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Archive for July, 2015

Bugs made this into a skeleton leaf

Bugs made this into a skeleton leaf

It’s always hard when you have to pull out plants mid-season. At the beginning, there is so much hope and even wishes of a full recovery, but sometimes it’s best to just face reality. That’s what happened last week when I pulled four of our zucchini and squash plants.

Most of the leaves had been chewed up beyond recognition (thanks, leafhoppers) and the few green leaves in the middle were just too small to sustain a healthy and viable plant. While I was disappointed, I was also thrilled. Why? No signs of squash vine borer damage. That’s right, NONE.

I did a little happy dance (so what if the neighbors think I’m crazy) because this was the first year we didn’t lose any to that damn borer. Luckily I found a few more zucchini plants at the store, and, if all goes well, we should have some by the end of August or early September (they’re quick to mature – about 45 days). Fingers crossed it works out!

 

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A few weeks ago our tomatoes were looking a little shoddy. Yellow and brown spots starting appearing on the lower leaves, creeping up toward the top. It was early blight, a fungus that spreads in wet and warm weather.

Signs of early blight on the tomatoes. Wet, warm weather is usually the cause.

Signs of early blight on the tomatoes. Wet, warm weather is usually the cause.

It has been an extraordinarily wet summer (a record-setting one, at that) and we’ve had pretty hot and humid weather. So far, we seem to have it under control by picking off the affected leaves to stop its spread and increase airflow, plus spraying with copper fungicide as needed.

Our tomatoes are finally starting to turn red, which is late, but we can’t wait until they’re ready to eat!

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In just two weeks, we had hundreds of them snared. Leafhoppers, cucumber beetles, mealybugs – all hopelessly trapped in our garden, thanks to the genius invention that is the yellow sticky trap.

Lots of bugs stuck to the yellow traps. Kind of gross, but well worth it to save the garden!

Lots of bugs stuck to the yellow traps. Kind of gross, but well worth it to save the garden

I don’t know why we didn’t try these earlier; they truly are a godsend for us this summer. So what is this miracle, you ask? It’s basically a thin piece of cardboard covered in a sticky, glue-like substance.

The yellow color attracts insects that are also attracted to the yellow flowers of cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, etc. Although in theory, this could catch bees and other beneficial bugs, we haven’t had that happen yet.

A pack of 15 (ordered from Amazon) was relatively cheap and it’s a non-toxic way to control insects. It’s something that is well worth it, in our opinion, to stop the little destructors that eat and sometimes kill our plants.

Cucumber beetle trapped!

Cucumber beetle trapped!

I do wonder if some of our zucchini plants would have survived if we used these earlier. Many of them were just destroyed by those tiny bug jaws.

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