Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Friday, August 09, 2013

Red Spider Mite Problems

 I started the season with some lovely, healthy cucumber plants, as the season progressed it was clear that they were not thriving.  This is now obvious that I have a heavy infestation of Red Spider Mites.
 Red Spider mites are tiny tiny sandy coloured mites that live on the underside of leaves and suck the goodness out of it.  Laying eggs and tiny little webs on the underside of the leaves until their numbers just overcome the plant which gradually withers and dies.
 The mites find it difficult to lay their eggs in moist conditions and yet I have misted, sprayed and tried everything this year but to no avail.   This has been a problem for a few years now and I think that these mites overwinter in the greenhouse. Without a really thorough clean of the inside of my greenhouse during the Winter months I think this will continue.
 There is a biological control which can be used if the infestation is caught early in the season.  Using the Red Spider mites natural predators can be a useful way to control numbers but this late in the season there must be millions of the critters.
You can just about see the tiny webs and the even tinier little sandy coloured critters here at the growing point.  I guess there will be no more cucumbers for me this year.


At 8:29 PM, Blogger Lee said...

Bummer. Our cucumbers are looking a bit yellow and unhealthy all of a sudden. I shall give them a close inspection tomorrow...

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Sue Garrett said...

For a few years now spider mites have devastated our kiwi Issai growing in a pot outdoors. WE bought a spray based on rapeseed oil to use when it shows itself this year but so far we have escaped its notice. It's early days and we still may suffer. Even last summer with the wet conditions we had it outside.


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