Thursday, April 14, 2011

They Are Already Bugging Us

B and I went out to our vegetable garden the other evening and enjoyed the perfect temperatures and gentle breeze that had followed the early morning’s gentle rain.

Everything is coming along pretty well. We have realized we are a full month ahead of last year’s garden when we first began leasing the plot. That should help some with the insect pests, but the nut grass is worse than last year, by far. We cannot account for that.

We were getting ready to come home when B discovered a potato plant in the Scouts’ garden that was completely defoliated. (Trust me! There used to be a potato plant in that nut grass.)


The culprits were on two of the plants beside it: larvae of Colorado potato beetles. There were at least a couple of dozen of them.


We collected them all by hand into a plastic bag.

We also found eggs on our eggplant--ironically enough!-- that look suspiciously like potato beetle eggs. Also note the chewed leaves—probably the mama left her calling card.

100_4068crop We scraped off the eggs.

So the fight has begun and we are greatly outnumbered. And it is only early spring.


Brandon said...

Great pictures! I used your defoliated plant picture for a lecture on top-down tropic cascade effects; they illustrate the potential for these effects really well. I hope you don't mind. I listed the link to your page.

S N B said...

Well, Brandon, we are most flattered! Where were you lecturing?