What’s Eating My….

So a couple of weeks past the solstice and day length is getting shorter. Temperature is still getting warmer as it will continue to do in my part of the world for a few more months. It may or may not be dry, precipitation-wise, but even if it is, it’s still humid. So all of this leads to an abundance of chewed leaves, spotted leaves and diseased leaves.

Quite often in July I’ll focus on the less attractive side of life–the “weeds” or the pollinators (which, believe it or not, some folks find unattractive.)

This July I’m going to focus on pests and diseases. I already started last Monday with the Black-eyed Susan issues. Today I’ll talk generally about holes in plants. Because this is the time of year that we start to notice holes in our foliage.

Whatever you don’t just break out a spray bottle of something. For one thing, a lot of these spray on remedies have no residual effect (which is the fancy way of saying if you don’t hit the pest, you don’t kill it). So all you’re doing is wasting spray needlessly.

If you are using something with a systemic effect, chances are you’re killing off way more than you intend–bees, butterflies, ladybugs–you get the idea. And as I said in this post, chemicals just lead to the use of more chemicals–and who wants that?

One thing I talk about a lot when I lecture that really gets folks thinking is this: why are we growing our own stuff? It’s because we want it to be better than what’s out there in the stores, right? We want it to taste better, or look prettier, or smell better or whatever.

So if that’s the case, why would we then turn around and load it up with the same poisons (or worse poisons, because commercial growers are regulated in what and when they can spray, but we homeowners can just do whatever!) than we can find on the stuff in the grocery stores?

If you want poison treated food and flowers, just go buy it–you don’t need to go to all the trouble of growing it. It’s a whole lot cheaper to buy too.

So think and watch before you spray–and I’ll try to help over the next month or so!

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