Monday, April 9, 2012

I Knew It Was Coming

I told you it was going to be a bad bug year. To be fair, I haven't paid much attention to the garden in the last week. A little watering here and there, but no weeding or anything like that. But still, you'd think it'd take more than a week for this to happen
That was a tomato plant. Over in the potato patch, a few of the plants look like this

But the most concerning is that even the onions are being mowed down. Most insects aren't too interested in onions, but I found plenty of this yesterday

Sedona had a grand time picking off caterpillars and feeding them to the chickens, but clearly, something more drastic needed to be done before we didn't have a garden left at all. I looked back in my old blog posts and found the last time we had an insect problem neem oil was helpful. So I made up a batch (1 tbsp of concentrate in 2 liters of water, but read the directions on the bottle if you decide to use it) and sprayed all the plants in the garden with it. I plan to reapply next weekend and then see where the damage is still popping up. We do have tons and tons of caterpillars (and butterflies, another post is coming up with those) out, so I think that's the main problem right now. I'm dreading the grasshoppers that I know are coming.

One very interesting note is that we have one bed lined in garlic that our renters planted last year. The plants in that bed are untouched. A lot of organic gardening sources suggest making up a spray based on fresh garlic. I've tried it and it didn't work for me. It seems quite plausible this garlic growing at the edge of the bed is protecting the nearby plants from pests though. I think we will likely take this garlic and replant it rather than eat it. Maybe if we line all of the beds, we will have built in pest control.

Anyone else out there facing pest problems yet?

6 comments:

One Acre Homestead said...

The pests aren't here yet, but I, too, know they are coming! I'm keeping a close eye on our onions, potatoes, carrots & beets as that's all we have in the ground at this point. Planting more this weekend, though. Without a winter to speak of, this will certainly be a challenge. We've used neem oil and had some success. We've also hand picked potato bugs and fed them to the chickens! ;)

Crissy said...

The only thing that is really eaten up is the basil. Everything else seems to be doing ok. What around here is attracted to basil?

The Hills said...

Hmmm.......that's interesting. I usually don't have problems with the herbs getting eaten (except for the dill which we plant specifically to attract the swallowtails).

Crissy said...

I stand corrected. After I left my comment, I went outside to see how things were going. Eggplants and peppers have been feasted on a little, but still have plenty of leaves. Tomatoes have little damage but they are in a planter box on the deck and not with the rest of the plants. Guess its time to do some damage control.

Rachel said...

My baby kale plants, brussels sprouts and cauliflower have taken a huge hit, as have my younger chard plants. Thankfully, that is all for now, but I think I am going to do the spray later this week!

Snyder Central said...

My dad is currently growing onions. They were COVERED in bugs last week. Onions are normally last to be eaten!

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