Vine borers, squash bugs, aphids, bean beetles -- we are infested!
posted 9 years ago
We built a new garden this year. Used the dirt that was there, dug out pathways and heaped them up to make raised beds, added alfalfa meal, steam rolled oat groats, and dried molasses. eventually ended up with cedar mulched pathways, and a mixture of strw, grass clippings mulch on the beds themselves.
Planted lots of tomatoes, green and banana peppers, bush beans, saucer and summer squash, delicata squash, broccoli, beets, carrots, sage and basil, green onions, shallots and a few regular onions and a pumpkin.
There are vine borers in all the vining plants, plus squash. They are dead, dying or I have pulled them up. They were infested with squash bugs even with 2-3 trips out there every day to kill and squash. The tomatoes are great, and so are the peppers.
I have so many green lacewings, they swarm you when you disturb the tomatoes as you can imagine I don't have an aphid problem. I am also infested! with assasin bugs, more than one kind. That all makes me happy.
unfortunately the beans started out ok, then stopped growing, looked stressed and diseased, and tried to halfheartedly give beans, some only 6 inches tall or less. A few grew nice and bug and bushy, although all are being ate up with bean beetles(really tough to squash because they fly!) and unhealthy looking.
Last night I decided to pull up the worst ones so I could replant, I had already started some fresh ones where the beets and broccoli had been, and they looked healthier but still lace leaved from the bugs. I was surprisd to see the roots had a few white powdery bumps and they seemed like they may have something alive in it, and they were covered with bugs that I think are root aphids!!!
I came in and started researching and came up with little except for hydrophonics. Today I went to the nursery with samples and they don't know either except for systemic poison. Not. He said they are usually on hydroponics.
I think I have a two fold problem, one a fundamental problem with my soil, and another with what to do about the root aphids that are now living in my soil.
I tested PH this monring and most places, especially in the bean patch, it is between 5 and 6. Other places where peppers are a little higher. I don't know if that is too off or enough off to cause and issue.
I have a rapitest soil nutrient test kit that I have not been able to get to give any kind of result. No matter what I test it says there is no nutrients in it. I need to call the company I guess.
So far this year I have fertilized a couple times with Espoma Garden-tone and then fish emulsion and seaweed.
I have thought and looked around and an thinking of making a soil drench around the beans of sesame oil, and garlic and hot pepper. Maybe a little neem throwed in for good measure. I know this is not helping the dirt, but I have to get rid of the root aphids some way, and not keep planting and have them munching away on my plants unseen.
I have always loved to garden, and I know first year with this garden and not any tests on the front end was not a good set-up, and I have tried to not get too frustrated, but I have an opportunity to make some changes now before the fall planting, and really need to address the bug problem.
I am open to any help on the aphids, bean beetles, and soil amending. I would like to treat the bugs in the next day or two. Thanks so much everyone!!! Julie
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
posted 9 years ago
I'd never heard of root aphids...can you get a positive id? They appear difficult to deal with and I wouldn't want to jump the gun. They were clearly visible in online photos, but that could be the hydro medium. My new gardens are susceptible to plagues until there's a balance, which takes time. Plenty of flowering plants around the place really helps, especially the umbelliferae family. That won't help with SVB. We don't have them here, (whew) but it seems c. moschata are resistant, planting can sometimes be timed to avoid breeding season and row-covers make a big difference. Is the garden moist enough? My pest problems can generally be traced back to soil (new garden, etc) or water/mulch issues.
I hired a bunch of ninjas. The fridge is empty, but I can't find them to tell them the mission.
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