Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pesky pesty

My veggie garden's not looking so hot.  The tomatos and peppers are doing well.  I've got some mixed greens and a few pea plants sprouting up.   The spinach, romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and squash are nowhere to be seen! 

Thankfully, I've got two rows of beans... bush and pole.  However, to my dismay, something's eating my beans!  Miss Greenish Thumb, I'm having pest probs too!  I'm counting on these bean babies to feel like I can plant something from seed... not just seedlings. 

Last week, a biologist I met while on training  mentioned that water mixed with dish soap sprayed on a plant often addresses pest problems.  She wasn't talking about beans in particular but I thought I'd try it out - I got out an old spray bottle, filled it with water and about 20 drops of dish soap, shook it up and sprayed away.

Once that was done, I read up on bean pests in my Veggie Gardener's Answer Book by Barbara W. Ellis.  I know - I should have read up on this before doing something!  I learned that beans are susceptible to diseases and pests, especially Mexican bean beetles.  Ah man, I thought beans were an easy veggie.  The beetles eat the leaves from the bottom up (that means the dish soap likely won't work).  Using floating row covers is one solution.  Is it too late now?  Planting soybeans nearby is another option.  Also, once plants are infested, Ellis suggests handpicking adults and larvae daily and dropping them in a jar of soapy water.  I'm gonna pick those beetles and squash them between my fingers.  That's what I'll do.

I kind of hope the problem will just go away.  Does that mean that I'm a totally naive amateur gardener?

Mary Mary

P.S. Check out the lovely Frisbee in the background of the above photo.  She looks elegant, eh.

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