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How do you guys do it???

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How do you guys do it???

Post  WJB on 6/14/2011, 8:24 am

I wanted a garden...quiet, peaceful, growing....

I got war games...potato beetles, squash bugs, aphids...

Every day I have a new enemy, and a new vegetable casualty. affraid

We live in the middle of nowhere. No garden here for 100's of years. How did these evil beings find my garden and my brand new MM?

How do you guys do it??? Is it just because its my rookie year?? My first full season? Is there an insect learning curve???

Come on over. Lets talk about it (and squash bugs while we chat!!)


signed,

Vegetable-less Wendy Sad
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WJB

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Re: How do you guys do it???

Post  randomsideizzie on 6/14/2011, 10:28 am

You are not alone. This is my first year of SFG (last year was a rather sad attempt at a hybrid of SFG and...well...I have no idea) and I am having the same issues. Aphids are my biggest problem right now. They are everywhere. Though I will take those over the thick fog of mosquitoes I had last year.

I have decided this year is my "learning year." We have already harvested quite a bit of spinach and a little bit of lettuce, so at least I got a little bit to eat so far. I am hoping I get more out of my garden, but if I don't at least I will know what to do differently next year.

Right now, I am using row cover at night over my leafy stuff - spinach, lettuce, kale - and it seems to keep the pests at bay on those plants.

Keep your head up and keep at it. You can beat those little suckers! Very Happy Good luck!

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Re: How do you guys do it???

Post  fiddleman on 6/14/2011, 10:43 am

I have been gardening in the same area of this house for the last 20 years. Some years are really easy... no bug problems at all. Other years it seems I am after something every week. However, after gardening this long here, I have a pretty healthy population of helpful bugs and other critters which watch over my garden 24/7. My garden guardians are birds/toads/snakes/bats/foxes/cats and more I am sure. When the birds walk through my garden they look under every leaf every bit of dirt for anything to feed their young and they are pretty thorough. I look too of course, but they help out a lot!

We have bushes near the garden where the birds can land and feel safe from predators, plus a fountain for them to drink from and suet feeders / bird feeders to attract them. Toads we get from a near by swamp and they just seem to find us somehow. We'll often have flocks of 20-40 birds at a time roaming our backyard/garden area and they really can do a great job decimating the moth and caterpillar population.

That said, sometimes even all my gardening friends can't keep up... then I am ruthless with whatever it takes to drop the population of bugs eating my plants. If organic controls don't work, I'll use the appropriate sprays as sparingly as possible to keep these things from destroying my garden. I don't want to kill the good bugs if I can help it.

Mark
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Re: How do you guys do it???

Post  Miss M on 6/14/2011, 12:29 pm

It's my first SFG year, too. I've been dealing with aphids, squash vine borers, armyworms, the flea beetle infestation from hell, and some sort of fungus I think that is on the watermelon leaves.

Birds would eat all of my tomatoes if I did not have bird mesh up. Thankfully, the little wrens can still get through the stuff, they're so small. I haven't found any holes in my tomatoes with them coming in, and I caught one tearing apart an armyworm. Too bad they didn't come in great enough numbers. I had to spray the armyworms.

Finally found something that would kill flea beetles without killing the bees. Hopefully, it isn't too late. Sad

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Re: How do you guys do it???

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/14/2011, 1:31 pm

One technique is to throw seeds at the problem...
It's my 4th year feeding the insects, and I am still learning. But by growing lots of things, when all my brussels sprouts for instance are eaten by caterpillars, I can just look at the peas and I get a warm fuzzy.

Also, after a few battles, I know what to look for. Case: I found a single colarado potato bug on my potatoes. SQUISH. It put me on alert, and a week later I found the babies... about 20 of them, near where I executed mommy. Last year, I didn't find the infestation until there were a couple generations, and it was too late.
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Re: How do you guys do it???

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/14/2011, 1:59 pm

I feel your pain, just a little. I have some bugs: ants (not evil ones TG), aphids, sow bugs, found slugs and snails yesterday (YUCK! Slugs are slippery to squish!), and earwigs up the wazzu (Washington joke on spelling, I love WSU, lol). There are a lot of organic sprays you can make, do a search on here to find one people have posted. I think those are better options than what I'm about to do... Because it's my first year and I ignored Mel's start small advice I'm giving my self a little break after killing 5 slugs ewww and I gave up on making my own and bought some organic pest control yesterday at HD. I'll keep you posted if you'd like on how well it goes. My bug infestation has just been an annoyance not really at the level of heart breaking.

Slugs are really the most disgusting creatures on earth...
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