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“Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough. Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them.”
by Victoria Glendinning
Gardener's Supply Company

Pest Control in Container Gardening

Last year I managed to grow both cucumbers and tomatoes in containers and was extremely proud of my efforts. Everything was on the up and up, on my way to a good crop but initially as the fruit began to mature I noticed little white bugs where destroying them. I didn’t really know what to do about it so I bought some herbacide from home depot in he hopes that I could get this under control. This did little to deter the critters and the majority of my crop was destroyed.

Before you begin to treat a pest problem you must understand the type of pest that you are dealing with. It is necessary to identify the pest before choosing a product to help you eliminate them. The following are descriptions of 5 garden pests.

Aphids
Description: Perhaps the most descructive pest for plants. These small, soft bodied insects deplete plants of juices producing leaves that are rolled and leaving the honeydew they produce behind.

Spider Mites
Description:
Tiny creatures seen only with a magnifying glass. They cause the leaves to slowly yellow and wither by depleting plants juices. If there is severe infestation there may be a covering of fine webs.

Scaly, Mealybugs
Description: Roundish yellow/brown insects that produce cotton like deposits and sticky leaves. This insects will not move if leaf is touched.

Whiteflies
Description: White insects that live on the undersides of leaves depleting plants juices which causes leaves to be yellow and withered. These insects will fly off the leaves when touched.

Snout Weevils
Description: A type of beetil that lives in potting soil and feeds on the plants roots.

Once you identified what type of pest you have, you will be able to treat accordingly. There are many natural household remedies that you can try to get rid of pests first before purchasing chemical products.

Happy Container Gardening!

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2 comments to Pest Control in Container Gardening

  • Bugs on your pot garden are such a pain – I hope that you have better luck this year. I’m currently struggling/fighting against an attack of aphids on my lavender plants (which according to some websites aren’t meant to be attractive to aphids!)… i’d wanted to stay organic and so far have only sprayed them with washing up liquid in a bit of water… but its not shifted them all yet. So, i’m starting to consider using a herbicide. Although, I quite like the idea of buying some ladybird larvae to eat them all! Have you tried any organic/other methods of control at all?

  • Hi Flora, Thanks for stopping buy. Your no pest wishes for the year are greatly appreciated. I am sorry to hear about your aphid problem on you Lavender plant. It seems like you did the right thing with the soap, just sorry that it hasn’t worked yet. I have not tried any organic pest control methods yet but I am arming myself with a lots of information just in case those pesky critters show up again this year. I found the following articles to give me some ideas. I am not sure if you found these links yet but I hope they give you some new ideas. I like the lady bug larvae idea. LOL! Good luck and let me know how you make out.

    Happy Container Gardening!
    Tennille

    http://organicgardening.about.com/od/pestcontrol/a/spraysforaphids.htm
    http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/problems/homemade-aphid-control-a-natural-way-to-kill-aphids.htm

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