Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gardens and bugs

Little F likes holding bugs :)

I've had a small backyard garden since early this year. It's three beds that are each 4x4', so not very big, only 48 sq ft. That means what I plant, are the things that I really like.

But that also means, when insects or rabbits attack my garden, they can do some serious damage. A rabbit (probably) ate the leaves off of half of my sunflowers and nibbled the first tomato. Cabbage worms (three different species) ate Little G's cabbage plant, made the kale look like lace, and chewed on half of my four cauliflower plants' heads.

Now, it's leaf-footed bugs. First they liked my pea plants, clustering on the new pea pods, and after I removed the pea plants, they've spread to other plants.

These are the immature leaf-footed bugs. Probably L. occidental. There was two adults in this bunch as well, but they were hiding behind leaves. They see well enough that they try to hide from me when I get close tho the plants.

The web sources I've found say that they don't do much damage, although they can kill young seedlings and cause new fruit to drop off. That may be a problem, because I've found the immature ones on my cucumber and my cantaloupe plants (one of each), and they don't have as many new fruits as they should, considering how many flowers there have been. That picture is of my biggest tomato plant, and I really hope they haven't damaged the tomato.

Right after I took the picture I brushed as many as I could into soapy water. The best control for these bugs seems to be mechanical. Insecticides aren't recommended because they are usually on almost ripe fruit.

I tell the children this is a hobby. It is, because I can't grow enough in this small space to feed us all year long. But, it would be nice if nature would let me have a bit more to eat from its bounty!

And, anybody know why my baby summer squash are rotting from the blossom end?