The grasshopper and cricket hordes arrived to my region this season, in explosive numbers compared to recent years. I'm trying to avoid a battle with them, so along with some other strategies, I'm looking to grow stuff they don't like to eat.
Do you know of any annual crops that these insects won't eat, or won't eat enough of the foliage to prevent a crop? I'm only in the second year of market garden-style farming with this land so annuals still make up the bulk of my plantings. I'm mostly looking for them but thats not to say suggestions should be limited to that category.
So far I've seen that the following remained untouched by droves of crickets and grasshoppers:
If they're coming droves I guess we can call them 'locusts'. I don't often see them touch my cucurbit family on my property, or any nightshades, tubers or flowers. Leave it to the squash bugs and hornworms to present problems there. They've(hoppers) been chewing new leaves on my cabbage family (red-speckled, and kohlrabi) and also touched on my brassicas which is testing my patience as I'm trying to get a good crop of brussels this season. I've applied some nicotiana spray (soaking tobacco in my pale) and things have slowed a bit..I believe they've been repelled by it which is good. Neem oil will also work to repel hoppers from annuals. A few other options: the herb horehound, planting cilantro in-between your vegetables, calendula..
our sunflowers have minor damage this year, but only on the leaves.
to add to your list of untouched, or mostly untouched: peppers (bell and anaheim) kale cabbage collards chinese cabbage chick peas asparagas beans lima beans most herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint, sage, etc...)
strawberries were mostly left alone, as well
"Limitation is the mother of good management", Michael Evanari
Location: Southwestern Oregon (Jackson County), Zone 7
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
posted 8 years ago
Thanks for the input.
I want to avoid spraying, as it takes up a lot of time, even though I'm only farming about 1.5 acres. We regularily get rain two times per week, and of course you have to spray again after precipitation.
I've actually let calendula and cilantro go to seed this year, so that they spread in the gardens. Good to know they're a repellant for hoppers and crickets.