|Gobs of blackberry blossoms|
This time of year also brings in a swarm of white flies and aphids which attack my tomatoes and squash. I am diligently battling them with a spray of soapy water twice a week and am making headway. The bugs had a hay day while I was gone a few weeks ago. I came back to plants covered in flies and brown spots all over the leaves, they were literally sucking the life out of my plants.
|White fly damage on tomato plants.|
My regimen is ¼ cup of Dr. Bronners soap, 10 drops lemongrass essential oil and two cups well-fermented water kefir in a spray feeder. Early in the morning, I spray every plant from every angle and two-three hours later I give them a good rinse. The soap dries the flies out and they get dehydrated. Once the bugs get under control I will back off to once a week and eventually as needed. After the flies calm down, I have to start watching out for spider mites. If I keep up on my spraying, they will have a hard time getting a foot hold.
|Spider mite damage on tomato plants|
Plants breathe through small holes on the underside of their leaves. Dust and debris clog these holes and over time, cause the plant stress. A good summer storm gives plants a good cleanse to keep plants at optimal function. Our storms are few and far between, a heavy spray-down, once a week, is good garden maintenance. Spray in the mornings so that the leaves have plenty of time to dry by nightfall. Wet leaves at night increase chance for disease to spread in the garden.
What are your tips for keeping a healthy garden?