The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Garden lessons

Asparagus recovering from an asparagus beetle infestation.Despite pretty much beating last year's top farm problems, we still had some sizeable learning experiences this year.  First and foremost, we discovered that it really is possible to get too much rain.  On a similar vein, grapes hate wet feet and tomatoes need to be planted as far apart as possible in the sunniest spot if you're overwhelmed with summer precipitation.

We also had a major run-in with asparagus beetles this year.  When I first noticed them this spring, I thought they were an interesting phenomenon, but by July they had escalated to the point where the beetle larvae nearly killed all of my asparagus ferns.  My garden guru suggested spraying Bt on the larvae, and even though the label says that Bt is only effective against caterpillars, our asparagus has begun to recover.  I hate to advocate spraying (even of a bacterium), but it seems like weekly spraying of Bt is a very effective method to wipe out asparagus beetle infestations.

This post is part of our Third Year of Homesteading lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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