I guess they're white flies - itty bitty absolutely white flying
thingies. I had them early on and sprayed with BugBGone. However,
now that I'm getting the zucchini I don't want to use any commercial
poison. Any ideas? Do they really hurt anything (aside from the fact
that I have to hold my breath when I'm in "the patch" to avoid
inhaling any of them)?
Also, although I'm out there every morning helping out the bees with
pollinating I'm still getting several of the little (one or two inches
long) yellow to brown to rotten zukes. I'm almost dead certain that
I'm not missing any of the females in my morning rounds. Do sometimes
the blossoms simply not open so can't be pollinated?
Do you have a power cord long enough to take your Hoover to the zucchini
plants? If so, fashion something to fit on the end of the suction hose,
e.g., from a funnel and nylon fly screen. so that you can bring the hose
close to the leaves and *gently* suck the white fly off the leaf without
sucking in the leaf itself. No, I haven't tried it. Alternatively, shake
the plants to cause the flies to become airborne and sweep the vac
through the air to catch them on the wing.
Perhaps use very fine gauze like stretched stocking to make a butterfly
net to catch airborne flies on the wing? There is a different method using
a bright yellow colour to lure the fly. Smear petroleum jelly over
something you have painted bright yellow so the flies get stuck when they
land on it.
I've never observed a zucchini bud not open.
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
It's refered to as abortion when the plant drop unopened female flowers.
This can happen when the plant lacks the resources to develop fruit, for
example when its location is too shady or the plant is suffering from a heavy
(This always happens on my winter squashes after they have set a 'full load'
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
White flies seem to like nutrient deprived plants. I just read:
"greenhouse whiteflies attack tomatoes only when magnesium
or phosphorous is deficient in the soil."
The book indicates that nasturtiums planted around vegetables
helps discourage white fly attacks. It also indicates that you
can pulverize nasturtium leaves and throw the dust/powder
on other plants and on the soil.
Also, it indicates that ants benefit from and benefit whiteflies.
Grits thrown around the soil seem to help control ant problems.
I've not had a whitefly problem this year.
So as far as magnesium goes, I think epsom salt works for
that. Perhaps someone else knows of a plant that provides
beneficial magnesium to other plants?
The book indicates alfalfa, comfrey and valerian contain good
amounts of phosphorous, and indicates all three are good for
the compost pile. It indicates that cats like valerian and valerian
is used to get rid of rats (by attracting cats).
I'm interested in any comments any others have. I seem to have
a phosphorous defeciency myself. Sunflowers do well, but
other plants seem to fail (the book indicates that the soil is high
in potassium when sunflowers grow like weeds).
Hope this helps.
Thanks. This is all really interesting and here comes the stupid
question. When you say that "grits" thrown around the soil help with
an ant problem are you meaning the kind of dry grits you buy at the
grocery store for grits and gravy or whatever it is they eat in the
South? My gentleman friend is growing corn and mentioned that he's
starting to get ants. I lost an entire corn crop to them a couple of
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