Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hired Assassins

Our plants have been in the ground only a handful of days and already we have death on the horizon. Many of our plants appear to have 2 roots in the grave and we don't know what's causing it. Our cantaloupes, watermelons, zucchini and squash are yellowed and leafless - or have severely nibbled leaves. I went out at sunset and sunrise to find any guilty evil bugs, but found none. I spent enough time to search every single leaf, top and bottom, but didn't find anything suspicious.

In a panic, I consulted my garden expert friend, Caroline. She's an expert because she has a garden that is producing veggies, and she diagnosed us with a probable case of the dreaded cucumber beetle. She told me what sort of pesticide to buy and I called Farmer B immediately and had him pick up a bottle at Home Depot on the way home. I dashed out first thing this morning at sunrise and doused the garden with Pyrethrin, which is a pretty safe garden chemical as it turns out.

Later on I decided to take the boys to our local nursery to buy a large quantity of an organic pesticide so that we can do our best to save our dying little plot of plants. This nursery is so ridiculously unhelpful everytime we go. When I asked for a safe pesticide for our home vegetable garden, Mrs. Personality handed me a bottle of some sort of poison and said not to let the kids or dogs go near it. Um... no. I told her I wanted something organic or at least safe for them and she said that nothing organic works on garden pests. Yes, they're a real treat there.

She then talked me into buying a sack o' ladybugs. She said they're a good natural method of pest control. I'm convinced that they keep them around just to placate the earth-loving hippie freaks that come in and scoff at their chemicals.Well it worked because I bought a bag. As I'm walking out they tell me not to leave them in the car since it's so hot, but to go straight home at put them in the fridge so they can sleep. I had two more stores to go to and the prospect of cooking this $10 bag of ladybugs in my car didn't appeal to me. So I dumped out all of the contents of my purse into a canvas grocery bag and put the ladybugs in my purse. Yes, I spent the morning shopping around Michael's and Target with a purse full of ladybugs - 1,800 to be exact.

You'll be happy to know they're in the fridge now. After sunset I'm supposed to release them in the garden while bellowing out my best rendition of "Born Free." Apparently they don't fly in the dark and they'll just crawl around on our stubby half-dead plants and lay eggs. The eggs will hatch and the babies will eat some of our evil bugs. So ladybugs are garden assassins. Who knew?


Anonymous said...

Lady Bugs are the best for pest control in your garden.

Caroline said... expert. Hardly, but I'm glad I could help. Can't wait to see how the hit men fare.

Anonymous said...

I bought Lady bugs several times and released them in my small suburban orchard and veggie garden. Sprinkled water all around first then released at night. Still, almost all flew away. I see a couple now and then.

Then I read one has to make a little habitat for them - a cozy little place with a white picket fence. Or, just simply some wild flowers which they like (Google for species) and some water they can get at without drowning.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin