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ACK! ANTS!

 
Audrey Barton
Posts: 22
Location: Mid-Michigan
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A little help, friendly permies?

My patch of French Icicle radishes has been decimated.
Pavement ants took over that portion of the raised bed, and tunnel down and around each radish sprout.
The radish quickly withers, and I'm left feeling angry and resentful.

I've replanted in another bed, but fear they'll find the new radishes, too.
They're ONLY doing it to the Icicle variety. I have Crimson Giants planted 2 inches away, and they've been ignored.
My Scarlet Globes and Easter Blend are also ant-free. What gives?

I put down a liberal coating of DE, but it's been raining ever since (for days and days, on and off).
Should I reapply once things dry out?
Any other suggestions? Advice?
HELP!
 
Audrey Barton
Posts: 22
Location: Mid-Michigan
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Oh, no!

I see this has been flagged, but am not sure what I've done wrong.

I'll keep looking for an answer, but can anyone tell me?
Is this in the wrong forum?
I'm sorry!

Just looking to save my radishes
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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Audrey Barton wrote:Oh, no!

I see this has been flagged, but am not sure what I've done wrong.

I'll keep looking for an answer, but can anyone tell me?


you havent done anything wrong

"flagging" here on permies is a way to get more attention to specific threads.
looks like a few other people may be having the same issue as you and flagged the thread as a way to hopefully get a quicker answer.

as for DE, i would re-apply it once things dry out. i have noticed that a hard cap forms on DE that has been rained on, and at least the ants in my area arent effected by DE after its been rained on.

also, it sounds like you may have figured out a great trap crop for ants (the problem is the solution)
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Audrey Barton wrote:Oh, no!

I see this has been flagged, but am not sure what I've done wrong.

I'll keep looking for an answer, but can anyone tell me?
Is this in the wrong forum?
I'm sorry!

Just looking to save my radishes


Audrey, flagging is a good thing here we are just trying to help you get an answer to your question by calling attention to it. Look at 'flagged topics' to see other flagged posts. Sorry it worried you...it's all good. except the ant problem.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Audrey, et al,

Sorry I missed this, I try to stay on top of the "crawly things" here the best I am able. I agree with Kelly, you have a great "trapping crop," and can use this to your advantage perhaps. DE must be dry to work, so if you can locate and identify the "primary ingress - egress routes" and/or the nesting site you can place some for of cover (e.g. plastic box, old pipe, etc) that they must travel through and place the DE in there.

You can also see if a Boric acid gel will work...here is a link to a simple formulation that we made when I still worked in this field. These traps should be covered as well.

I would also ask if you have toads and other amphibians in your garden? Do you care for them and provide them habitat and breeding grounds? There presence is a wonderful addition to a permis garden and will effect most arthropod populations. Some simple web searches will get you a lot of information, please check in and I will do my best to follow along.

Regards,

j
 
Fred Morgan
steward
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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My solution, which is always effective if I can find the ant hill, is boiling water, about a gallon for a moderate sized ant hill. Works very well, I have found no ant hill survives the queen and eggs being cooked. And of course, no poisoning of the soil from boiling water.

Boiling water works pretty good instead of roundup too if you have a plant that just won't die. Again, cooked plants don't tend to recover. lol I built a rocket stove in my garden so that I always have access to boiled water. Here in Costa Rica, fire ants are an incredible problem, before I started doing this - I had about 30 ant hills, at least in about 2 acres of land around our home - now there are none.

 
Audrey Barton
Posts: 22
Location: Mid-Michigan
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Thanks very much for the kind, thoughtful answers.

The torrential Michigan rains continued until last night.
Once things dry out a bit, I'll inspect what's left of my radish crop, and act accordingly.

Judith -- Thank you for qualming my fears. I've since found the forum with explanations for newbies like me, and am feeling more at home. It's a neat place, this Permies forum!

Kelly -- Thanks for that silver lining. I'll keep this in mind, for future ant issues. I'm still hoping to eat a few of these radishes, though...

Jay -- Covering them after laying DE is so obvious, I missed it. THANK YOU for that suggestion!
I do have toads and a few frogs in my garden, and will research how to provide habitats for them. They seem to like shade (and so do I). I also have a few garden snakes and a sneaky fox squirrel.

Fred -- Thanks for the boiling water tip. I considered this, but was hoping to save the radishes these ants had nested beneath. I lived in Texas for a number of years, and we were plagued by fire ants. They're awful! I'm glad I'm just dealing with little pavement ants.

Again, thanks to all!
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Well Audrey, just so you know, cooked radishes is common in Chinese food...
 
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