Despite the horrid weather we had at the beginning of the season, the farm is doing quite well. All of the surviving plants have seemed to have outgrown the damage that was inflicted by the storm. Justin and I have settled into our routine for plot maintenance (trellising, fertilizing and weeding) and we are already harvesting, which is two and a half weeks ahead of last year! We harvested huge turnips that were so deliciously smelly the scent followed us around the entire day. We also harvested kale and many of our herbs. This warm weather is really doing great things for the plants and promoting rapid growth.
BUT… you can’t have thriving plants without everything else from their habitat thriving as well.
Our enemy the Colorado potato beetle reared its ugly head at the end of last week but it wasn’t on our potatoes. It was on our tomatoes. Coincidence that the tomato beds are in the spot where are potatoes were last year?? Upon first finding this pest I initially thought “What a dull-witted lazy bug.” The beetle would play dead once found which made them easy to smash. Thinking they were only on the tomatoes I also thought they were lazy since they had not migrated to the other end of the farm. I was wrong.
Upon further inspection of the entire acreage I found several egg clusters on the back of the leaves of our potatoes, peppers, eggplant AND tomatoes. Luckily they are bright orange and therefore easy to spot. If you all remember last year, it was less than a week for total destruction of the potato crop once finding these little nasty things. I was prepared, got up very very early (two days in a row), as to not hurt our little pollinator friends, and took them out.
We also smashed the egg sacks by hand. Bleh! It’s hard to see from the above picture but they are the gross orange things on the leaf. So far so good… and our potato crop is big and beautiful this year!! 😉
**** For all those gardeners out there reading the blog let me offer up some advice… If you have a pest problem and aren’t friends with a entomologist yet that would be my first suggestion.
Secondly, take a picture of the target pest and use google search images to identify what they are and what is the best way of controlling them. Google was very helpful in identifying this particular pest!