I don't have much time here, but I do have a question for the organic gardening veterans out there. In trying to Google organic solutions to my tomato plants' stink bug invasion(besides squashing 'em with my hands), I ran across some pesticides touted as organic, which I'm assuming means they're from natural sources.
However, when reading the fine print, I could not deduce whether or not they kill pollinators, such as honey bees, and I also saw a couple of notes stating that they could pollute water sources.
I also saw some discussion about "Bt," which I'm unfamiliar with. I AM familiar with genetically modified seeds...is this the same thing, and therefore to be avoided like the plague?
Pardon my ignorance. The question here is to reap the cumulative wisdom from so many of you whom I appreciate, who are far far ahead of me in practical knowledge of these things from experience.
My hesitation to just go out and buy something labeled "organic" stems from two things:
1. I'm cheap. The purpose in doing the organic tomatoes was in part to raise good food economically, without each fruit becoming the proverbial "$60 tomato."
2. I'm cynical, or well let's just say cautious, about claims made by companies promoting pesticides. Even the "safe for animals and humans" sort I saw on my cursory Googling attempt had ingredients which on other sites were tagged with cautions about exposure.
Is there a time and a way to use such, or are trap crops and diversity plantings for the encouragement of beneficial insects, etc, the best way to go?
I did note on one site specific to stink bugs that they were not usually a widespread problem BEFORE the advent of genetically altered (perhaps this is the Bt that was mentioned??) crops, specifically cotton engineered to be more boll-weevil resistant in the Deep South. According to that article, the reduction of that particular "pest" led to a different balance and opened the door in different ways to the rise of stink bug infestations for a whole spectrum of soft fruits and soy beans, now difficult to counteract.
Any thoughts from the blogosphere on these things? Thanks to Phelan for her comments about this recent development. My garden's infestation is now beyond the squashability threshold...
Thanks in advance for advice!