Did I mention that radish was a good trap crop for flea beetles? Apparently aphids love them too. This is a photo from last year.
Aphids covering radish seed pods. I’m pretty sure the white cottony stuff is a sign of mealy bugs which did become a problem in the garden last year.
I really liked this article on trap crops to control pests. It raised some great points, such as timing — the crops have to be in place to capture your pests. I’ve been thinking the same thing about timing companion plants — having them in place in time to attract the predators that feast on the pests.
What’s tough about trap crops is that they are just as delicious as the other veggies you’re trying to protect. Sigh!
I don’t usually swear, but there were definitely some wtf moments in the garden this year (see Critters post). The one that springs to mind the most, aside from the horsehair worm, is the plant that I thought was beets but wasn’t beets at all.
Front row, to the right of the onions: the mystery plant that I thought was beets
In hindsight, of course, when I compare the leaves of this plant to the beet greens (which are to the right of it), it is clearly a different plant. The leaves are larger, lighter in colour, and don’t have the distinctive vein pattern as the beets. But the real wtf moment came when we pulled up the plant and found this:
Some kinda messed up carrot?! No. Turns out it’s a Hon Vit radish. At least I think it is. I came to this conclusion by remembering (and possibly looking at my spring garden map) that I put seeds from my Spicy Salad Mix packet in that space. When I read the list of what was in the packet, the only thing it could be was the Hon Vit radish. For a funny looking thing, it tasted pretty good. If you like radishes. I think I used the greens in a smoothie.
This is a good example of where having a map when you’re planting can really be useful as the season progresses. It can help you distinguish plants from weeds, as you get to know each kind better. I made one for spring and another one for summer (to figure out where to put the summer crops – zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber) and fall, but I only followed the spring map. This is mostly because I forgot to bring the other maps with me whenever I planted. I ended up giving up on them.
Another wtf moment came a few weeks ago. My brother and I were leaving the garden when I saw this bug on the nearby chain-link fence.
Check out the eyes. Yikes!
Wft?! If I remember correctly, it was bigger than my thumb. Freaky! My brother thinks it’s a cicada. It actually had a really cool pattern on its stomach, but the sun was behind it so I couldn’t get a good shot of its underside. What a funny critter! As I tried to take close up shots of it, it kept turning its body around so that the chain-link was between itself and my camera. It was as if it was trying to hide itself!