My garden is coming along despite the dry weather we’ve been having out here in Eastern Iowa. If you read my update last week, you might remember that my Dad came to visit a couple weeks ago. He’s a much more experienced gardener than I am, so when he talks I listen. One thing he mentioned that was that I need to get a handle on some of the garden pests that are attacking my garden. He specifically mentioned my brassicas: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts. Last year I had a horrible time with the little green cabbage worms and moths. In fact, I let them get so out of control, that I had NO brussel sprouts to harvest. You can see from the whole in my plants that they are being eaten again.
My Dad suggested sprinkling Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) on them. I wanted to make sure that Bt is organic before doing so though, so I did a little bit of research. I learned that Bt is organic. It targets caterpillars specifically which is what I’m after here. It’s also used to control mosquito populations without harming beneficial insects. So, I headed to my local garden center and bought a bottle of Diple Dust for $2.99 and doused my braccias. Now I’ll keep a watchful eye for those nasty green caterpillars. I hope this does the trick! If you’d like to read more at Bt, this website is pretty helpful.
I read that Seven is effective at killing Flea Beetles, but that’s not organic and I don’t want to use it. So the first thing I did was smash all of the flea beetles – I looked on top of and under each and every leaf and on the stem. I also read in gardening forums that companion planting radises is a great way to control flea beetles. Well, it’s too late for that. Also, row covers while the plants are young is another effective method for controlling these nasty little bugs – again too late for me. So, I read that sprinkling unused coffee grounds around the plants and dousing the leaves with diluted dish soap might work as well. I happen to have some nasty coffee so I gave it a try. Let me clarify – I love coffee, but we bought a cheap can of grounds and it’s so gross I just can’t drink it. So this is a good use for that coffee!
I also sprayed with diluted dish soap. The next day I when I checked, I saw fewer flea beetles and I made sure to smash them too. The third day I saw no flea beetles, but I haven’t been out there today yet to see what it looks like. I’ll let you know next week how this DIY pest control method worked out for me. It could be that smashing them was enough – but I’m giving other methods a shot, too.
Also happening in my garden:
And finally, we’re trying to keep my fruit and nut trees happy. It’s been so dry that we need to water them. We borrowed a big tank from family members over the weekend and are using it to slowly water all of the trees. I’ve watered three so far. Seven to go! I sure hope it rains soon.
We’re still eating peas, kale, and lettuce. I love eating foods I grow myself! How are your gardening efforts going?