Turnips without bugs! Aphids and predators!

Harvested the best batch of turnips I’ve ever grown last night! I’ve been plagued with root worms in past years, rendering my turnips fit only for greens. I covered them from the start with row cover, though, and this year I got big, beautiful turnips with no root worms. Still a fair bit of leaf damage, though…I’m thinking slugs.

I’m also seeing the worst aphid infestation I’ve ever had on my kale. I knew there were some aphids in the greenhouse and subsequently on my kale transplants this year…but this is crazy. I threw out half my kale because the leaves were so gross. Not just a few aphids – carcasses, exoskeletons, egg cases…yeuch. I’ve trimmed away the worst leaves and need to decide what/if I’m doing anything else. The other interesting thing is that that screen house was full of beetles I’ve never seen before…like a firefly with a red head and no glowing parts. I looked them up this morning, and I think they’re Downy Leatherwings. Not surprisingly, they are major aphid predators! So hopefully they will balance out the aphids. I’m going to try to move a few into the greenhouse, too, to supplement the ladybug army that’s at work in there now, too.

In other garden news, peas continue to come in, and the strawberry harvest is decent. Black-eyed peas are up, and the three sisters garden is fully planted. My herbs are not doing well, and the sugar beets are not growing. (I think I over-mulched them, and the mulch was full of slugs.) Will replant this weekend and see what happens.


1 Comment

  1. June 11, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I like the leatherwings! We have our own proprietary brand here in PA, the Pennsylvania leatherwing. Always nice to source your predatory insects locally, I think. I had a farmed patch of aphids for a while on the parsnips I was letting to to seed. I was going to get out the tanglefoot to confound the farming black ants, but you know, with one thing and another, I never got around to it. I think the predators took care of it though, because I can’t find them anymore.

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