Indoor Gardening: Applying Pesticides

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One of the decisions you’ll have to make when it comes to indoor gardening is whether you’ll grow an organic or non-organic garden. If you plan to grow an organic garden, you’re committed to not using any chemical pesticides as well as any chemical fertilizers and herbicides. On the other hand, if you plan to grow a non-organic garden, then you’ll most likely use all of these. Here’s what you need to know about applying pesticides for both organic and non-organic indoor gardens:

Chemical Pesticides

The options are many for chemical pesticides, including Organophosphate, Carbamate, Pyrethroid pesticides and sulfur sprays (although not recommended for indoor gardening in an apartment). These are very effective for getting rid of insects and other pests, and are easy to use. Spray the plant and the pests go away and barely return.  However, all of these chemical pesticides have been linked to having negative affects on the nervous system.

Organic Pesticides

Indoor gardening requires you to live with your plants, and how you grow your plants will impact your quality of life. For example. what pesticides you apply has a direct impact on the quality of air you breathe. It can also come in contact with your skin and eyes, which means pesticides can impact your health. For these reasons, many renters who are involved with indoor gardening, apply only organic pesticides as a means to protect their health. Toxic chemicals, like the ones found in chemical pesticides, can negatively impact the immune system causing all sorts of problems, including severe allergies, digestive problems and other health issues. Go organic to prevent health problems down the road, for you, your family and pets.

You can buy organic pesticides or make your own. Some organic pesticides that you can purchase are insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils. Homemade organic pesticides include dish washing liquid soap, rubbing alcohol and citrus fruit juice.

How  to Apply

Whether you choose organic or chemical pesticides, it’s important not to over apply pesticides. The plant will begin to feed on the pesticides instead of the “plant food” you feed it, which can stop the plant from growing well (or at all). You can gently rub pesticides on leaves and stems with a brush, or use a spray bottle to spritz the plant. Follow the amount recommended by the manufacturer, or if you’re using a homemade solution, you’ll have to use trial and error to see what works. Start with a little solution first to see how your plants react, and then increase the amounts slowly if the pests don’t go away. If your plants are strong enough, hose them down with water to remove insects.

Indoor gardening has a lot of health benefits, but caring for and maintaining one can also carry a lot of risk if you’re not aware of how to apply pesticides. It’s critical to know what and how much to apply in order to protect the air you breathe and the vegetables and herbs you grow to eat.

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