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Hot, dry and grasshoppers!

Category: critters in the patch | Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:18 pm

I was so looking forward to a bumper crop from the Vege patch this year. Sadly, it was not to be.

From the first grasshopper emerging from the sandy soils here, it was doomed. We've had wave after wave of grasshoppers devastating most of the crops I planted. I haven't the heart to spray, and it would seem to defeat the purpose of having organic foods grown at home.

We've let the chooks roam pretty much whereever they want, and while they do a great job, they also scratch up most of the beds as well. They seem to prefer worms to grasshoppers, and where better to find them? Compost, mulch etc from the beds.

Still, I have found that some plants aren't on the menu, and it seems to be those plants whose leaves have prickles. Something to remember.
The potatoes had almost matured to a big size when all their leaves went. I decided to dig over the bed to save what I could, an it wasn't a bad harvest. Washed and stored in the pantry, I'm very proud to have grown enough to last a couple of months for the family. Some interesting shapes, too.

Cucumbers, pumpkins and some varieties of tomatoes don't seem to be attractive to grasshoppers, so I'm remembering them (definitely not the grosse lisse) to replant with those next year.

Although the leaves have been eaten off the carrots, they don't seem to eat the roots(which of course, we do!)so they can be left in the ground to be harvested as we please. They did have a go at my beetroot, as the forono variety seems to poke up out of the ground, and subsequently got eaten right off.
They don't seem to like onion, leek, strawberries or watermelon.

And when it's all over, I'm going to go right out and buy some Guinea Fowl hens to live here. Hopefully next year we'll be having that bumper crop.....

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Sjoerd wrote on Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:40 pm:

What a sad story, Deb. It always seems like it's one pest or another in an organic garden, doesn't it.
Some times it gets so bad here with some pests that I have to spread "enviromesh" over the beds. It works, but is quite expensive.
When I give the veg water, I just do it through the netting so that I do not have to take it loose and risk a pest getting in.

Clever of you to keep notes on what gets eaten and what doesn't.

Guinea foul sounds like a good idea. I hope they help.

Say Debbie, why don't you post some pics of your harvests. I for one, would like to see them.

Good luck there.


debbieteale wrote on Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:17 pm:

Thanks Sjoerd. Sadly I was going to buy a new camera before christmas, but then I had some bad luck when shopping for presents, and lost an envelope with about $800 in it. No camera just yet! I'll post some as soon as I can.


debbieteale wrote on Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:38 pm:

I found some pictures taken before the old camera died, but not sure how to add them to this blog. I may just post them in a new forum. Grasshoppers galore!


eileen wrote on Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:18 pm:

Good grief those grasshoppers have been busy haven't they? I hope you can find a solution to their invasion soon Debbie. What a clever girl you are to keep a list of all the plants they DON'T like.


Sjoerd wrote on Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:24 am:

Those pics that you showed are alarming. Thanks for taking the trouble to find them and post them.

brombear wrote on Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:46 am:

Hi Debbie, I'm sorry to hear about your grasshopper plague, it must be extremally disheartening. It's hard to contain a problem like that locally when it proliferates outside your own yard. I'm new to perth,living in Roleystone. we've had only a couple of grasshoppers thus far. Things only started getting water stressed a couple of weeks ago, overnight it would seem. But well done on your salvage efforts and positivity- is true, nature perseveres so who are we to get discouraged? It's nice to have a fellow WA er : ) amanda bear

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