That's it!! I declare war in my garden!!
While I was out of town for four days, count them FOUR days, the garden was decimated by cucumber beetles. I returned home and toured the garden - I am heartsick.
This is not the first time that I have to do battle with these pests. I tried to be proactive this year and sprayed with a "green" pesticide spray when the little seedlings emerged. I thought I was safe - HA!!
The cucumber beetle LOVES to eat cucurbits. They are difficult to battle as they winter over in the soil. Previously I purchased beneficial nematodes and released them in the garden in my quest to be green. The nematodes supposedly eat the cucumber beetles.
Results from the nematodes - not so good!!! The cucumber beetles laugh at the nematodes.
One year I tried making traps by painting a few boards yellow and applying a sticky substance. The bugs are supposed to be attracted to the yellow and get stuck in the tanglefoot. HA!! I got a just a few in the trap and the rest merrily chomped away on my veggies.
So after much insistence by my fellow gardener, Steve, out comes the sprayer and the big guns. :(
Well, the hope is to get this under control before the plants die, if they are not dead already, or before they bloom. Can't spray when the bees are present. What a conundrum!!
I am sick about it. I WANT to be an organic gardener. What if I was a pioneer, without the local grocery down the street, and I had to depend on what I grew? Could I afford the risk of loosing my whole crop? I am not crazy about wasting all of my time preparing the ground, planting and weeding just to be foiled by the bugs.
What do you do when the bugs are winning???
See the dead little $%#*&@# cucumber beetles on the leaf
Looking healthy from a distance
Upon closer inspection you can the the beginnings of Stewart's Bacterial Wilt
See the curled and brown leaf? It's starting.