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Thread: Feeling Dumb

  1. #1
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    sigh...

    have you ever had one of those days, or weeks, or even months?

    Let me tell you my story. LAST WINTER I was invaded with aphids, I tried everything I could find short of pesticides, and eventually ended up destroying the plants for lack of a better option (they were pepper plants, so no really big loss! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Any how, spring rolls around, all my plants out doors are doing great, and behold, I see the black fungus that grows in aphid droppings... my face reddens, anger rises... I am hacked! "Why won't they leave me alone? I am a NICE GUY!" I think to myself... well, I decide since the outbreak isn't to bad, To treat it with wintergreen alchohol and cotton swabs, gently swabbing down every leaf (Or so I thought) proud of myself for not using nasty chemicals, I go on with life, thinking everything is great.

    Mid Summer, I buy 3 Praying Mantis Egg Cases, all casses hatch... rain promptly washes all the young out of my garden. Grrr....

    Late summer, My Cucumber and Bird House Gourd vines are looking pretty bad, and I know I have been killing the grass hoppers with scissors, they can't be responsible... so I go out looking... and low and behold... aphids... so I look closer... not only are they on those plants... but their munching on my passin vines too... grrr... on my hibiscus, they are EVERYWHERE!!! (They always come when we get rainey weeks here... who knows why)

    Well... needless to say.. I had had it. I go to home depot and buy Ortho's Bug Be Gone for gardens (safe for veggies if wait to harvest.) so I use it, and use it, and use it, and eventually, it looks like they are all toast.

    WELL... this morning I go outside, and now, some of you know my time any where has been limited lately since I tore my ankle up playing basketball, mobility is (was) an issue, and now that I cna get around, I spent some time outdoors... I pulled up the old cucumber vines, and the gourd vines, and my wild flowers, and basically ripped out everything past it's season and tossed it into the scrub behind my place (It's a flood plane, and over grown with weeds and bushes, so a little extra dirt and dead plant material only enhances the appeal right?) [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] I am feeling great with potting soil under my nails mixing up some nice compost and soil and poteet strawberry sand for my mix for the veggies (I planted more cucumbers, Cilantro, Snow Peas, Green Beans, Tomatoes (planted a couple weeks ago) lavender, chives, and Sweet Purple Basil, and oh, Artichokes... (Mmmm!!!&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] So I am feeling p[retty proud... I am done, so I position all the pots, water them, and then decide I should clean up... and what do my wondering eyes do I find when it's all said and done?

    1) Aphids, all over my hibiscus
    2) orange caterpillars with black spikes munching down on my passion vine!

    Let me tell you I am ticked... I was so incredibly angry at this development that I went inside, and dirty as can be (with potting soil residue up to my elboes and nasty streaks on my face) I grabbed my keys, jumped in the RAM, and drove over to Home Depot, I looked and looked, to see if there was something affordable and of enough quantity to treat my entire garden... no more mr. nice guy... I was going to eradicate insect life from my porch for the next few weeks (I don't care about good insect, but I wanted the aphids, caterpillars, and all the other nasties GONE!!!! friendly fire casualties were at this point, acceptable.)

    So.. I grab the bottle of Ortho Bug-B-Gone that I settled on and head home in a hurry... now.. note... the operative word here is 'hurry'. I get home, set the spray, and start pumping... I am spraying the tops of leaves, the bottoms of leaves where those nasty aphids hang out, I am spraying stems, I am spraying RIGHT ON THE FRIGGIN CATERPILLARS... and then I notice something...

    "Oh $1%*" I say to my self... i stop.. I realize... that after spraying my hibiscus, my passion vines, my CARNIVOROUS PLANTS (very lightly) all my veggies, and so on, pretty much my entire garden.... that the bottle does not say Bug-B-Gone, but "Weed B Gone..."

    In my infinite supply of anger I threw the bottle off my balcony as hard as I could out into the scrub... Mad at myself now... ran inside, grabbed a hose, hooked it up to my sink (now, fun thing is that in San Antonio we apartment dwellers all get LOW FLOW faucets and toilets to save on water) run outside and start washing all my plants down as fast as I can... I spent at least an hour out there pumping water all over my plants hoping I can save them... I used saran wrap over the tops of the pots to minimize the amount of water that gets in the soil... and... I prayed for rain... now, draw what conclusions you want, but it started raining within 15 minutes, (granted, we had showers all morning long, but this was a veritable deluge.) I tipped my pots so all the plants could get raind directly on them... and then set out into the scrub behind my house, with an acheing and weak ankle to find the plant killing bottle of herbecide I so intelligently threw into the Edwards Aquifer Recharge zone and one of San Antonios more elegant green belts...

