Gardening update: grubs edition

My garden this year is… not doing quite as well as I’d like. I got a late start on it, and started most things from seeds. But the sage finally came up, and my hyacinth bean vines are doing really well, despite Bella having decided that they are fun to chew on. I also transplanted my petunias into grow bags. I am hopeful that they’ll do well in them, but the transplanting may have been a bit traumatic. I’m also trying to grow some rosemary and mint and a thyme lawn.

Unfortunately, the thyme is doing super poorly. I transplanted thyme plants into a 3′ x 3′ raised bed on the back patio. A few days ago, I realized that there are grubs, and they have really enjoyed snacking on the thyme roots. I’ve ordered some milky spore and am waiting for it to arrive. I may have to give up on the thyme lawn, though. I’m considering trying Johnny Jump Ups. They are purple and yellow violas that I’m told are fairly grub resistant. If I do, I’ll probably start from seed, and it’ll be a while before I do so.

I also repotted the houseplants a few days ago. They seem to be doing well and are enjoying being in bigger pots. (They were getting a bit rootbound.) I may see if I can get baby purple zebra plants. We’ll see.

Container garden salvage plan

Well, I have a hideous fungus gnat infestation. I figure I need a plan for handling this, so I’ve typed one out below.

  1. Stop panicking.
  2. Prioritize plants to save(everything else is either already dead, or really sickly):
  3. Rosemary
    Banana
    Strawberries
    Mint
    Basil if possible
    Lettuce box 3, if possible
    Thyme, oregano, and sage if possible

  4. Empty out and sterilize containers that currently hold dead/sickly plants.
  5. Continue using sticky traps.
  6. Apply DE to soil of banana and rosemary and perhaps also the strawberries if it’s not to hard.
  7. Apply BTi drench to plants I wish to save. (Basil and lettuce box 3 are self watering containers, so I’ll add the BTi to the water reservoir and keep my fingers crossed.
  8. Repeat steps 4-6 until the pests are gone. Repeat step 3 as needed.
  9. Make soilless mix and replant what needs replanting. Also transplant rosemary into a bigger container with soilless mix at this time.

It’s possible that using DE and BTi is overkill, but right now an aggressive plan of attack makes me feel better.

I’m definitely going with a soilless mix in the future. The gnats got in through contaminated potting soil. I just hope a soilless mix really will be pest free.

I’m trying to decide of I want to use coir (coco peat) instead of regular peat. There seem to be advantages and disadvantages to both, though i hear coir has fewer problems with fungi and fungus gnats. Either way, I need to find a good potting mix recipe. I’ll be adding some container gardening books to my library request list, and taking copious notes.