Anyone attempting to grow things organically can attest that there is a learning curve involved. The same equally applies to permaculture methods . Both involve a lot of observation of your particular backyard ecosystem and how nature reacts with it and your plants.
The end goal is to learn to work with nature instead of against it.
My latest challenge here at the Sandpit is learning how to deal with the summer bug invasion organically. It is a challenge to not reach for the chemical poison to deal with them. But once you realize that you will be eating the same poison that you put on your vegetables and eventually drinking the poison runoff water it becomes clear that there has to be a better answer.
These are what is left from my summer Squash plants that I stuck in a new small planting bed made several weeks back. They were ruthlessly attacked and eaten by a combination of Squash vine borers and unidentified Ninja bugs. I call them Ninja bugs because they feed at night and are extremely stealthy. I have concluded that they love Squash plants in particular mine.
The tops from these six squash plants are now in the compost bin. I cut them off at the ground and left the roots in the soil to decay and compost in the soil of the bed. Nothing goes to waste in an organic garden.
Here is the result from an heirloom Jubilee Tomato plant. It was attacked by Tomato Horn worms which ate all the vegetation off of the plant . Amazingly it still produced one fruit. This was an experiment with the Jubilee seed which I plan to plant in September. I knew when I planted this one plant that it would not do well now it being the wrong time of year to plant them in South Florida.
My research on how to protect against the bugs naturally has led to my next experiment. I found this homemade recipe for a natural bug tonic on the Internet. I'm going to plant some more Squash[ the Ninja bugs favorite ] and apply this concoction to a couple and leave a couple of the plants with nothing to see if it has any positive effect. More observation to see what works here.
The concoction involves combining diluted Ivory soap with ground up Jalapeno peppers and the mix sprayed on the plant leaves.
Sense I don't have jalapeno peppers I am going to substitute some of the hot peppers that I have growing now. These are Thai hot peppers that were started from seed back in April.
They should give me a steady supply of hot peppers for the next month or so.
We will see if this will effect the Ninja bugs or not. I am still spraying with Neem Oil every couple of weeks.
The Ninja's seem to attack my Zinnia leaves, Sunflower leaves and the Squash the worst. The Neem Oil has calmed them down some so I am hoping this new concoction will add a boost to the Neem Oil .
The Ninja's liked my Russian Comfrey also but I think they started leaving the Comfrey to attack and eat the Squash. So for now the Comfrey are growing fast and looking less insect damaged .
But with the Squash now gone I am watching to see if they return to the Comfrey leaves.
It's always something as they say but the information learned from plants that did not do so well is invaluable to learning how to reverse that trend in the future.
. BLACK FLAMINGO PLANT (1) 2010 CHALLENGE (4) 2011 CHALLENGE (1) AECHMEA GAMSEPALA (2) ALOE VERA (2) AMARYLLIS (2) AMERICAN BEAUTYBERRY (4) ANGEL TRUMPET (2) ANHINGA (1) ANNA KOLB NATURE CENTER (1) ARENAL VOLCANO (1) ATTRACTING BIRDS (1) AUGUST DIVIDENDS (1) AVACADO'S (2) AVOCADO CANNONBALL (1) BALSAM APPLE (1) BAMBOO TOMATO STAKES (1) BEAST PROJECT (1) BEGONIA (2) BELL PEPPER (1) BELL PEPPER SEEDS (1) BEST BLOG AWARD (1) BIG BOY TOMATO (2) BIRD AREA (1) BIRD FEEDER (2) BIRD OF PARIDISE (1) BISCAYNE BAY (1) BLANKET FLOWER (3) BLUEJAY (1) BOUGAINVILLEA (3) BRASSAVOLA ORCHID (1) BRAZILIAN PLUME PINK FLAMINGO (1) BRICK PLANTERS (1) BROMELIAD PUPS (2) BROMELIADS BLOOM (1) BRUGSMANIA (1) BUG JUICE (1) BUTTERFLY BUSH (1) BUTTERFLY HOST PLANTS (1) BUTTERFLY UNK (1) CARDINAL AIR PLANT (4) CARDINAL CLIMBER VINE (1) CELEBRITY TOMATO (3) CEMENT BLOCK PLANTERS (2) CHEAP PLANT SHELF (1) CHENILLE PLANT (1) CHIEN XEN PEARLY ORCHID (3) CHIHULY GLASS SCULPTURES (1) CHRISMAS CACTUS (1) CHRISTMAS CACTUS (5) CHRISTMAS CASSIA (1) CLOUDS (1) COCONUT PALM (1) COFFEE GROUNDS (1) COMFREY (1) COMPOST (1) COMPOST MATERIAL (1) CONTAINER FIVE GALLON BUCKETS (4) COSTA RICA (3) CROSSANDRA BLOOM (1) CROSSANDRA SEEDS (1) CROTON (4) CUBAN BUTTERCUPS (2) CUCUMBER (2) CUTTINGS (2) DAMAGED LEAVES (1) DENDROBIUM ORCHID (4) DENDROBIUM ORCHIDS (1) DESERT ROSE PLANT (3) DESERT ROSE SEEDPODS (1) DOVES (2) DWARF BOLERO MARIGOLD (1) EARTH DAY (1) EL JEFFE ROHO GRANDE (1) EL NINO. BLACK FLAMINGO PLANT (1) ELKHORN (1) EPOXY (1) EPSOM SALTS (1) ETHANOL IN YOUR GAS (1) EVERGLADES TOMATO (5) EVIL EYE (1) FERTILIZER FOR TOMATO (1) FIRST TOMATO (1) FLORIDA NATIVES (1) FOUROCLOCK PLANTS (2) FREE (1) FREE IDEAS THAT WORK (1) FREE ORCHIDS (2) FREECYCLE (2) FRUGAL GARDENING (2) FUNGICIDE (1) GARDEN RULES FOR 2010 (1) GARDENIA (1) GARDENING OMENS (1) GERANIUM (1) GIANT BAMBOO (1) GOING ORGANIC (1) GOOD OMEN (1) GRAMPA OTT MORNING GLORY (5) GRAND DOG (1) GUATEMALA (2) GULF FRITILLARY BUTTERFLY (2) HALF CUT LAWN (1) HANGING BASKET (2) HANOVER SHOTGUN (1) HELICONIA (1) HILLBILLY ORCHID (3) HOMEMADE HANGING BASKET (1) HOT THAI PEPPER SPROUT (1) HOYA COMPACTA (1) HURRICANE SEASON (1) IGUANA (1) INDIAN BLANKET FLOWER (1) INDIAN ROPE PLANT (1) JAMAICA.SPANISH BRIDGE (1) JUBILEE TOMATO (2) KALACHOES (1) KNOTHEAD (1) LANTANA BLOOM (3) LANTANA BUSH (4) LAWN CLIPPINGS RECYCLED (1) LAWN GRUBS (1) LAWN MOWER REPAIRS (1) LAWN STORKS (1) LIZARD (1) LIZARD EGGS (1) LONG PRIDE FANCY ORCHID (1) MAKING IT LAST (2) MAKING WIRE CAGES (1) MANDEVILLA BLOOM (2) MANDEVILLA VINE (3) MANGROVE (1) MANURE TEA (1) Marigolds (2) MATCHSTICK BROMELIAD (1) MEXICAN SUNFLOWER (1) MILKWEED (1) MIMOSA TREE (3) MONARCH BUTTERFLY (1) MOONFLOWER FREEZE DAMAGE (1) MOONFLOWER SEEDS (3) MORNING GLORY (1) MOWER MAKEOVER (1) MUD BARRIER (2) MUTANT MARIGOLD (1) MY GOALS (1) MYSTERY YELLOW BUSH SPROUT (1) nashturtiums (1) NASTURTIUM (3) NEEM TREE (2) NEMATODES (1) NEWSPAPER MULCH (2) Newspaper seed starter pot (1) NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (1) ORGANIC BUG CONTROL EXPERIMENT (1) PARK"S PEARL CUCUMBERS (1) PASSION VINE (4) PERCEPTION POLL (1) PERMACULTURE IDEAS (1) PHALAENOPSIS ORCHID (4) PINEAPPPLE BROMELIADS (1) PLANT CAGES (1) PLANT MARKERS (1) PLANT PARLAY (1) PLANT PROTECTION (1) PLANTING MOONFLOWER SEED (1) PLANTING OUT SPROUTS (1) PLASTIC GREENHOUSE (1) PLUMOSA VINE (1) POLECATS (1) POOR MAN'S COMPOST BIN (2) POTTED CUTTINGS (1) PRIMER COAT (1) PVC SEED COLLARS (1) RAIN WATER SAVER (1) RAINWATER (2) RAISED BED GARDEN (1) RAISED BED PLANTER (1) RECYCLED (1) REPAIRING LAWNMOWER (1) REUSING MATERIALS (1) RINGNECK DOVES (1) RUELLA (1) RUSSIAN COMFREY (2) RUSTIC GARDEN FENCE (1) SAVING SEEDS (1) SEA GRAPE (2) SEAWEED (1) SEED STARTER MIX (1) SETTING GOALS (1) SHADE PLANT (1) SHADE TREE RING OF DEATH (1) SHIBUMI (1) SHRIMP PLANT (4) Southern Collards (3) SPIDER LILLY (1) STAINING FOR EFFECT (1) STARTING SEEDS (2) STOWAWAY PLANTS (1) STUMP ART (1) SUMMER SQUASH (1) SUNFLOWER (2) SUNFLOWER SEEDS (1) SWAMP BUSH (3) TABACON RESORT (1) tactful correction (1) TEMPATURE GUAGE (1) THAI HOT PEPPER (1) THERMAL HOT SPRINGS (2) THINKING FORWARD (1) TILLANDSIA FASCICULATA (1) TIRODS (1) TODAY AND TOMORROW PLANT (1) TOMATO PLANTS (1) Tomato seedlings (1) TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK (1) TULIP SPROUTS (1) TULIPS (2) VANDA ORCHID (1) VANDA PAKCHONG BLUE ORCHID (1) VETERANS DAY (1) WATER MELON (2) WATER STORAGE (1) WESTLAKE PARK (1) WHAT IS IT CONTEST (1) WHITE PEACOCK BUTTERFLY (3) WHITE RIVER (1) WOODEN HANGING BASKET (1) wormhole (1) YESTERDAY (1) YOGURT CUPS (3) YORKSHIRE TERRIER (1) ZEBRA LONGWING (3) ZEN OF GARDENING (1) ZINNIAS (2)