Every gardener encounters pests in their garden. It is a fact of life. However, there are ways that we can minimize and even eliminate their damage. And all this can be done organically, without a single drop of chemicals!
Chances are if you have grown carrots that you have come to know the damage of the carrot rust fly maggot. These lovely maggots are the larvae of the carrot rust fly. They tunnel through carrots, their favorite host plant, leaving a trail of poo behind them. Aren't they thoughtful, not only do they eat your carrot but what they leave behind, they fill with poo. YUCK!
Salads are such an easy meal for summer time and a great way to get all our greens (7 cups a day!). Some people are intimidated by growing lettuce and shy away from it but there's no need, it easy!. Today I'm going to give you my best tips for growing lettuce so that you can have a continuous supply for quick and easy summer time meals that don't heat up the house.
This week we released ladybugs into the greenhouse to help control aphids. This is a safe and effective alternative to chemicals. Ladybug larvae will consume 400 medium sized aphids during it's development to the pupal stage. An adult ladybug can eat as much as 5,000 aphids during it's lifetime! 5,000 aphids in a year, that's impressive!
I was giving the tomatoes and peppers some compost tea the other day and this is what I found in it. Very, very gross and even a little scary looking. I thought surely these creatures that are swimming around in my garden's tea must be some horrible pest. They are certainly going to eat up my garden if I use this tea! These crazy looking things are so repulsive they must be bad, bad, bad!
Crops that belong to the Brassica family, or cole crops can be tricky to grow. This is not because they a finicky so much as they attract a lot of pests. Cabagge loopers, and flea beetles are the most common culprits.
Some years we have flea beetles and some years we don't. They eat holes in the leaves and give them a unpleasant appearance. This year they really seem to love the kale. We have been battling this issue with garlic and hot pepper spray along with sticky traps. I make the garlic and hot pepper spray by blending garlic cloves and Thai chile peppers in the blender with a little onion and then add water. It steeps in the fridge overnight and is then strained. I add a tablespoon of mineral oil and dish soap each. I shake it up and spray the entire plant. The bugs don't like this and do go away but it wares off so it needs to be reapplied often.
This week I put sticky traps up. These are just yellow piece of plastic with a sticky substance on them. the bugs are attracted to the yellow and then get stuck in the glue. Simple and effective. Yeah for sticky traps. The only down fall is that it also traps beneficial insects. We don't like that.
You know how you get all these plans going in your head. You think "yeah I can get all that done this week, day, hour....." That was me this week. I thought I would have chicken wire up around the entire greenhouse garden in one day. It took me three. Three days! Of course there was lots of other things that had to be done at the same time. Garden farm chores can't be put on hold so that I can put chicken wire up. Watering weeding and planting still needed to take place. Well tonight I got it done and I'm so grateful. Chicken wire is not fun. Out of all fencing wire I think it is the worst. But like I said it is done and I'm grateful. No rabbits will be coming to the greenhouse garden for a midnight snack. Thank you!
Hello, I'm Jaci. I look forward to sharing my gardening and homestead adventures to help you reach your gardening goals! If you have any questions then don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message and I will be glad to help!