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Identify and Eliminate Pests and Problems in the Garden

Stew the Garden Gnome The problem solving guides on the left are intended to help you to identify and solve many of the common problems which may adversely affect individual plants, your vegetable garden, or your entire landscape.
Although I strongly resist the use of toxic chemicals to control garden problems, there are circumstances when it may be necessary to use these pesticides and herbicides. However, for most problems, there are safe alternatives which will work equally as well if you are willing to take a little additional time and effort to control the problem organically. You will find that the information contained in these pages is primarily written from an "organic gardening" point of view. I do, however understand that these methods may not be the most efficient, and there are times when it will be necessary to utilize chemical controls.
While many problems are related to insects and disease, a great number of them are of an environmental nature (over or under watering, humidity, sunlight). Don't assume that the problem is insect related unless there is evidence that this is the problem (observing and identifying the pest, evidence of chewing etc...)

When it becomes necessary to use chemical controls...

It is extremely important to read and follow all of the label instructions and warnings!
Don't use these chemicals for any purpose other than for what they have been formulated to do.
Don't use these chemicals as a preventative measure. Use them only when absolutely necessary!
Carefully consider any possible future effects that the chemicals may have on the environment, your family and pets, and on your neighbors.
Always keep in mind that the water we drink and use in our lives initially starts as rain which filters down through the soil. Eventually this water may reach your favorite lake or may even contaminate your drinking water supply.. This is especially important in rural areas which depend on wells for their water.
With this in mind, please use chemical controls sparingly.
Using chemical insect controls will kill the pest that is causing the damage, but it may also poison beneficial insects and any birds which may feed on these bugs.
Horticultural chemicals are reasonably safe, but only when used properly and according to the directions!
ALWAYS Think about who you may affect, before you spray....

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