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Stem Borer in Okinawan Sweet Potato

Posted by mauirose 11 (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 15, 08 at 1:59

Started a few slips which were doing fine until a few weeks ago. Now they are getting hammered by some kind of stem borer. Leaves wilt, turn yellow, exit holes and frass visible, lots of little gray wormie guys burrowing thru the stem.

Any controls (preferrably organic) for these guys? Are the Okinawan SP's particulary susceptible? Maybe i just can't grow SP's in my garden?

Vegetable gardening is SO much fun!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Stem Borer in Okinawan Sweet Potato

I do so agree that vegetable gardening is fun! I just started a vegetable garden patch at my limited space backyard a few months ago. But the downside of growing vegetable is the pest! It's even more difficult if you are trying to have an organic garden.

I hope you find your answer to the pest problem with your sweet potato, it's quite dismaying to find the plants we tended for a while to be quickly destroy by pest.


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RE: Stem Borer in Okinawan Sweet Potato

Lucky i only planted a few trial plants, randg, so not a lot of time involved. I will keep asking around about my problem, someone is bound to know the answer. In the meantime i will watch-might work itself out as these things sometimes do. Really sad about this tho', i LOVE purple sweet potatoes!

Are you enjoying your vegetable harvests?


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RE: Stem Borer in Okinawan Sweet Potato

I am enjoying the few harvest in the garden. The Malabar spinach is abundant, as well as the Ipomoea batatas--planted for the edible young leaves, the herbs--Koba green onion, chives, garlic chives, various mint plants, and sage--keeps growing for me.

However, the Chinese long bean is not doing well. The leaves has that white-powder-like thing on its leaves, perhaps it's due to the heavy rain we had this past weeks. Before that, the young shoots was eaten by aphids. It's quite a pitiful seeing just one lone bean that was produce out of the handful of bean plants I planted.

I'm looking forward for the new harvest--Wautoma Cucumber, which is producing a lot of bright yellow flowers, the Portuguese Cabbages and Top-bunch Collards is growing nicely, and the Mizuna green is doing good, although the large lacy leaves are being flatten in the ground by the rain. I also have a Okinawan spinach which is not ready to be harvest, yet.

What else are you growing besides Okinawan Sweet Potato?


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RE: Stem Borer in Okinawan Sweet Potato

Sounds like you have a productive garden! Keep trying with the long bean-my neighbor has quite a large patch and they do very well for him.

As for me mostly old standards. Lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, eggplant, chile peppers, various herbs, green beans, wing beans, pole beans (the wind terrorizes them so i have just sown a hedge of pigeon peas for wind break), tomatillos, beets (fresh, raw beets are delicious-who knew?), bok choy, sugar peas. i have had bad luck so far with broccoli and turnips of all things. Just started some red malabar spinach but i think it might be too slimy for me. Have a start of Okinawan spinach too but it tastes like chewing on pine needles!-I hope it's the right plant, it was a pass-along. Just preparing a new area for some other things i want to try-kabocha, long beans ; ), soybeans and maybe some corn. Hoping the melon flies will not sting the kabocha. Thinking to try some leaf amaranth once the weather heats up. Also i am hoping to find a source for pak-wan/Katuk on Maui.


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RE: Stem Borer in Okinawan Sweet Potato

That a huge list! Yeah, I tasted a couple of raw Okinawan Spinach leaves, and it does have that texture. The taste, too, is a bit weird. It has that strange spicy flavor right away and then have that unusual after taste. Perhaps when cooked, it will taste more like a spinach. However, this month's plant sale at Oahu Urban Garden Center, the Okinawan spinach disappeared off the rack very quickly. They ran out so quickly that they have to sell the mature grown plants that is bursting with flowers. The flowers reminded me of the Okinawan spinach's origin; a weed.

Malabar spinach is I think a required taste, however, like okra, you can use it in soups to thicken it.

I also heard about that pak-wan, it is said that the tip of the leaves taste like snow peas.


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