lovely_star
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Beans, peppers and brassica OH MY.....

Hi guys,

So I'm in the middle of my very first gardening season. Since I'm a newbie I could use help from the vets regarding a few issues.

First there is an infestation of ants and some other little tiny boogers I can't identify amongst my pole beans. I don't know what to do to control them naturally or if they are even harmful to the plant.

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Second I have two out of six pepper plants that are flowering but not producing fruit. They are getting really big and wild but not bearing fruit and I'm not sure why when they are all in the same area.

[url=https://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/839/imagechj.jpg/][img]https://img839.imageshack.us/img839/9445/imagechj.jpg[/img][/url]

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Last cabbage moths and loopers. I've tried placing moth balls around my raised beds as my sister in law suggested, but that idea was a dud. These pests are having a field day putting holes in all my brassica plants.

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rainbowgardener
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The tiny insects with the ants are most likely aphids. The ants are there because the aphids secrete a sweet sticky substance ("honeydew") that the ants like. Sometimes the ants actually put the aphids on plants to get it. The ants don't harm the plants but the aphids ("plant lice") do, suck the juices out of it. Aphids aren't hard to get rid of; they are slow and stupid and just sit there while you squish them, or they can be knocked off with a strong spray of water.

The picture under where you talked about peppers is just a picture of weeds; I don't see any pepper plants in it. So if there are pepper plants in there, their problem is they are getting choked out by the weeds. Or you linked to the wrong picture?
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lovely_star
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Hey Rainbow, thanks for responding. No those are actually pepper seedlings that I started indoors and transplanted outside at the beginning of the growing season. Should I cut them down because they are unfruitful?

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rainbowgardener
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What kind of peppers do you think you have? Neither the leaves nor the flower spikes look anything like peppers.

[img]https://deckcontainergarden.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/6-042411-Container-Gardening-Blooming-Pepper-Plants.jpg[/img]

No pepper I ever heard of has flower spikes like that.


OK... if I look very carefully, there's something on the far left edge of the photo, mostly cut off that looks like pepper seedlings. Hard to tell because there's not very much of it showing and the picture is mainly focused on the weeds. Is the stuff on the left edge what you are talking about?

If so, then you really need to do some weeding. They are being shaded out, choked out by the weeds.

After you get it weeded out, lay down mulch to keep the weeds from coming right back, conserve moisture, etc.
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!potatoes!
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sorry to disappoint, but they're not peppers - they're some species of knotweed (look up pics of the genus Polygonum).

(agreed that peppers might be visible on left margin - primary plants in the pic aren't, though)

lovely_star
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Update

Thank you guys for your help...right down to the type of weed. Like !potatoes suggested I googled the name and that's exactly what it was :( I don't understand how my pepper seedlings turned into this weed. Why only those two and the rest of the pepper patch is fine. When I uprooted them one of them was growing from the cowpot! As for the pole beans I used the hose on aphids. Seems like this is something that I have to do regularly because the ants bring them right back. Is there a more permanent removal method?

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rainbowgardener
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The peppers didn't turn into weeds. The pepper plants that were in that spot died (probably choked out and out competed by the weeds) and the weeds grew. Your cowpot may have come complete with weed seeds. Cows are known to be instrumental in moving weeds from place to place that way. But weed seeds are everywhere, so it doesn't have to be that. The knotweed is ubiquitous.

You can help keep the ants away by laying down stuff they don't like to cross around your plants. That would include powdery substances (tends to clog up their breathing pores if they walk over it) like chalk powder, flour, talcum powder etc and aromatic stuff like mint and tansy.

Incidentally, I can't exactly tell how many pepper plants are in your pictures, but I'm thinking quite a few too many. They look very crowded. Peppers get to be good sized little bushes. Minimum spacing for pepper plants is one per square foot (and a lot of people would say more space).
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mattie g
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Another option for aphids is neem oil. Worked for me earlier this season, and my aphid problem is pretty much gone. Loads of info floating around about it.

Another option is bringing in ladybugs - they love aphids.

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