Bay Branch Farm

a vegetable farm in lakewood and cleveland, oh | we grow food

Urban critters

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Get up close to the soil and you will see that it is teeming with life. Worms, bees, ladybugs = good. Flea beetles and potato bugs not so much! Here is a picture of the damage done to bok choy by the flea beetles.

Bok choy flea beetle damage. You can see 3 beetles on the bottom most leaf.

The organic way of dealing with flea beetles is to cover your crops with floating row covers. These prevent the beetles from attacking your young plants. As plants mature they become harder and waxier for flea beetles to penetrate. Unfortunately, that is not the case with arugula. We harvested a lovely bed of arugula that was under floating row cover. We left the row cover off after harvesting and when we came back the next day the small leaves we hoped to use for second harvest were entirely filled with holes. It was that quick. I also read that flea beetles lay their eggs in the soil and when it warms up they emerge, so putting the floating row cover may not provide needed protection since they would be living underneath it! I just found a new trick about trying to trap the beetles that I am planning to try. Here are the details. Beyond bok choy and arugula, the beetles also attack our radishes, but just the leaves, so we don’t really bother with covering those.

Another bugger that continues to attack our lettuce transplants is the gopher. Gophers seem to live under the porches of every house near our plot. And, why wouldn’t they when we seem to provide a veritable cornucopia for them to enjoy. Here is a picture of lettuce that has been sampled by gophers.

You can see the outer leaves have been nibbled. Usually the plant can continue to grow.

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One thought on “Urban critters

  1. Whistle Pigs!!!

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