Weighing the options of organic gardening and chemical pest control

Did 2017 bring a large and resistant garden pest plague? It seems my beautifully organic garden of 2017 has been taken over almost comp...

Weighing the options of organic gardening and chemical pest control

Did 2017 bring a large and resistant garden pest plague?


It seems my beautifully organic garden of 2017 has been taken over almost completely by the devastation of bugs. I have yet to even identify every visitor but the damage is done.

One thing that I did not do this year right from the start is companion planting. Every year that I plan my garden, I include plants that help keep bugs away from the important plants. I also usually begin spraying neem oil immediately when I see the smallest sign of insect damage.

It's one of those years that seems to have spiraled out of control for me where organic gardening is concerned. I haven't lost everything yet, but it is all suffering. I've pulled plants up completely to burn because of root worms that appeared just 2 days after spraying with neem oil for soil born diseases to try to beat the chaos that spreads quickly with the long rainy periods here in Alabama.

I had some very nice squash and steak tomatoes that were over run and devastated. They got pulled up and burned when I couldn't remedy the pest problem organically despite what methods I tried. This is definitely the toughest year for organic gardening that I have ever had. I have lost a lot and I am not so sure which direction I may go from here.

I WILL NOT QUIT GARDENING! Not ever! I'm concerned about more loss though with organic methods. When do we actually know when its time to throw in the towel and spray on the poison? I am truly sick about even thinking this way, but I feel so defeated. My income is lower and the veggies I grow usually add to the years food stock for us. This time has turned over little but loss. I do have a plan though that may or may not be effective for the next wave and winter garden. I am still contemplating chemical insecticides though. Maybe even chemical fungicide would help better.

Here is everything I have done tirelessly for my garden to prevent and control pests and fungal outbreaks from wet rainy season soil.


  • Neem oil
  • soap and cayenne pepper spray
  • hand picking bugs and caterpillars
  • morning and evening inspections
  • Diatomaceous earth powdering
  • Cayenne pepper powdering
Aside from the companion planting I neglected to do this year, but won't make the mistake again, what have I missed? I didn't have screen cover or green house cover, so that just wasn't and isn't an option at this time.

Most of what is left is afflicted by soil disease from rain and yes...BUGS  GALORE! I am spraying every 2 - 3 days with Neem oil now and trying to save what production is left. I have a couple watermelon plants that so far are less of an issue than the cantaloup, cukes, squash, okra, and bush beans. Everything else is gone :(

Did I mention that rabbits got my herbs? I have started new seedlings, but theyll be a little while till they are ready to go into the ground yet. I need green thumb help so I don't have to change from organic gardening. I don't want the poison, but I do depend on growing my own food! 

Please comment here with any advise you may have for my situation. I appreciate all the help I can get!

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