Low-Maintenance Pest Control in the Garden

Use low-maintenance pest control in the garden to keep insects out of your garden or crops. The low-maintenance methods help against aphids, cabbage worms, tomato horn worm, cabbage looper, European corn borer and earworms.


| February/March 1997



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A relatively pest-free year in my garden (I was particularly proud of the corn at left).


MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Keep pesky insects out of your garden or crops by using low-maintenance pest control in the garden. 

As a gardener in the public eye—I am a past president of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; I have taught gardening classes, A lectured, and written a gardening column for the past 25 years—I get asked a lot of gardening questions. The subject I am asked about most often is insects. The question from experienced gardeners is usually: "What do you do about (fill in the name of an insect)?" A beginning gardener ends the question with something like: " . . . what about those green worms on broccoli?"

My simple answer is usually not very satisfying to the questioner. "Nothing." But, hey, it's better than the answer you will get from a doctor you run into on the street if you ask about a medical problem. I didn't say, "See me in my office." I actually answered the question honestly. Well, mostly.

I remember attending a lecture on economics given by Scott Nearing. Several hundred back-to-the-landers were gathered at Common Ground Country Fair to hear their mentor give a talk on economics. He stepped to the podium, arranged his papers before him, and looked out at the gathered crowd. "I am going to tell you all you need to know about economics," he said. He looked down at his papers and then back at the crowd. "Pay as you go." He gathered his papers and sat down.

That was such a memorable speech that I have been trying to duplicate it. I can tell you all you need to know about insects that damage crops in the garden: "Grow healthy plants in a healthy soil."

Scott returned to the podium with his wife, Helen. They answered questions about homesteading, maple sugaring, building stone houses and walls, gardening, and Living the Good Life. I will come back to the podium and talk about insects I have known.





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