7.2.12 Pests and other garden afflictions

The garden is beginning to resemble a nursing ward. It’s almost fully planted, and with that comes a host of garden afflictions. These include pests, disease, vagaries of weather, and the gardener inflicted, such as over- or under-watering, and lack of  nutrients. We’ve been using row cover to shade a couple of the beds as protection against this season’s heatwaves. The bed in front has been completely enclosed as a barrier against squash vine borers, their arrival imminent as forewarned in MOFGA’s latest pest report.

The pest report also includes cautionary tales about potato leaf hoppers. They’ve attacked our bean and potato plants, and we’ve resorted to spraying with pyrethrum. This seems to have tamped them down, but not without some damage already caused. Above, one of the fava plants exhibiting the results. 

Growing peas is always a race against time. At first, they’re hampered by the cold soil, then it’s a sprint to produce before it becomes too hot. The pea plants were also shaded by row cover, but some are starting to die back, having succumbed to the heat.

Still, all is not woe. We were able to get a nice harvest of both the favas and peas. Of the three varieties of favas we planted, the superaquadulce flowered and set sooner, and is producing more than the other two so far.

Here’s evidence of something attacking the kales in the greens bed — is this from leaf miners, or something else?

On the plus side — in the same bed as the kales, the salad greens are thriving, having greatly benefitted from being kept shaded. This mix was planted in spring and continues to produce well. Normally, slugs would be a problem with intensive planting like this. However, seaweed mulch seems to be proving successful as a retardant.

Usually, we watch for the garlic to die back from the bottom leaves up. The swings in temperature and conditions have left the tips looking parched.

Each leaf on the garlic stalk represents a layer of protective skin around the bulb. We usually harvest during a dry period, when at least 5 or 6 green leaves remain. Even though it’s a little early, we pulled a sample of the German extra-hardy to check on how they’re faring.

 Once cleaned up, we can see that the bulb is large but not quite fully formed, and may need a couple more weeks in the ground.

Out of 12 rice seedlings, 9 were transplanted and only 2 are left standing now, and barely so. We’ve place protective cups around them, and remain at least curious if less than optimistic about their future.

This Turkish Rocket is one of a group of perennial vegetables from Food Forest Farm we bought last spring. It’s struggled since then and had died back to a nub, but finally began to thrive after it was cupped.

We’re growing borage for the first time and in a container, probably not an optimum choice. Like the favas, it suffered an infestation of aphids, which called for an application of insecticidal soap. 

For something from the mint family, the lemon balm isn’t thriving as much as expected  — is this a watering or nutrient problem?

 The basil have yet to really recover and are too pathetic to photograph. As for the tomatoes, the bouts of heat have done them well. From experience, though, rest assured affliction awaits.

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5 Responses to 7.2.12 Pests and other garden afflictions

  1. Ha! I love ‘nursing ward’. Your garden is beautiful, by the way. Very inspiring!

  2. It seems geography doesn’t matter when it comes to plant afflictions! In Hawaii I’m dealing with many of these issues too- aphids, miners and beetles- oh my! Lovely garlic! It’s on my list to plant. :-)

    • leduesorelle says:

      My family’s from Hawaii and we spent many summers there while growing up… I’m imagining you may have the even more afflictions!

  3. zentMRS says:

    Boy do I feel your pain – seems like we are always trying to recover from some pest doing some damage to one plant or another. You are doing a great job with TLC in your garden!

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