Return to the Soil Forum | Post a Follow-Up

low till gardening and insect pests

Posted by joannaqcw 4/5 (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 15, 08 at 15:50

I'm interested in experimenting with low-till gardening; it sounds like a good way to save labor, improve soil structure and maybe encourage beneficials. But I wonder if that is apt to exacerbate my problems with insect pests. Has anyone who was having insect problems gone low-till/no-till?
I am having trouble with flea and cucumber beetles (severe) and Japanese beetles, tomato hornworms and cabbage worms (moderate). I know these insects overwinter in the soil.
Some garden books recommend removing all plant material from the soil and disturbing it thoroughly. My regular disturbances haven't gotten rid of the pests yet. I would appreciate any advice.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: low till gardening and insect pests

Trichogramma should help with everything except the Cucumber beetle and Japanese beetles:

I know for a fact that tilling won't effect JB's. Even if you do manage to kill the grubs that are located on your soil, your neighbor's will still provide you with JB's. There is a parasitic wasp that will kill JB's, but you can't purchase them online. Here's a link to the information:

I recommend no tilling. Continuously add compost, grow green manures and grow varieties of crops that are immune to Cucumber beetles. The parasitic wasps should help control the other problems besides JBs but it is also important that you establish some food sources for these beneficial bugs. They feed on the nectar of various flowers. Setup some food sources around the border of your garden and introduce the Trichogramma. Maybe within time you can attract the JB's parasitic wasp and they'll take care of the JBs for you. Any other means of dealing with JB is futile unless your whole neighborhood does it.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Soil Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here