harlequin bugs

Today’s game = where’s the red cabbage

Ok. Here is a sad little game similar to Where’s Waldo…it is called find the red cabbage. Give it a try….

Where's the cabbage?

Where’s the cabbage?\

Ok. Time’s up. Did you find it? Hard, isn’t it? Well, if you look beyond the rocks and weeds, you will see a little evidence that some red acre cabbage transplants once were there…they are just reduced to purple stems. Dang bugs. It is like the row covers aren’t even there…

Here is the problem:

Harlequin bug

Harlequin bug

This pretty little thing is a harlequin beetle larva, and it has lots of brothers and sisters all over my brassicas. It is related to the stink bug. This one is hanging out on some kohlrabi. Squashed seconds after this photo shoot. You can see the tell tale signs of other squashed relatives revealed by my green grody fingers.

004Another one on a broccoli leaf. You can see the damage it and others have done…the brown spots on the leaf. These little demons are sap suckers. They can eventually kill a plant (refer back up to the red acre image).

Grrrrr. They are pretty, vibrant colors and all have different patterns. But they do some damage. Squish.


Winning and losing

This weekend was another hectic weekend spent gathered with family. Saturday, I enjoyed a lovely lunch out with my two moms at Our Daily Bread followed by a girls out, quick stop shopping tour (we don’t linger but go for what we are after…in out and on the road).

Sunday, I enjoyed another good lunch with momma Marge, then got to work on the garden before celebrating the kick off of the National Assisted Living week with a dinner with g-ma at Warm Hearth Village.

Though I miss the markets, it is a good thing to have this time available to try and catch up on chores in the garden.

Unfortunately, I call the battle for fall crops a draw…the weeds are still growing rampant despite the decreasing daylight lengths and slightly cooler temps. Win one for the weeds (they are the season winners). Also, the bugs are still finding my plants and are noshing on them. The good news is that my periodic checking under the row covers and squash-o-rama (organic pest control = bare handed brutality) of the beetles seems to be effective. It is probably true that if you had time each and every day to check every row/plant and squash bugs, that you could impact the populations. Still, I think the only reason it is effective at this time is because all that is out there are larvae. The adults are gone and what I currently am squashing are all larval stages. So, nothing to replace these guys at the moment. Win one for the farmer.

Between the harlequin bugs and the flea beetles, they did manage to destroy my red cabbage transplants (pictures will be taken soon). Win one for bugs. I replanted spare red cabbage transplants yesterday, in a different location. Some of my other cabbage plants look a bit rough, too.

The broccoli and Chinese cabbage is starting to take off. Win one for the farmer.

The kale seeds have germinated and with a little rain (WHAT? Did I just ask for rain), they should be quick to grow.

I got more spinach and the first seeds of arugulas (even star, rocket and dragon’s tongue) were planted. Yay!

We are still fighting for fall crops. I’ll take some photos soon to chronicle the battle. Our fingers are crossed that we’ll be back at the markets in a couple of weeks.

Till then….I actually wouldn’t mind a little rain. For the first time this season….the garden is dry! Crazy.