Keith is a biologist and great for plant questions. He and Bud are like the best county extension officers. Someone will post a picture of their cucumber (or other plant) and ask whats wrong with it. They’ll get a lot of answers, but I always wait and watch for Keith or Bud to answer. They know they’re stuff.
There is another individual on this page. I’ll call him Henny Penny. Gardening is gardening. Its changed some, but still is basically the same gardening that was done one hundred years ago. Things happen. Grasshoppers, hail, strong winds, droughts, monsoons, worms, aphids, brome grass happen! I love my garden and I wish it well. I love to see things grow, I really enjoy working in it and I’m looking forward to the harvest, but if any one of those things I just listened were to happen, oh well. It isn’t the end of the world. Dillons and Walmart are still within 5 miles of my house. The farmers market is still held every Saturday. I have other options.
Henny Penny loves to post doom day posts. His posts always include “must”. You must spray once a week with X and several days later with Y. One of those sprays is Neem oil. I have Neem extract from Walmart. I spray maybe once every week to ten days to treat aphids. I still have aphids, but not as many and therefore I say its working. Henny Penny says I’m wrong. It can’t possibly work as I got my Neem at Walmart and the only Neem that works is cold pressed Neem for sale only on the internet. Well then, I guess my garden will be eaten up by aphids. He also replied in response to my caterpillar/worm post that I had to spray with something specific, dust with something else and put either tinfoil or disposable pie plates around the base of my plants. He loves to write long, detailed posts with several words in all CAPS.
Last night I mixed up the caterpillar/worm spray I had gotten at TSC. I inspected all the plants and I found three worms/caterpillars. I had found 4 last week. I definitely have them on some of my plants;
Fortunately they’re not the tomato hook worm. Those can be deadly to the plant.
I decided last night to inspect, remove, destroy and only spray the plants that are affected. Henny would die! He’d insist that the worms will spread to all of the tomatoes and my garden will fail.
Chemicals are chemicals and while I’m not on board that all are bad (I’m totally for eating GMOs), I’m not convinced that all are safe either. Our government once said Agent Orange was safe. We now know that to not be true.
I’ve decided to back off on the Neem sprays too. I’ll inspect the garden well a couple times a week and try and catch anything bad before it becomes an infestation, but I’m not going to spray as Henny would prescribe as a preventative. Nature has a way of addressing some issues and I’m going to let nature play out. My hope is to post on the kiddie pool garden Facebook page this October that my first time garden succeeded without 2-3 times a week spraying, powders and tinfoil! Wish me luck!
I dispose the worms by dropping them into sudsy water, but my father suggested I freeze them and feed them to the brown thrashers or flicker woodpeckers that frequent my yard. I might try that.