The Helpful Gardener
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Still the finest pest control there is Gixx. No secondary damages there... :mrgreen:

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hendi_alex
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Some of my bean plants are so riddled with holes, looks like they were hit with bird shot. But by using several gardening beds spaced 75 to 100 feet apart, using interplanting, and by using different varieties, the damage IMO is manageable. The bettles have not even found some of the bean plants yet. To me that is what one should strive for in a garden. Try to have a diverse habitat, with not too many plants of one vegetable in the same spot. In that kind of complex space, there is a good likelihood of striking a reasonable balance between beneficials and so called pests. Toss a good measure of hand picking whenever visiting the garden, and the balance will likely fall in the favor of the beneficials and the plants. I don't necessarily care to have picture perfect plants and fruit, but do expect to have healthy plants that give us a long harvest of high quality home grown veggies.

Succsion planting is the final tool that helps the pest situation. Many pests come in waves, and with succession planting, one or more groups of plants may miss the pest activity almost totally.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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All good stuff Alex; to it I would add that polycropping with plants interspersed between each other is less condusive to everything getting munched at once (like my squash between tomatoes making plant to plant travel that much harder and confusing for squash beetles and bugs. AND the tomato pests too!).

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hendi_alex
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Yep, that is what I was calling 'interplanted.' In our raised beds, we don't have a single 4 x 4 space that is monocrop. For example, one 4 x 4 contains garlic and carrots. Another has garlic, lettuce and arugula. Another 4 x 6 space has day lilies, green beans, sweet peas, and a tomato plant. So goes the whole garden of raised beds and other square foot garden type spaces. I've got corn, squash, cucumbers and many tomatoes in somewhat traditional rows or very large blocks. But still, for tomatoes and cucumbers have multiple beds spaced far away from one another. And some of the cukes are interplanted with beans. I'm not very scientific with the interplanting and should look more at a list of compatible plants. So far everything seems to be doing pretty well to great so such is not a priority this year.

We now are getting more cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs than we can eat. Picked a first mess of green beans today. Egg plant are edible but are letting them get a little more size. Peppers are coming off in a trickle. Garlic is being harvested. Sweet peas are near the end of production. Sweet corn is a week or two away. Bugs are active, both beneficial and predators, but everything in balance and manageable at this time.
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So funny to hear about harvesting; we northeners are still waiting for plants to get a foot tall...

Sounds like you are doing nicely with the polycropping Alex; would love to hear what combos are working for you... (or not)

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applestar
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Hearing about your garden is always inspiring, Alex, though it always make me wonder if I somehow didn't plant early enough, didn't take care of my plants enough. :lol: So it's good to hear from HG, farther north, that this is the way it's SUPPOSED to be. :lol:

Alex, I wanted to point out, though, that it's confusing when you say "Sweet Peas" -- I realize you mean GARDEN/GREEN peas. Whether eat while flat-pod, sugar snap pod, or shelled green type, they are indeed very sweet. I gave three of our first harvest shell peas (Lincoln) in pods to the kids and a fried to eat for a snack, and the boy said they were the "bestest" peas he's ever eaten. :()

I think of "Sweet Pea" as the plants grown for the large/showy and sometimes sweetly fragranced flowers (I prefer the fragrant ones). Although their flowers mature into pods, those "peas" are considered toxic and not to be eaten.

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Down south blackeyed peas, crowder peas, field peas are 'PEAS'. Those green round things, that are usually kind of sweet, needed some name to differentiate, therefore 'sweet peas'. In most conversations the term is not overly ambiguous as the topic is most often involving either food or flowers but not both. Neither of the plants, veggies or flowers, grow particularly well in the south and are often dried from the heat before mid June.

WRT interplanting or polycropping I had never seen a companion planting chart before last year or year before. I've yet to really pay attention to one, and just plant whatever I please in any space that is available. Last year I plants sugar snaps in the space between garlic plants. Both did very well. I was a bit nervous however, as read after planting that peas and garlic are not good companions.
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gixxerific
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I do practice the polycropping interplanting to a certain extent as well. And I
m more a bug squisher than a sprayer. So please quit telling me to stop using 'poisons'.

I think I have got my bean beetle population down. And I haven't noticed any worms on my broccoli lately. I do have a bunch of benneficials in the garden. So I leave a certain amount of the bad bugs go so the good guy's will stick around.

All in all not so bad yet. I just remember late last summer early fall it was chaos over here. With some stuff just being totally culled due to infestation.

