Mothering Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've lived in this house for 3 years and this is our 4th summer having a garden. The first year we were here we planted a small veggie garden and it did well to ok. Every year after that we've have very low production from our plants if at all. We know it's bugs, probably a lot of different ones.<br><br>
Our garden is a small home garden. We have about 4 tomato plants, 4-5 bush bean plants, 2 zucchini and maybe 1 yellow squash, 2-3 cukes, 1 green pepper and 4-5 basil plants. We use compost from our compost pile and nothing else. We rotate crops every year also.<br><br>
We know we have squash vibe borers and have stayed on top of the squash plants cutting off any leaves that look like they have been infected and we've found the little borers in most of the cut leaves. So far those plants, at least, are doing well. Our tomato's are also doing ok right now.<br><br>
Our basil is getting eaten and we've got an organic spray we use on them. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. What was the straw that broke the camels back was Sunday when we returned from a weekend camping trip and went down to the garden, 3 of the beautiful bush bean plants had NO leaves left on them. They were completely naked!<br><br>
We put a lot of hard work, sweat, and WATER (we're in a drought) into our garden and to not have even 50% yield is killing me. What makes it worse is going over to my dad's garden (the man who doesn't even eat veggies but grows them just for fun) and seeing his garden overflowing with beautiful produce. Admittedly it's pesticide-ridden produce but it's food none the less.<br>
We're canning his beans because ours just aren't giving us enough.<br><br>
I looked at DW last night and asked at what point should we compromise on our organic gardening techniques. She wasn't sure and neither am I. If we keep going the way we are going, it would be cheaper to just buy the produce we need instead of growing it. Our garden just isn't producing enough to even make all the hard work worth it.<br><br>
We are planning a second planting this weekend of some more zucchini, squash, tomatoes, peppers, and cukes. I don't know if it's our soil, the way we're gardening, the plants themselves, or just our property. Should be give up organic gardening and see what happens? Maybe go back to it next year? Should we push through with organic gardening and see how it turns out this year?<br><br>
Any advice, suggestions, thoughts, links, books, similar situations, anything would be much appreciated.<br><br>
Thank you for reading this far!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,914 Posts
Well I don't think it needs to be all or nothing. You've mentioned and organic spray and removing infected leaves. Are those the only methosd of pest control you are using? There are many plant derived, non toxic sprays and powders that you can use as well as home made things like soap spray or garlic spray. You can also get a lot of benifit from companion planting. The thing that works the best for me for many crops is row covers. I cover my plants with light weight fabric at the begining of the season so bugs never have a chance to lay eggs on them.<br><br>
Then there are what i think of as "half way" pestassides. There are some out there that are definatly not organinc and have their dangerious side effects but break down quickly when exposed to air, water and sunlight. Rotanone (sp?) is one my mother used from time to time. It kills bugs and after a week or so it is no longer detectable in the soil or on the plants <i>but</i> it is dangerous to kids and pets when first applied and it kills the good with the bad and can leave your soil without the benificial organisms needed for optimun fertility.<br><br>
What are you doing with the infected leaves? if they are going into the compste you are just reinfecting your garden year after year. They should be burned or thrown in the garbage.<br><br>
Have you had your soil tested? Healthy plants are more resistant to disease and pests than ones that are lacking nutriants. See if your soil is missing any trace nutriants and add them or if it's too acidic or too alciline and adjust for that with lyme or sulfer powder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
955 Posts
Have you tried having small pots of herbs that pests hate? I have small pots of mint and marigolds spaced throughout that did in the beetles I had. Now if the moths and worms would go the hell away. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
Well our first year gardening was spectacular and the following 2 years were not. That was a weather issue though.<br><br>
Have you tried using companion plants to help with the bug problems? We had really bad striped cucumber beetle issues until I started interplanting my squash family crops with nasturtiums. Marigolds, nasturtiums and radishes are good in general. There are some herb companions as well that help with bugs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
I wanted to ask about a soil test, too. I think it would probably be well worth it for you to get one done, so you know exactly what your soil is lacking, because it sounds like it is lacking something.<br><br>
How did you first prepare your beds? Are you intensive gardening or doing traditional rows? Do you rototill (or double dig) or have a no-till garden?<br><br>
I had a lot of problems with beetles last year, and it was so disheartening, so I hear you. I lost most of my bean crop, and all of my corn. But this year, knock on wood, everything is doing much better and I haven't seen any beetles. I'm really just working on feeding my soil in the hopes that I have less and less problems like that going forward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Wow, what's getting everything? You have to find out! I agree on the soil testing. If you've got good balanced organic nutrients in the soil, and good sun, that should help the plants resist a lot of buggers. But if it isn't balanced, and the plants are stressed, the opposite can happen--the veggies then can attract troublemakers.<br><br>
Beyond that, you should go out at night with a flashlight, see if you can catch a glimpse of the critters, and look for critter hiding places too where they might be staying out of your sight. If you have a really serious earwig infestation, for example, they can do a lot more damage we normally associate to them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
i'm a total novice at this, but from what i've read, compost alone sometimes doesn't provide everything that your plants need. there are good organic fertilizers out there that have done wonders for our garden. we also started deep watering once every four or five days. i'm actually using the astrological watering method where you water on water and earth moons. it reminds me of when to water and my friend, a local grower who does very well, swears by it. so, who am i to argue? now, my garden isn't phenomenal but it's pretty good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First Thank you all for your responses. That's a lot to think about and some great suggestions. Feel free to keep them coming. Here's some answers to some of the questions.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">What are you doing with the infected leaves?</td>
</tr></table></div>
They are just thrown to the side but we search through the stall and remove/kill any bugs we find. Probably should distroy them.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Have you had your soil tested?</td>
</tr></table></div>
No, but we really need to do that.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Have you tried having small pots of herbs that pests hate?</td>
</tr></table></div>
Last year we tried marigolds and it didn't really help much.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">How did you first prepare your beds?</td>
</tr></table></div>
We did a no-till this year. We've given them a leaf and grass clipping cover over the winter. Then added compost to the holes when planting.<br><br>
We did get some dust from our local nursery but not sure if it's safe. Does anyone know anything about Bonide Eight insect control Garden Dust. The main ingredient is Permethrin.<br><br>
We know there asiatic beetles getting the basil but we're a little stumped on the bean-reapers.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top