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Need Help Fast! I've got Termites in my SFG!!!

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Need Help Fast! I've got Termites in my SFG!!!

Post  Bec on 4/18/2011, 5:29 pm

I was just out digging MM out of a box to transfer to another box and I discovered winged termites! affraid What do I do??? Is my MM ruined? Aauugh! Is my box ruined? (Not as much of a disaster - doesn't cost as much as MM.) How do I prevent it in my other boxes? I haven't checked them all yet so I don't know how extensive it is but I know some are okay - so far. I dumped some of the MM that I was hoping was relatively termite free into the box where I wanted it but now I'm thinking that was a mistake and I need to remove it right away. Who can give me some answers .......Quick!!! HEEEELP! (This just CAN't BE HAPPENING!!!)


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Re: Need Help Fast! I've got Termites in my SFG!!!

Post  SFG in Chicago on 4/18/2011, 5:46 pm

You're absolutely sure they're termites & not winged ants? I would be less worried about the MM or the garden and more worried about my house. How close are the boxes to your house? Maybe you need to get someone out to inspect your house for termites. Good Luck!

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Re: Need Help Fast! I've got Termites in my SFG!!!

Post  dizzygardener on 4/18/2011, 5:50 pm

Hello neighbor!

You don't have to worry about the termites doing anything to your plants. Will they eat your boxes? Probably, if they are untreated. Honestly, if they are in one box they can just as easily be in the others. Termites are everywhere, there isn't a whole lot you can do to avoid them.

Termites are kind of a good thing for the garden. They help to break down mulch and other wood remnants in the soil.

In terms of treating for them, I wouldn't. There are not a lot of organic methods to deal with them, and you don't want the toxic stuff anywhere near your food. You can try things like mixing the following into your soil: DE, beneficial nematodes, pepper, or cinnamon. You won't completely get rid of the problem though.

I say replace any wood that needs replacing and continue on gardening as usual.


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Need Help Fast! I've got Termites in my SFG!!!

Post  Bec on 4/18/2011, 6:33 pm

Thanks for the quick responses. I went out and found that 1 other box has termites that I can tell. I guess I panicked when I first found them. I just won't be able to combine any of the MM like I had planned. My MM has settled so much over the winter that I'm not going to have enough compost to fill the boxed back up. I don't want to put more expense into the vermiculite and peat moss this year - have had 2 disappointing years and want a good year before investing much more money into them. I'm consolidating the MM into as many boxes as I have enough compost to add in like we're supposed to do and make them the 6" high. I'm afraid I won't be able to plant all that I want to plant this year because of all the settling.

I think I just will eliminate the infested boxes this year and as I expand again I'll replace with hard plastic ones the hardware stores sell.

I'm so ready for a good gardening season. I was ready to give up after last year's problems. That's why I freaked when I saw the termites. I'm quite sure they are termites and not ants. I Googled them get pictures. Termites have longer wings than ants. I can't swear to it but I think these have the longer wings.

Thanks again for your responses.


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Re: Need Help Fast! I've got Termites in my SFG!!!

Post  middlemamma on 4/18/2011, 6:40 pm

Bec...why do you think you had problems last couple of years?

Is it possible it was too much peat? If that is the case adding just compost to your boxes might be just fine and your plants will do better...adding too much peat because of the compression is a common reason an SFG will fail. Because when this happens you don't have the 1/3-1/3-1/3 recipe correct.

Just a thought....


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Re: Need Help Fast! I've got Termites in my SFG!!!

Post  Bec on 4/18/2011, 7:38 pm

Middlemamma, I'm not sure why I've had poor harvest. One thing I was thinking was that I think I was a little short of the 6" to make the MM fit my boxes. Also, I didn't use domes and I have a horrible time with bugs. I'd hand pick hundreds of bugs and their larvae off my plants every day. Then I got powdery mildew on all types of my squashes. Most of my tomatoes didn't grow to full size either. I'm wondering if I didn't have enough compost in my MM. I did decompress the peat moss so I know that wasn't it. Good thought though. The year before something, I'm thinking a deer, jumped the fence and ate all my (over 100) green bean plants to the stems and a bear took a bite out of several squashes before deciding it didn't like them. Oh yeah - and last year a muskrat ate several of my butternut squashes, one being the biggest I've every grown. Nope - It's been a couple of rough gardening years. I'd have given up by now if I didn't love gardening so much. My desire this year was to grow extra to supply at least one elderly widow I know with fresh, yummy vegies. I can't make up the difference in gardening space by planting in the ground because about 1 inch below the grass is rock - all 1-1/2 acres of the yard is that way. I guess that's what comes with living in the mountains. Praying for a good harvest. A lot of education in the meantime.


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Re: Need Help Fast! I've got Termites in my SFG!!!

Post  Miss Mousie on 4/18/2011, 7:43 pm

Dang Middlemama, I read this on another post and I swear I never thought about that . I used two kinds of mixed compost last year that probably had peat moss in it and my garden had some issues. This year I thought I'd fix my MM by adding some worm castings and Foxfarm Ocean Forest potting soil which has worm castings, bat guano, fish and crab meal, forest humus, sphagnum peat moss and sandy loam. I thought it sounded like a rich mix of stuff. I can't find straight 1 ingredient composts. Just bags of chicken manure, steer manure and now I've at least found worm castings but I need two more. I've called around and there doesn't seem to be any mushroom compost available. I mean, I live in the foot hills of the Sierra Nevada's I guess we have plenty of livestock :pig: :cat: around and I'm sure there might be some kind of composted leaf matter in our own yard but that's not what the book says to buy Very Happy.

I know the book says that its not rocket science but sometimes I think it might be, to try to get the mix right.

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Re: Need Help Fast! I've got Termites in my SFG!!!

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