can i till insect killer in my garden at the end of the season? - Knowledgebase Question

Greendale, Indiana
Question by jlowry7359
August 31, 2017
I want to elimante the insects in my garden for next year, can I use bug killer in my garden when getting it ready for the winter. Also can I use weed killer in the garden to prep it for next season?

Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Answer from Bonehead
August 31, 2017


Most insects are beneficial to your soil. If you randomly kill them all, you will effectively be killing your soil. Regarding weeds, a good thick layer of shredded leaves over your garden bed will suppress the weeds over the winter and also feed your soil. Soil health is extremely important. Please reconsider your idea.

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
A comment from greene
August 31, 2017
Maybe using all that 'bug killer' is what is upsetting the balance of nature in your garden. There should be no need to broadcast an all-purpose kill-all insecticide product...ever. Not to mention that the bees and other insects that work to pollinate your crops could be harmed and you may have a lower yield. Work with nature and you will be rewarded.

Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
Answer from josebaca
September 1, 2017


jlowry 7359;
Hello, the advice Bonehead and Greene have given is sound and ecologically sensible. As a big fan of zucchini I always ended up fighting for them with those [email protected]#$ED beetles, until I was told by one of the best gardeners I knew, that " If you want to deal with those pests early on, just till your beds at least twice during the coldest part of winter. The earthworms and nematodes will burrow back to safety and everything else freezes to death!"
It's worked for me for the last 10 or so years, and what damaging insects that are left will be dealt with by beneficials, lizards and frogs, which would not be there if I used pesticides. For the last few years my home town and surrounding area have been infested with locusts and/or grasshoppers and now that we are bringing to work some samples of our yields, I'm (again) being asked what I'm using to keep them under control.....My response is NOTHING....! I've seen them rushed and tackled by spiders, being quartered for easy shipment by ants and the speed of an attacking skink is downright impressive! IMHO its easier to work with nature, and let everyone (or thing! ) do their job.
Hope this helps.

Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Answer from ctcarol
August 31, 2017


If you want to rid the garden of weeds over winter, do your research before choosing a chemical weed killer. Some have no soil life while others will render the ground sterile forever, so read labels very carefully. Post emergent have to be applied to the actively growing plant, but won't stop new ones from sprouting. Pre-emergent will prevent new seeds from sprouting if directions are followed, but you have to get rid of the ones that are already there first. No garden will ever be weed free.

N. Ohio (Zone 5b)
A comment from Tisha
September 1, 2017
weeds-lay newspaper/cardboard down
dampen with H20 to hold in place
cover with leaves or mulch
insects- apply beneficial nematodes and/or milky-spore to control insect pests.
I am fortunate to also still have Praying Mantis that where here when I moved in. If you don`t find any egg casings I think they can be purchased on line.

A comment from lawrensarthur
October 7, 2017
the last 2 line say what???

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