See that beetle in the center of the flower? It’s a cucumber beetle. The yellow traps worked well, but the number of beetles currently in the garden plots means we should step up our game and use another organic remedy: diatomaceous earth (DE).
DE is made up of sharp-edged fossils and is an organic solution to problems with ants, cucumber beetles, cutworms among other pests. We have spotted these three in our gardens. It also kills pillbug, for the gardener that was looking for a solution for her home garden.
Purchase food grade DE and you should have no trouble finding it at the big box stores or garden centers. You can also order it from Amazon. Follow the label instructions and dust the plant leaves, flowers and where the stem comes out of the soil. Don’t do it if it is windy, wait for a calm day.
Beetles need to cross the dust to be eradicated. Repeat after a rain.
Septoria Leaf Spot
I spotted Septoria Leaf Spot in one garden plot this morning. The best way to deal with it is to stay ahead of it. Remove the diseased leaves immediately and take them out of the garden, don’t compost.
If you can improve the air flow around the plant, do so.
Water only at the base of the plant…not overhead and add a mulch under the plant to keep any spores from splashing onto the leaves.
Then spray with copper fungicide, which is available at garden centers. Pitney Meadows Community Gardeners can only use a copper fungicide as we are an organic garden.
Late Blight has been confirmed in NYS and using a copper fungicide as a preventative will help keep this problem at bay.
Plants will need to be sprayed every 10 days. Follow label instructions.
I left a cutworm in a jar on the counter so everyone can look at it. If you find an insect that you need help identifying, leave it in the clean jar on the counter and I will tell you what it is.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need help.
On Saturday morning at 9:30, I will walk around the gardens and discuss any issues. Also Chris Cameron will be on hand to talk about the benefits of compost tea.