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It is best to put down mulch after a heavy rain. The layer can be from 2 to 6 inches deep depending on the coarseness of the material used. The coarser the material, the thicker the layer should be.
Some mulches deplete nitrogen from the soil. To unweathered sawdust, wood chips or shavings add ½ lb. Ammonium nitrate or ¾ lb. Ammonium sulfate or an organic source of nitrogen such as: blood meal, cottonseed meal, feathers, or manure. Add lime if an acid mulch like pine needles or oak leaves is used.
Mulching can also help prevent wilt by conserving moisture in the soil.
There are many methods for the control and eradication of insect pests and disease, but the best is a few ounces of preventative measures. Before launching an all-out attack on undesirable elements in your garden, be sure to ask yourself if the situation is really intolerable. A few bugs do not an infestation make. Identify your infestation. You can contact your local botanical garden, horticultural society or CENYC and ask for plant information service for help.
It is important to understand the differences between chewing and sucking insects and how they affect your plants. The two have different mouth parts, one which is adapted to chewing and eating leaves etc., and the other, which is similar to a hypodermic needle, sucks vital juices from the plant.
Do not be confused by the several methods of pest control explained on the next few pages (botanical, biological, organic sprays, trapping, manual, companion planting, and inorganic). The important thing is for you to find, perhaps by trial and error, the method that suits you and your particular problem and stick to it.
Botanical Insecticides are derived from plants. They are toxic to cold blooded animals, but their toxicity is relatively low to warm blooded animals. This type of insecticide breaks down readily in the soil and is not stored in body tissues. Do not use them near fishponds, streams, etc.
Sawflies, slugs, onion maggots, cabbageworm.
Pickleworms, aphids, leafhoppers, spider mites, harlequin bugs,
Aphids, leafhoppers, white flies, trips, spider mites.
Green flies, leafhoppers, slugs, mealy bugs, thrips.
Aphids, mosquito larvae, caterpillars.
Spittlebugs, aphids, spidermites, potato beetles, harlequin bugs, chinch bugs, carpenter ants, pea weevils, cabbage worms.
Coddling moths, European cornborers, potato aphids,
onion thrips, Japanese beetles, asparagus beetles, squash
bugs, cabbage worms, loopers, cornear worms, silk worms.
Grasshoppers, coddling moths, army worms, European cornborers, aphids, silkworms, cabbage loopers, squash bugs, blister beetles.