Monday, July 21, 2008

Something's Eating My Corn!

There are some terrible brown beetle bugs eating my corn. This is one night of damage and there's at least 5-10 stalks that look like this. Poor corn, it never even got a chance to tassle. But I'm planning to fight! I've got a three pronged approach: pick as many off and kill them by hand, set up a bug zapper (these particular stupid bugs seem to love the light and get themselves trapped in light fixtures all the time), and find out what kind of traps I can set for them. Anyone else have any ideas? I'm dreading watching my corn get eaten before it even get ears!

Here is the damage from one night on one stalk. Help!

This weekend we spread straw around all the pumpkins and the squashes. These are my four pie pumpkin hills. They've each got lots of blossoms right now, so I hope the beetles leave them alone!
We even spread straw around the mini pumpkins. Ben says he thinks the straw makes the garden look like a "real" garden now.
Here is the first of my cutting flowers. These are from a pack of mixed cutting flowers that I just threw down here when we planted in June.

Here are the carving pumpkins with the row of okra between them.
On Saturday morning, we tilled up the empty section and planted rutabega, beets, greens, and cabbages.
The pickles look so good! There's blossoms all down both rows. I can't wait to taste them!
The squash is doing pretty well too. The one in the back, buttercup, has already had a couple of blossoms open. There okra in this bed too, between the squashes. The extreme left is the pickles again.
Here's my best Opalka tomato plant. It's gotten lots of blossoms, but so far no tomatoes. But I'm keeping my eyes open for them!

I'm feeling slightly desperate in my fight against those beetles. Obviously, if I don't act quickly, they'll do away with my corn before I can stop them, and they're not at all particular, having already moved from the Wisteria, so I'm sure they'd be happy to eat the rest of my veggie plants too. I'll see if I can get a picture of the actual bug, so maybe someone will know how to fight it!

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Mrs. Mordecai said...

If you can get a picture of the bug, you might consult your state extension office. They do really well with knowing about local pests, and I'm sure they could suggest something useful.

Good luck! It's so sad to see your garden being eaten. Our cucumbers and turnips are getting a bit nibbled.

Julie said...

Wow! Nice work.

My mom used to carry around a little butter tub of gas and she would flick the bug into the gas. She doesn't mess around. LOL! I don't think she does that any more, but that's what she did when we were kids.

Bethany said...

Mrs. Mordecai, that's an excellent idea! I'll be sure to try that next time. But this time I just called one of my friends in the homemakers' club, and she knew EXACTLY what terrible beetle bug I meant.

Julie, I was doing the same with a tub of soapy water. My neighbor says she just uses an empty jar and puts the lid on and lets them die that way. Talk about harsh. I wouldn't want to dare be a bug caught on her plants. I'd prefer being gassed by your mom.

CastoCreations said...

You are on a ROLL! I am so impressed.

Bethany said...

Megan, at this point, it's mostly the plants, I'm just doing my best to keep them alive. I have a lot to learn about gardening!

Phelan said...

Use mineral oil on the silks. This will keep them from laying eggs in your corn, and sufficate any worms that are already in the corn. (If you can't find plain mineral oil, plain baby oil will work just fine)

Good Luck!

Bethany said...

Thanks for the advice, it's very appreciated. Unfortunately, the problem isn't worms eating the ears (there's no ears yet even!), it's Japanese Beetles eating all the leaves and stalks. I've read that baby powder or cayenne pepper will keep them off. All my gardening friends around here are so furious with the dang things (they completely strip entire trees and murder rose bushes) that all they say when I ask is "SEVEN". Not so much organic. Anyway, I'm glad you stopped by, I've been enjoying your blog a lot, so I hope you come by again sometime as well.

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