Monday, March 15, 2010

Bugged!

It is beauty and blooms all around. Such is the magic of Spring that there is a breath taking outburst of colors and fragrances in the surroundings. But like everything else in life, even this goodness comes with a catch. There is a profusion of bugs out to spoil the spring party. With the official spring invitees, come the gate crashers. There are the mealy bugs, the aphids, and a host of others whose names I do not know but do wish to, so that I at least know where my curses are going. What appears like a beautiful criss cross venation pattern on the leaves is actually the handiwork of leaf miners. After a healthy gap of two years the Mango tree is showing the promise of a bounty, but here also the bug has been quick to grab the spoils; so much for organic gardening! The usual practice is to secure a cellophane sheet around the tree stem which will prevent the bug from crawling up the tree but these slimy creatures seem blessed, as despite my best efforts a good number still manage themselves to a treat. Here some near cousin of Aphids, whose exact credentials I do not know, has marched a whole army on my mustard plant. I am a mute spectator to the plight before the combined insect might. All kinds of life activity are on the increase. The bugs, bees, birds, butterflies…they are all there, even the viruses are having a hay time. A nasty bout of flu left me with a slightly bitter spring taste. Winters do bring in their own set of problems but they are definitely healthier than any other season. In spite of these problems spring remains a season to savor, and a garden full of flowers is a joy forever…

21 comments:

Trädgårdsmakare Hillevissan said...

I fully agree, a joy forever...! Spring is yet to come here in Sweden.
Still the snow lingers on, testing our patience... but soon, very soon...

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Our local garden guru recommends to destroy aphids by squishing them with fingers. Sometimes, I do it.

merinz said...

I love your blog! But not the bugs of course. Although the pattern they leave on the Nasturtiums is quite striking.

Kiki said...

The bugs do get pretty bus at times..but the joy and beauty in the garden far ouweighs them and outshines their presence!
Happy Spring
Kiki~

lotusleaf said...

The leaf miners attack many plants, but nasturtiums seem to be their favourite!

Julie said...

Other than the frilly designs made by the leaf miners, unless you intend to eat the nasturtium leaves, is it any problem to let them have their way with the plants? I had them in my collard greens, as you may have read on my blog, and Claude told me to sprinkle garlic powder on the soil and water it in...I do it every two weeks and it controls them perfectly.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Oh my. Those nasty aphids and leaf miners are really trying to take over your flowers. They seem to appear over night don't they.

Claude said...

The garlic should definitely help with the leaf miners... and it may help with the aphids too...

I hate and despise leaf miners... they can seriously weaken a plant.

Muhammad khabbab said...

Spring has indeed brighten everything here. Your nusturtiums are looking pretty, we call them nakeser here in lahore pakistan. I simply keep picking its leaves as it encourages blooming.

islandgal246 said...

Sorry to hear about your flu bout Doc. I am also having a touch of it also but it has only had me down for a day only with a roasting fever. Yep those bugs are a headache and that garlic powder treatment sounds like it works. Soap water will also control the mealy bugs and the aphids.

Chandramouli S said...

Yuck! I hate those aphids. They spoil your spring and summer! If not detected initially, it damages your plants too fast. Hope your plants get rid of them soon. Dunno if you tried Neem Spray. It works really good, but you gotta spray them weekly for such heavy infestations.

A wildlife gardener said...

Soapy suds on the aphids gets rid of them but doesn't affect the plant...better than poisons :)

Beautiful plants...all of them, dear Green Thumb...even with their host insects :)

I feed the birds every day of the year ...and they, in turn, go around my garden eating their share of the 'pests'... :)

Matron said...

ahh yes, we all suffer with horrible pests in the garden and it is heartening to see others with the same problem. Perhaps most of us only blog mainly about our successes - it is important to let people know about the problems too! Thank you!

kanak7 said...

I'm going through that too! Suddenly, they seem to be everywhere! But there's so much promise in your mango blooms and the nasturtiums, despite the patterns left by leaf miners, look so pretty!

I checked out your older post and my, to have such re-seeders!!! Nasturtiums faithfully come back and I've had some luck with larkspur. Loved the shots of the daisies and the poppies.

Carol said...

I will wish for many ladybugs and lacewings to fly your way. Also you can hose down or simply a good water spray will keep them down a bit. So true we can never just have bliss ... we must take the whole package... at least they are not biting you. Hope you are feeling better. I had a nasty flu too and it still is hanging onto my lungs.

Jim Long said...

It's interesting, isn't it, how much insects and animals like the same plants we do? We can hardly fault them for liking such wonderful things, but it would be good if we could teach them to share.

Hopefully you can find some natural predator to eat your mealy bugs and aphids. Thank you for the nice postings.

Sunita said...

ugh! Here too we're inundated with the unwanted bugs and creatures. I usually spray neem solution to keep down the bugs. Very effective because it kills their appetite both for food and procreation! It doesn't work immediately but over time you'll see that your garden has fewer bugs in it.
Also do encourage the natural predators. A shallow bowl of water in your garden will attract birds, including the insect-feeders.

virender said...

I have rediscovered you. My previous hard disk had crashed & over a period of time I had forgtotten ur blog name (it happens to senior citizens). I was writing (green thumb etc). I had even thought of speakiong to DM, Dehradun to seek ur identity. I have not fulfilled my dream of having a small garden but in the meantime I will savour ur garden. By the way which camera do u use to draw out such incredible pictures.

virender said...

I should have previewd the blog before posting. For DM, Dehradun read District Magistrate, Saharanpur. Again beauty of being a senior citizen, one can get away with any bloomer.

Sarban said...

most garden insects do not have a chitinous exoskeleton.so try this-dissolve 10 grams of soap in 1 liter of water and spray it on the insects.it dissolves the lipid bilayer and kills them.no need to spray on the whole plant,just spraying on the insects will do

Sarban said...

by soap i mean dish washing soap or detergent.i myself have used it on those white insects that infest hibiscus plants with quite good results

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