Your Enemy, there on the nightshade

digitS'

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Nightshade weeds:



Focus on that orange blotch:



Not far away on another nightshade weed:



digitS'
 

Chickie'sMomaInNH

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i thought some members of the nightshade family helped to repel potato bugs! at least that's why i plant some eggplants around my potato patch. what you got growing there Steve?
 

Ridgerunner

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Potatoes and potatoes are members of the nightshade family. Other members of that family might act as a trap plant to help reduce the numbers on your potatoes or tomatoes, or they may serve as host plants to really help breed up the numbers which will then invade your garden plants. I'm not conviced at all that they would repel pests.

I'm not exactly sure where Steve was going with his post, trap crop or host to get the numbers really high? I try to reduce all member of the nightshade growing wild but nettles are really bad this year.
 

digitS'

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Nettles attract potato bugs? Might be one of the few weeds that don't show up in my gardens . . .

The bugs start on the nightshade. I've got plenty of tomato plants out there. There is no damage on any of them, no egg masses.

We can say, "Oh boy, the bugs are really eating on the weeds here!" Ha! They are living on the weeds and reproducing on the weeds and in a couple of weeks - their babies are going to be all over the garden eating on your vegetables!

Yes, you may be able to eradicate the bugs with the weeds - how about planting a 4' wide border all around the garden and then using a flame thrower? Personally, I don't want this weed around. I don't want it feeding the potato bugs. And, I sure don't want those bugs!

Steve
 

canesisters

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Ridgerunner said:
Potatoes and potatoes are members of the nightshade family. Other members of that family might act as a trap plant to help reduce the numbers on your potatoes or tomatoes, or they may serve as host plants to really help breed up the numbers which will then invade your garden plants. I'm not conviced at all that they would repel pests.

I'm not exactly sure where Steve was going with his post, trap crop or host to get the numbers really high? I try to reduce all member of the nightshade growing wild but nettles are really bad this year.
What's the difference between the capital 'P' potatoes and the lower case 'p' potatoes? I'm pretty sure my volunteer potato is a capital P variety - it's taking over it's corner of the garden.
;)
 

journey11

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Eggplants make a good bait plant....flea beetles and potato beetles will usually go for them first. Watch for them on the eggplants and squish them as they show up there and hopefully they will leave your potatoes alone.
 

digitS'

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I have had no potato bugs in my potatoes because those plants are in another garden. After growing potatoes there for the last 6 or 7 years, I have yet to see a potato bug. (I'm knocking on every piece of wood within reach!)

Nightshade in the other garden is nearly an unknown, as well. There's a little. Maybe 1 plant shows up in about 100 square feet.

In the big veggie garden, where these pictures were taken, there are a couple nightshade plants every 20 square feet. Purslane and pigweed are more common but the nightshade sprouts here and there until I can get it out. I blame the birds but don't really know. The bugs really beat it up and I don't have any trouble getting it out before it goes to seed - something that isn't true with the pigweed for one. At least, the pigweed flowers -- it might be only 1/2" tall when it does that! Remarkable weed . . .

Meanwhile, the nightshade just serves as a food crop for the potato beetles. Then, they move on to the eggplant (big time), tomatoes and the neighbor's potatoes.

Steve
 

Ridgerunner

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canesisters said:
Ridgerunner said:
Potatoes and potatoes are members of the nightshade family. Other members of that family might act as a trap plant to help reduce the numbers on your potatoes or tomatoes, or they may serve as host plants to really help breed up the numbers which will then invade your garden plants. I'm not conviced at all that they would repel pests.

I'm not exactly sure where Steve was going with his post, trap crop or host to get the numbers really high? I try to reduce all member of the nightshade growing wild but nettles are really bad this year.
What's the difference between the capital 'P' potatoes and the lower case 'p' potatoes? I'm pretty sure my volunteer potato is a capital P variety - it's taking over it's corner of the garden.
;)
Caught me!!! Try tomato for one of them.
 

digitS'

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I thought I'd take this picture today while I was over in the tomatoes:


My idea was to show the contrast of a small-ish transplant to a volunteer at its feet:


There are very few volunteer tomatoes this year. They often won't have time to ripen fruit but I usually save one. I had a choice of 3 volunteers - left this one until last, then I noticed the damage and:


The orange egg cluster! There were more eggs on the underside of the leaves. I still haven't seen any potato beetles or eggs on the transplants. Instead of leaving it, I pulled the volunteer - oh well, there's next year.

Steve
 

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