Another Stoplight Festival down, another chaotic market over. The Courthouse square was really buzzing on this market night. We want to thank all of our regular customers for coming out and braving the chaos to make your weekly purchases. Some of the veggies available this week were cabbage, zucchini, onions, green beans, beets and okra to mention a few.
First it was weeds, now it's the bugs. A few gardeners are willing to let a few bugs eat. One gardener told me they give their crops rich soil and let the plants fend for themselves. There are many kinds of bugs, and they don't have time to mess with them. So they get to eat half of their chard and my friend eats the other half. For us gardeners that plant a large garden, we don't miss the part the bugs eat. Some gardeners panic when they see a bug eating, those are called the spray-happy gardeners. You let them eat and only turn to spray when the crop is really threatened. Insect pests will eventually come into balance with their natural enemies. Encourage the population of beneficial creatures such as birds, bats, toads, snakes, spiders, ladybugs, and the praying mantis. They will eat lots of those pesky bugs. And the ending result is you will have a very happy and healthy garden.
Did you know that if you put a shovelful of compost in a planting hole it helps protect transplants against insect attack? If you put a transplant in poor soil it develops more carbohydrates and less protein than normal. Insects crave carbohydrates, so they flock to the poorly nourished plant. So bugs are like people, craving those darn carbohydrates.
If you have a slug problem in your garden, throw them a beer party. Pour beer into shallow dishes it will attract those slugs to the party.
If you have aphids invading your garden, invite some green lacewings to lunch. Their larvae are the death to aphids. Aphids also flock to yellow. So fill a yellow dishpan part way with water and set in the garden. The aphids will land on the water and be trapped. They drown and sink. Another way to get rid of the aphids and the squash bug is to spread a square of aluminum foil under affected plants. The aphids and squash bugs are confused by the increase of light and leave. If it doesn't work, well the foil will act as mulch and smother weeds and will bounce more light on the crops that need much sun.
Have cucumber beetles, plant white radishes with the cucumbers they will deter the cucumber beetles.
If it would only rain and drown the bugs, that would be helpful too. Keep praying for rain. See you next week.