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Giving the beans a leg up

That's what FeralLiberal suggested, and he was right. Not that I'm bragging....

beans_500

I tied the bean stalk to the pole with twine, and it, er, twined quite happily. Scarlet runners! We'll see how it all comes out.

NOTE The roots in the background are "green manure." They're from the evil Norway Maple, and I ripped them out of the ground when I was extending the garden this year. I figure the center area of the beanpoles is a fine place to let them rot before I turn the soil over in the fall.

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Submitted by lambert on

... Milk doesn't seem to be working this year. So I've escalated to sulfur (copper is just too, too nasty).

And, unlike last year -- global warming? -- I've got squash bugs. Any thoughts?

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Submitted by bringiton on

Seems a bit on the virulent side, more aggressive than it ought to be from a soil source, although maybe that's my western states POV. I am curious about one thing, though. Where exactly is that Norway Maple relative to the garden area? I had pictured it as in front of the house, but now it sounds like it is out back - did the tree move, or am I completely confused?

Define "squash bugs" please.

Submitted by lambert on

The Norway Maple is in the front of the house, to the right of the garden. It doesn't directly overshadow it.

I thought I had a picture of the squash bugs, but I don't, and when I Googled squash bugs, I didn't see what's on my plants.

They're smallish, angular, and daffodil yellow (not yellow-jacket yellow). And they munch the tender undersides of the leaves.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

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Submitted by bringiton on

but perhaps you've already noticed that.

Thank the goddess these are "smallish" bugs, the "largish" ones are really a worry. Helpful actually for identification to put a metric to "smallish" like say 5 mm or 1 cm or something.

Squash bugs, per se, are grey-brown-black depending on age so they're out. Cucumber beetles, of which there are several species, can be yellow to yellowish but IIRC they all have black markings of some sort, spots, stripes or bands. There is one that is dominantly yellowish with black bands, three or four, on the underside of the abdomen when immature. Go take a closer look if you would including the underside.

Not that clear identification matters all that much, mostly I'm just curious; they need to be done away with regardless. Simplest way is to hand pick, sooner is better than later because once they start to reproduce it will be too late. Grab a beer or a glass of wine or your favorite combustable plant material and spend an hour turning over leaves and squishing the little buggers.

If you want a chemical treatment, rotenone at this season would be a great choice assuming you don't have any fish nearby. It kills all insects, including beneficials, so apply in the evening just before dark. The bugs need contact to die so dust the underside of the leaves preferentially and that should tilt the kill ratio towards pests. Avoid application to flowers and bees or other beneficial pollinators shouldn't be greatly affected. Ignore the recent scary Parkinson's stories, Rotenone does not harm mammals unless you take it IV or breath huge amounts so don't do either and you'll be fine. The half-life in summer is one day's sun exposure and the residual tail is short; it will be all broken down to harmless in three or four days.

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Submitted by bringiton on

I was poking fun at myself as a chronic pest, not anyone else.

Approve accounts as you see fit. I'm already in; fuck the rest of 'em.

Looking forward to Thursday; births are always interesting.

Submitted by lambert on

Even I'm losing my irony-detection abilities.

Definitely a sign of a stressed organism.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

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Submitted by bringiton on

No facial expression, no gestures, no true tone of voice, all very limiting for those of us who are, ahem, limited.

Lack of clarity rests primarily with the speaker, so my bad. Need to find an irony emoticon, I guess.

You do just fine. Sorry about the stress, especially my contribution thereto.

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Submitted by bringiton on

Here's the thought. Norway maples harbor downy mildew. It seldom kills them unless they're stressed in some other way, but it does take up residence and spread throughout the structure. The spores winter over in nooks and crannies, only to sprout and spread each spring and summer. If your tree is infected, and most of them are, it is raining mildew spores all summer long from the first warm and humid days. Sound like a familiar pattern?

The good news is that Norway maple is valuable for furniture and musical instruments. Maybe a some local artisan would take it out for you to get the wood. If not, and you really hate it, we should talk.

Submitted by lambert on

In fact, the very first summer, I remember seeing leaves having fallen on my garden at the same time the whole thing died. I thought I was over-reacting!

That said, I won't cut it down. It shades the house from the Western sun, and cuts down on street noise.

The tomatos seem to be doing fine; the beans are OK; I think that the squash just need to be babied along, that's all.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.