Vegetable gardens, in most of the country, are in full swing with lots of produce being harvested. But that also means insects and diseases may also be in full swing, too. Instead of throwing your hands up in dismay, ignoring the problem, or spraying indiscriminately, watch these practical, concise, how-to videos on controlling some of the common pests in the vegetable garden.
Included are videos on squash bugs, squash vine borers, powdery mildew, tomato hornworms, blight, white flies and cucumber beetles. While some of the solutions mentioned in the videos are more about preventing damage early in the season, there are many tips on what you can do now. So be proactive and extend the vegetable harvest by controlling these insects and diseases.
Video chosen and described by horticulturist Charlie Nardozzi, Edibles Editor for Good Gardening Videos.
“How to Control Japanese Beetles” by Charlie Nardozzi in Vermont. Yup. It’s me again. I talk about the plants Japanese beetles feed on and strategies to control them. I include organic control tips such as hand picking, beetle traps, beneficial nematodes, milky spore powder, and kaolin clay dust.
“How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles” by the University of Maine. Jim talks about killing Japanese beetle adults and grubs. His organic control tips includes hand picking, vacuuming the beetles, insecticidal soap, Neem oil, beneficial nematodes and beetle traps.
“How to Control Cucumber Beetles” by Oklahoma Gardening. This video has good visuals of cucumber beetles, and their damage, which is easy to identify. Eric also discusses the beetles spreading various diseases, such as mosaic virus. Although not strictly organic when he talks about spray controls, Eric does give organic control options, such as using row covers and spraying clay.
“Stop Cucumber Beetles in your Garden” by Growing Wisdom. Dave talks about preventing cucumber beetle damage on cucurbits such as melons, squash and cucumbers. He offers advise from Johnny’s Seed, such as using row covers, clay, organic pesticides and traps with lures to kill them. Dave explains how to set up and use the traps.
“Easy DIY Cucumber Beetle Traps” by Seed to Spoon. Another video about using traps and lures to kill cucumber beetles. Dale, in Oklahoma, shows how to make your own trap and lure the beetles using yellow Solo cups and clove oil. He also offers an Update Video on the Cucumber Beetle Trap to show how it worked.
“How to Control Squash Bugs” by Oklahoma Gardening. Good visuals of the squash bug eggs, nymphs and adults. The video also has good basic life cycle information, including what plants they like to feed on. Eric discusses controls using resistant varieties, crushing eggs, trapping and organic sprays.
“Best Way to Prevent Squash Bugs and Vine Borers” by Journey with Jill. This quick video includes a simple tip about preventing squash bugs and vine borer damage – Jill simply delays planting in her Southern garden until late July, after the most damaging time for squash bugs and vine borers.
“How to Control Squash Bugs with Water” by Utah State Extension. Ron offers an interesting observation and tip on controlling squash bugs – he simply floods the base of the plant with water and removes the adult squash bugs as they crawl up the plant away from the water. This works best on summer squash that doesn’t vine.
Squash Vine Borer
“Get Rid of Squash Vine Borers for Good!” by Yankee Homestead. Kathleen Henderson in Virginia offers a simple tip on preventing squash vine borers when you plant – using paper cups and placing them around the seedlings. Good tip for those replanting squash now or when planting in spring.
“Squash Vine Borer Control” by Central Texas Gardener. Good visuals on the egg, larvae and adult moth forms of the vine borer and the damage they do. Trisha describes using a commercial lure and trap that attracts and kills the vine borer moth so it doesn’t lay eggs – no eggs, no larvae, no damage.
“How to Detect and Get Rid of Squash Vine Borers” by Journey with Jill. She shows what to do once you find borer larvae (caterpillars) in the stems of your plant – how to dig out the borer and remove it. Then she buries the squash stem to help it reroot and the plant to recover.
“Flea Beetle Control” by Home Click. Here Kathy, in Vermont, talks about the damage flea beetles can do and how to control them with garden fabric.
“Flea Beetle Traps” by KXAN-TV in Austin. John Dromgoole shows us how to make a flea beetle trap using a white card and tanglefoot sticky material to trap the beetles.
“Colorado Potato Beetle Controls” by Shared Legacy Farms in Ohio. This video shows the eggs, larvae and adult potato beetles and the damage they can cause on potatoes and eggplant. Demonstrates control by crushing the eggs and hand-picking the larvae and adults. You can also use organic sprays, such as BT San Diego on the potato beetle young.
“Controlling Corn Earworms“by SF Bay Gardeners. Master Gardener Nancy Grove talks about growing corn, corn pollination, and the damage from the corn earworm. She explains how to control earworms using mineral oil dropped into the ears when they’re young.
“Eliminate Cabbageworms and Cabbage Butterflies Organically” by Plant Abundance. Dan, in Northern California, talks about the white cabbageworm butterfly, the plants cabbage larvae feed on, their damage and some controls. He shares organic control methods such as creating an ecosystem to encourage predators in the garden, capturing the white butterflies, row covers, manually removing eggs and larvae and organic sprays.
“How to Identify and Treat White Flies in Your Veg Garden: Hose, Soup and Oil, 3 Cycles” by Gary of The Rusted Garden. The video shows how to identify white flies on your plants and safe ways to kill them with a vegetable oil and soap spray solution.
“Tomato Hornworm” by Grow Organic in California. Tricia describes the tomato hornworm insect and reviews its life cycle. She then talks about how to find these insects on your plants and controls such as predators insects, hand-picking and spraying Bt for hornworms and caterpillars.
“Controlling the Mexican Bean Beetle” by the University of Maryland Extension. Extension Agent Jon Traunfeld covers how to prevent Mexican bean beetles from becoming established in your garden by using a technique called destructive harvesting: he harvests the old bean plants, cleans them of fruit and then stuffs the bean plants in a plastic bag and lets it sit in the sun to kill the bean beetles. This kills bean beetles without spraying.
“Late Blight on Tomatoes” by the University of Maryland Extension. Jon covers how to identify late blight disease, how deadly it is and the importance of destroying the plants immediately to stop it from spreading.
“Tomato Blossom End Rot” by University of Nebraska Extension. Amy covers what blossom end rot is, the signs of this physiological condition, how to prevent this condition from starting and what to do with affected fruits.
“How to Manage Powdery Mildew on Zucchini” by Utah State Extension. Ron talks about thinning zucchini plants, pruning the leaves to open up the plant, and how to prevent powdery mildew and squash bug damage.
“Pepper Problems” by Oklahoma Gardening. Brian talks about common problems in warm areas with peppers – blossom end rot, sunscald and weeds.
“4 tips to Protect your Garden in Hot Weather by CaliKim. She covers the heat stress signs on your plants and recommends harvesting often, watering deeply, mulching, and using shade cloths to protect plants.