Best Tips to Debug Your Homestead Garden

  • Bugs are always a pain in the…garden.
  • Bugs are a major problem in our zone 7 homestead gardens, especially aphids.  We lost an entire crop of okra one summer because they were stunting the plants so badly.  The ants were helping them taking the “aphid honey” and destroying our plants.  I did a little research and found out the best way to get rid of them is with a hand held vacuum.  YES, that is what you read, hand held vacuum.  You know, one of those little ones you carry around to do the car or the stairs.  I was shocked to find that one out.  I always look for the simplest and easiest way to get it done and this really seems like it will work.  Most of the articles I read said a hard spray of water would do the job, but all it did was tear up the top half of my tomato plant, the aphids stayed put.  So. as a result, this year I am so going to try the vacuum and see how it does.

Do Bugs Bug You?

Bug Problems in Your Homestead Garden

  • Bugs will eat you out of house and home.  They are my seriously creepy thing.  I am terrified by bugs; but recently I had to learn to deal with a few different ones. There are some easy ways to get rid of some of them, like Japanese Beetles.  The easiest way to get rid of those is to keep things clean under your plants which a deep mulch will do for you and then when they do land on your precious babies, drown them in soapy water.  Take a 2 gallon bucket and fill it with soapy water.  Go out early in the morning when they are super slow and knock them off into the bucket.  There will be a few that fly off, but you will get  a lot of them.  This guy I know said he got over 1000 off of his roses in one year.  But the next year there were not as many.
  • Not all bugs are bad.  There are GOOD bugs for your garden.  I’ve noticed that most people seem to think all bugs or all snakes or all spiders are bad.  That is not true.  In all genre there are good and bad.  The good bugs in our situation take up for us and our plants and eat or kill off some of the bad bugs.  There is one simple way to get the good bugs to hang out.  Take two feet around the outside edge of your garden (if you have a big one) and put in flowers and herbs to give the good bugs and nice neighborhood.  They will appreciate it and help you take care of your homestead garden.

 

Bugs Gotta Eat (and they want your garden)

  • The best thing to do for keeping bugs out of your homestead garden is to mulch, heavily.  Keep the mulch up around the base of your plants to help keep the bugs off and also to keep them from hatching and from climbing out to get your food.
  • The squash vine borer is there if you see a little pile of “sawdust” at the base of the stem of your squash.  The best thing to do is to keep the mulch heavy up over and around the stem and they can’t get in to do their damage.  Or corn or okra, the mulch helps keep them standing and also helps keep bugs off.  If you put egg shells in your mulch it will help keep slugs and snails out of your awesome vegetables and fruit.
  • All of this information was information I could’ve used when I got started in my own garden.  They are things I didn’t learn just working in the garden with my grandmother and my parents.  I miss those days.

Take them out of your garden

Best Tips to Take Down the Bugs in Your Homestead Garden

  • Tip 1:Always have a bucket of soapy water.

    • This will be needed for Japanese Beetles.
    • It can also be used against almost any bug.  If you can get them in the water they will drown.
    • Keep a wet rag with your bucket of soapy water to take out the eggs you find on the undersides of the leaves of oh so many of your homestead garden plants.
  • Tip 2: Use Eggshells and Diatomaceous Earth

    • These two are great for taking out the slimy ones, the snails and slugs.  If you place them, either both or just one, around the edge of the beds or even around the plants themselves, as a result, you will not have a problem with these yucky critters.  They also work well on some caterpillars.  Some of them though are best left alone so we do not lose an entire species, like the Monarch butterflies.
  • Tip 3: Buy a Hand Held Vacuum

    • This one was a shocker for me, but it works.  I am getting a new one this year for this purpose.  Not really feeling the idea of using the one for my house on aphids.  Just vacuum the little (bleep) off the plants and give them some happiness again.  Once you have the little boogers vacuumed up go dump them in your soapy water.  YEP, these too.
  • Tip 4: Be In Your Homestead Garden Every Day

    • Your garden will be better and grow better the more you are in it.  You will see things every time you are out there and you will notice if your plants have an issue and can look to see if it is a PEST problem.  The signs of pests and disease will become obvious to you.  You will notice things you never did before.  It is amazing in the garden in the early hours or just before sunset.  You can listen to the crickets and frogs and just relax.  I love it.

Even Japanese Beetles can be gone

The Last Thing You Need to Know About The PESTS In Your Homestead Garden

  • There are a lot of ways (and this is only the beginning) to take out the little creatures you do not desire to have visit and get the good guys to hang around, but no matter what you do you will never be completely bug free and you don’t want to be.  Please debug your Homestead Garden without chemicals when you do.  We don’t need more chemicals, not us, not the plants, not the animals, not even the bugs.

If you have a tip for taking down the enemy bugs leave it below in the comments.  I would love to see what you use to keep them out of your beautiful Homestead Garden.

Love and Lasagna,

Kelly Jeanne