Plant Pests

  1. Pest Management on the Small Farm

    Like all good medicine, our pest management is built on prevention. At Good Heart Farmstead, we don’t use any pesticide sprays, and instead focus our efforts on creating a balanced system, which includes building healthy soil to grow strong, hearty plants. Here’s a round-up (organic, that is!) of our...
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  2. Profitable Potatoes: Tips from Organic Farmer Becky Maden

    Becky Maden is a vegetable farmer currently living in Orwell, VT, where she and her husband operate Singing Cedars Farmstead. Previously, Becky spent 10 years working as the Assistant Farm Manager at Intervale Community Farm, a thriving 500-member CSA farm in Burlington, VT. In her time spent away from the farm, Becky loves to travel, write, bike, run, ski, and...
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  3. What’s Wrong with My Garden? Part 1: How to Manage Common Insect Pests

    Nearly everyone who’s gardened for a season or two has experienced that moment of shock when, upon entering the garden, one first lays eyes on a squadron of cucumber beetles happily chomping away on the squash plants. After the shock of seeing the carefully-tended plants in tatters, one moves on to the next phase of garden grief: denial. How could...
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  4. Optimizing Your Backpack Sprayer

    Most farms have at least one backpack sprayer. They are cheap to buy, easy to run and are an efficient way to get the sprays on the crop. My farm is small enough that I will probably never use...
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  5. The Unique Challenge of Colorado Potato Beetles

    It wasn’t until about 150 years ago that Colorado potato beetles began to play such a dramatic role in potato production in the US. Before then, this harmless insect fed on a handful of weed species in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. As the first pioneers brought potato production to the western territories, the potato beetle found a new...
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  6. Bloat Nematodes and You

    Nothing scares a garlic grower like the bloat nematode. With the potential for almost total destruction of a crop, the bloat nematode (Ditylenchus dipsaci) is most commonly introduced via infested seed. Once present, nematodes can survive in seed, crop debris, and soil for several years. Populations can remain at virtually...
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  7. Pest, Disease, and Weed Resources in the Information Age

    The ceaseless challenge posed by pest, disease, and weed pressure in our vegetable fields can be disheartening at best. As we patiently tend to our crops through the summer months, it’s important to take a moment to observe and learn about what we’re up against. In today’s world of instant access and boundless information, there’s no need to go it...
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  8. Organic Control Measures for Striped Cucumber Beetles

    It’s that time of year and cucumber beetles are once again wreaking havoc on tender cucurbit seedlings. In all stages of life, these beetles do damage to cucumbers, winter and summer squash, melons, pumpkins, and gourds. In addition to inflicting significant damage by feeding, these beetles add insult to injury by transmitting bacterial wilt along the way. While there is...
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  9. Controlling Japanese Beetles in the Home Garden

    In recent years, I have noticed increasingly larger populations of Japanese Beetles in my garden.  I first observed them in my garden a few years ago when I came upon them devouring my edamame soybean plants.  Easy to spot with their metallic green abdomen and bronze wings, I picked off as many as I could, but it seemed impossible to...
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