I have a large garden that I work very hard on, and I hate to see my plants half-eaten by bugs. I do not grow any vegetables or fruits, but I do have three dogs that spend a lot of time around the flowers. Does anyone know any pesticides that are not harmful to the environment or other animals?
Pesticides would include Neem oil concentrate- mix with water and spray- it is an insecticide and fungicide. Does not harm plants, children or pets. There are other proprietary organic pesticides available at garden stores.
Use a mild liquid soap like Ivory mixed with water, oil and other ingredients like hot sauce/ garlic etc.- plenty of homemade insecticidal spray recipes are available on the web.
Other methods include releasing or attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs (for aphids), diatomaceous earth application (all kinds of pests including slugs), handpicking the bad guys, blasting with water (for plants that do not mind their leaves getting wet).
Companion planting helps certain plants (e.g.grow marigolds with tomato). Herbs like basil, dill, garlic chives help repel certain insects. Nasturtiums repel insects and also have edible flowers.
Yeast (use beer/yeast with sugar water) traps for snails, slugs (insert saucer with lip at soil level- put some abovementioned liquid in it almost till the top)- slugs drown in it. Also, copper strips around containers/ raised beds/ trees is what we use in our Sunnyvale organic community garden. Place little pots upside down but raised slightly on one side(use a pebble) in shady, moist places- slugs crawl in when it gets hot and can be handpicked. If all else fails, use products like Sluggo (safe for pets).
Make sure there are no debris (rotting leaves, etc) in the garden to shelter bugs. Raise pots and rocks etc. to catch the culprits munching on your plants hiding during the day.
Hope that helps you and your plants while keeping the dogs safe.