It’s been a tough couple of weeks dealing with constant rain and pest pressure. All of our soil has been so saturated I can’t even work it to turn over beds for new plantings.
And some of the crops have been taking a hit because saturated soil = anaerobic soil (no oxygen).
Anaerobic soil leads to root damage, nutrient imbalances, reduced microbial activity, increased disease risk, and poor water drainage. Lack of oxygen causes root cells to die, resulting in root rot and stunted growth.
Additionally, when plants are stressed due to waterlogged soil, their natural defenses can be compromised. Weakened plants are more susceptible to pest attacks and may struggle to fend off pests effectively. Pests can feed on weakened plants, causing further damage and potentially spreading diseases.
We saw an explosion of pests in the past week. Mainly caterpillars, aphids and grasshoppers. Also a small jumping black bug that I haven’t identified, it sucks the sap from leaves and causes pale spots and stippling.
Here are a few grasshopper babies on a basil plant.
I had to compost all this cauliflower due to caterpillars.
They hit the collards hard as well.
We also had a lot of our carrots rot and lost a bed of cilantro and dill.
We have two streams of water that flow into our property from the north in heavy rain events, directly into our veggie plots, so I need to get some ditches dug to redirect those streams.
On the bright side, not everything is going wrong. In this tunnel the crops seem to be holding in there. From left to right we have red and gold beets, zucchini, tomatoes, kohlrabi (did get hit by caterpillars but probably still harvestable) and lettuce (harvested this week).
The bog filter for the pool pond is also doing well so far. Last season we had a root rot disease break out and prevent strong growth but so far so good.
It has multiple Taro cultivars, bacopa, chocolate mint and cannas.
That’s all for now!