My husband loves potatoes and insists on planting potatoes in our garden every year. Well, we have those bleeping Colorado Potato Beetles every year. I use the old search and destroy method. (Squeeze the eggs on the underside of each leaf and pick off the adults.) Have any of you planted companion plants like catnip, tansy and sage? Did it work?
What methods would you use to get rid of CPDs?
BTW, I'm starting a new permaculture garden in my actual Zone 1 area because my garden and compost pile are so far away. (More like the Zone 3 area of my land.) I have lots of bush wackin' to do and the soil needs serious building up. Also, I may wish to dig up a berm and swale to capture the water that seriously pours out of the hillside each spring!!
Wish me luck!!
Let us know how it goes.
Even potatoes, if grown for two consecutive years on the same plot, are surely affected by colorado potato beetle, as the colorado potato beetle is an insect that winters underground. Once the potatoes are put in the ground in the second year the colorado potato beetle awakens and attacks. There are three steps to avoid this:
1) open the furrows in the soil at least 15 days before the sowing of potatoes and sprinkle with a juice, diluted in water, obtained from shoots of potatoes. This reawakens the insects which emerge from the "lethargy" and, not finding the potatoes in the ground, will die of hunger. It is important that the spraying is carried out at least 15 days before sowing, since the colorado potato beetle can withstand even 7-10 days without food.
2) spread some lithotamnium algae powder in the sowing furrow , and then sow. This powder, in addition to being a fertilizer, will damage the jaw of the insects
3) collect and mix colorado potato beetle larvae in jars of water exposed to the sun for about 10 - 15 days until the larvae lose their form. Sprinkling this liquid (diluted) takes away the colorado potato beetle for a fortnight.
There is also an inhibitory action brought by growing some marigolds in the row of potatoes.
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My contract with the beetles goes something like this:
That's pretty much the contract... I let the beetles eat my weeds and they leave my vegetables alone. This strategy would not work with insects that blow in on the wind, but it works with year round residents of my garden... I think that a mother beetle is most likely to lay her eggs on the same species of plant that she hatched on. This is the beetle culture that I mentioned. Baby beetles grow up and do what they learned from their mother. There is probably a self-reinforcing genetic component as well, because the beetles come to prefer to eat my solanum weed: Those that eat vegetables are less likely to reproduce.
Once in a while one tomato or potato plant will get infested repeatedly. The beetles that are doing the infesting, and the vegetable plant are both killed. Because I don't want to grow vegetables that are producing smells/textures/whatever that confuse the beetles and muddy the terms of the contract. And I don't want to raise a generation of beetles that finds domestic plants attractive. So I'm doing animal breeding on the beetles, and plant breeding on my crops so that the two can peacefully co-exist.