Grit Blogs > One Foot in the City

Fighting Grasshoppers - Again

Seems like there is always an insect attacking the garden and I think mine must send out signals that I use few chemicals.  Last year was a vegetable bust due to drought and if anything did manage to sprout a leaf, the grasshoppers were on that in a minute.  This year our wet and early spring has produced a good garden, but the last two weeks have brought on the grasshoppers in small size and big herds.

The extension office had a flyer that provided some basic information:

“The young grasshoppers (nymphs) resemble small adults without wings.  Nymphs pass through 4-5 growth stages (instars) before they reach the adult stage and obtain functional wings. Eggs are deposited in pods in the soil in August, September, and October. Depending on the species, each female may produce up to 25 pods with up to 100 eggs in each. There is usually only one generation produced each year.” 

How, I ask, can a person think organically when the hoppers are chewing the plants off before your very eyes?  I did take on the fight though.  In desperation I applied liquid Sevin around the perimeter of the vegetable garden and on the iris.  The flyers indicated the hoppers like areas that are sparsely vegetated, so the dryer grass around the garden seems to be badly infected.

I also invented a couple of coverings – pretty fancy stuff made out of lace like you'd buy to make a wedding veil.  I have seen hoppers eat the tomato foliage, and then the tomatoes as well and this looked like the start of that degree of invasion. 

Netting applied to herbs 

Netting pegged down 

I have sprayed twice on the root crop plants and my “lacey covers” seem to be helping.  If anyone has some good ideas that might help, I sure could use them.

roland small
6/18/2012 1:22:17 PM

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nebraska dave
6/17/2012 2:34:09 PM

Joan, the county extension agencies are usually helpful with insect control for your area. I've found much useful information about gardening and plants in general just by checking out the different extension agencies from the different states. Universities have a lot of information especially the ones that are agriculture favorites. Some have quite a lot of information about organic gardening. Imagine that. Just from the little research that I did to see what's out there, it seems there is quite a lot to be said about how to control hopper infestation. I am glad to see that you are not giving up on gardening just because of a couple years of bad harvests. Every year brings on new, and it seems like, more evil challenges to over come with gardening. Have a great day in the garden. Good luck with the hopper battle.