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We grow organically and areWe grow organically and are always looking for effective ways of minimizing insect damage and over the years we have learned a few "tricks". Yes we plant the beans late for our area (south shore Nova Scotia)usually around the first week of July and miss the bean beetle cycle. For the cucumber beetle and potato beetle I place glass jars with about an inch of heavily perfumed laundry soap every 10 feet along the rows partially dug in to avoid spillage. Just poke a few holes in the lids for the scent to escape and we no longer spends hours handpicking these beetles off. It really does work. Just add more as needed. We still see the insects around the edge of the garden but the perfume does not allow them to find the plants you are protecting. Fleas beetles...till the soil and seaweed. Aphids are dealt with by mixing sodium borate (borax) with icing sugar and place in small plastic tubs with holes near the base large enough for ants to get into. Place at the base of your apple trees and other plants affected by them. You will spend a lot less time picking off insects leaving more time to weed. :) Remember not to mow around your fruit trees leaving your dandelions to bloom and attract the bees till your trees are ready to blossom out, then mow. We also encourage toads by placing inverted clay flower pots here and there. Happy gardening everyone in 2012.

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