Pests in the Balcony Garden 09


We had a serious attack of spider mites. They started in the catnip and yarrow and somehow got to the choko and beans. They took the choko down in no time, fortunately it is a hardy plant and it has now grown back to where it was when the spider mites devoured it.

This was my first real run-in with spider mites, which are quite a common especially in container and greenhouse gardeing. I tried neem oil and washing the leaves off, but I think my problem was too advanced by the time I used these measures. I finally found a recipe for a light glue that is sprayed on the back of the leaves and smothers the mites. This has to be done every so often as the eggs will keep hatching. It seems to have finally put a stop to them and my beans are looking a bit better. I also gave them a dandelion tea because I thought it might help add some potassium to the soil and that is another thing beans can easily become deficient in if they are in containers.

The rest of the garden is looking fantastic. We had our first purslane, cilantro and tarragon Thai noodle salad from our garden a couple days ago and there are tomatoes turning red on the vine. I have a guava, avocado and passionfruit growing so I am a bit worried as these are tropical plants. It is so hot right now that they are very happy.

I decided to plant most of my St. John’s Wort, (the seeds I wild harvested in the Catskills of New York and planted in the spring, not expecting them to all grow) in th guerrilla garden as it does quite well in stony soil. My catnip is flowering, but aphids seem to love purslane, coriander and my parsley. I have to get some more soapnuts as they are meant to make a good spray to keep insects away as well.

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