The Conundrum of Managing Pests & Diseases on Edibles

Here’s a puzzler for you. How do you control pests and diseases on edibles without making the plants inedible? Last spring Mallory Hynes with Garden Safe joined me at the Garden Home at Moss Mountain Farm to talk with a group of garden bloggers about the topic. I found her demonstration very interesting and thought you might too, so I asked her to write a guest blog post.

Garden Safe® Brand was thrilled to be invited to participate in P. Allen Smith’s inaugural Garden2Blog event April 26th & 27th at Allen’s Garden Home Retreat – and what an event it was! We toured gardens around Little Rock, participated in workshops with other Garden Home partners, enjoyed wonderful food and conversation and even survived a looming tornado. We enjoyed learning from Allen, the other partners and bloggers and loved being able to share our knowledge of effective alternatives for garden pest control.

Allen eating a carrot just after he sprayed it with Garden Safe Fruit & Vegetable.

On the second day, the bloggers bravely battled the elements and met us (in their bright orange ponchos) in Allen’s vegetable garden for the Garden Safe Scavenger Hunt. The bloggers helped the Garden Home Retreat’s chef, Brian Kelley, prepare his Sliced Orange Salad for that night’s dinner by collecting lettuce, peas, carrots, onions, garlic chives and leeks. But first, they sprayed them with Garden Safe Fruit & Vegetable Insect Killer RTU – safe to use on vegetables up to day of harvest – to kill any unwanted pests. Allen even sprayed a carrot and took a big bite! Everyone had a great time speeding through the garden to collect their goodies, with the fastest four winning gift cards to use in the gift shop – taking home many great books, kitchen décor and garden gadgets.

Adriana of Anachry in the Garden holding up a leek she harvested.

Our Garden Safe Fruit & Vegetable Insect Killer – made with pyrethrin, a botanical extract of the chrysanthemum flower that affects the nervous system of many insects and kills them on contact in all stages of growth, including eggs – isn’t the only product we have that’s certified for organic gardening and safe to use on edibles up to the day of harvest. We also have many products safe for use on edibles that are also OMRI Listed, meaning they are certified for organic gardening by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) as meeting the USDA National Organic Program’s requirements for organic production, process and handling. These include:

  • Fungicide3 and Neem Oil: 3-in-1 fungicides, insecticides and miticides, that are made from neem oil extract, a organic botanical extract from the neem tree that repels insects from treated leaves and stems and suffocates many small, soft-bodied insects on contact
  • Insecticidal Soap: Made from potassium salts of fatty acids, plant-derived fatty acids that damage the cell membranes of many soft bodied insects, killing them on contact, this soap breaks down into potassium, which is used by plants, and fatty acids, which are metabolized by soil microbes
  • Slug and Snail Bait: Derived from Iron Phosphate, a phosphate of iron that occurs naturally in the soil, this bait is not effected by temperature or wetness, can be used in greenhouses and around pets & wildlife

Garden Safe Fruit and Vegetable Spray

We at Garden Safe know that gardeners want effective pest and disease control products to help nurture their fruits and vegetables, along with the peace of mind that comes with gardening responsibly. And we are proud to provide products that allow them to ensure that their harvests are as healthy as possible. Better Plants, Better Planet.®

For more information, visit and

10 Responses to The Conundrum of Managing Pests & Diseases on Edibles

  1. […] The Conundrum of Managing Pests & Diseases on Edibles | Allen's … […]

  2. Kirstin Schuyler says:

    Do you have a recipe for insect soap spray…I seem to have lost mine. Thanks!

  3. Donna Betts says:

    I have used “Planet” Dish washing soap 1 part to 3 parts water and
    it seems to be very effective — especially for aphids.

  4. Here’s a soap recipe I have:
    12 cloves garlic chopped
    4 oz. Mineral oil
    soak 1-2 days, strain
    3-4 drops ivory, put in sprayer
    add 2 C water
    shake well *nonselective*

  5. We were plagued by an infestation of brown tail caterpillars this spring. They have really nasty toxic hairs that cause seriously bad rashes and if inhaled, can send you right to the hospital (who knew there were toxic caterpillar hairs that could kill you????). Anyhow, we got busy spraying them with Garden Safe insecticidal soap. Which was very effective. I also was really pleased that the sprayer is so good and accurate that you can really cover some distance with a stream of the soap. It allowed us to spray nests that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to reach. Thanks!

  6. louis j. desena says:

    i have a “question”—i have 3 butterfly bushes in full bloom-i have a water feature to supply water they need.why is it that i do not see butterflys arround my bushes??????-last season they were “loaded!!!

  7. Lisa L. says:

    I’ve been using Ivory soap. I just heat up enough water to fill a spray bottle, cut off a piece of the soap and let it dissolve in the hot water. When cool, I spray the plants. It has kept leaf cutter bees off my new rose bush. I make sure the spray bottle nozzle has a “foam” setting so that I get good coverage. It has not burned any leaves yet, even on my delicate Columbines. I recently used it on the leaves of my zucchini to keep away the pincher bugs.

  8. cas says:

    My composter has turned into a giant ant hill over the last few days. When I turned it I found it is full of white larvae. Any suggestions how I can destroy it without harming the beautiful soil. I can’t believe how fast this happened. Hope you have a solution.

  9. […] there was a post to his blog written by one of the event sponsors, Garden Safe.  This screen shot from the post shows Smith eating a […]

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