Monthly Book Giveaway - February 2023

2024 Garden Season #15: Tough Year for Insects

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This past winter was a really mild one for us - and, I think, for the insects!

It’s just my guess, but I think a lot of insects were able to overwinter this year and the outcome of that is not a pretty one for my garden. 

Strawberries

I noticed the other day, when I did a video for YouTube, that there were little flies on my strawberries and the berries were severely eaten.

A little research suggested that it was a variety of fruit flies. The flies lay their eggs on the berries and then the larvae eat the berries.

My solution is to put some mesh bags around the strawberries to protect them.

While I wait to get the little bags, my backup plan was to add some clove essential oil to a cotton pad and tuck that under the stems as an aromatic deterrent. I had planned on using peppermint but I was all out of it.

When I went out this morning, there were flies. When I went out later, after attaching the cotton pads, I saw flies but none were landing on the berries. Coincidence of timing? Perhaps; the bags are coming soon!



Turnip & Cabbage

My baby turnip and cabbage seedlings are also taking a beating.

I am going to buy some little mesh baskets for these, as they will soon be too big for a mesh bag, if they are allowed to grow. I hope my idea works

The cabbage plants (and my beans) in my “in ground” garden are also being eaten badly. I will cover some and will be spraying them with a soapy water solution, as soon as I replace my handheld sprayer bottle. (Yah, somebody left it outside all winter with liquid in it.)



Cucumbers

I’ve already lost some cucumber plants that I planted “in ground” and my solution, which (thus far) has been successful is to create a collar for the plants using a small pot with the bottom cut out.



Tomatoes

The Little Bing dwarf tomato plants are loaded with little tomatoes and the plants may start to bend over, once the weight of the tomatoes gets too much for the plant. So, just in case, I’ve added a peony support to each pocket in the tier of the GreenStalk.

Also, in one of the GreenStalks, I planted some cucumbers, after I lost my plants in the garden. “But” the variety is “telegraph” so it will grow very, very long/tall.
I planted them in the bottom tier and have added the peony supports and, hopefully, can train the plants to grow around and around the base. Might work. Probably not. I’m guessing the plants will simply be too big for the planter. We will see.



Overall, it is being a great year for my gardens - if I can just get things protected from the insects. 
- Debbie

a simpler life