bugs on the vegetable seedlings

Pests & Pathogens

Most of the bugs I have seen in my garden this year have only been eating the very young seedlings and have gone away as the transplants have established themselves.

I was very disappointed by the heavy leaf miner damage to the beet seedlings.  I don’t know any remedy for this, so I just ignored it. Now it seems that the new leaves are not getting the same damage. Hopefully the plants will continue to outgrow the miners.

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My potatoes have a bit of flea beetle damage – not bad. This is a pretty regular problem in my garden early in the season. The flea beetles like the dry dusty weather, and the rain we are having now is probably reducing their numbers. Sometime I plant marigolds to chase them away, but I’m afraid these only look pretty and don’t do a lot for the beetle problem. They look pretty and then they get covered by the vigorous potato plants.

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I was surprised to see squash beetles already.  A couple weeks ago, there were striped beetles on nearly all of my baby seedlings. I gently tapped the plants to knock the beetles to the ground and then (yuck) squished them (eeu). I haven’t seen any since. Fingers crossed. The photo below is a particularly hard hit plant – others are looking much better than this.

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I also have some unknown pest damaging spinach and bok choy. I can’t see any bugs and its eating fairly large holes in the plants. So my guess is slugs.Oh well. I know there are lots of organic solutions. I will have to look these up. (Or cheat and buy some slug pellets.)

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Earlier in the season (a month ago), my broccoli was badly eaten by some pest. Entire young plants were eaten to the stem. I was thinking slugs, white cabbage worm or maybe even chipmunks. Since I didn’t see any of these on the plants, I covered the patch with floating row cover. The plants are really beautiful now. I have left the cover on but the plants are starting to burst out if it. I love it when something as simple as row cover can solve a problem.

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