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We want to empower residents of Maui Nui to practice more organic lawn and garden care and are excited to extend some of our Reef-Friendly Landscaping knowledge to your home. By using Reef-Friendly Landscaping practices on your property, you can rebuild your soil, fight pests, and solve issues organically while also protecting coral reefs and marine life. You can let go of toxic chemicals and pesticides that travel through our porous volcanic soil and eventually reach the ocean.

There are many natural solutions to the most common problems homeowners find in their lawns and gardens. As we develop and build our Reef-Friendly Landscaping for Homeowners Program, we want to start by sharing some tips, solutions, and resources. 

Gardening without Pesticides with Duane Sparkman

COMMON YARD & GARDEN PROBLEMS AND REEF-FRIENDLY SOLUTIONS

>>NOTE!!: Using Neem oil should be done during dawn or dusk, as using it directly on plants in the sunlight can burn them.<<

Mold & Fungus

White powdery mildew
Solution: Neem oil spray with 70% neem oil concentration.
Fungus issues
Solution: Neem oil spray with 70% neem oil concentration.

Insects & Slugs

Soft-bodied bugs
Solution: Neem oil spray with 70% neem oil concentration.
Hard-bodied bugs
Solution: Dawn soap (or mineral oil) plus neem oil.
Beetles
Solution: Beetles don’t like daytime. Add solar lights to drive them away.
Ants
Solution: Ant issues indicate you also have scales. Use neem oil spray with 70% neem oil concentration.
Whiteflies
Solution: Neem oil spray with 70% neem oil concentration; use 2-3 applications of the spray over a month.
Fruitflies
Solution: Neem oil.
Insects
Solution: Replace Talstar insecticide with rosemary oil products.
Caterpillars (look for black dots of poop)
Solution: Removal by hand or use of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Bt is a naturally occurring soil bacteria that kills caterpillars by disrupting their ability to digest food.
Slugs
Solution: Replace Sluggo pesticide with mesh coverings or cages around your garden. Adding copper wire around your plant beds will deter slugs from entering your garden. Chelated iron is another alternative but watch for an accumulation of too much iron in your soil.

Weeds

Weeds
Solution: Replace Roundup herbicide with natural leaf litter, citric acid (Avenger), scythe tool for removal, or suppress weeds with ground cover plants.
Weeds in seashore grass
Solution: Apply salt.

Fertilizers

Low levels of soil nutrients or limited plant growth
Solution: Replace synthetic fertilizers with organic fertilizer kits with water INSOLUABLE nitrogen or compost. You can find these organic fertilizer kits at Simplot Turf & Horticulture – Hawaii.

RESOURCES

  • Hawai’i Organic Farming Association (HOFA): https://hawaiiorganic.org/
  • Simplot Turf & Horticulture – Hawaii:  carries organic fertilizer kits and other great resources: (808) 877-6636; 400 Lehuakona St, Kahului HI 96732
  • SoilThrive™ by Environmental Solutions Maui: A biological soil amendment made from microbe-rich, organic, vegan compost. https://esmaui.com/
  • Ukiu Farmshttps://www.ukiufarms.com/ 
  • Beyond Pesticides: list of products compatible with organic landscaping: https://www.beyondpesticides.org/
  • Organic Landscaping Associationhttps://theola.org/
  • RFL Certification For Commercial Properties:  The Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi has changed its landscape management practices and has been awarded the Gold Level Reef-Friendly Landscaping Certification through MNMRC. The Westin Maui Resort and Spa and The Royal Lāhainā Resort and Bungalows are implementing organic practices and are on the path to certification. Learn more about the program here
Download Our Top 10 Reasons NOT To Use Pesticides

Click the image to download our 10 top reasons not to use pesticides and fertilizers.

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