Posted in Lifestyle

Day 1: Garden Pests


Not all pests are insects! There is a way to tell whether the cause of your problem has 4 feet or 100 feet! It is a dead giveaway by looking thoroughly at the leaves.

Deer: These guys have tiny bottom teeth but none on top! They will leave behind jagged edges on stems and leaves! As a result, they tear off plant parts rather than nibble on them!

Preventative measures: OBF installs wire fencing around every single garden that is about 6 ½ Ft high! It doesn’t have to be fancy just keep them out anyway how before they destroy your garden!

Rabbits: Our furry enemies have very sharp teeth causing damage close to the ground. They will leave behind a trail of leaf clippings while clearing out your crop. For example, the tops of your beet greens will be robbed of their hair completely!

Preventative measures: Booby-trap your enemies without killing them! They are part of our environment but not in our gardens! OBF uses Havahart Easy Traps to lure rabbits in with apples, carrots, brussel sprouts or carrots!

Groundhogs: They love to swim underground! Check your soil and lawn for volcano shaped swellings, this should give it away. They will create passageways that allow other rodents to claim your produce!

Preventative measures: We dig our fences underground with chicken wire, about 8 inches to prevent this from happening during the season! The animal’s instinct is to dig directly next to the fence, hitting the chicken wire we lay underneath. They are not smart enough to move away from the fence and dig a wider hole!


There are many leafy culprits and even more ways to get rid of them! Their signatures are holes or jagged edges in the leaves. These little guys leave behind immense damage if left untreated or unnoticed.

As I mentioned in, 10 Reasons To Keep A Garden Journal, having a plan is vital in a successful garden season. Depending on the magnitude of the situation, handpicking these critters off and putting them in a bucket of soapy water is preferred but spraying them with organic insecticide is fine too!

OBF uses an organic insecticide called, Captain Jacks Dead Bug concentrate & Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT). They are both bacterium’s approved for organic gardens. It is safe for people and other beneficial bugs as well! If they become out of your control, spray vigorously 2-3 times throughout the week only in the infested areas meanwhile hand picking as many as you can!

***Spray Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) on the brassica vegetable plants and Dead Bug on leafy vegetable plants as needed!***

If you plan on growing leafy vegetables such as cucumbers, squash, collard greens, kale, lettuce and so on, you want to look out for the following…

  • Leaf miner
  • Caterpillars
  • Aphids
  • Thrips
  • Cutworms
  • Whitefly
  • Armyworms
  • Cabbage Looper
  • Beetles
  • Earworms and hornworms
  • Spotted Cucumber Beetle
  • Spider mites
  • Stem borers
  • Snails and slugs



After awhile, you may start to notice plants will turn a yellowish color with sappy dots on the surface. You may also see sunken holes that are brown within the leaves. Plants that are actively infested will be stunted and eventually die if left untreated.

They use special sucking mouthparts that damage plants by removing and ingesting plant cells and juices. The inner cells of leaves, called mesophyll includes the food-producing cell (photosynthesis) that lies between the upper and lower layer of the leaves.

These pests inject toxic materials and disease into the plants directly while they feed. As they move from plant to plant some will transmit disease ultimately killing the crop!

Preventative methods: You can use a number of soapy sprays (organic, of course) or powders.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Large sucking pests like Stink bugs will leave shiny eggs underneath the leaves. Be sure to remove all eggs by tearing them off.

***Spray Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) on the brassica vegetable plants and Dead Bug on leafy vegetables plants as needed!***

Make sure to look for these common sucking pests…

  • Aphids
  • Whitefly
  • Leafhoppers
  • Scale
  • Thrips
  • Mealybugs
  • Spider mites
  • Lace bugs
  • Stink Bugs


These pests like to hide! They are hard to detect as they hide under the soil or plant remains. Most larvae pass the winter in soil or under garden waste. When the weather gets warmer, larvae awaken and start feeding on our plants, remaining hidden during the day!

Preventative measures: It is very important to clean and till your soil before planting in the fall in order to catch these little ones! Remove all waste in the spring time that larvae might feed on, giving you a chance to hand pick them out before it’s time to plant!

Make sure to look out for these common soil-dwelling pests…

  • White grub
  • Weevil larva
  • Japanese beetle
  • Earwig
  • Wireworm
  • Cutworms
  • Cabbage maggots


X, Carly

Posted in Uncategorized

Bug Week

Welcome to bug week!

This week I will cover garden pests, beneficial insects, bees and butterflies!

Stay connected with my “bug week” blogs over the course of the next few days to learn more about what every gardener should know during the season!

As we know, the best part about being a gardener is the immense beauty a garden brings to our backyard during the peak of summer. Lets face it; even the healthiest gardens will encounter bugs eating away at our timely investment. A huge part about a successful garden occurs with knowing the difference between pests and beneficial insects.

Sometimes, we have to control and mitigate any unwarranted parts of our business; it’s part of the job! I encourage you to prepare for those garden pests prior to the season. Luckily, there are ways to keep out unwanted pests using nontoxic methods!

Here are a few pointers I found important before I dive into bug week! Don’t be afraid, we’ve got you covered on the ins and outs of what’s in your garden.

What are garden pests?

  • Any insect or animal inhibiting your garden creating a negative impact. Pests are grouped together according the way they damage plants.

What are beneficial insects?

  • Any of a number of species of insects that perform valued services like pollination and pest control.

So, what’s a Jersey gardener to do about the upcoming season?

  • Research and read my blog on the difference between pests and beneficial bugs!
  • Gather a natural pest control plan.
  • Scout your garden for any problems early on and during the season.
  • Become familiar with organic/natural insecticides —  DIY remedies and over the counter products.

Where do pests attack?

  • Roots, stems, leaves, flowers, soil & your beautiful produce (the worst!)

What should you know about integrated pest management?

  • Read the label thoroughly and follow directions!
  • ALWAYS buy products that have an OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute) seal on it meaning it is organically approved!
  • Never use toxic pesticides
  • Choose pest control that is as specific to the pest as possible
  • Only spray as needed
  • Use safe insecticides like Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) among many other products. This is OBF’s go to spray for leafy pests!
  • Only apply sprays when the sun is low in the sky. You don’t want your plants to sunburn!
  • Spray plants generously and in direct contact with the pests, not from above!
  • Do not drown your plant in sprays. Give the plant a day or two to react to your integrated method.

What plants repel pests?

  • Maximize your garden with natural pest control using plants that repel pests and attract beneficial bugs
  • All and any herbs
  • Ornamental Flowers
  • Carnivorous Plants

The first topic I will discuss is harmful pests within our gardens and how to control them! Stay connected with me during #Bugweek


X, Carly