I admit it. The moment I had kids my environmental conscious meter went into overdrive. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I didn’t care about the environment before, but now I have someone else’s health and future to protect. So as you might guess, we grow a lot of our own food. The reason is threefold. Of course, I want the kids to eat healthy, but I also want them to know where food comes from and how to grow it without poisoning our environment or ourselves.
As you might suspect, I was interested in an organic gardening approach and decided to do more research on organic pest control. While all products are made or modified from something, organic pesticides are most commonly composed of natural plant oils. So synthetic pesticides use chemicals and organic ones use botanically derived ingredients.
Commercial farmers often use synthetic pesticides because they work rapidly and help to ensure high crop yields. Since we are a family of four, I don’t think our veggie requirements will be all that great. Synthetic pesticides also reduce the fertility of the soil, necessitating the use of synthetic fertilizer. Organic pesticides are definitely the way to go. So knowing that organic is the better way to proceed, where do you start when choosing an effective pesticide for the garden?
Luckily, my sister commonly uses organic approaches in her own garden and suggested PyGanic®. It’s an organically compliant, broad-spectrum contact insecticide. It works best if it is applied as soon as an infestation is noticed, either in the early morning or late evening. And, unlike using synthetic pesticides, there’s no need to wait for harvesting provided the spray has sufficiently dried, as it degrades fairly quickly. Even so, it is still a good idea to thoroughly wash off all veggies and other edibles from the garden.
While PyGanic® is effective on over 200 insects, some are harder to kill than others and that’s where Azera® can help. This organic pesticide is composed of both Pyrethrins and Azadirachtin, the most potent insecticides for organically grown gardens. Azera® easily knocks out those hard-to-kill bugs like aphids, beetles, caterpillars, leafminers, and whiteflies. It not only kills adult insects but tackles all stages from larvae to pupae to adult, and it doesn’t discriminate between soft-bodied and hard-bodied pests.
Both of these MGK® organic pesticides come in three sizes, but since we’re a Mom and Pop garden, all we need is the smaller size since one pint makes up to 16 gallons! More than enough for our little garden. And, best of all, Azera® can be used not only in the garden, but on our fruit and nut trees, ornamentals, and grasses too. (A full list of retailers can be found on the MGK® website product pages.)
Another great aspect to consider is the application of your product. While pre-mixed organic insecticides are already diluted and convenient, they will begin to break down the longer they’re in storage and the effectiveness decreases. But with MGK’s products this isn’t a concern since they do not come pre-mixed. Of course, you should always read the product labels carefully for dilution rates and only mix enough for immediate use. They can then be easily applied with a tank sprayer, or with a hand sprayer for smaller gardens like ours.
Now that I’ve effectively covered our pest control, time to get my hands dirty, content in the knowledge that my garden and the edible plants grown there are not only guarded against pesky insects but are treated with an environmentally sound product.