HomeArticlesHow to Eliminate Grubs in Your Lawn or Garden without Pesticide
How to Eliminate Grubs in Your Lawn or Garden without Pesticide
September 11, 2019
Alright, this is John Kohler with GrowingYourGreens.com.
Today, we have another exciting episode for you. And in this episode, we’re gonna answer
a viewer’s question. So I got actually a message from my good friend, Paul, over Facebook,
that said “John, man, help my buddy out, dude. He has a question for you.” So because
it’s my friend that asked me this favor, I thought I’d answer the question in a video
for you guys to share this with you guys, because I know many of you guys may have had
this challenge yourself. So in any case, without further ado, let’s go into this video and
see the viewer’s question. Hey, welcome to An American Homestead. This
video is for John Kohler at GrowingYourGreens.com. He often times takes questions in video responses,
and so I’m submitting this question to him on his channel. John, we have a great garden
here. It’s our first year garden, we incorporated a lot of the techniques and things that you
have promoted on your channel into this garden. Things like rock dust, worm castings, and
some of the Boogie Brew products. Our garden has taken off. We are very excited about the
growth we’re seeing in our garden, and we attribute a lot of that success to you.
We do have one problem though… Let me go show you what I got.
Okay, so here’s what I got, take a look at this. When you move the dirt around, after
you’ve been digging in it, there are just grubs everywhere. You see that one there.
Move some more dirt around, here’s another one there. They’re just everywhere in my
garden and I just don’t know what to do about all of these grubs. Here’s another
one. All of these grubs are just everywhere, all over the ground. And so…I mean, in fact,
I lost a few cabbage plants early in the season. I noticed I put my cabbage starts inside the
ground, and they just got chewed down right at the base. I even caught a grub once chewing
on my cabbage plants early in the morning. And so there’s my issue… Grubs. What do
I do about those? So basically, we have grubs. What natural
defense do we use against these? I don’t want to use chemicals and I know if I go to
the store that there’s vast array of chemicals that I can purchase to use on my garden, but
I don’t want to do that. So what would you recommend?
Alright, Zachary—wow, man, that bell pepper. That thing looks huge! Glad you’re using
the rock dust, the worm casting, compost teas, and other things that I recommend. The stuff
that I recommend, you guys saw it in Zachary’s video. It does work and I’m sure countless
of you guys out there that have been using some of the similar techniques are having
the best gardening season yet. And if you’re not, that’s alright. Life and your garden
is a continual learning experience. You’re learning as you grow and I always end my episodes
with “Keep on growing.” But in any case, I know, Zachary, you have
some challenges and let’s go ahead and dive right in. so besides just saying “Oh, do
this,” I really want to teach you guys the concepts that my head goes through when I
see a problem in my garden. I think WWND—What Would Nature Do? What would nature do if there’s
an overpopulation of these grub things in your yard? Maybe nature would send some animals
or something to eat all those grubs that love to eat grubs. I mean, I think ducks would
probably love to eat grubs or chickens would love to eat the grubs but I don’t know that
they’d actually know where to peck them out and find them. So nature would have some
natural checks and balances like the governments supposed to have some checks and balances,
but I don’t think the government’s got their checks and balances worked out properly.
But I’m glad that in most cases, nature does unless man’s starting to get involved.
We’re getting involved in so many things and we’re imbalancing nature in my opinion,
so always try to think What Would Nature Do. So, I’ll tell you, I actually had a grub
problem in my garden, and the solution I had at that time was I was digging up my raised
bed from last year’s tomato plants, I found some grubs, I’m like “Oh, crap, there’s
grubs!” and I don’t want to play my new collard greens and kale and brassica family
plants in there with all these grubs in there. And I’m like “Okay…” You guys always
know I do, number one, manual control. Some of you guys might be laughing. But literally
what I did was I took the grubs, I basically took out each scoopful of soil, put it through
a sifter, sifted it out, found the grubs. I basically hand removed them. And yes, this
took some hours to do and this was on one of my trips—before I left on one of my trips,
I took out all the soil in one of my raised beds and then got all the grubs out and put
it back in so now it was grub free. But what could happen the next year is more grubs could
lay their eggs or whatever and then I could have more in there, so this was a temporary
solution. So I don’t necessarily recommend you guys do this to your soil—I mean, in
a raised bed or small container, you could do this, but in a big garden, you’re not
gonna be able to do this. So what I want you guys to do is do what nature
would do. So in nature, there are predators to the grubs, things that eat the grubs. Like
if aliens came down, they might start shooting us with their laser guns. Hopefully not…
Hopefully they’re nice aliens. But there’s things, actually, that you can put in the
soil that’ll kick ass and beat up the grubs and make them disappear or minimally greatly
control their populations. So the two things you might want to look into,
number one, is called Milky Spore. Milky spore, there’s a company, I think Gabriel Organics,
that basically makes a milky spore—it’s basically a bacteria that you would put in
the soil that basically attacks the grubs, kicks their ass, and then they’re gone.
