3 curses: aphids, slugs, cucumber beetles
Is it just me? I quite seriously cannot plant a solitary vegetable in my garden without it being completely overrun with either aphids, slugs or cucumber beetles. Slugs will come in one night and wipe out an entire crop of seedlings before dawn. I have aphids in green, gray, black and red. Each have their favorite food. I must spray constantly and pour sluggo over everything. If I don't, my plants are gone within a week.
I've been trying to stay organic. It's not possible to hand pick the slugs. Some are almost microscopic they're so small. I can fight back some of the beetles, but they come in droves. Neem isn't doing much. I've tried sacrificial plants to lure them away, but it only seems to attract more. The ladybugs are in my garden, but they don't make a dent in my aphid population. I think the only reason I don't have (bigger) caterpillar problems is because I'm pretty religious with the BT.
I guess my question is, do you have similar problems in your veggie gardens, and if so, what have you been able to do to stay on top of them? So many folks on the veggie forum talk about hand-picking or--here's a good one--just letting the bugs nibble. I keep thinking they can't possibly have slugs and aphids like we have here in the Bay Area, as there's no "sharing" with the pests. Give them an inch and they take the whole plant.