Last year we had a terrible aphid problem, we lost all of our brussel sprouts and a lot of our flowers. Our cabbages were destroyed by cabbage worms and slugs pretty early on but we did get some good cabbages in the end. And early in the year, we had flea beetles. We have flea beetles again already.
They destroy seedlings and our arugula in particular. They overwinter in the soil in debris and the larvae eat roots until the adults emerge and feed on new leaves. Especially arugula. A couple of years ago, we lost a lot of radishes and lettuce to these little pests.
Using organic growing standards, we don’t use synthetic chemicals to control insects. But this year we are using a chemical control. Neem Oil is our go-to. Neem oil is naturally derived oil from an evergreen tree. It is certified organic and not known to cause any damage to bees or butterflies unless applied directly to their food source. And according to the package, it is safe to use up to the day of harvest.
So we’re going to give it a try and see if we can’t get the flea beetles under control and if we need it later in the season, we will have it.