Lines on the face, tattoos of aging.
Life is proved upon the body
Like needle-jabs from a blind machine.
Any avid gardener will tell you that the bane of gardening is dealing with the pests that want to enjoy the fruits of your labor as much as you do and sometimes they win sadly.
One of the garden pests that I have always had to deal with over the years is the nicely colored cucumber beetle. It always makes me a bit sad to squish this pretty yellow and black bug that reminds me so much of my beloved bees, but I always kill them if I can catch them because they wreck such havoc in the garden.
It's hard to believe that such a small bug could do so much damage isn't it? They breed with voracious speed and as they feed from leaf to leaf they not only chew big holes in your plants which weakens them, but they spread fungi such as mildew and bacterial wilt....not good things.
Last week when I was doing my daily garden check I almost croaked when I saw how many cucumber beetles were fornicating all over my pumpkin plants.............YIKES! It was scary I tell you!
I was ready to rip those plants out, but I knew that the beetles would just move themselves over to the winter squash and cucumbers plants in the other beds, so I started doing some frantic reading. Norma had recently posted how she had planted some nasturtiums and marigolds as companion plants around her squash/cuke type plants to discourage the bug activity.
So off to the local nursery I went in search of more Marigolds (my favorite flower) and some Nasturtiums. While I was shopping this organic spray caught my eye. Made with garlic, rosemary and peppermint oils along with a few other ingredients it is said to be a good deterrent especially for Japanese beetles. (I'm thinking ahead to the bean plants in a few weeks).
Armed with my spray and new plants, I sucked it up and decided to give the pumpkin plants an opportunity before I yanked them out.
Interestingly enough, I wasn't able to plant the flowers for a few days, but I stuck the flats in the places that I planned to plant them in, except near my winter squash. Within a day I notice much less bug activity except around the winter squash...Hmmm....I think Norma is onto something here. :)
While I have not completely eliminated the cucumber beetle and I doubt that I will this year, things are looking much better....especially since I have not seen any squash bug activity (very creepy bug) since using the veggie pharm spray and planting the flowers.
I know that there are people who think that we gardeners must be crazy to do this year after year when there are so many wonderful CSA's out there, but as I was kneeling in the garden yesterday cutting some herbs and greens....I smiled. I love the feel of sun on my back and the dirt in my hands and yes, some years I may lose an entire crop of tomatoes to blight, lettuce to aphids and snails or corn to a wind storm, but something else in the garden always manages to shine and make up for the losses......so I march forward with my spade in my hand. :-)
I will have some yummy fiber stuff for you this week....I promise. :-)
Happy 4th of July!!!