Planted beets...................AGAIN


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Here in Texas it was the rainiest September in history. The ground finally dried enough to plant seeds. Got the seeds planted the second week in October. It was a perfect time as a cold front dropped the temperatures to exactly right. The seeds germinated in 5 days, about 1200 of them and what happens immediately? Yep, more rain. It rained every day, all day for over a week. I couldn't get to the garden and it was so muddy I couldn't have done anything anyway so I just thought "don't complain about the rain" and placed it in the back of my mind. I finally was able to get into the garden 4 days ago and what did I see? Nothing, absolutely nothing. No Swiss Chard, no spinach and not a beet to be found. It took about 3 seconds to figure out what happened. This did. Anyone care to guess what it is? Here's a hint. It marched through my garden and ate everything.
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It started out as a moth. Another hint. There will never be just one.
One of my favorite mental images is of the 3 waves of army worms we get here coming in as egg bombs from Moth bombers vectoring on succulent bermuda and other lawn plants.
 
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@MaryMary and @DirtMechanic are todays big winners. Yep, armyworms. A swath of about 75 yards long. It takes about 2 weeks for them to disappear so they should be about finished. Yesterday when I planted beet seeds again there were none visible in the actual garden but outside the garden in the weeds and grass were tons of them. I have never heard of them hitting the same place twice but in any case I had to plant now instead of waiting a week or two to make sure. This time as soon as the seeds germinate I am going to spray the soil in the rows with spinosad and when that dries spray with Bt. Hopefully the bacteria in the spinosad will kill any caterpillar just like it does with ants. I never knew there were armyworms named after what their favorite food is. I did a little research on them and found out there are also watermelon armyworms and that they look, at least to me, identical to beet armyworms. I knew that there are many different varieties but did not know that some of them are fairly specific in what they feed on.
 
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I got hit once and was told that the insects tend to come back to an area the next year but at a lower headcount. I also learned Bt controls them. When they dissappear they will be in the ground in a chrysalis stage in a silk lined hole.
 
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I got hit once and was told that the insects tend to come back to an area the next year but at a lower headcount. I also learned Bt controls them. When they dissappear they will be in the ground in a chrysalis stage in a silk lined hole.
Yes, Bt kills the caterpillars within hours, but, when you have little seedlings just sprouted there is no time to spray before they are eaten or severely damaged. On my swiss chard and spinach they ate all of the leaves but not the roots so they will hopefully come back. If only it wasn't raining for many consecutive days I could have prevented much of the loss. Beets were a 100% loss.
 
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Yes, Bt kills the caterpillars within hours, but, when you have little seedlings just sprouted there is no time to spray before they are eaten or severely damaged. On my swiss chard and spinach they ate all of the leaves but not the roots so they will hopefully come back. If only it wasn't raining for many consecutive days I could have prevented much of the loss. Beets were a 100% loss.
I think I am going to spray just in case. All my plants are up and tender.
 
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I think I am going to spray just in case. All my plants are up and tender.
What I'm going to do is as soon as the seeds start to sprout is to spray the soil with spinosad. Spinosad kills by contact by means of a bacteria and by ingestion. Then when the seeds are all up spray with Bt which only kills by ingestion. I am supposed to have excellent weather for the foreseeable future and I'm not going to take any chances as my time is rapidly running out.
 
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What I'm going to do is as soon as the seeds start to sprout is to spray the soil with spinosad. Spinosad kills by contact by means of a bacteria and by ingestion. Then when the seeds are all up spray with Bt which only kills by ingestion. I am supposed to have excellent weather for the foreseeable future and I'm not going to take any chances as my time is rapidly running out.
Being biological agents, would you know if mixing spinosad and Bt is a problem? To date I have gone to the trouble of applying all bio agents uniquely so that I did not risk killing them chemically before they were even dispersed.
 
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Being biological agents, would you know if mixing spinosad and Bt is a problem? To date I have gone to the trouble of applying all bio agents uniquely so that I did not risk killing them chemically before they were even dispersed.
I have mixed them both many times. The reason I'm not going to this time is because I know Bt must be ingested and most of the seeds will not have sprouted yet. If say I had plants with beetles and caterpillars I'd mix the two.
 

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Army worms, we had that problem here at the greenhouse. Luckily, we keep a fishpond,and some Turtles so we fed the Army worms to them. One of my favorite techniques is using Natural Predators to keep insects under control. That way nothing goes to waste.
 

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