Friday, October 10, 2008

My Obsession with Pests

Every blog post I write is categorized (well most, some don't have appropriate categories due to some lack of imagination). They are put in a list on the right hand side of my blog. I was noticing that you can really tell what I obsess over by reading the labels.

Of the 170 post written to date, a whopping 38 of them have been about garden pests. This is number two of what I've obsessed over on my blog - second only to the joy of herbs. From reading about it so much my husband thought I was having a particularly hard year with garden pests, but he was wrong. It is really just about my obsession with them.

When I planted pumpkins, I knew, barring some miracle from above, that I would be hit by vine borers. I knew my Asian greens would be pestered to death so covered them with row covers. The few radishes I left out were measly little things that often didn't set a root. The ones under the row covers fared well. It is not that this is abnormal bug behavior here. In fact my bugs have been much less this year.

I only saw two cucumber beetles. Usually they swarm. Usually I have a container of soapy water by the cucumbers just for them. This year they passed me by. I only saw stink bugs nymphs. When I saw them I killed them. There were just a handful. Usually they suck the juice out of my tomatoes and leave little spots. Lots and lots of little spots, so I don't want to eat my tomatoes anymore. Not this year.

One pest that was really worse than expected were the chipmunks, which could be controlled with minimal trapping and some bird netting (they hate the stuff because they can get tangled in it). But if I take all mammal pests into account, I've been fairly pest free. I've had no rabbits, groundhogs or deer visit my garden this year. My bean plants grew without getting eaten to the ground every week. My carrots had tops to them. I got to eat my lettuce. So life was pretty good.

Ok I did have one bad problem, but I refuse to talk about the slugs this year. I'm just going to be thankful that all the rain made my plants grow tall. I'm sure the nightmares of being attacked by slime will eventually go away. And if for some reason they get worse, I can always find a good therapist.

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