One of the challenges of community gardening, or any other form of gardening, is being able to control the pests that are out to harm your plants. So, today we are going to once again visit The Thrifty Mama for a look at how keep on top of the problem of controlling pests when community gardening.
Community Gardening: Beetles And Bugs, Oh My!
Bugs are at the garden even when you are not. Pests can destroy your hard work and leave you nothing to show for all your money, time and sweat. It’s hard to control pests in any environment, but when the pests might be harbored in your neighbor’s plot that is 5 feet away the dangers can multiply.
Today I killed so many cucumber beetles that I lost count. They did not respond to my organic insect spray, so I gave them a deep tissue massage between my thumb and forefinger. If I hadn’t come to the garden just at the right time this afternoon there is no telling the damage that might have happened to my cucumber and canteloupe plants. I can say with near certainty that my problem came from my fellow gardeners not removing their diseased plants quickly and destroying the affected vines.
Just last week, I found a squash bug near a friend’s plot while watering for her. I killed that bug and checked the undersides of the leaves to find a small group of eggs on one leaf. The plant was very wilted and I thought it was too late. But after removing that infested leaf and giving a deep watering the plant recovered. That was a close call because those bugs don’t just eat the plants they carry diseases that can kill the plant that is left after the bugs are finished feasting. If you plant your cucumbers (or other plants in the same family), your plants could act as a “catch crop” to attract all the available insects in the area.
Education is the key to keeping everyone in the garden informed about what pests to look for and how to properly dispose of infected plants.
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Photo by Jeff Schuler
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