Good day, last year I had nothing but problems with grasshoppers and I tried everything I could find and nothing worked, not even slightly worked. I ended up planting a garden 3 full times and they ate everything each time even the trees I planted. So this year we had a late snow and I thought it was going to help with them but I just went into my garden and the whole thing is just hopping with the damn grasshoppers again, it was fine before yesterday but we got a huge storm yesterday so they seem to have all come out now today. So I am wondering what to do my options are give up completely, try and plant and see what happens or spend some of the money I have saved up for hay and build a greenhouse. I don't want to give up but my husband is still kinda mad about the failures of last year so if I can't get anything to grow this year next year is just going to be worse. I have a crapload of chickens running around plus ducks and 3 guineas in the brooder coop but last year they couldn't keep up and I don't want to bank of them being able to control it this year, they help but its impossible for them with how bad it got last year. So what would you do? Thank you in advance for any and all help!
For organic control your best is your flock. Maybe fence the garden and let them loose in there under supervision so they can concentrate on eating the bugs. You can try dusting with Diatomaceous Earth. The other things I can think of I don't think I can post. Although one is a delivery of a bacillus that tends to mess them up... but it's too late in the year to get it, also.
Thank you both, I do let the fowl in the garden under supervision, but the grasshoppers jump the fence as they are picking them off and then they come right back in. The ducks do way better at eating them than the chickens do, I am interested to see how the guineas do once they get big enough. I don't know how to add pictures here but I am talking massive biblical swarms of them, at least that is how it was last year and judging by the amount in my garden today it will be just as bad this year. I have tried almost everything on that thread, the DE the garlic the nolo the fowl, hot peppers ground up and mixed, neem oil and flour. Its insane. They ate every type of mint, pepper, tomato, flower, beans, squash, cucumbers, they even eat the gourd plants so I covered things with that white thin material they sell at the garden stores that is supposed to keep them away, and it kinda worked until they ate holes in it, I switched to metal screen and they ate holes in it as well. I am at a complete loss as to what to do. Everyone around here says last year was the worst they have ever seen it, and we didn't have any snow or freezing last winter, this winter we had some cold spells and a few good snow storms this spring so I was really hopeful that they would be less this year. I am still crossing my fingers. Someone told me a few months ago that fish emulsion would keep them away, I need to figure out how to get some to try that. Thank you for the ideas though!
If things really are so bad, I would abandon the garden for the time being. I would let the poultry onto it and not feed them their regular feed, or just one small serving a day, and let them eat grasshoppers. If you are up to it, maybe even increase your flock with meat birds for the season and raise them on grasshoppers. In this way you'd still be getting food from your garden, even if it's not vegetables.
I doubt a greenhouse would be a worthwhile option in this case, unless you were planning on getting one anyway. Greenhouses aren't so useful in the summer (too hot!) and with ventilation open, grasshoppers can still get in and wreak havoc.
Good luck. I sympathise, having been through a similar situation with slugs three years ago; we call it the Year of the Slug in retrospect--they ate all the annuals, both edible and ornamental, and the only food I got from the garden was eggs, chicken, and tree fruit.