Attack of the Swede Midge
The garden is popping these days with tons of produce ready for picking and eating! We're harvesting beautiful kale, lettuce, snap peas, radishes, herbs, rainbow chard, and much more. Our tomatoes are on the way with bushes loaded with green fruits and we just can't get enough of the colors.
There are really the days when our long hours of hoeing, weeding, and planting are paying off. The peas, squash plants, and bush beans have especially impressed us with their rate of growth.
Unfortunately, we still have to stay on our toes and watch for any signs of attack on our produce. This past week we lost our entire broccoli patch to relatively new pest, the Swede Midge which is a pest of all the brassicas. Signs of damage include puckered and crinkled leaves, distorted growing points, leaf and flower galls, brown scarring, blind heads, and plants with multiple small heads or shoots. Below is a picture of one of our brussels sprouts. The scarring around the base of stems is a sure sign that the swede midge is here. The only thing to do seems to be to pull infected plants asap and keep all others tight underneath of an insect net. The Cornell reference page has other helpful information.
We've also started seeing an influx of japanese and rose chafer beetles. There isn't much that we can do about them but we're hoping that some of our companion planting experiments will help to distract and deter the beetles before they cause too much damage.
As always, we welcome questions, comments, volunteers, and visitors any time!