Monday, June 8, 2009

It's the simple things.....

We have worked real hard over that last few weeks getting the gardens in. Then these little buggers (Cucumber Beatles) move on in and make our plants look like Swiss cheese.
This is our second year of learning and attempting to practice pesticide free gardening. We have never been ones to use them much but any amount is too much. I have a few products from Johnny's that we use including diamatacious earth and another I cannot recall at the moment. I have also made up the garlic/pepper mixture everyone writes about. I am not convinced that it works. They all scattered just after spraying but they were back come morning.

We rotate our crop placement, mulch, and inspect the plants closely daily. It is been challenging at times but doable and we are learning. Just figured out the other day that Johnny's catalog has a great guide as to what your pest is and what product works best. BTW the best for everything according to Johnny's is row covers which we do not have. We do have the greenhouse that we hope to get up in July, can't wait for that!
Would love to hear from you all. What works for you? We can use all the help we can get!


Planting potatoes. Muck boots & shorts. You might be a redneck if.......

For the most part the gardens are all in. MM is the orchestrator of this deal and I do as I'm told (I assure you in the garden only). He was sweet enough to reserve me an area for herbs which I can plant whatever wherever. For those that do not know us, MM is organized and methodical and I am well .... Helter Skelter.
Up until a couple of years ago he was the planter and I was the picker. Now that I am more into it and our garden has grown into gardens it is a joint effort to plant, maintain, harvest, and preserve.

12 comments:

Ron said...

I'm real sorry to see those cucumber beetles... I haven't had them [yet]. Today's adventure was squishing a multitude of squash bugs.

The best, from what I've read and experienced, is to build up the soil until it is extremely healthy, then grow them plants when the temps are right and let the good bugs duke it out with the bad ones. Of course, that ain't exactly foolproof, but avoids many problems later in the season. I don't have row covers either... maybe someday.

I also experiment with companion planting... seems to help a lot as well. That's how nature does it, after all.

Our arrangement used to be "you grow it, I'll cook it" (Mel speaking). Now she's out there with me, fighting the evil squash bugs together, back-to-back with swords drawn and flashing in the sun. :)

Ron

Jennifer said...

Darn beetles! So far the only thing in our garden the bad bugs have really attacked are the eggplants. They love them for some reason! Grr!

henbogle said...

I loathe the way they look, but floating row covers WORK! I took mine off the other day for some weeding, and things look great under there, I've even got some cauliflower heading up! I can't find my camera cord so no photos yet.

I also find that a nice foliar feeding of fish and or fish/kelp emulsion reduces the pests and helps the plants recover. I used Neptune's Harvest, available at Johnny's. Stinks, but it is good stuff and a foliar feed goes a long way.

Jodi said...

So far, we haven't had any pest problems. BUT, we just started seeing sprouts the end of last week (we planted a little later this year).

T is our orchestrator as well. If we have problems, I'll let you know what his attempted solutions are. ;-)

YD said...

Sorry about the cucumber beetles. I am in a learning process as well when it comes to not using pesticide. I have used pepper and flour method on tomatoes and it seemed to work but I've never gotten(knock on wood)cucumber beetles before.

Actonian said...

You can also try picking the buggers off of the plants. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it'll help keep the numbers down for next year, and the year after, and the year after...

It's best to pick them off after sundown when they come out to party. I used to put them in a small jar filled with soapy water.

Spraying never really seemed to work for me. For the first time this year, I have row covers, which seem to be working remarkably well.

Overall, having nutrient rich soil is key to helping the plant deal with the trauma of being eaten... and the viruses spread by the buggers.

warren said...

Thanks for posting this series. It sort of made me think about slowing down and being more simple again...I am doing a similar series over at my place too...

Angie said...

So far my only pests are a couple of slugs and the robins. Have you tried DE? Love the wardrobe.........glad i'm not the only one ;)

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

yes, you are a redneck woman when with shorts, you wear your muck boots. :-) I'm there with ya honey. I'm all about the simple life too.

Farm Chick Paula said...

It's so frustrating to plant and then find you've been invaded by something in your garden I know what you mean! Something has eaten almost half our beans... not deer because there are no tracks. We have no idea what it is.
Looks like Maine Man has got it all under control!

Country Girl said...

Thanks for all your feedback. I am glad I asked for advice from others, I did learn a bit I did not know.
Angie yes we are using DE, just figured that one out this year.

Janine said...

Your gardens look really nice Kim! Good job you two! I am getting overwhelmed by ours but luckily John is really into it this year and really helping me with weeding and tilling every weekend :)