POTATO BUG POISON

HOW IS YOUR GARDEN GROWING?

This afternoon, while it is so very hot and humid outside I decided to share what is happening in my garden. If you remember, in early spring I talked about keeping the potato bugs away. I had so many last year that I decided to plant the potatoes on our other farm; hoping they wouldn’t find the patch. I was also putting a brown bean in each hole, but forgot at home.

So far so good. I was at the other garden last evening & couldn’t find a bug, so I will continue to check regularly.

But when I went into my garden here a few hours ago, I saw that small bugs were hatching on many blossoms.

I only put in 2 rows here for early eating. I forgot to put a brown bean in each hole as I had suggested to my readers. (A tip from someone else) But as I found adult potato bugs the past few weeks, I picked them all off; and as well picked off the leaves that had orange eggs underneath. I was quite confident that I destroyed almost all. But today’s many babies told me different.

So I came in and boiled my usual potato bug poison.

POTATO BUG POISON

6 quarts water

14 large rhubarb leaves

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dish soap

I boiled the chopped leaves & strained, then set it in the garage to cool.

I then milled 2 cups of wheat as coarsely as my mill would.

Both the liquid and milled wheat went into jars with holes on top. I sprinkled the plants with the liquid first and then the milled wheat. Now we will see if the bugs will die from the poison or choke from the bran in the wheat. I will keep you posted! I checked about 6 hours later and couldn’t find any anywhere; so far so good!

 Other years I tried other things, but many times the bugs got away on me especially at harvest time.

 I rotate my potato patch each year – This year it is where I had the corn last year. It does

take longer for the bugs that have hibernated through the winter to find the potato plants.

2. Deep Tilling – Tilling the garden deep a second time just before freeze up brings these bugs

that are already hibernating to the top and they will freeze at night. (The rains last fall didn’t allow this.)

3. Pick Potato Bugs daily – When I am home, I do look every day and pick them off. Then

even when I go away for a few days, I can usually manage them once I return. One year our

granddaughter was staying over for a week. She loved to pick off the bugs and then burn

them in the fire pit. Every year since she calls to see if she can come and pick off the bugs.

Other than that my garden is doing well.

I didn’t put a fence up this year for the pea plants to climb for a better crop. I didn’t want Melvin to do all that work, so instead I just planted 2 long rows so there will be enough for all of us to pick, eat and enjoy. The pods just need to fill out and I will say the word to come and enjoy!

Last week we found lots of beets that were nice and long so until the carrots, beans and peas are ready we will have beets for supper. I will either serve them hot with butter, salt & pepper or cooked, cooled and topped with a ACV dressing. I have been picking the small beet leaves to add to our green salads.

It is time to put on my hat, go out and take out a few weeds that I saw this morning.

Enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and all that your garden, your friends garden or the Farmer’s Market provides! Winnie