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Old June 9, 2019   #16
b54red
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We have gotten a little over an inch of rain in the past few days and I got my first hornworms along with an increase in stinkbugs and a huge increase in foliage worms, so the nearly pest free days may be a thing of the past. Even so I sure hope it rains some more as that amount of rain only wet the surface and we need so much more.

Bill
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Old June 9, 2019   #17
brooksville
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No hornworms yet, stink bugs have picked up a little. We picked about a flat yesterday. Only had one Vorlon split. Waiting on red barn, Virginia sweets and Berkeley green tie die to ripen.

Right now we’re getting a pile of rain. Hope it stops soon. I am worried about worms and foliage disease.

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Old June 17, 2019   #18
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I had a number of plants ravaged by horn worms in a very short time. I was out watering in the morning and went out to see if any fruit were ready to be picked late in the evening and found six plants that were fine that morning chewed and one green tomato chewed on by horn worms. Man those things can eat and fast. The BT I applied a week ago must not be doing the job so since it was late in the evening I went ahead and used a quick Sevin spray on the top half of the plants. Pickle worms or Melon worms have hit my cucumbers the past week and I am seeing a few more stinkbugs but so far very little damage to the tomatoes from them so I must be killing most of them with my little hand sprayer. The little foliage worms continue to show up now on almost everything in the garden but they have been kept relatively under control by just removing the leaves I find them on. I continue to see increases in the honey bee population even with my limited pesticide use so I am quite content with things right now so I guess they will change soon. So far not a bid insect summer for here. Knocking on wood.

Bill
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Old June 17, 2019   #19
brooksville
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I am seeing the same as you Bill, the pickle worms are having a field day. We are having one issue with a Red Barn, something has attacked the growing tip, and the new growth leaves at the base of the tip. They are a brownish black and on the limb below the growing tip it killed a flower truss and the leaves are yellow and spotty. Sent pic to extension and they say it is NOT TSWV. I don't want to pull the whole plant, I am trying to grow a 2 lb + tomato. On a good note, we have been trying for 2 years to grow Mule Team, and this year is a success! What a great tasting red!h
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Old June 18, 2019   #20
b54red
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Well that week of spotty rain which I am so grateful for has left me with a lot of EB which was almost non existent before the light rains began. I removed 3 five gallon buckets crammed full of spotted leaves yesterday evening and sprayed what remained with Daconil again. Oh well the tomatoes were looking a bit too dense with foliage and now they don't. I may get a bit of sun scald but with lowering and leaning all of the plants most of the tomatoes are shaded somewhat.

Oh I need to pass this tip along for those of you who are doing the lean and lower method. Save your plastic fast food take-out containers and lids and wash them and drill several holes in them. The best are the ones I get from our favorite Chinese carry-out that are about 6X8 because they will support several tomatoes in a cluster. They make great buffers for the tomatoes that end up on the ground or mulch when lowering your plants. I tried it last year and it almost entirely eliminated the lower tomatoes getting chewed on by insects from the ground. It"s cheap too.

The Sevin worked wonders on the horn worms and I tried a mild Permethrin spray on the cucumbers and it worked great stopping the pickle and melon worms that were ravaging them. I really didn't want to use Sevin on the cucumbers because of all the honey bees that are on them every day. I made sure to spray right at dark so the bees were all gone at the time. I haven't used any sprays with pesticides except as the sun goes down for years now and it seems to have worked great and not harmed the bee population. I will use my little spray bottle with Permethrin to get single or multiple pests that I see when working or watering in the garden but that type of limited spraying won't always fix the pest problems down here.

Bill
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Old June 18, 2019   #21
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This is certainly a different bug year. We had that four days of rain (5.5" total) Jun 8-11 and cooler weather which broke the drought and the 100's. On the first dry day afterward I sprayed everything with Serenade and bT. So far (and I'm saying this vewy vewy quietly) there hasn't been the influx of bugs.

Even the Japanese beetles have been light. They've totally left the Knockout roses alone (a first) and instead decided to munch on pole bean leaves at the top of the trellis. Of course they're where I can't reach to knock them into the soap water cup.
Squash borers got three squash plants (I forgot to use your Sevin trick, Bill) but I noticed the holes early enough and injected bT into the stems. The plants are still alive and producing the first steady squash we've had in years.

It hit me this morning that the flea beetles have been almost non-existent this spring. That's a puzzler.

Squash bugs and leaf-footeds are very light right now. It's got me real puzzled but I'm not complaining. Too early and they'll show up later?

