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