    As I sit here writing this, with my bottle of Orthos Weed B Gone (covered in mud in the trash can) me, covered in mud as well mosquito bites, a newly even more sore ankle, and of course, the requisite scrapes and bruises you get crawling through mountain cedar, I think to myself... that with all the spraying and rain and what not to get the chemicals out of my plants soil, and off their leaves, I probably washed it away into:

    A) My neighbors considerable potted garden below me
    B) the Apartment Complex's nice lawn below me
    C) The recharge zone I ventured into to get the bottle out of...

    but what can I do... [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]

    Well... I can say this with absolute confidence... I know that for the first time ever, one of my Carnivorous Plants Bloomed today. lets just hope it survives. (Sarracenia Purpera.)

    By the way, at Home Depot, Ortho Bug B Gone and Weed B Gone sit RIGHT NEXT TO ONE ANOTHER... I would write and complain... but that is like filing suit against McDonalds for being fat... wait... hmmm....
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

  2. #2

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    eep!!

    yikes!!

    ouch!!

    gah!!!


    (What I said while I was reading the thread! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] )

    Ram

    You might want to consider using regular dishwashing soap to get rid of the aphids. I had a HUGE aphid infestation on some ornamental pea plants in my back yard, and after spraying 3 times they were all dead (all the good insects are still there too). I highly reccommend the stuff. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Jœl
    http://homepage.mac.com/mindmaze128/...lood forum.jpg
    Joel Martínez
    San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA

  3. #3
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Rampuppy, I feel for ya. I've just had a week from H_ _ _ and feel an empathy for you. I'm so glad this is my Friday!!! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] .

    I've tried mindmaze128's suggested remedy (but not on my CP's) and it works pretty good.
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

    My Grow List

  4. #4
    Send in the Clones Houstonherp's Avatar
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    Rampuppy -

    As for qualifying what is good and what is bad...

    The caterpillars you describe so eloquently munching on your passionflower vine (passiflora) are swallowtail butterflies, and are probably something you really enjoy seeing in their adult state. My wife and I grow dill and fennel every year, knowing that the swallowtails are going to lay their eggs on it and eat the whole %^#%%& thing! But it's worth it to see the dazzling array of winged jewels later in the year.

    Just some thoughts...sometimes there's a silver (or black and orange) lining.
    Mike Howlett

    "Leuc, I am your flava!"

    Now we know Princess Leah's last name: Wilkerson!!

  5. #5

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    King Midas in reverse... some days whatever you touch turns to crap (to put it mildly). Hang in there bro... you'll kick those aphid's *****. Seriously though, ladybugs love to eat aphids. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    There's a tunnel at the end of the light...

  6. #6
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    hehh...

    everything seems ok so far today... I am hoping that the relatively light spraying (combined with the rain and the washing) just amount to to little of the stuff compared to the bulk of the plants I sprayed... keeping my fingers crossed...

    Any how... about the caterpillars... you have go to understand, that that passion flower ( a gift from suzanne (plant a kiss) is one of my favorite plants, and to walk out after a week or so of not being able to see them (My wife was watering for me, and she didn't pay attention) and to find over a quarter of my passion vine ruined, dessicated, browning and looking so very pitiful... no... they may be pretty butterflies, but there will be others... besides, my complex is very big on appearances... I would have to tear down the passion vine in the winter when it;s active growth dies back... I cant leave all that up for their chrysali... nope...

    but I tell you what... I didn't kill them, I just used my pressure sprayer to knock most of them off, down into the yard below me... if they survive the lawn mower my neighbors ficas tree is in for a riot! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] har har har! (evil grin) (I am sometimes not nice! )

    Any how... thanks all for your concern... be very assured that you will either hear a sigh of relief in a week or so, or screams of mortal injury....
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

  7. #7
    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Well we are all here for you and I am sure that any losses you have will find their way back to you before you know it.
    'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'

    See You Space Cowboy

    actagggcagtgatatcccattggtacatggcaaattagcctcatgat
    Hagerstown, Maryland

    --
    actagggcagtgatatcccattggtacatggcaaattagcctcatgat

  8. #8
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    I would go buy a bag o' lady bugs! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    They work! I have used them before.

    The praying mantis ( or is that manti; for more than 1 ) tend to eat their brothers and sisters before they even really go for what you 'bought them for ' [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img]

    You could use Neem on them. I have had luck with it, just not on CP's.

    Whatever you do....don't waste your time on that insect soap. It sucks!

    Good luck with your plants Ram! I am sure that they will be ok.

    I just got rid of aphids on my Hibiscus here....so I know that it can be done! ( I had 6-7 of them being gnawed on )

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