Thursday, February 26, 2009

Brussels Sprout Trifecta

We have two new tenants to report, who are happily co-existing with our old favorite residents the Sow Bug! Welcome to our new best pals:

The Harlequin Cabbage Bug, Who's Specialties Include, But Are Not Limited To, Sucking The Sap From The Plants Until They Fall Over Dead. She Is Featured Here With Her Truly Cool Looking Eggs:

And Her BFF / Nemesis, The White Fly, Who's Two Amazing Talents Are Competing For Sap Sucking Rights With The Harlequin Cabbage Bug, And Then Laying These Abstract Expressionist Eggs Under The Leaves They Don't Manage To Destroy!

So, To Recap And Extinguish:
The Sow Bugs Are Attacking The Roots Of The Brussels Sprout Plants (Diatomaceous Earth Will Take Care Of That)

The White Flies, When They're Not Sap-Sucking, Fly Around The Brussels Sprout Plants In A Biblical, Locust-ish Swarm (The Dr. Bronners Diluted With Water Seemed To Thwart Them - For Now)

The Harlequins? It Seems That They Just Need To Be Picked Off And Squashed By Hand. They Crunch. Yuck. Look For Them On Your Cabbages As Well.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We're In Sunset!

Sunset Magazine is featuring us, side by side with some of my favorite blogs (Orangette, Victory Home & Garden, Heavy Petal, Life on the Balcony, and Eating LA), to name a few, in its March 2009 print issue!

Big huge giant thanks and hugs and starry eyed love to Sunset! Thank you Sharon Cahoon. You are my garden hero!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Subversive Tip Of The Day....

Click Here To Stick It To The Man

(Thx To Suzi For This Link!)

PS. For a more constructive solution, these folks have been well reviewed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Meet Brevicoryn Brassicae!

Who's been sucking the life out of my beautiful purple cauliflower leaves? None other than my newest nemesis, the Mealy Cabbage Aphid.

Here's a portrait of one of the better looking ones...we'll call him Fabio:

Fabio has made hundreds of babies.
They're yucky little beasts.

It just makes me crazy. I live in a city of about four million people, and the aphid that specializes in devouring Brassicas has found my three friggin cauliflower plants. What, are they reading my blog or something? How do they do this?

Here's some info on getting rid of these mooches for you, just in case you're on the Google Bug Radar:

Where only a few are present they can be rubbed off affected shoots, after a while natural predators will arrive and remove them. A hose with good force can be used to dislodge them from tough-leaved vegetables. Placing aluminium foil or a mirror below plants, fools them into flying upward.
A spray prepared from a couple drops of washing-up liquid to a gallon of water as an acceptable organic method of control; so are insecticidal soaps made from plant fatty acids. Avoid spraying in sunshine to prevent scorching the plant.
Biological controls need a constant supply to survive, so there will always be a low-level presence, hopefully these will be on nearby wild plants. Ladybirds are nocturnal so if they are feeding during the day the number of aphids may be low.
For chemical control use pyrethroids or bifenthrin - spray as late in the day as possible to avoid Ladybirds and other friendly creatures. There is evidence that Myzus persicae are developing resistance to the pyrethroids and Primocarb so it is best to vary the chemicals used to reduce the chances of this happening.
An acceptable organic spray is made from an extract of the Neem tree called Azadiractin
Companion planting using partner plants which deter the aphids, eg. Borage to deter Black Bean Aphids.

I'm going to spray them with a mixture of about 1T of Dr. Bronner's soap mixed with a quart of water. I'm guessing that that'll be the cure.

Meanwhile, still harvesting tomatoes!