Canton gardener Judy Bailey called me this week to say that for the first time ever she has cucumber beetles in her garden. She's concerned that the population has increased beyond the point of being manageable with hand-picking. Judy is curious whether the beetles are visiting other North Country gardens for the first time this year. She also welcomes advice on how to control the population. Judy reports that the beetles in her yard are tucked way down into the flowers on her cucumber plants, where she is not sure her patrol of chickens will be able to reach.
Last summer, Sue Rau of Massena wrote to The Garden Plot to say that in spring she protects small plants from beetles by placing plastic cups as protection over them. Any good ideas for this time of year?