Organic Gardeners Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control
“If it moves slowly enough, step on it; if it
doesn’t, leave it – it’ll probably kill something else” Anonymous
Gardeners and farmers for years
have used chemicals to control pests on food crops. They saved crops and increased our food
supply. So what could be so awful about
Perhaps the user causes the most trouble. Too many people think that if a little works,
a lot will work better. This just isn't
so when it comes to chemical applications.
Did you know that it is illegal to use a chemical product without first
reading the label and following the label directions?
Purdue University has an excellent site where you can learn just how to read a
pesticide label and exactly what it means.
Here is an excerpt: ‘“Every pesticide label includes the
statement, "It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a
manner inconsistent with its labeling.” This
language obliges the purchaser or user of any pesticide to assume
responsibilities for the use of the product.
Further, courts of law and regulators generally recognize the pesticide
label is a binding contract, which requires the person using the product to do so exactly as directed.
Terms such as must, shall, do not, and shall not mean that the user is
responsible for specific actions when applying or handling the given product;
any departure from such directions is, in the eyes of the law, an illegal use
of the pesticide.”’
The economy might have a lot to do with the huge
surge in vegetable gardening. Coupled
with this has been a renewed interest in organic gardening, where gardeners
only use natural controls to fight insects and disease. Most of us are worried about the earth and
what we as gardeners can do to preserve it; and by extension, we want to know
and control what goes into the food we grow.
Gardeners Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control; A Complete
Problem-Solving Guide to Keeping Your Garden and Yard Healthy without Chemicals
is a book copyrighted in 1996 by Rodale Press, Inc. and edited by Barbara W.
Ellis and Fern Marshall Bradley. It is
still available @ Amazon.com. At about $20, this should be in your library.
Not only does it give information on bad insects
it also identifies, by description and photos, the good bugs that help get rid
of the bad bugs. There is a disease
symptom guide with photos. There is a
large section of organic controls: cultural controls, physical controls,
biological controls, and organic sprays and dusts. Many of these organic sprays and dusts are as
toxic and hazardous as any chemical concoction.
Just because they are made from natural ingredients does not make them
safe. Only use them according to their
label, and as a last resort.
There is a handy index with the common and botanical
names of plants. You can find your plant
hardiness zone with the USDA plant hardiness zone map illustrated in the book. This multipurpose paperback book not only
will keep your vegetables healthy, but also has a large section on plants that
beautify your garden. After all, man
does not live by bread (or veggies) alone.