Branching Out's Seeds and Sprouts

flowerbug

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... These bean plants are magnets for fungus gnats. The under side of their leaves is just covered with them, so I had to take the beans outside and use a small paint brush to remove the bugs.

that doesn't sound like fungus gnats but more like aphids.
 

Branching Out

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Wow! Your plants are HUGE!! It's been a few years since I've grown Silvery Fir and your photo brings back memories. I've never grown another that looks like that one, so unique, so carrot-ty. You will have tomatoes in no time with plants that size! I'll be curious to hear how you like the Doukhobor tomato; I've not tried that one but I am partial to Russian and Eastern European varieties and they seem to do well in Canada. It might be a new one to try.

The fungus gnats I see here sometimes are these tiny, tiny little black flies. They aren't especially fast, and they like to hide under the pots and in them too. When I shake stuff around they tend to fly out, I wonder if you have different gnats than we do? I've never seen them on leaves before?
I'll keep you posted on the Doukhobors. So far they are stocky and sturdy, which is a great combination in a tomato plant. Very dark green foliage too.

And sadly I have the same fungus gnats that you do. It is creepy how they scurry out of the bottoms of the pots. At the moment I have a significant infestation, so there will be work involved to reduce their numbers. I am pretty sure the grow lights are attracting bugs from outdoors, that are sneaking into the house through cracks in our old wooden window panes. We may try taping off the window next to the lights to see if that helps.

And very soon some of the infested plants will be moving outside-yay! This morning we ordered a very simple long, narrow greenhouse that will tuck in under the overhang of our sundeck. It should arrive by Monday, and a friend has offered a heater with a thermostat for me to try out. While it is not a permanent structure I think it will offer enough protection from the elements to get me through the next two months, at which point we may relocate it to another area of the garden. 🤞
 

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that doesn't sound like fungus gnats but more like aphids.
It's weird behavior for them, right? I watched them very closely through the macro lens on my phone, and it is as though they are sucking on the undersides of the leaves. Is there perhaps something along the lines of nectar that bean leaves might offer the fungus gnats? The bean leaves are looking very healthy, so I don't think they are damaging them. It's mostly that they are annoying the heck out of me!! 🙃

This photo shows a few of them on the under side of a bean leaf, and the yellow sticky card will give you an idea of just how many I have caught. Every day I squish hundreds of them.
 

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flowerbug

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wow and sad. that's a bad infestation. moving the plants outside is the only real answer i would use since i don't like to mess with soaps and sprays and such. i know they can work. i do bait the vinegar/fruit flies and that works really well when i get a few in the house flying around in the summer.

some of those don't quite look like fungus gnats to me, but it is hard for me to judge from pictures and not seeing things in person.

i currently have four five-gallon buckets that have fungus gnats in them and they've persisted longer than any of the previous ones over the past 12 years. most of the time they eventually go through a boom and bust cycle and burn out but not these. i also keep some small spiders in the buckets to try to help control any infestations that start up and it does work, but after too many fungus gnats are reproducing the small spiders can't keep up.

i will take them out towards the middle to the end of May and use them for planting and only use the nicer ones without infestations to restart the worm buckets again. it's the same cycle i've been using from the start.

i'm very glad that my covers are good enough to keep them all contained until i take them outside to feed them and to use them as fertilizer.
 

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This must be one of those 'boom' cycles, because it feels like a population explosion. I have a multi-pronged approach, with a purple-lighted beehive shaped bug zapper that stays in all night nearby (got about 50 one night), yellow sticky traps, jars with fermenting apple cider vinegar (I found that I get more if the solution has sat with bugs in it for a while, fermenting), a hand held zapper (occasionally), taking trays outside for a bit when possible, and mostly squishing them. Every year I deal with this, so I really think it is our windows. The bugs can just walk right in.
 

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To take my mind off of my fungus gnat infestation I harvested some slightly over-developed Purple Sprouting Broccoli, to share with the neighbours. It resembled a bouquet of lavender!

And my small mustard greens have turned into giants all of a sudden. Fun Jen is huge with leaves larger than my hand, but it's still mild and quite tender. I will have to pick it soon.
 

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Branching Out

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Good chance that most of us who grow our own vegetables are able to eat a fresher and more varied diet of greens than many people could even dream of. Our pets benefit from our garden's bounty too. Today I snipped off a few shoots from flowering brassicas, and gave them to our bunny along with a nice dandelion flower. Later in the day she nibbled on parsley, thyme, lettuce, and fresh Timothy grass. Moments like this remind me of how fortunate we are to have a garden. 😊
 

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heirloomgal

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It's weird behavior for them, right? I watched them very closely through the macro lens on my phone, and it is as though they are sucking on the undersides of the leaves. Is there perhaps something along the lines of nectar that bean leaves might offer the fungus gnats? The bean leaves are looking very healthy, so I don't think they are damaging them. It's mostly that they are annoying the heck out of me!! 🙃

This photo shows a few of them on the under side of a bean leaf, and the yellow sticky card will give you an idea of just how many I have caught. Every day I squish hundreds of them.
Wow, yeah that's what my gnats look like too, though that crowding together behaviour is one I haven't seen. That's a lot of the little buggers. Last year was the first time I ever had those, and they came from a bag or rich potting soil that was infested with them. I had them this year too, a little. An odd thing is when I switched from the Pro-Mix organic bagged soil to the Pro-mix seed starter in the bale (which is peat only) and transplanted everything over they almost all disappeared. I guess the first starter mix (whose texture was very different) had food in there for them, and the peat doesn't. You're almost at the point to bring them outside where natural predators will get them, so not much longer to suffer with those! But in the future if you have them over for dinner, you can 'innoculate' your soil even if they come through the window seals. A spray bottle with 1 1/2 tsp neem oil, 1 tsp castille soap and full up with warm water. If you water your plants with that until the bottoms leak it will kill all thier eggs, them and they won't like the soil anymore. It's time consuming but it really works.
 

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Good chance that most of us who grow our own vegetables are able to eat a fresher and more varied diet of greens than many people could even dream of. Our pets benefit from our garden's bounty too. Today I snipped off a few shoots from flowering brassicas, and gave them to our bunny along with a nice dandelion flower. Later in the day she nibbled on parsley, thyme, lettuce, and fresh Timothy grass. Moments like this remind me of how fortunate we are to have a garden. 😊
She looks like a movie star bunny.
 

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