And so the milky spore is good only for certain kind of grubs, like the Japanese grubs, and
if you don’t have the Japanese grubs… They don’t like the other….white people
grubs, or the Mexican grubs… That was a joke. But, yeah, they only go for the Japanese
grub. So better way, if you don’t know what kind of grubs you have, to do it is to use
these other things called beneficial nematodes. So to think basically—what is a nematode?
A nematode is basically a little small worm that are supposedly microscopic. So you might
think they’re a scam, like I did, when I originally bought some beneficial nematodes
and I got this pack, opened it up—I didn’t see nothing! It’s just said “Mix this
packet in water” then it’s gonna work, or some crap. And I’m like “Okay….”
And the stuff actually worked! But you really gotta be sure that you get your beneficial
nematodes from a good, reputable reseller, because the nematodes, they do need to be
refrigerated or else they can lose their lives. So if you go to a place that’s not sending
them in a refrigerated packet with like little chill packs or something, you might want to
be wary. So deal with a reputable supplier, which I don’t have any recommendations for
you guys at this time. Hopefully I’ll be able to find one for you guys.
But yeah, you want to find a reputable supplier of nematodes, and specifically nematodes that
are good for grubs. Because there are all different kinds of nematodes that work in
your soil and if you get the wrong type of nematode, it may not work and if you get the
nematodes that maybe got too hot because you shipped them in the middle of summer and they’re
not being cooled down, then they might go inactive and then they might not work either.
And then you’ll say “Oh, that John’s full of shit!” Well, no, if you get the
proper nematodes, they will take care of the challenge. And you might have to experiment.
You might have to do more than one round of the nematodes, and if you do, I would encourage
you to get them from different suppliers because one supplier’s stuff may be good and the
other supplier’s stuff may be bad and I have no way to check this.
So, yeah, what would nature do? Nature would have controls to control nature. If things
get out of balance, then the predators come. Like if there’s too many rats, then the
cat population will increase because there’s more rats for the cats to eat, they’ll be
healthier because they’ll be eating more and guess what they’ll reproduce more. Have
more cats, eat all the rats. And that’s basically my premise of my whole philosophy
on how I garden. What would nature do? I try to think about. Not what would John do—maybe
you could think what John do would because John would do what nature would do… WWJD—What
Would John Do. What Would Nature Do? So that you can think about “Oh, no, this plant’s
getting eaten by bugs!” or whatever. What would nature do? Well, then nature would have
a predatory bug. So if you’re getting aphids, you could set free some ladybugs that would
eat the bugs or you could use some praying mantises. There’s all different kinds on
natural biologic controls when these problems crop up.
And I want to encourage you guys to think, really think, What Would Nature Do? Hopefully
this answered your question, Zachary, you could have a bountiful garden and grow even
more food for you and your family so you guys could get healthier and, once again, get out
of the industrial agriculture system as much as you can.
Hopefully you’re also gonna spread this news, spread your passion—because I can
see you’re quite passionate about gardening—with others as I do because it’s really this
is what we need. All you gardeners out there, to make a difference in the world is for one
person just to tell another person and get somebody else fired up about gardening like
I’ve done so that we can change this world, and we have a whole world and country of gardeners
taking responsibility for themselves, growing food, getting them one step out of that standard
system that we’re involved with and we can make this world a better place one person
at a time. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode. Once
again, my name is John Kohler with GrowingYourGreens.com. We’ll see you next time, and remember, keep