Discovery! Preventing Colorado Potato Beetles on potatoes!!

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

7 years ago, or so, I tried my hand at growing potatoes using deep straw on the beds, as recommended by one of the great folks here on Dave's Garden. (I can't find the thread now or remember who made the original post. :-( ) This prevented weeds, eliminated hoeing, and ended the need for watering the plants once established, at least it does here in Michigan, but the Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB) still made its appearance and "bugging" was still one of our daily chores.

Then the next year, I decided to grow potatoes the same way, with deep straw on the beds, but I also took cheap landscaping fabric from Walmart, stapled it to sticks every 6 feet or so, and created a
potato-bed-box to keep all the straw from spilling over onto my skinny walking path in-between my 4 foot wide potato beds. The fabric boxes work great for that purpose, but for the past 6 years, I HAVE NOT HAD ONE POTATO BUG on my potatoes!!! I have found them on my eggplants, etc., but not 1 CPB on my potatoes!!! I'm not sure why, but they have never crossed over the fabric sides to my potato plants!

This year I tried an experiment... I made one large potato bed, using deep straw again, that was approximately 20 feet wide X 20 feet long, and I put the fabric side up, making a big box, but this year rather than the cheap Walmart landscaping fabric, I used Home Depot's silt fencing, so I could see if the fabric itself made the difference. ( )
The results?? Not one CPB on my potato plants!!!!!! They did not cross over the fabric box!

Below is a photo of one of my smaller potato beds with fabric sides, so you can see what I'm talking about.

If anyone gives this a try, please D-mail me and let me know if it prevents the Colorado Potato Beetle from infesting your potato plants! This is such a fast, easy, and chemical-free way to prevent them, I need to know if it works elsewhere!

:) Glenda

Thumbnail by Glenda_Michigan
Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Wow, great job great idea.

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

Thanks 1lisac! :-) Sure hope it helps someone who really has a problem with CPBs.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

How did you get that taut box shape?

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

Pollen garden, I use 2" x 2" x 4' wooden stakes, drive them into the ground, then staple the landscaping fabric to each stake. This past year I bought rolls of pre-stapled silt fence to use for my fabric boxes, and it saved me a ton of time. :)

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Thank you

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