Red Spider Mite Infestations -- from Armstrong nurseries?

absoluteblockMarch 29, 2013

After several years, I'm really starting to wonder about the source of this problem...

Red Spider Mite infestations have decimated my bush beans and cucumbers since about 2006. I'd plant them in April or May and the plants would be history by July. Up until that point, I successfully grew beans and cukes for over a decade in the same soil without any mites.

None of the typical remedies worked and the mites kept returning year after year. I've since given up on trying to grow beans or cucumbers again because the result is always the same.

Fast forward to this week. I was at Armstrong's where I buy a lot of plants -- including the beans and cucumber plants back in 2006 -- and I noticed Red Spider Mites on a lot of the vegetables. None of the plants were totally infested (yet) but it was easy to spot the mites. I've never noticed them at any other nursery in this area.

Could this be the long-term source of my problem?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You will never be able to pinpoint the source of your spider mite problem....these pests are ubiquitous. Be sure to comment on the mite problem to someone at the nursery!

May I ask what your 'typical remedies' have been? Maybe we can all put our heads together to help you manage the population.

Spider mite numbers seem to explode when plants are over fertilized with nitrogen, are stressed by heat and insufficient water, or are growing in an inhospitable soil. The population will also dramatically increase after the use of such broad spectrum pesticides as Sevin, malathion, pyrethrins and others.

This post was edited by rhizo_1 on Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 22:18

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:18PM
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absoluteblock

I don't recall every remedy I tried, but off the top of my head it included regular Neem Oil sprays, soap sprays, and diatomaceous earth spread on top of the soil. My last attempt to control them in about 2008 included Sevin as a last resort because I was out of ideas.

Too much nitrogen is a possibility. The clay soil here has no organic material so I've been adding compost, steer manure, and sphagnum peat moss for about twenty years now.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 2:49PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

is steer manure different that cow???

how well aged is the manure you are using... it is usually very high i urea ...

ken

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 9:03PM
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