This morning there are about ten or more of the white moths with the black spot having a grand party and social, flitting around the whole garden in droves. I've never before seen that many at one time so there must have been a bunch of caterpillars that got missed with the bT. Probably my fault for being lazy and letting them chew up the collards because I was tired of eating them.

The cukes have been covered against the pickleworm. The cover isn't real tight because the bees are already in there in the morning when I take the cover off. The most recent two pickings have been worm free. The pickleworm moth either isn't getting in, the bT spray worked or Wave #1 is over. Go figure.
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Old June 18, 2019   #22
Barb_FL
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Bill - Can you take a picture of the lean method later in the season when it is really leaning. I would like to see one from someone who uses this method outside.

RE: Hornworms, you can buy a cheapo (<$10) black flashlight and go out in the dark; they shine like crazy and you can find them when they are small too. That is what I did this year when they were really bad.

One of the plant top was totally stripped by Hornworm and I rooted it and it was such a huge producer. Still is even though it got hailed in late March.
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Old June 19, 2019   #23
b54red
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I just did my first lean and lower of the year on one of my beds. I was really a bit late getting started this year and didn't really start picking tomatoes til early June. I'll try to get you some pictures but there are plenty of them on this site that I have posted in the past. Didn't know that about the black light and will gave to try it. I wonder what else shows up with the light?

I planted a row of tomatoes that I trellised because the bed was narrow and against a chain link fence and they were the first ones I planted. The second bed I planted two weeks later is lean and lower. I am definitely getting the largest fruits off the tomatoes in the L & L bed and my leaf diseases are slightly less in that bed. Production has been outstanding on both those early beds despite the intense heat and dry weather. The tomatoes set out mid May through mid June are not showing near the fruit set but then they never do with the increase in humidity and the warmer nights of summer. All three other small beds of tomatoes are lean and lower. I am really taking good care of my trellised tomatoes to see just how long I can keep them productive.

Bill

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Old June 19, 2019   #24
brooksville
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I’m using a hybrid lean and lower on a trellis. When the vine gets to long I cut the string, tie new string to trellis and reattach old string to the new string. Only had to do one so far. The rest are getting close.

On another note, stink bug activity is picking up. Need to spray but afternoon showers keep popping up. Maybe after supper.....
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Old June 19, 2019   #25
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Bill, thanks for your handy tips. I bought a spray bottle specifically for pyrethrin and used it this morning for the first time when I discovered a freshly hatched gaggle of tiny gray squash bugs. Got 'em! Also dusted the very bases of the squash plants with the Sevin. There are four that have no borer damage yet. There are also four that do but were injected early with bT and the plants continue to live and put out squash.
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Old August 4, 2019   #26
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So true about finding hornworms when they are small. I look for leaves with holes in them, and just today, for example, I found a couple of baby hornworms, not even a half an inch big, with teeny red horns on them. You just turn over the holy leaves and the suckers are there!!!
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Old August 5, 2019   #27
b54red
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Just a few days ago I was fighting the return of the spider mites in near 100 degree weather in drought conditions. We had over 3 1/2 months with less then 3 inches of rain during that whole time with daily temps at or near 100 almost every day and now in the past 4 days we have had 3 inches of rain with some rain every day. The result is a bunch of split fruit and even some exploding fruit. Temps are still getting above the mid 90s but at least I don't have to water. I am seeing the first damaged peppers and tomatoes from either stinkbugs or leaf footed bugs. I have also removed at least 3 tomato plants and 4 or 5 bell peppers that had TSWV. It is a good thing I planted far more bell peppers than usual as I have never lost so many to TSWV before and I have lost a few more to other diseases. Gray mold has also been a problem on most if not all my black tomatoes. I have also sprayed twice with the bleach spray and also once with copper and Permethrin for the spider mites which now seem to be under control. Knock on wood.

I have been pruning and removing dying plants every day for the last 3 days and it looks like I still have plants to remove. Seems like with all the rain it would cool down a bit more. I would love to have a day or two that didn't get out of the low 80s but I may have to wait a couple of months for that. My ISPL plants are just pumping out tomatoes for now but there will be a big gap where the spider mites ruined all the blooms. Hopefully my treatments got rid of most of them and the plants will resume setting fruit again but I won't be able to give them any TTF until I get a few days without rain.

I have fall cucumbers started in the greenhouse and will have to remove some plants to make room for them. My hot peppers are all producing like crazy and have been hotter than most years. We put up a nice batch of red hot sauce made from ripe Cayenne peppers, ripe Jalapeno's and ripe Pappadews. Even though I quit treating my squash stems to stop SQVBs with Sevin I am still getting a few squash but will remove those giant old vines as we are just tired of squash and the plants are such a big mess now.

Bill
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