Plant Pests

  1. Crop Talk: Potatoes & The CPB

    Here’s a confession for you to start the month: We love potatoes. But it’s safe to say we hate the Colorado Potato Beetle. We're guessing you might know what we're talking about. For those of you in the regions lucky enough to not have to deal with the destruction this little bug brings, we hope this Crop Talk may still serve...
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  2. Pest or No Pest? How to Diagnose Abiotic Plant Disorders

    There are a myriad of ways a plant can show signs of abnormalities. Sometimes these abnormalities are due to the worst causes – namely harmful pests or diseases. But other times, the symptoms are emblematic of an underlying cause, either cultural or environmental, and can often be reversed as long as diagnosis is correct and treatment is swift. When a...
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  3. Common Plant Pests & Organic Control Options

    We’ve posted several in-depth articles on pest control here on our Seed Hopper blog before, and you can find all of them archived in the “Plant Pests” category in the left-hand navigation column. They include coverage of Striped Cucumber Beetles, Colorado Potato Beetles, Japanese Beetles and Bloat Nematodes. Our “What’s Wrong with My Garden?” series goes over many common plant...
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  4. Crop Talk: Tomatoes

    Let’s talk tomatoes. Almost no other crop screams “summer” like a vine-ripened tomato straight off the plant. Whether it’s a full-on beefsteak or a handful of colorful cherries, that first harvest of the season is the moment farmer and consumer alike have been waiting for since January. At High Mowing, we’ve put together a solid collection of resources for organic...
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  5. Philosophies on Floating Row Cover

    An Introduction to Floating Row Cover Organic growers have always had to create innovative, safe and effective ways of dealing with the many negative pressures that can affect plants. Unlike conventional farm models, organic growers choose not to utilize broad-reaching and destructive applications like synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to help their plants avoid pests and disease. But no farm...
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  6. Pest Management on the Small Farm

    Katie & Edge with their son Waylon 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 pest prevention techniques: Decrease...
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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Optimizing Your Backpack Sprayer

    Backpack sprayers being discussed by John Grande, Ph.D., from the Rutgers Synder Research and Extension Farm. 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 a tractor-mounted spray rig but...
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  10. 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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