It also helps to know what the problem looks like, and while it is fresh in my mind, I hope to tell you how our current problems started so you can try to get a handle on them right away. I will also try to show you the least toxic, yet effective ways I have found to mange the problems.
An important factor when looking at bugs is to be sure you identify them correctly so you aren't eradicating something that is working for you. Beneficial insects are extremely important when you use organic methods to grow your vegetables.
Vegetable gardening can sometimes be a challenge and we would love to help you learn from our mistakes.
My first mistake with this infestation was that I did not pay much attention to the ants that were taking over in our garden. It turns out that ants are some of the most destructive bugs in a garden. In San Diego we have aphids and leaf hoppers which are two of the insects that ants will capture and plant on your plants so they can eat the nectar that is secreted after the aphids and leaf hoppers suck the sap out of your plants. It is all around not a good situation and had I known this about ants sooner I would have simply gotten some diatomaceous earth and spread it around the areas where I was seeing ant activity. Ants can also be destructive to bee hives and worm bins.
I was not aware of all of this so I just let the ants go and ended up with a lot of aphids and something I had never seen before. I decided it was time to gather the equipment needed to wage war.
|A mini lint roller|
|Gidget liked the Gilmour box|
|I noticed them yesterday and had no idea|
I decided to get a head start on them last night with my lint roller and head lamp.
|Me with my headlamp and lint roller, ready to murder|
|This is an extreme close up of some that I took off with my lint roller|
|"Whoa. I can't decide if Crystal or the immature leaf hopper is scarier."|
|An adult keeler or buffalo tree or leaf hopper? The adults look just like new leaves when on the plant|
|Powdery mildew is another garden pest that we have been trying to manage|
|We have been using a 1 part milk to 9 parts water solution to control powdery mildew|
|Gidget is doing her best to learn all of the stuff in our organic gardening books by osmosis|
As I mentioned before, beneficial insects are some of the most important garden helpers you can employ, and they don't cost you anything. We try our best not to spray anything or anywhere that may harm them. We avoid blossoms and look out for signs of beneficial babies when managing pests in our garden.
Lady bugs eat aphids, white flies and other destructive insects, it's good to avoid spraying them with anything, ever.
|A single lady bug is always a welcome sight|
|Love making lady bugs with an unknown beneficial wasp above is even more welcome|
|A lady bug egg cluster is enough to make the organic gardener's heart sing|
|Wasps not only feast on caterpillars but they also pollinate plants, and of course bees are our primary pollinators.|