My last post was about the flea beetles on my broccoli. I got lots of suggestions. I tried sprinkling with garlic powder and that seemed to help, but I think I would need to do that each day. This broccoli is in my community garden and I don't visit it daily. I once had luck with garlic powder to rid beans of insects, but those were in my own yard and I could apply it daily. Unfortunately after that it rained for 10 days. Because of it, I didn't go to my garden for a while and when I returned the beetles were much fewer. However, the broccoli looks terrible, has lots of holes and is stunted. I may try diatomaceous earth next . The broccoli is really a candidate for ripping out, but I figure I have two rows of it and it may be fun and educational to try diatomaceous earth on one row just to see if it works, so I know what to do next year. The garden is organic so it's not an option to just poison the little critters.
I'm not totally without broccoli however. The new little 8ft. by 42inch bed that I set up in my yard at home is doing OK. It only gets barely 6 hours of sun, so things aren't perfect, but I've eaten lots of lettuce from it and here's a photo of the first broccoli. It's such a contrast to the broccoli in my community garden. There's not even one hole in any of these leaves. I think one good thing about a new bed is that the pests haven't found it yet or maybe the chickens arfe helping with insect control. We'll see if the broccoli here looks this good next year.
So far I'm pleased with this new little bed. What's in it (starting from closest to the camera) is a row of broccoli, two rows of romaine lettuce and a few red lettuces, another row of broccoli, then an empty space where the spinach was a failure, then a double row of raab, then a row of parsley. I was happy that I made it 42 inches wide and not the 48 inches that I was tempted to do. I'm only 5'3'' but have no trouble reaching the middle. What also worked well was the 2 foot chicken wire. At first I wasn't sure it was tall enough to deter chickens and dogs. Two feet has been enough to give the dogs a visual cue not to run through the bed and the chickens do not go over it. I believe that it's the floppiness of it that deters the chickens from jumping up on it. Two feet is nice because I don't need to open it up to weed or harvest. I just reach over. There is one problem though. The chickens have eaten some things through the wire. One broccoli plant disappeared. It was probably pulled through when it was young. I really should move the wire out a few inches to help prevent more chicken damage.