Do I have a problem?

9bnewbApril 1, 2012


This is my first attempt at a vegetable garden(raised bed) and I already have a concern. I'm in St. Pete, FL zone 10a, and have some holes in some of my leaves of plants just planted 3 weeks ago. They seem to be only on the big leaf veggies that I have such as the Cucumbers, zucchini, mustard greens and bok choy. I did notice a few small black ants on the zucchini and on the underside of the bok choy I can see very small green insects. Should I worry about them? This is my first post and I have pictures but haven't figured out how to upload them yet. Also, I want to try and not use any hardcore insecticides, and would prefer to stay organic. Should I hit the panic button?

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jimr36(5b CO)

I that it's ants messing with the plants. I do remember seeing some very tiny blank ants on my zucchini last year (on the thick stems), but they were only there for a short time, and I never say any damage from them. You did say though "green insects". That's a broad description.

Holes in leaves - in my experience - have been due to caterpillars. I've had problems with cabbage loopers and melonworms eating zucchini leaves.

I recommend looking very closely at the bottom of (ideally) all the leaves, looking for pests. You'll need to do some detective work.

I too have a raised vegetable garden bed, am relatively new at it (started last August), live in the hot south (southern TX), and use organic principles.

Let us know what you find!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 1:14PM
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jimr36(5b CO)

Correction at the beginning, above. I meant

I [doubt] that it's ants...

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 1:15PM
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We have to have our yard sprayed every year by a profesional pest control company, because of army worms. They sprayed our yard last Monday. These army worms get into the oak trees. They travel by ground and eat large leaf plants before they get into the trees. I have holes in my ornamental kale, hibiscus, and datura leaves right now. Barbra

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 5:55PM
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Sounds like it could be aphids if they are very small and green. The ants farm them and move them around to the newest shoots and leaves. For organic try some insecticidal soap spray. It can be used daily all the way up to the day of harvest. Be sure not to spray in the middle of the day when its hot and sunny or else you will burn leafs on the plants. I fight aphids every year in my vegetable garden and expecially on my Blueberry plants. Sometimes if I have nothing to do I will walk around and squish aphids with my fingers because it really self gratifying!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:15AM
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