Return to the Hawaii Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Fewer bugs in a big mess?

Posted by scout3801 Hawai'i (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 7, 08 at 5:11

I have noticed that with my vining plants, such as beans, squash, etc., I have fewer problems with insects, such as aphids, squash vine borers, pickleworm, etc., if the plants are growing in a big mess. If they're growing "properly spaced" and "orderly" I seem to have quite a few problems with insects. This seems counter-intuitive to me.

My guess is that a "big mess," with things growing more closely together, maybe there's a better habitat for predators? I see a lot of lizards and geckos in the wilder parts of my garden.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fewer bugs in a big mess?

I have noticed the same thing - even true for ant problems -seems the more weedy I allow the area to get the less infestation. Maybe Dave has some ideas on why this is so. Dave ? Anybody else ?

RE: Fewer bugs in a big mess? Definitely.

Aloha guys!

I'd have to agree and say you guys got it right. I can't honestly think of any other reason! I guess with more cover, there's more hiding places for the predators to pounce from, so-to-speak. Whereas in a wide open area the lizards don't feel so at home. That's why you see them in the fenceline vines so often, more cover there. Those Cattle Egrets are a threat to the lizards too, depending on where you're at, so they would be smart to keep a low profile while they're out hunting!
I noticed on my Tomato plants("Sweet 100 Cherry" & "Totem") that I have far less insect damage in the "messy" Totems than in my trimmed, nice-looking climbing cherries. Since I noticed the damage (those inch worms get to everything!) I've started spraying everything down with insecticidal soap(forget what brand...will look at it and name it)and it seems to be helping. I've even got a few nice tomatos and a friend across the street has some wonderful lookin Beefsteaks! (Now that we transplanted them and got the 'pillars off)
Now the Pak Choi, Romaine Lettuce, Sweet Basil, and the Radishes...that's a different story. The bugs were getting to those before I knew it, so I had to whip out that soap spray before I lost it all! The White Flies are fairly bad where I'm at(They love, and I hate, the Areca palms!) so I have to keep a watchful eye on everything.

The inchworms;
If you find them on your tomatos, or other plants, and don't want to kill them, transfer them over to some Green Ti, they'll eat it just the same and can't cause too much damage! If you prefer to rear them, it might be interesting as they turn into quite an interesting moth; have one that just hatched today, will take a photo and post it tonight!

I've got another insect related, relatively off-topic, request too. I'll post a new thread when I post the photograph on this one, I have to look up some images before-hand....Lol.

Hope this helps ya out a little guys! In the end, I don't recommend letting the garden go completely wild to control insects. Remember, if kept clean it's easier to spot the problem before it gets too bad...if it's TOO hard to tell the bugs from the plants, the damage is done before you even realize it!

P.S. I'm gonna hit you up this week Pueokai, promise! Lol. Talk to ya then!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Hawaii Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here