A few days ago a friend and commenter asked if I had much trouble with insect damage on any of the things I grew in the garden.
Well, it seems like there is usually something every year but it certainly doesn't always mean total death and destruction to the plants. Supposedly, the better shape your soil is in, the less the insects will bother your plantings.
When we first started gardening on this piece of land, we had a lot of trouble with cut worms for several years. And I mean A LOT! So far this year (knock, knock), I have yet to see my first one.
Then there was the year the grasshoppers ate just about everything. Now that was depressing.
This year there is something that is taking big bites out of a lot of different things. Something else is making little holes in some leaves. Then there is the sneaky creepy-crawly that is stripping the leaves completely off my Moss Rose plants. So far I haven't been able to spot any of the insects that are tormenting me . . . and my plants.
Big bites are being taken out of ---
This was my very first cosmos to bloom and it immediately got chomped on.
More bites out of some potato leaves.
The Red Kuri squash is not being left out of the taste testing.
Nor are the Morning Glories.
All the little pickling cucumber sprouts have these tiny holes in them and some have bites taken out.
This is the second planting of slicing cucumbers I've made. I'm a whole month behind on them because the first ones were about three inches high when something started munching first on the leaves and then went on to the stems leaving only about 1/4" of stem sticking up out of the ground.
This is what Moss Rose plants are supposed to look like. See the spikey little leaves on the red stems?
These are Moss Roses in a different part of the garden. Something has stripped all of the leaves off the stems.
These pictures probably make my garden look like a total disaster area but it's truly not. I could show you maybe fifty or more pictures of healthy, vibrant plants that haven't been bothered by anything.
So, to answer your question, Jen, there is usually one insect or another each year that seems intent on spending their summer vacation in my garden. But most of the time if the damage looks as if it's going to be too great, there is some safe, organic spray or solution or remedy that I can use to discourage them.
Also, even a very harmful insect won't be bothersome for the whole summer. They have their life cycles and if a plant can just make it through the critical stage, it will go on to thrive and produce a harvest. And in most cases, as I had to do with my slicing cucs this year, I can replant at a later time and avoid the destructive stage of that particular insect.
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