ALLCASTLE PRINCETON + water

Location is Everything

As many of you already know, we have two garden spots this year. The first is a smaller spot next to our house. This is a new garden spot that is mostly clay and has little top soil. We thought with time, and a lot of fertilizer from the barn, it might be a decent spot in a few years. We weren't expecting much from it this year.

We were wrong. Not everything, but most things are flourishing in the little garden. The weeds have been minimal. The pests have been minimal.; only some small caterpillars on the cabbage. I picked those off and haven't seen any more. What a pleasant surprise!

Our larger garden is an old garden spot the neighbors no longer use. The soil has less clay, but this spot has been left to the weeds for some time. The weeds have been a constant battle this year, and though we were wanting to keep the garden organic, I caved and applied preen. The weeds are finally manageable.

Now we are fighting the pests. The first to appear were the potato beetles, well, their larvae to be more exact. They have done minimal damage and have been manageable by hand picking.

Then we found a beast, and a few of its siblings on our tomatoes; the tomato hornworm. (The picture is from the linked page, which also contains information about getting rid of these, and preventing them from being a problem next year.) We found one that we picked off on Tuesday. On Friday, we found one plant almost completely destroyed, others damaged and a few more hornworms.

That was enough. I was ready to follow the lead of Kentucky Hollers, and try my hand at homemade pest control spray. It is simple to make, but too early to call if it is effective yet.

Homemade Garden Pest Spray
Fill a large pot with about 1 gallon of water. Throw in a few tablespoons of red pepper flakes. I also added some garlic powder, about a teaspoon. Bring to a boil and simmer a few minutes. Allow to cool. Strain. Fill a spray bottle and lightly spray the plants. You will need to spray again after a rain. As I was researching the above pests, I read about cutworm also. I believe this may be the explanation for some damage to our corn that I was blaming on rabbits. This garden spot is just plain infested with weeds and bugs!

I find it very interesting how completely different the two spots are. I know they say location is everything, but I never thought these two locations would yield such dramatically different results!

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Location is Everything + water