Recently, a pesticide that I used to treat a number of my young plants killed everything I applied it to. I applied it in accordance with the directions, and the brand is well-reviewed on Amazon, but that didn't stop my melons, tomatoes, okra, and bottle gourds from deforming and slowly dying. Thankfully, I only treated my first crop of the season, and by now, I have a whole second generation of plants fruiting, but that doesn't stop it from being a huge bummer and a great material lesson.
I know some oil-based pesticides can cause stress, and it's my own fault for not testing this new treatment on a smaller population first, but I'm wondering if anyone else had any experience with this, and what steps I can take to keep this from happening again. Should I apply pesticide to older plants only? If so, how can I protect my younger plants in a more gentle fashion in a bug-rich environment? I'm also (of course) VERY open to recommendations for other organic or at least naturally sources pesticide options.