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Hi everybody! I am loving my first crack at strawbale gardening. Yesterday I noticed some tomato leaves nibbled and found this lovely critter. Is it a potato beetle and should I spray it or just pluck and smash them daily? Also havent fertilized yet, is liquid Miracle Grow the best choice. Everything looks super healthy especially the spaghetti squash!
What should I do about these bugs? Don't want them to get all the tomatoes! Also on my 3rd picture can you see the spots on the sqash,the 1st plant on right bale? I'm thinking its a mildew, do I need to treat that? Thanks so much!
DoxeeMom, you're lucky if you only found one beetle. Squash them is what I did when they infested my potatoes two years ago. I had four 60 ft rows of potatoes which had beetles in the thousands. Last spring I only found three beetles and a couple of plants which had eggs which hatched into the instars. Wasn't difficult to handle them that time. The minor damage to your tomato leaves won't harm them, but just be sure your smash any beetles you find. The next season could be a disaster like mine nearly was. One neighbor completely lost his crop the year we had the problem and the next door neighbor dusted, but his crop wasn't nearly as good as ours. The instars can do considerable damage to potatoes if left unchecked, so you might look for those early in the season if you raise potatoes. I don't return any plants to the garden after harvest, preferring to burn or mulch then in a remote area where they will not be incorporated back into the main garden. I suspect that is what saved me from several infestations which hit gardens which used mulched plants such as tomatoes and potatoes.