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A Year in the Garden — Part 7

Pests! This post is all about pests. I’m not big on bugs. Some I can tolerate, but others I hate!

As you know, things were humming along quite well in my garden. All of a sudden though, my tomatoes were turning up rotten. Blech. Just when they were close to ripe, they would be spotted and rotten in places. Low and behold, I found some bugs on them. They were sneaky buggers, but they became more and more prolific.

My beautiful tomatoes rotting on the plant
The Culprit!
The results of their carnage.

Turns out that there are stink bugs on my tomatos. Who knew there are several kinds of stink bugs? Not me! I’m used to seeing the big green ones, but had no idea there were also little brown ones. Apparently they like to inject an enzyme into the tomatoes that turns the tomato into liquid so they can then drink the fruit. So, the tomatoes rot on the vine. The cure–picking the little beasts off by hand and sending them to their demise in a bucket of soapy water. Daily washing of the tomatoes with water can also help keep them off the plants.

I’m hoping that I can get them under control so I can enjoy a late harvest of tomatoes. We have a lot on the plants still, so there is hope.

Another little pest kept me from enjoying any broccoli this year. No clue what did the plant in, although I suspect some type of worm or caterpillar. If anyone knows, do let me know, I’d like to prevent them next year. Broccoli is my gardening white whale.

My poor broccoli plant.

Some pests are great for the garden though. Plant marigolds to attract ladybugs. Ladybugs love aphids, and will keep those out of the garden for you. Also, consider hanging a carpenter bee house near your garden, like the one pictured. They will do wonders for pollination and by providing them a home of their own, they are less likely to play house in your deck or porch railings.

Carpenter Beehouse

2 thoughts on “A Year in the Garden — Part 7

  1. Love the bee house! We did battle with grasshoppers and a tomato Horn worm this year. They say where this is one hornworm, there is more but so far we haven’t found any. The grasshoppers I was able to get under control with food grade diatomaceous earth & cats. Who new cats love to snack on them!? Good luck. I wonder if the diatomaceous earth would help you with your pests? I’ve read that it’s safe, even beneficial to the soil just not good to breathe in. I wore a mask when putting it down and kept the kids out of the area for couple of days.

  2. My biggest garden pests are earwigs! Even though I have several garden Toads helping me, things were eating all the leaves down to the veins at night, on broccoli, squash and sunflowers. I went out at night with a flashlight( the best way to investigate!) and Whoa, hundreds, well thousands, of earwigs on the leaves. I sprayed them with a coconut oil soap cleaner, which got rid of them that one night, but ultimately I had to find where they lived and yikes, it was the compost pile!!! So I moved that and turned it and wetted it and that seemed to help. More earwigs than you can imagine! I also thought of the diatomaceous earth but I thought it might bother the toads. Anyway, gardens are full of challenges!

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