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Friday, April 27, 2012

What a Difference a Net Makes

My artichoke, basil, and okra were being eaten about as fast as they could grow. After 4 weeks of being planted in the garden, none of them had put on much growth.

So out came my tulle.

I covered my basil with tulle for the last week and a half. However, I missed one of the plants. Here are the two plants side-by-side. The larger one was the one that was covered. You can even see where the older leaves were being chewed on. The smaller one was not covered (but it is now). I think I'll keep the covers on another two weeks to let the basil get large enough to fend for itself.
I also covered the artichoke. You can see how the older leaves (the one pointing to the right) were being munched on. The newer leaves don't have a bite on them. Yay! This is the largest they have gotten. I'll probably need to keep the tulle on these for a month or so. I love artichoke, so I sure hope they produce :).
My squash is currently untouched. BUT! I thumbed a squash bug off one this week. I gave each squash plant a foil collar. This was to prevent squash vine borers from boring in the stem, but it's also supposed to be a deterrant because the reflection from the foil makes the bugs uncomfortable, so they move on. We will see. I have some nasturium planted which is supposed to repel squash bugs, but it's not blooming yet and it may be planted too far away.
And what about my potatoes and those ants. Well, they are winning the battle, but I hope to win the war. Too bad tulle netting won't work on them. They're small enough to find a way in. The pepper and cinnamon haven't worked. Continuously disrupting the mound did work, but they just moved further into the potato bed. I think I may lose another potato due to this...next time I know to set up an ant barrier around my potato bed because evicting them as proven very difficult. Last night we tried Neem Oil. I read that it is supposed to be effective on ants. I typically use spraying as a last resort because sprays also affect beneficials. In this case, there are no beneficials in my potato bed and I am losing my crop, so spraying is warranted. Neem Oil is also a natural product.
The black at the bottom of the stem is dirt.
So, if you are looking for a nonspraying way to fight pests, then tulle seems to be very effective against everything except ants. I used this tulle as a frost cover in the fall; now I have a summer use for it :).

1 comment:

  1. I find it really interesting that the tuille worked so well - I would have thought that most pests would have simply gone under it but apparently not. I have some peas that are getting munched at the moment - I just need to get some tuille.