Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2005
Regional Report

Keep Out Those Cuke Beetles

Control cucumber beetles by covering cucumber and bean crops with spunbonded row covers. Put the covers out as soon as seedlings are up, and keep them covered until they begin to blossom, at which time the covers need to be removed to allow pollinating insects access to the plants.

Watch for Japanese Beetles

Look for beetles in the morning when they are sluggish. Pick them off by hand, or if you're squeamish simply hold a can of soapy water under the leaf and tap gently. The beetles tend to fold their legs and drop, right into the can where the soap kills them.

Mulch the Veggie Garden

The weather is warming sufficiently so it's time to apply mulch to the vegetable garden. Two of the best, least expensive mulches are clean straw and hay. However, be sure to lay drip hoses on the ground first, since even though it will keep the ground moist, straw tends to shed water.

Control Whiteflies Indoors Organically

Yellow sticky traps are effective for controlling whiteflies indoors. Make a homemade trap by spraying an old pane of glass with bright yellow paint on one side. Coat the other side with petroleum jelly or motor oil and set near houseplants that are infested. Wipe the oil off and reapply every week or so.

Keep Tomato Problems at Bay

Manage tomato problems by checking them daily. Pull off and destroy leaves with signs of blight. Prevent catfacing by mulching to keep the moisture constant. Keep a careful eye out for tomato hornworms and handpick. They can defoliate a tomato in short order. If a plant wilts, remove it immediately to avoid spreading wilt to other plants.

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