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3 sisters: Paradise for cucumber beetles?  RSS feed

Theodore Heistman
Posts: 21
Location: Adirondacks
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So anyway I am doing an internship and in adition to the main gardens I am working on, I was given a 15X 15 foot bed that I could do whatever I want with. I decided to make a Three Sisters Garden. So I have pole beans, pumpkins and golden bantam corn. The corn is all on hills. I made it as how its described in gaia's garden by Toby Hemmenway. Its working out pretty good overall, except I have been having problems with cucumber beetles

So we had a really bad cucumber beetle infestation. On this 2 acre farm, there are probably 10 varieties of curcubits spread out in hills and rows all over the place. So the beetles showed up early in the year and were eating all the cotyledons. The method I used to control them was to go around in the morning when its cool and they are still sluggish and squish them, by hand. I thought I was making some headway, But I think they were just flying around to the next patch.

I was ignoring the three sisters garden for a while because at first the pumpkins had nothing on them. Then it seemed like suddenly they were horribly infested and most of the pumpkins died. So I eventually saved three pumpkins. They are doing well now. They needed to be thinnned anyway. Meanwhile the corn was doing great. Beans great But somehow over one weekend the corn became completely infested with cucumber beetles and they are hard to get at because they had way down in the tops of the stalks. I feel like I am damaging the corn trying to squish them. Many of the tops are badly damaged from being eaten from the inside and are curling. The stalks are kind of hanging limp at the top. They seem to be eating the tassles before they come out.

Plus We were having a drought. But anyway. I tried a lime/wood ash spray mixture. I also read that they don't like tansy, so I put tansy cuttings on the tops of the corn.

Any advice anyone has would be appreciated. Thanks. I feel like I created the perfect habitat for cucumber beetles, eat their fill of pumpkin leaves and then move onto the corn.
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