Q. I never get very far before the bugs take over…I hate to spray what we are going to eat! What can I do to avoid that?
A. We don’t like to spray for bugs either. Have you been using The Mittleider Method of gardening? Our experience has been that you seldom have any problem with bugs or disease if you follow the procedures by doing such things as:
1) Start with a weed-free garden – leaving no place for bugs or disease to live and multiply,
2) Maintain weed-free, dry aisles and planting beds – creating a natural barrier, again with no place for them to live or hide,
3) Use no mulch or other ground covering, which provides safe haven for bugs and diseases,
4) Grow from healthy, stocky seedlings that were produced in a protected environment where appropriate – thus providing stronger, bug and disease-resistant plants, as well as fewer days in the garden for pests to get established,
5) Grow the plants healthy and fast by providing ample water and nutrition at the root zone,
6) Eliminate all weeds as soon as they germinate, thus eliminating the competition for light, space, water, and food,
7) Prune all leaves that are touching the ground, plus other excess growth that doesn’t support optimum fruit production,
8) Harvest at maturity, not leaving the crop in the garden to attract and feed pests, and
9) Remove all crop residue immediately, to minimize infestation.