NEW PALTZ, NY (AP) – Okay, so you have transplants of vegetables and flowers in the ground, their roots stretch into the surrounding soil, and the stems start to grow.
Wait before turning your back on them. A few – just a few – common pests can hide.
At this time of year transplants are threatened by three types of pest damage: stems can be cut along the soil line, leaves can be chewed, and leaves can be pierced with tiny holes. The most likely culprits are, respectively, horses, snails and fleas.
All three pests have a cosmopolitan taste, attacking just about any transplant you plan. Fortunately, they can be kept under control without pesticides.
Cutworms Do Cut
The Cossacks only have a few bites from the new transplants, which doesn’t seem to do much harm, except that these bites are at ground level. Attacked seedlings overturn, die.
Do not confuse this damage with a disease caused by a fungus that also attacks the soil line but usually affects only very young, newly sprouted seedlings.
Jumpers can be repelled by some barrier, such as a cardboard collar around each plant. To do this, convenient tubes of toilet paper, cut a couple of inches. Surround each transplant and slightly press the collar into the soil
Another approach is to trick the worm, which, before biting the plant, wraps its body around the stem to make sure it is gentle enough. Once the stems of vegetable and flower transplants harden, the jumpers leave them alone.
I trick sharp worms by sticking a toothpick into the ground right before each of my transplants. Insects think they hug small trees with tree trunks and leave young plants alone.
Another way to shield the ark – which I haven’t tried – is to catch them in the holes in the legs made with a broom handle or an inch-thick dowel.
As daylight approaches, the jumpers climb into these burrows in search of shelter. They don’t realize they aren’t capable of ever getting back out.
Fortunately for us gardeners, the life of the jumper is not easy, with the threat of birds, beetles and some small parasitic wasps.
More often than not, there are very few cochlea worms, and if you scratch the ground near a damaged plant, you can find and kill it. Do this regularly, and at some point even toothpicks or collars will be unnecessary.
Snails work at night
Chewed leaves are probably the work of snails, nocturnal creatures that especially love wet weather. These mucous creatures, a couple of inches to half a foot or more in length, are mostly snails without shells.
In addition to the fact that the mucus leaves torn leaves, the next morning the slugs report their nocturnal presence on the shiny paths they leave behind.
Snails avoid anything sharp or caustic on their slippery bodies, so if you sprinkle around the plants a circle of sharp sand, diatomaceous earth – one sold by garden suppliers, not one used for pool filters – or wood ash, the snail will think twice before crossing this barrier. Rebuild these barriers after rains when snails are most active.
You can take a flashlight to the garden at night and sneak up on the snails while they are at work. However, to fight with these slippery creatures is difficult, so bring a salt shaker. Sprinkling salt on them will kill them.
Beer is also an effective poisonous bait for snails. Put on the ground a shallow pot of beer, and almost immediately the snails will begin to come to their doom. No need to open a new bottle every night; snails are happy even with stale beer.
Some gardeners report good results only with yeast and water. Keep in mind that you can attract more snails to the area with a beer or yeast attractant.
Look carefully for fleas
Leaves with holes with small holes – a sure indicator of fleas, who especially like the leaves of cabbage, arugula, tomatoes and eggplant. The beetle itself is tiny, shiny and black, and will jump when you approach it.
I read about a gardener who took advantage of this habit by building a skateboard-like device with a handle tucked into a row of plants. Horizontal metal wire on the front of the board disturbs every sheet – and flea – with every pass.
A leaf attached to the underside of the board catches beetles when they bounce. I have never tried this method.
I prevented the flea beetles by covering the plants with a light “cover”, a transparent material through which light, air and water can pass, but not pests.
Plants tolerate a certain amount of leaf damage from snails and fleas, and other areas of leaves become more effective to compensate for lost ones.
Keep your plants healthy and they will usually grow vigorously enough to prevent or outgrow such damage.
Three common garden pests – AgriNews
Source link Three common garden pests – AgriNews