Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Crop Problems That I've Had

"D" asked me to give a rundown on what sort of problems I see with my various crops. 

Every crop has it's problems, so it seems. Only a few escape.  Pipinola and pineapples come to mind. I can't recall having bug or diseases on these, though I'm sure it can happen. A neighbor two properties away has birds eating holes in her pineapples. I've never had that problem. 

Here's some of the pest problems I have seen ......
Leaf roller (banana)
Stink bug (beans, peas, cowpeas limas, tomatoes, peppers, corn, broccoli, turnips) 
Flea beetles (beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes , radish, beets, mustard, cabbage)
Black aphids (onions, leeks, chives)
Other aphids (kale, cowpea, tomatoes, taro)
Scale (taro, papaya)
Mealybug (papaya)
Pickleworm (gourds, pumpkins, squash, cukes)
Thrips (eggplant)
Cutworm (peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, kale, cauliflower , bok choy)
Squash borer (squash, gourds)
Slugs (just about everything)
Feral turkeys (most greens, onions tops, strawberries, beans and peas in the pods) 
Cardinals (tomatoes)
Cabbage worms (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, rutabaga, kohlrabi)
Earworm (corn) 
Chinese Rose Beetle (Apple, beans, taro)
Root knot nematode (susceptible varieties across the board) 
Whitefly (beans)
Sphinx moth (sweet potato)
Fruit fly (tomato, peppers) 
Coffee berry borer (coffee)

There's probably more, but these came to mind right away. And I've listed just the crops that I've had problems with. Other gardeners tell me that they often see problems with other veggies. Funny thing about pests, for example one garden might have serious problems with whitefly on the tomatoes, but down the road one mile, the whitefly might be infesting the beans instead. 

There are plenty of other pests in my region, but to date they haven't found my farm. So I have years to look forward to learning about a new pest each season. What pests? Sweet potato weevil. Turnip root maggot. A maggot that grows inside of green bean pods (not sure what it is). Plus others that other gardeners have spoken about but I don't know their names. Goody, goody, I have a lot to look forward to. 

As for diseases......
Powdery Mildew (beans, squash, gourds, pumpkins, cukes, kale)
Rust (blueberries)
Ancoyta fungus (peas)
Scab (potatoes)
And I don't even know how many diseases attack the summer squash here because every time I've tried growing it, it died from one disease or another. 

There are plenty of other diseases that come & go in my gardens, but I'm not learned enough to identify them. Luckily they aren't running so rampant that I can't get crops.....except for the summer squash that is. 

Disease and pests are a given fact in a tropical garden. The main problem, as I see it, is that I'm trying to grow veggies that are not native to this climate. That wouldn't be a big problem unto itself, but we humans have managed to import devastating pests and diseases too, most of which can thrive year around here without much controls. 

Ah, gardening is not for the faint of heart in the tropics. One needs to be tenacious. 

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