Monday, May 7, 2012

Know Thy Enemies

We're practically having a heat wave. I'm struggling to keep the water even on the plants, the large-leafed plants are expring more than they can take in, and the insects are pretty happy! These are some of the enemies I'm dealing with right now -- in a garden which is pretty much not bothered too much by pests. Either that or I'm not that observant. Leaf miners. This is why I plant nothing in the beet family for warm weather. Fortunately I'm not a big fan of chard any more, although I deeply appreciate its growth habits, so I don't miss it. Identifying the eggs and scratching them off is a good way to deal with them and helps to interrupt the generations that multiply.

I've mentioned the swaths of light green aphids on the apricot tree. Usually they cluster on new growth. Maybe it's more tender. The chickens like this kind of leaf too, so it's win-win.

The birds seem to be entertaining the idea that I might not be a predator when I come with gifts of spinach or apricot leaves.

Talk about dubious expressions.

The apricot appears to be dealing with the Brown Spot infection pretty well. Only a few tips are withered like this, some with fruit on them, but the rest of the fruit may -- oh please oh please -- come to ripening without developing the hideous brown gooey bruise looking spots. I can hope, at least. We had a dryish spring, but I didn't spray last fall.

Another pest of the tree is a tiny leaf-rolling caterpillar. It doesn't seem to do a lot of damage, and the chickens really enjoy eating the little boogers.

There are more, such as slugs and snails, but that's all I got while I was out there. Now I'm going to go spray the wooly aphids that the kid missed the other day.


Daphne Gould said...

It must be nice to have birds to feed all those nasty insects to. I'm forced to squish them all. Ick.

kitsapFG said...

Our big pest is the slugs. I am constantly at war with them. By the end of the season they wear me out with sheer volume. So far the other pest culprits have not arrived en masses yet. Only a matter of time though.

Unknown said...

I love your blog and your green nail
polish! Keep up the good work...

Stefaneener said...

Daphne, they are icky. Boots and gloves help.

kitsapFG, do you use the iron stuff? It helps here.

Hey Garden Hoe, I only had green thumbs for the tour (the rest were purple). Glad you like. Gardening and good manicures, alas, are mutually exclusive. . .