Organic Earwig Control & Removing The White Pot Residue

Question:

Earwigs are eating the leaves, flowers, and stems of my vegetable plants. How can I control them without using harsh chemicals?

Answer:

  • When planting vegetables and/or annual seedlings, earwigs and snails are the two biggest pest problems gardeners face.
  • With Sluggo Plus, earwigs can be controlled without using chemicals, or you can make an Earwig Trap from newspapers.
    • Sluggo Plus is an organic bait that is safe to use around edibles, non-edibles, kids, and pets, and it's reapplied monthly.
    •  Using Earwig Trap is more involved. Earwigs like snails are nocturnal, so their damage is done at night. So, as the sun is setting, you take several sheets of newspaper and moisten them lightly, then roll them into a tube secured with rubber bands.
    • The tubes are placed throughout the garden where you're having a problem. As the sun rises, Earwigs begin searching for a cool, damp, dark location to hide out during the daylight hours. The newspaper tubes are an ideal habitat.
    • In the morning, you collect the tubes and dump the contents into a pail of soapy water. You repeat the process until the problem is resolved. Earwigs are less likely to be a problem once the herbaceous plants mature.
    • The key to being successful with Earwig Traps is to be patient and persistent

Question:

 I like to plant color and other plants in clay pots because of the terracotta look. However, the outside of the pots continues to develop blotches of white powdery stuff. I continue to wash/rub it off, but it keeps coming back. Is there something I can do to prevent it from reoccurring? Is this a type of mold? 

Answer:

  • The white deposits on clay pots are not molds. It's just simply mineral deposits.
  • Clay pots are very porous, while plastic, ceramic, and other types of containers are not. Clay pots allow soil moisture to evaporate through the entire pot into the air. As water evaporates, the clay filters the mineral particles out of the water, leaving or depositing them on the pots.
    • Most of the water we water plants with is not pure. Chemical elements are naturally found in water, plus those added by Water Districts. The mineral deposits originate from the water, plus those in plant soils.
    • Fertilizers are the primary suppliers of these particles. Phosphorus and calcium are the primary elements, but other minerals are deposited in varying scenarios. With other types of pots, moisture escapes only through the drainage hole and from the exposed soil.
    • The deposits can be light and dusty or very hard and crusty. They usually form in the lower sections of the pots. They rarely appear at the top because of the rapid downward flow of water.
  •  There are no practical methods of eradicating this problem. However, I do have a couple of suggestions on how to deal with it.
    • The ideal time to clean pots is when you are making a color change. You empty the dirt out of the pots and soak them in a gallon of warm water mixed with a cup of white vinegar and bleach. Let the pots soak for fifteen minutes to an hour, depending on how thick the deposits are, before wiping or brushing them off.
    • Be sure to rinse the pot well several times in clean water to remove the vinegar and bleach residue. Vinegar and bleach do not help plants thrive. After the pots have air-dried, wipe them down with Linseed Oil. Linseed Oil is the magic potion that restores the pot's luster.