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I recently discovered that I absolutely love gardening. I planted some cayenne and jalapeño peppers along with a long list of other plants to see what would grow well in my back yard. My backyard gets a TON of sun. I grew a few broccoli plants from seeds and they were doing wonderful until recently. Some kind of green caterpillar is eating my brocolli leaves. I've tried to just remove and kill the damn bugs that I find on the plant but they keep coming back.

If I put my spicy peppers into a food processor and made a homemade insecticide with them do you think it would kill the caterpillars or at least make them go away? Could it harm the broccoli or change its taste?


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Posts: 14696 | Location: Winston Salem NC or VA Beach | Registered: April 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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capsaicin is a mammal repellant. Wrong ammunition for your targets, you want insecticides. Like nicotine.

A bag of chew makes a nice tea that does wonderful things for the leaf eaters. I've used it on tomatoes often for great results, but it washes right off of the fruit, not sure if you'd want to use that on a broccoli head.
 
Posts: 148 | Location: Reidville, SC | Registered: October 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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bT bacillus thurengensis, or something like that. It's as close as your going to get as far as a "natural" cure. I've not been interested for several years but I'm guessing it is still out there.

For what it's worth it's one of those things they use in genetically engineered crops. The little bug is added to the plant. You'll not be doing that you'll be using the little bug as is.


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Posts: 4042 | Location: southern Mn | Registered: February 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by reflex/deflex 64:
bT bacillus thurengensis, or something like that. It's as close as your going to get as far as a "natural" cure. I've not been interested for several years but I'm guessing it is still out there.

For what it's worth it's one of those things they use in genetically engineered crops. The little bug is added to the plant. You'll not be doing that you'll be using the little bug as is.
Yes, bT (bacillus thuringiensis) is the organic way to killify caterpillars. I had to use it this year when the bastages mowed down my spinach (stopped them from moving on to my romaine). It's something I spray right at sunset when the bees are done being active. It's supposed to be bee safe, but I'm not taking any chances.

Three other organic products, I keep on hand:
  • Neem Oil. This is something I spray weekly to control control fungi, insects and mites. It's an oil so for every quart of water I mix 1 Tbsp Neem with a drop or two of organic castille soap (e.g. Dr. Bronner's Sol Suds). I also spray this right before sunset to protect plants from sunburn (it's an oil) as well as bees.
  • Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew. Active ingredient is the bacteria named Spinosad (spin-OH-sid) that kills bagworms, borers, beetles, caterpillars, codling moth, gypsy moth, loopers, leaf miners, spider mites, tent caterpillars, thrips and more. Depending on plant, you can only spray 5 or 6 times per year. I also spray this right before sunset to protect bees.
  • Sluggo.. None of the above will kill garden slugs or snails.



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    Posts: 14342 | Location: N. Houston, TX | Registered: November 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    A couple of years back I was really trying to organic garden and tried out some homemade pepper spray to kill cabbage bugs. Didn't work worth a damn. YMMV.

    Thankfully I haven't had too much of an issue with bugs this year, but I've been reading up on preventative measures. One suggestion I'm interested in is releasing ladybugs and/or praying mantises. Apparently they eat the hell out of bad bugs. I'm a little hesitant to release the praying mantises though as from what I understand they also kill bees and I don't want them finding my hives and doing a number on them.


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    Posts: 12916 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Gustofer, I've heard lady bugs and praying mantises are good at going after bad bugs for a garden. My cousin in California who is REALLY into gardening and organic everything mentioned them.

    Where would I go to get lady bugs or a praying mantis?


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    Posts: 14696 | Location: Winston Salem NC or VA Beach | Registered: April 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Territorial Seeds has both.

    http://www.territorialseed.com...pest_control_insects


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    "How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
     
    Posts: 12916 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Not at all organic, but Sevin Dust works great for just about any bugs.

    I'm surprised you can grow broccoli in the dead of summer. Here it would just go to seed.



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    Posts: 9605 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    I would suggest you browse The Dirt Doctor website. Howard Garrett (The Dirt Doctor) has a local (DFW) radio show that's all about all-natural gardening and landscaping: No herbicides or pesticides.

    According to this article, you can control them with BT spray, orange oil based sprays, and neem sprays. Native wasps too.
     
    Posts: 1060 | Location: DFW | Registered: January 16, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Davenator:
    I would suggest you browse The Dirt Doctor website. Howard Garrett (The Dirt Doctor) has a local (DFW) radio show that's all about all-natural gardening and landscaping: No herbicides or pesticides.

    According to this article, you can control them with BT spray, orange oil based sprays, and neem sprays. Native wasps too.
    IME, neem doesn't do anything to them, and it was the unanimous experience of the gardening FB group that I inquired. bT is the organic go to for caterpillars.



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    Posts: 14342 | Location: N. Houston, TX | Registered: November 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by SirBeep:
    capsaicin is a mammal repellant. Wrong ammunition for your targets, you want insecticides. Like nicotine.

    A bag of chew makes a nice tea that does wonderful things for the leaf eaters. I've used it on tomatoes often for great results, but it washes right off of the fruit, not sure if you'd want to use that on a broccoli head.

    Yep. Tobacco plants (and tomatoes too) developed nicotine as a pest defense. Personally, I wouldn't mind a little nicotine on my broccoli.




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    Posts: 1979 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Interesting on the nicotine. I might try to grow some tobacco next year. My garden did waaaaaaay better than I expected this year. (Except for the broccoli)


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    Posts: 14696 | Location: Winston Salem NC or VA Beach | Registered: April 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    When I was a kid my grandma and mom both used dish soap/water in a spray bottle for cabbage worms (same on broccoli). Seemed to work pretty well and would wash off with the rain or when we brought the veg in and washed the dirt off them. The worms would eat the leaves with soap on them and then die. The only problem was there was very little to no residual (also good when it comes to harvest) so it had to be reapplied after a rain or every other day.




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    Posts: 1428 | Location: Red Wing, MN | Registered: January 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Drill Here, Drill Now
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    quote:
    Originally posted by sreding:
    When I was a kid my grandma and mom both used dish soap/water in a spray bottle for cabbage worms (same on broccoli). Seemed to work pretty well and would wash off with the rain or when we brought the veg in and washed the dirt off them. The worms would eat the leaves with soap on them and then die. The only problem was there was very little to no residual (also good when it comes to harvest) so it had to be reapplied after a rain or every other day.
    Insecticial soaps are supposed to work well, but the homebrew ones on YouTube can be helpful or extremely harmful (e.g. can strip all of the oils out of a plants leaf and do more damage than the insect).



    Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity

    DISCLAIMER: These are the author's own personal views and do not represent the views of the author's employer.
     
    Posts: 14342 | Location: N. Houston, TX | Registered: November 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Skins2881:
    Not at all organic, but Sevin Dust works great for just about any bugs.

    I'm surprised you can grow broccoli in the dead of summer. Here it would just go to seed.


    This is what I was thinking. Sevin is cheap.

    You can order Ladybugs on line, but I don't know if they work against caterpillars. I thought they worked mostly against aphids. My FIL used to order them by the millions for his alfalfa fields.



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    Posts: 4904 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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