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OK, I just can't do it...bugs and disease

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Re: OK, I just can't do it...bugs and disease

Post  hartge01 on 6/11/2015, 2:46 pm

Hey Everyone... Thanks for the information/guidance/reassurance.
So here I am about a year later. I managed to harvest some produce last year, but most succumbed to pests and fungus/blight. 

Beans did OK even through a consistent and ferocious assault by some sort of caterpillar. The ones that chew and curl the edges of the leaves and wrap it around themselves.

Surprisingly my cukes produced although they too were constantly attacked by caterpillars.

My garden currently is growing nicely as they usually do in the beginning.(see picture). (The cabbage is something left over from fall just an "experiment") . I have seen the first signs of caterpillars on the beans again and I have removed two vine borer caterpillars in my cukes. They were at the very end of one of the vines. 
My okra is being vandalized by something i have not been able to identify. Just lots of holes in the leaves. just like my pictures from earlier of the sweet potato leaves (see picture). So far, not too bad.

I keep the pictured canisters separated from the garden as a potential reinforcement or replacement in case of loss. I placed them here just for the picture.

Last night I applied my second treatment of Neem oil a week after an initial application to the entire garden thoroughly saturating all leaves, top and bottom, stems and soil. Now I wait.

Blessings to all!



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Re: OK, I just can't do it...bugs and disease

Post  Kelejan on 6/12/2015, 1:16 am

Oh dear, hartge01, you are having such a hard time. Sad

My solution for you is to move.  Anything must be better that what you are going though especially combined with the HOA rules. Perhaps your garden lacks sunshine as you have to plant very discretely?

Let's hope the second application of neem oil works. Let us know if you have success.

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Re: OK, I just can't do it...bugs and disease

Post  sanderson on 6/12/2015, 2:05 am

Just a thought. Are the holes in the okra and sweet potato leaves from sow bugs (pill bugs, roly poly). My okra were attacked by sow bugs and slugs and a little Sluggo Plus really helped.


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Re: OK, I just can't do it...bugs and disease

Post  hartge01 on 6/12/2015, 8:34 am

Hey everyone, 

Answering the latest posts yes, sunlight is an issue. Gainesville is the "City of trees" and taking one down is a HUGE ordeal and that is outside the HOA process. (Sidebar, the city at one time actually had a person who would come out and "talk" to a diseased tree to see if it was ready to be cut down.) So, yes sunlight; I only get about five to six hours. Certainly an issue.

As far as moving; well I really like being in this area and I have awesome neighbors. Walking distance to schools and food market. The HOA has really backed off lately and some other gardeners have also been pushing back especially since they removed the community gardening area.

As far as bugs, I have not seen anything that is creating the holes in the okra/sweet potato leaves. It does seem to have stopped, at least it has slowed, since the Neem oil treatments. I will keep monitoring.

I believe my soil is very good. Rich, "spongy" and full of good compost. I do not believe that is the issue. All stems look very healthy and strong. But.... the picture shows yellow spots on the lowest leaves of my cucumbers. Not sure what is going on. The other 3/4 of the plants look great (second picture).

All of the pictures were taken this morning. Outside of my cauliflower experiment things look good. I did notice a few of the squash leaves have wilted, but I see no signs of borers or anything else. 

Hey, "all a y'all" are awesome! Thanks so much for all of the insights, help, encouragement. I hope I can do more than just post "problems" at some point.




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Re: OK, I just can't do it...bugs and disease

Post  yolos on 6/12/2015, 8:47 am

uh oh.  Don't like the looks of those yellow spots on the cucumbers.  Mine are much darker and browner but it will take a bit of time for yours to develop.  You might consider taking pictures and a sample of the leaves to the county extension office to have it diagnosed to see if it is a disease.  If it is, the earlier you start treating or cutting off the leaves the better.  Maybe Downy Mildew.  It's still too early to really give a diagnosis from a picture but the extension office should be able to tell you if you are worried.  With U of F there, you should have great extension offices.  Go Seminoles.

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Re: OK, I just can't do it...bugs and disease

Post  MackerelSky on 6/12/2015, 9:32 am

Hey Gary,

Hope things are well...

First off, don't give up hope!
Secondly, my advise should be consumed with a grain of salt!

The lack of sunlight is probably your biggest opponent in your situation and I would assume 'air flow' at the surface is slowed down with the trees and the lawn.

My suggestion is a simple one for the leaves on the cucumbers and any other plants whose leaves are getting spotty near the bottom of the plant. Grab a sharp pair of scissors and snip all affected leaves back half-way. In other words, don't cut the entire stem off, just half-way back to the plant. Put them in a box or bucket and remove them from the garden area.

This is the way I have learned to handle almost all situations in my 30+ years of gardening as an adult and it was the way my dad handled his garden back in the 60's when I was growing up. Even if the plant is diseased, leaving the leaves on them will only propagate it with spores and dropping off into the soil to leave a lasting impression. Your plants look healthy, just give them some air at the base.

I truly don't see signs of disease as the rest of your plant looks great and a second reason for getting the affected leaves off, IMHO, is to keep 'pests' from seeing those leaves as easy pickens. Dad always contended that bugs would attack a weak or dying leave first as they acquired a taste for your plant.

For your situation I believe your garden is looking good and keep up the hope. Just get rid of those affected leaves like yolos has mentioned.

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Re: OK, I just can't do it...bugs and disease

Post  Razed Bed on 6/12/2015, 1:26 pm

Have you looked into using a compost tea with a high chitin content?  The chitinase acts as a great pesticide without any toxicity to bees or any poison.  We make compost tea every 2 weeks and apply it to everything, first as a foliar spray and then as our regular watering.

I have found that making compost tea relaxes me like yoga relaxes others.  The bubbling of the aerators and the foam created does something I cannot explain.  Maybe, I was supposed to be a beer meister, and brewing compost tea is my substitute.  Nah, I think it's the bubbling.

If you don't have compost, I advise looking into Boogie Brew at www.boogiebrew.net

All you need is a 5-gallon bucket, some aquarium air stones, and an aquarium pump, and Boogie Brew supplies the compost tea and a burlap sack.

You must use non-chlorine water, and you need to know what type of chlorine your water department uses.  If it's regular chlorine, then pumping air in the water for a couple hours will remove the chlorine.  If it is chloramine, then you must use something else.  We have chloramine, and we use vitamin c crystals to eliminate the chlorine.

Here is a website I recently discovered that shows how its done


Here is a Youtube video that shows how to do it:

A little more involved and what we will try next

Razed Bed

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Re: OK, I just can't do it...bugs and disease

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