I get asked all the time, what organic gardening products do you really use in your garden and which are the most important?
So – here are my choices for the organic supplies you should have in your garden shed to help you through the garden problem spaces.
Organic Weed Control
General weed control I usually buy my 10% vinegar by the case and keep it in the garden shed. I then mix it (a gallon of vinegar, 2 cups of salt and a few tablespoons of liquid detergent) as I need it to whack dandelions and other weeds in pathways and garden edges. (Note that regular strength household vinegar doesn’t work for weed control)
Note – this vinegar mix should not be allowed to sit in any sprayer that has metal parts. I ruined a sprayer by not cleaning the sprayer and between the salt and vinegar, the wand and pump (metal bits) were ruined. New sprayer time!
You can buy it pre-mixed in small containers but this is pretty expensive stuff and no more effective than doing it yourself.
My garden shed (unedited) 🙂 in November after the gardening season and you can see the stuff in there and on the shelf. The only thing I haven’t mentioned in this article is the fish fertilizer you see. And yes, the boat stuff goes there for the winter as well.
Iron for weed control in lawns Do pay attention to the instructions for the use of this product but if you want to remove existing dandelions from your lawn, this material is the spray of choice. Iron in this form is toxic to dandelions and medic but the directions and amounts have to be carefully followed or you’ll over-spray and do more damage to grass as well. (This is clearly the case where a little is enough and more is not better)
Corn Gluten is a must-have for weed control in lawns and other areas – it’s a natural weed and feed type of compound.
Organic Gardening Products for Insect Control
It’s hard to know where to start on this one but here’s what’s in my garden shed.
Insecticidal soap. I use several different manufacturers of this product as it is more effective than homemade versions (40 parts water to 1 part of liquid soap – not detergent).
Diatomaceous earth is another of my favorites as I dust it and insects crawl over it, killing themselves in the process. I get rid of a ton of sawfly larvae this way on the roses.
A strong jet of water and/or my fingers. Now I know this grosses out some folks but it’s a heck of a lot faster to take a rose bud full of aphids and simply crush them in my fingers (wear rubber gloves if you’re squeamish) than it is to mix up sprays, carry the heavy sprayer around etc etc. And if I happen to be watering, then turning the nozzle into a jet spray will really whack aphids and many other pests right off the plants. No fuss, no muss.
Rotenone. This is a fast knock-down product that kills most insects. I’ve written about it here with my concerns and how to use it but it does work on things like potato bugs and other hard-shelled pests that might be a bit tougher to kill. Not one of my first choices but it’s there in the shed should other things fail; so try other options first.
Slug control is so neat using iron-based products. These naturally-occurring organic gardening products are toxic to slugs but slugs love to eat them all. (Kind of like me with chocolate bars) Good thing chocolate doesn’t kill me but the iron sure does a number on slugs. No need for any chemicals here – doesn’t harm pets or children unlike the chemical alternatives.
Fungus Control Using Organic Gardening Products
Well, lime sulphur is on the shelf but I mostly use that for fall or spring spraying of dormant stock.
Bordo mix for fruit tree problems such as apple scab and cedar-apple rust.
Liquid Fence and Plant-Skydd are my choices here to date. I’ve had great control from Liquid Fence and my buddy Dan in the nursery swears by Plant-Skydd for the hundreds of overwintering trees and shrubs in their company.
You Can Find Organic Gardening Products Mentioned in this Article Here
10% Cleaning vinegar and cooking oil in your grocery store
Burnout Weed & Grass Killer is one of the most popular and effective organic gardening products on the market if you don’t want to mix your own
Iron for weed control – I have not found a good US source of this. The main products I’ve found have been 1.5% iron and 98.5% “other” materials.
Safers insecticidal soap
Rotenone – buy this locally as online resources tend to add “other” products to the mix.
iron for Slug Control
Liquid Fence for deer control
PlantSkydd for deer control