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Last year my big battle was squash bugs, so this year I interplanted (polycropped, whatever you want to call it) and hopefully that fools the little buggers some...

But I nuked things pretty hard; one time neem, next time soap, and third time pyrethrins. Mixing it up is a good idea to keep anybody from building up immunities. But I have to keep in mind (as do we all) that I asm whacking everyone with the big stick as I use this stuff, so don't take it personal, Dono; I am throwing that sort of idea out to the general populace, not just you...

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Cucumber beetles are really, REALLY bad this year, and they aren't just chillin on the cucurbits, they are on EVERYTHING! Still squishing, but they are FAST :shock: If I spray, I'll have to do the whole garden, which is ridiculous to even think it... I interplanted with icicle radishes in all my cucurbits, but I'm still finding the beetles, squash bugs and their egg clusters, too. Athough, nothing like last years squashbug takeover.(We couldn't even get one edible squash.)

I think the cuke beetles are changing color too, there are your normal spotted and stripped yellow/greenish, but there are some reddish/pink ones now. Are they the same bug?
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gixxerific
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Lindsy sorry to hera about your bugs.

I planted flowers and let some of my crops go to flower that is bringing in the good bugs. I did some spraying but not a whole lot. Now things seem to be getting more controlable. The mass of benneficials are to blame for that. So just saying that if you don't have the good bugs you need to atrract them somehow and they will do the work for you.


Good luck

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Picked and squashed the first squash bug today... here we go...

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I am seeing lots of good bugs, too. Many, MANY lady beetles, and all kinds of little wasps. My radishes have bolted and they have TONS of beautiful purple flowers. I have loads of herbs interplanted throughout and they are flowering. I also have several different kinds of french and african marigolds planted every 8 feet down ALL of my rows. I am getting tons and tons and TONS of squash and cukes this week (so much I've giving bags of it away to mom, and neighbors:). This is my first year with all this squishing bugs :)
Picked and squashed the first squash bug today... here we go...
Kinda off topic but...
Funny story :wink: I was looking for these bugs because I found some of the egg clusters. I was very calmly turning over leaves and inspecting the bases of the plants. I flipped the leaf back over and, BAAAAAAAH! That thing was WAY bigger than I remembered from last year. It was only a few inches from my face! I of course screamed like a banshee! I didn't have gloves on, so i had to knock it to the ground and then I stepped on it. My neighbor came over with a shovel, thinking he was gonna have to kill a snake. When he found out it was just a bug, he bout peed his pant laughing. :oops: Handling and squishing bugs still makes me a little squeemish, but I do it for my garden and my family's food source. It's not so bad once you've killed a few.
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Lindsay, I am so happy to hear you are making the transition, and for all the right reasons. Once you get over the oogies, it can be quite satisfying ("Take that, IRS agent. And that, Mrs. Supervisor!" :lol: )

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Me too :)

Gixx, I have a baby eggplant on my terrible looking plants(the leaves look look like purple lace doilies) Through the flea beetles, my eggplants have prevailed...At least my mom will be happy :roll: AND, no spraaaaaaayiiiiiing :) or squishing for that matter :D
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Aarrgh! Cabbage White Butterfies! Cabbage Moths, Cabbage Loopers! I've got them ALL! Cabbage Moth egg clusters and Cabbage White eggs are everywhere. The only ones safe, of course, are the ones in the insect barrier row tunnel, though one of the cabbages suffered a substantial damage from a big slug until I caught the bugger. :twisted:

I think I do have to "sanitize" and then protect the Brussels Sprouts and Romanesco Broccoflowers in netting or they'll never make it. I wasn't going to do this, but I suppose Spinosad is the best way to go?

I'm starting to harvest the unprotected cabbages. Made coleslaw from one mini-head (Caraflex) today. :D Although it wasn't that heavily damaged, there was an EMPTY (as in butterfly has eclosed already) cabbage butterfly chrysalis under one of the lowest leaves :evil: The kids begged to have it for their bug collection, so I guess it wasn't a total loss. 8)

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You remember the Spinosad is harmful to honeybees and other beneficials when wet? (Elsewhere I posted the citation for that, you can find it if you want.) You just need to spray it in the evening after the honeybees have gone in for the day. By the AM it is dried and no longer harmful to them.
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I remember. That's why I wasn't even going to get the product. my idea was to apply it while no one was around and immediately cover with netting -- voila! No access. :wink:

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