add:

1/4 cup garlic tea 1 tablespoon Neem per label directions 1 rounded tablespoon baking soda or potassium bicarbonate

Add fish emulsion and/or a commercial biostimulant such as Medina, Agrispon, AgriGro, or Bioform for greater response. For iron deficiency, add 1 tbsp chelated iron. Spray during the cool part of the day.

-- Old Git (, April 29, 1999.

Found a slug on my cauliflower yesterday...used the pluck and stomp method. I know we have white flies...and crickets...and fire ants...and just about any other crawling, flying insect that exists. Right here in my own backyard. But I've also got worms and lady bugs, so I wouldn't want to wipe them out with some of the more lethal stuff.

-- Shelia (, April 29, 1999.


We get attacks from ladybugs every spring and fall. Is this a good thing? We have been using sprays inside the house. It works on the current "crop". Do you, or perhaps OldGit, have an opinion on the killing of lady bugs. I know they eat mites that infest crops, but around here they are worse than roaches.

-- R. Wright (, April 29, 1999.

I don't have so many ladybugs I'd consider them to be a problem. They eat aphids and other small insects; Garrett and others I've read say they are one of the beneficial insects.

Now roaches I've got! the big waterbug kind that live outdoors and indoors if you don't stay on top of the problem. I did discover that using DE around the perimeter of the house helped to keep them out (well, mostly...a few manage to just walk in occasionally when you open the door -- and there's always the one that flies right past you on your way in) I could do some great cartoons on my encounters of x kind with roaches.

-- Shelia (, April 29, 1999.

Here in Mo. we have been infested with a new Asian(?) ladybug species. Not a hundreds in your house. We suck them up in the vaccum. A few lone survivers in the winter got to stay and were tossed out the door when it got warmer. This is the second year they have been like this. This kind bites! Welcome their help in the garden.

-- MUTTI (windance, April 29, 1999.

"You don't have a slug problem... You have a DUCK deficiency!". Popular quote from Bill Mollison, the co-founder of Permaculture. Get yourself some ducks; they only need a clean bucket of water a day to wash themselves in and to help swallow their food. They will also get maybe half their feed from grazing green grass. And as for ladybirds (ladybugs), I believe they are insect predators and should be left on your plants. They eat the things that damage your plants! If you want to get a whole heap of good ideas on organic gardening, borrow a book on Parmaculture!

-- David Harvey (, April 29, 1999.

Alternatively, you sacrifice a beer, pour it into about 4 saucers and set them out for the slugs. They crawl in and get drunk and drown. The only problem is that you have to sacrifice another one everytime you decide to dispose of the dead slugs.

And no, Unc, it doesn't work if the beer is still dehydrated.


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 29, 1999.

To the Lady Bug questioner,

Wow, I wish I had your problem - I have to BUY ladybugs! I live in a heavily agricultural area (read...aerial and orchard spraying all around me) and many beneficial insects are wiped out leaving all the nasties. So, I am determined to keep introducing beneficials on my little "island" and encouraging & "gifting" the same for my residential neighbors.

We have had bug/spider problem in the house too, have found gaps around windows and doors. Since fixing screens and eliminating the gaps have many fewer bugs - I also let a number of daddy long-legs hang around in corners to catch the pesky flies. Every now and then I Hoover them up so it doesn't become rediculous.

I can't stress enough how deeply I believe we need to stop relying on harmful pesticides/herbicides for the good of us, our children and our planet. Find and read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

Good luck!

-- Kristi (securx@Succeed.Net), April 29, 1999.

Oops.....please don't ridicule me for "rediculous" in above post...(smile).

-- Kristi (securx@Succeed.Net), April 29, 1999.

Can sympathize re ladybird/bug problem. For the uninitiated, this is an Asian species which seeks the warmth of houses in cold weather and then comes indoors--with hundreds of friends. I think if you just ignore them they go outside when it's warmer! Maybe you could scoop them up and put them in a garage or something. The only cure is prevention: caulk all openings where they might get in. But you might call your local extension agent, see if anything new has been figured out.

For all other indoor pests (except large ones, like your nosey neighbor), cats are terrific. Ours get anything that moves indoors. Somewhere in the Food archive is a bit about how ladybugs, when bought and released into your yard, will try to get back to California whence they came. Non-homing lacewings are recommended. Praying mantis are good too.

-- Old Git (, April 29, 1999.


thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I'm soooooooo excited about H.G.'s website. Thanks for posting this link.

Old Git,

Thanks for all your tips. Very helpful and keeps us focused.

Our garden is finally starting to come up. It was touch & go there for a while since it didn't rain for awhile but it's been raining lately.

Anybody in N.Texas know where to find asparagus plants? I understand that once planted they can last 10 yrs.

-- texan (, April 29, 1999.

chuck, thanks for the beer tip; I've heard it before but forgot all about that one...I've been reading so many books lately, now I've got to apply all of this new learning and things get lost in the shuffle. The few times I've gardened before, it was a hit or miss proposition. I guess it was beginners luck but out of four gardens I only had one bad crop: here, last summer (way too hot...and I didn't water like I should). But now it's so important to get it right.

All you folks with the Asian ladybugs, my sympathies! You can ship me some ladies and I'll send you your choice of: a) Black flying two inch water bugs -- guaranteed to frighten all but the most hardened of intruders; b) May flies -- already showing up -- lovely mating rituals in mid-air; or c) lovely brown curious squirrel who loves to dig in my garden.

-- Shelia (, April 29, 1999.

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