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Not going well

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Not going well

Post  Green(Horn)Thumb on 6/10/2012, 9:56 pm

This is not the start i was hoping for. This is my first SFG. I made up about 16 4x4 beds. I broke the rules and started lettuce and spinach early and transplanted, they bolted. The ones that did not got eaten by cabbage looper. Got some organocide and that helped. Came home from a weekend away and it looks like i have widespread aphids. They have only consumed on plant completely. So I again applied some organocide. I then went and checked on my spinach and now most of that bolted. Very discouraging

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Re: Not going well

Post  camprn on 6/10/2012, 10:07 pm

My spinach bolted really early too... it's so discouraging.... maybe it's nothing we are doing but the wonky weather... some thing are great one year and not so the next.... such is the life of the gardener. Keep you chin up. You will have another chance with spinach in the late summer.

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Re: Not going well

Post  Chopper on 6/10/2012, 10:09 pm

There are some things that one encounters in gardening that are a pain. Pests and disease are the main ones. It is a matter of getting used to the rhythms of the seasons. If it is hot enough, lettuce and spinach and cilantro and other cool weather plants will bolt. That is just the way it is. Other stressors can contribute, like low water, but this is something that is less of a problem when you learn when in your area is the best time to plant - and it may be fall more than spring for you. Each year will be slightly different. Everyone had a very warm spring, unusually warm.

As far as aphids or any other pests go. What a pain they are first of all. Getting them early helps and again, some years are worse than others. I find with new gardens your first year is your worst for pests because the plantings are new and the beneficial insects follow the destructive ones. So in the first year you do not have any allies in the garden helping you keep things balanced. Get some ladybugs asap and next year you will likely not have such an issue with them. There are also some good organic soaps and such to help.

Hate the loopers. Bt is good for them. It is a matter, like I said, of getting used to the rhythms.

That said, I do not stress bugs and disease. Lots of times there is room for all of us and unless something is really completely destroying the crop (grasshopper, snails esp) I let nature take its course and still get a harvest I am happy with.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Not going well

Post  cheyannarach on 6/10/2012, 10:22 pm

A local nursery here sells ladybugs up and ready to go eat some aphids, you should check with yours! I also bought a praying mantis cocoon with 300 eggs that I have placed in my garden just waiting to hatch!

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Re: Not going well

Post  Green(Horn)Thumb on 6/10/2012, 10:41 pm

I will be buying some ladybugs tomorrow, thanks for the help.

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Re: Not going well

Post  cheyannarach on 6/10/2012, 10:56 pm

Good luck!!!

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Re: Not going well

Post  toledobend on 6/11/2012, 11:49 am

Here's something that might work for some of the aphid problems. I heard from someone that I think got it from LSU. For pepper plants, they are using reflective mirrored plastic (mylar type?) around the base of the plants. The extra light reflecting back up discourages the aphids. To cut down on the cost, I think they are now trying using plain plastic sheets and spray painting them with silver paint. The person I know is just using sheets of aluminum foil (shiny side up) since he has only a few plants. If you are using drip irrigation, put it under the plastic or foil, otherwise make sure the plants get enough water. This might work for other plants too.

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Re: Not going well

Post  rowena___. on 6/11/2012, 2:16 pm

@Chopper wrote:

As far as aphids or any other pests go. What a pain they are first of all. Getting them early helps and again, some years are worse than others. I find with new gardens your first year is your worst for pests because the plantings are new and the beneficial insects follow the destructive ones. So in the first year you do not have any allies in the garden helping you keep things balanced.

this is exactly how it works here on the gardens i deal with.

That said, I do not stress bugs and disease. Lots of times there is room for all of us and unless something is really completely destroying the crop (grasshopper, snails esp) I let nature take its course and still get a harvest I am happy with. .

this is very wise.

rather than buying stuff each time you see a problem, consider making something at home and giving it a try. i have found garlic oil spray to be very effective for most bug pests and even with bunnies and the random neighborhood cat.

aphids are easily confused--you can knock them off the plant with a spray of water--and if you put a yellow plastic cup or tennis ball near the plants, cover it with some plastic and smear on some petroleum jelly or cooking oil, you can often catch a huge percentage of them and dispose.

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Re: Not going well

Post  llama momma on 6/11/2012, 3:01 pm

I love the tennis ball idea, Rowena. I'm taking a more relaxed approach this year. I saw flea beetles on an eggplant, despite many holes the plant overall looked fine. Left it alone. Another eggplant one leaf looked nearly chewed off. Left it alone too. But then that was it, there was no other damage and the rest of the leaves are fine. When the plants are in a very nutritious mix they seem to survive some damage very well and with daily face time I can see how the plant is handling it or if it needs some help.

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Re: Not going well

Post  Green(Horn)Thumb on 6/11/2012, 11:28 pm

I am trying to take it in stride. But being the first year and the cost associated with building all these beds I am so paranoid. Ordered the ladybugs as I couldnt find them anywhere in town. Found two other pests on the tomatoes tonight. After one season I am sure i will be more relaxed. I still have some 30 or so healthy tomato plants so I should have plenty. It isnt so much that im worried of losing one or two, i can take that, I just dont know what to expect. I dont want my whole garden eaten.

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Re: Not going well

Post  Chopper on 6/12/2012, 12:05 am

There is an old planting saying that goes something like "plant one for the birds and one for me". There is an acceptable, or at least expected loss. It should not be the whole crop though. Just a small percentage. Nature happens.

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Re: Not going well

Post  elliephant on 6/12/2012, 9:56 pm

I tried the mylar sheeting on a 3x3 bed of peppers last year. Didn't seem to help with the aphids one bit. Was wondering why I hadn't seen hardly any this year, then realized I'd had to start spraying the yard with some non-organic stuff this year due to the dog and a huge tick population. I try to avoid the garden, but even so, way fewer aphids.

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Re: Not going well

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