More From Readers

Jan Rutella's potager in the village of Potsdam is luxuriantly healthy and productive this year. Jan made her first batch of pickled beets this week.

Jan is very happy about the ripe eggplant in her garden, not so happy about the disease attacking her dwarf apple trees.

I know from driving around the North Country peering into people’s yards that many gardens are robust and apparently productive this year.  That said, I’ve been hearing regularly from gardeners battling insects and disease they don’t normally find in their yards.

Last summer, Dale Hobson reported at The Garden Plot about an invasion of leek moths in the North Country.  This week, a reader in Potsdam  reported that he has seen signs of these moths in his garden this year for the first time.  He pulled his crop a bit earlier than he might have this year because it seemed stressed, whether related to the moths or not.

Crop rotation is one recommendation for outwitting pests.  If you usually plant all of your garden space, crop rotation is complicated by the fact that when you are ready to plant garlic in the fall, other crops are still bearing in the space you might use.  One solution is to always leave one section of your garden fallow for rotation.  Is anyone else out there experiencing leek moths? Any other troubling insects besides the cucumber beetles we covered earlier this week?

Martha Foley and horticulturalist Amy Ivy periodically discuss insects in the garden during their Monday morning conversations.  If you are not sure whether the insects on your plants are good ones or bad ones,  listen to this discussion.

2 Comments on “More From Readers”

  1. Ellen Beberman says:

    I love the garden bunny!

    The worst pest for me this year is grasshoppers. Even row covers are not working very well because a few tricky hoppers get under the cover. Fortunately, as plants like chard and kale get larger they seem to repel the insects. Keeping the grass mowed around the beds also helps.

  2. Michael Greer says:

    One year, we planted buckwheat as an interim crop. The intent was to turn in in as green manure, but things got a tad too busy, and the buckwheat went on it’s merry way to full maturity. This might have been OK too if we’d had chickens or something to eat the seed that was being produced, but no.
    What we did have, and did not see because of the deep cover, was a population explosion of small furry creatures. Mice, moles, chipmunks of every size and description will have extra litters as fast as possible in the presence of ample food. In a few short weeks it got to where you couldn’t take a step without scaring up some little furry thing.
    We got that crop mowed and turned, but it took a while to return to normal as the mice and such had stored vast piles of seed in their little burrows. After a rain, we would find these little places with several hundred buckwheat seedlings growing from a single small hole.
    Having a wide band of clean-mowed lawn around the garden allows the hawks and raptors to find their prey, and who knows what sort of population wave we started there.

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