We have been sifting the soil from N2 carefully. We are 1) trying to remove any remaining cutworms and 2) move any red wigglers into the Worm Inn Bin. The worms are typically in the top shovel full of soil so we can be careful to get them out without being too rough.
But, this one red shelled thing was found. What is it? Why only one? Mystery of the day!
Will we be using Bt bacteria this year?
…A dusting of Bt bacteria, which only hurts caterpillars, will sicken and kill those pests without harming birds, bees, ladybugs or mammals.
UrbanFarmOnline just explained how insecticidal soaps work to kill aphids:
Broccoli’s few pests are easily fended off. Aphids may attack, but a misting of insecticidal soap on the morning of a sunny day dissolves their waxy coating, allowing the sun to dry the aphids to a crisp.
For 3 consecutive days we would check on our recently planted snow peas to see that yet another 5 or 10 had been gnawed down to a nubbin. Someone suggested slugs, but none came to our beer trap. Last summer the caterpillars would have been eating the tender leaves, but there was none to be found upon inspection. Finally one day we just started digging into the soil and there was our newest pest, the cutworm!
Fat, greasy looking caterpillars- read all about cutworms on Wikipedia. The suggested control is to manually dig them up. Also, if we decide to cover the soil with a landscape fabric or plastic possibly it will keep the cutworm moth from laying eggs in the soil. The other advice given is to make a collar of cardboard or metal around each seedling. I sure hope we can just keep them out of the soil now that we know they exist and what their MO is.
Ladybugs to the rescue.
Ryan won and we ordered 18,000 Ladybugs to come feast on the growing aphid population. A 1QT bag from Tip Top Bio arrived two days later. A few weeks later nearly all of the aphids are gone. The piles of Ladybugs have dispersed. A colony of Ladybugs have gathered at the western peak of the greenhouse. And we are on the lookout for baby Ladybugs- we optimistically would love to see them make a home for themselves here at Casa Verde.