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Pests and Pestilence

June 9, 2011

As the weather warms I am reminded of the pitfalls that come with trying to grow a lot in a small space without dousing the plot in chemicals.

First: Pests

The top 5 or 6 inches of one of my potato vines looked stressed and upon closer inspection I found a Leaf Footed Bug and a fresh hatch of nymphs. These are nasty little things, real creepy crawlies that mature very quickly and go on to suck the life out of all sorts of plants. Last year I had late season issues with these and other types of stink bugs; they left a trail of hard white spots on the late tomatoes as they sucked liquids from under the skins.

I wasn’t very forgiving; I set the tip of the vine afloat in the “Pest Hell Bell” but gave them a sporting chance to swim to safety out of the goodness of my heart. (Insert diabolical laughter here)

And now: Pestilence

One of my healthier looking Brandywine tomato plants suddenly fell ill and severely wilted.

I removed the plant and inspected the crown area to see if I could identify the cause.

Hmmmm….. the soft green outside layer of base stem was gone- it looked as if a critter of some sort had stripped the first couple of inches off.

No such luck…. the layer was likely removed by Southern Bacterial Wilt – “Pseudomonas solanacearum”.

Treatment: None

Control: Rotation

I almost stuck another tomato plant there; the results would have been identical. Oops.
A small patch of Henderson Bush Limas has now been planted in this 2×2 square…

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