Need help fighting spidermites on my tomato plants. : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I lost most of my tomatoe plants when the rain finally came.(mid Florida) Before that I was harvesting almost every day. My garden was inundated with spidermites. I am trying to go without chemicals and use dog shampoo if I really have to, but my ladybugs were doing a good job. They don't like spidermites! I am starting my fall garden in a couple of weeks. How do I clean my garden?Thanks,Ada

-- Aagje Franken (, July 29, 2000


Aagje, not really sure what you're asking about cleaning the garden. So I'd have to say dispose of any diseased or infested plants, and pull and compost anything else. Some of your crops, such as tomatoes and peppers, should survive. They may stop producing for a bit, but then when the light again reaches the right proportions, they'll be ready to go back into production. Keep track of where everything was planted so you can rotate different plants into the areas as much as possible. Try not to plant tomatoes/peppers/potatoes or cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower in the same spot.

Is this what you wanted to know? If not, repost and we'll see what we can do. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, August 03, 2000.

Hi Gerbil, thank you for responding.By cleaning I meant how long the soil needs to be idle in order for the pests to die out. I am really new at this. I will go by your advise and plants the peppers and tomatoes in another spot. We are getting ready for our fall garden. My garden was too wet once the rains started. We had put old magazines underneath the garden soil that we had brought in. (my backyard is nothing but sand.)But my son feels if we till it all and mix the sand with the topsoil, we should do well.The mags did a job on the weeds though. Thanks again. I am enjoying you alls conversations, read them all the time. Ada

-- Aagje Franken (, August 03, 2000.

Ada, if your soil is sandy the more humus (compost basically) you can get in it, the better. In Florida, I don't know how long it would take pests and diseases to disappear. Even this far north, if something like clubroot starts in the soil, it will survive for years. Insects are able to winter over to attack plants the following spring. You've got a moister, warmer year round climate. Probably the safest thing for you to do is practice strict sanitation and rotation to avoid getting anything started as much as possible. It sounds like you're doing a good job. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, August 03, 2000.

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