I’ve been noticing way more grasshoppers around this year than normal. And now they’re getting bigger, you really notice them as every step you take, you send up a big cloud before you. I have noticed though, there isn’t a single one in the orchard, where our chickens roam. I sure wish I could turn them into some of our gardens where the hoppers are eating our vegetable plants! Unfortunately, those gardens are too far from the house and chicken coop and a predator would get them for sure. The grasshoppers ate the leaves off most of our cabbage family plants or severely so, in the Sand garden and in the Central garden they’re even eating the bean leaves. We powdered the peppers and cabbage family in the Sand garden with pyrethrin powder but are not treating the beans as the damage isn’t severe — yet. We’re crossing our fingers here…

Everywhere you look there are grasshoppers; it’s like a Biblical plague of locusts!

If that wasn’t bad enough, the flea beetles are chewing tiny holes in all of the emerging rutabaga and turnip leaves when the plants are just up so I’ll have to dust them too if we’re going to save any. It’s easy to tell flea beetle damage from grasshopper chewing as the grasshoppers create big scallops in the leaves where the flea beetles just make little pinholes in small leaves of just-emerging plants. This drought is creating a myriad of other problems for us gardeners this year!

Despite the bugs this year, we still have nice gardens and flowers like this Gloriosa Daisy in the front bed.
Here’s my low-tech watering equipment for a few shorter garden rows. Cute, huh? Gotta get big soon.

So far we still have not had any rain, other than a tiny drizzle for a few minutes a few days ago. We’re planning out how to water our far-out gardens effectively. We’ve got a big plastic 400-gallon tank and a few 250 gallon totes so I’m thinking we’ll be putting the big tank in a garden and hauling water to it with the smaller totes and using our little water pump to run hoses and sprinklers out there. This morning I took the ATV out eight times to water in the struggling beet and Swiss chard rows. Whew! It’s not like we don’t have anything else to do, huh? — Jackie

40 COMMENTS

  1. Jackie, Can you use the pyrethrin dust in rose bushes? I have something attacking them. No problem in the garden. Yet! Praise God.

  2. I’ve been using Surround mixed with peppermint oil. Supposed to mask the smell of the plant. We have been in severe drought here in western Maine, finally got some rain with the tropical storm but it’s not enough. Our hoppers are bigger this year as well. If we really are in a Grand Solar Minimum then we are in trouble for many years to come. Good luck

    • Sounds like a possibility. I’ve got a bag so maybe I’ll give it a try. We’ve got grasshoppers big enough to saddle up and ride off into the sunset on!

  3. So sorry you are having such pest problems. You and Will work so hard and you deserve a good return. Please know that you two are loved by all your readers. You are such an inspiration to all of us. You have a huge garden of friends sending love and appreciation your way!

  4. Oh Jackie, here in Australia in 2019 grasshoppers ate most of my seedlings and combined with the smoke from bushies our harvests were poor. Then 2020 we had grasshoppers and the beetles you call June bugs eating the foliage of our berry and hazelnut leaves reducing harvests enormously. It’s starting to look like a plague of one sort or another will hit most years. Drought is also a problem, big sigh from me as I’ve been worried about the dreaded climate for more years than I’d like to say. Sadly, our governments are doing little to alleviate the crisis. All we can do is keep trying and hoping for a “normal ” year, whatever that may be in the future. Hopefully you’ll have less trouble in your hoop houses as the little blighters can be kept under control more easily. All the best. It’s winter here but sometimes the sun is so warm it feels like early summer. I feel so distressed some days as I read about record temperatures in your country and mouse plagues in mine, just hang in there, you always inspire me to keep on trying. Sue from down under.

    • Gee we had our mouse plague two years ago. They ate over 100 squash in the gardens, girdled many of our older fruit trees by climbing up inside the wire protectors around the trunks when the snow got so deep. But somehow we always keep on doing what we love. And hope for rain!

  5. I’m so baffled about something eating my zinnias that grew tall and trouble-free last year. On half of ’em the top six inches are completely missing on already stunted plants. And a few stems that actually flowered are chopped in half like a felled tree!? So weird…
    Maybe I will try to sneak out at night to see if I can catch “it”. But no clue what it could be. The tomatoes and dill that abut them are left untouched, whew!

  6. Sorry to hear about your troubles with the grasshoppers and bugs eating up the gardens. I don’t know if it will work or not and maybe you have already tried it. I use diatomaceous earth around my living space and I don’t get ants and mosquitos and the other day I dumped 2 gallons of it on a bunch of beetles and bugs that came about after I raked up old leaves and grass. My plants are okay but it is a small garden in pots. Sounds like you are doing good despite the troubles with the bugs and the drought. If I were a plant I would like to be in your ground taken care of.

    • We do use diatomaceous earth in smaller areas but we have 9 gardens and 2 are over an acre so we end up treating small spots with intense problems only and hope the strong plants elsewhere can fend off attacks. So far, so good…..

  7. Ugh. I read that grasshoppers were going to be a problem this year due to the drought. Haven’t seen any yet here in the PNW, but the heat is breaking records. So thankful for our deep, reliable well.

    • Good water is, indeed, a huge blessing!!! Thankfully we have two great wells and a good springfed pond. I hate this heat!!!

  8. I live in southern MI and we have had a lot of rain – it will rain for several days then it is very hot for several days, I think my garden had every disease you can think of. I have never had these kind of problems in my garden and am having to brush up on how to treat all these different issues. My biggest problem has been with greens and basil plus my cabbage leaves have been almost eaten up but the cabbage is forming. I’ve got brown leaves, yellow leaves, chewed up leaves, my bean leaves have been eaten off the stems and they are pole beans.
    I’m thinking about a high tunnel for next year.

    • Yeah, I know what you mean. When we lived in New Mexico, we got so many hail storms I thought there must be some way to put a wire cage over the entire garden!

  9. sorry about the bugs being so bad in your gardens, so far we have had not problem, garden is going crazy, producing way more than had hoped for, which is good, have some to share with kids hope there is some fruit this fall, did not get strawberries, too expensive in store and missed them at farmers market. oh, well, next year, We have had plenty rain when we needed it. thankful for that. So enjoy your pictures and blog, keep up the good work, Ann

    • I’m so happy to hear your garden is doing so well. We’ve found that even in bad years we end up with a bountiful harvest if we just keep at it. Glad you like the blog!

  10. Wish I could send you some of our rain. I have been trying to finish up 3 of my gardens so we can head to the one up in the woods, but the rain isn’t cooperating. I figure God knows our needs and He has it planned already. He will provide what we need.

    • And He does, too! Even if we don’t agree at the moment. Last year we had the worst growing year ever and one of the best harvests. So it goes to show you, huh?

  11. We just got 1 inch of rain in SE South Dakota, it’s been a long time since we saw any. Good luck with the watering!

  12. Same problems for me. I have an 800 gallon poly tank the local feed mill gave away-pump didn’t work (fixed it). We can suck water from the spring and water. I too have an abundance of beetles. It is very dry here too. This has been a challenging year to grow produce. Have you tried “pepper spray”? Also have you used row cover? Organic pest control is challenging.

    • Tried pepper spray. No good. We just can’t find the time to row cover so much land (9 gardens!) I’m going to get some Semaspore grasshopper bait. I used it in New Mexico and this natural approach contains Nosema locustae, a naturally occurring grasshopper control. After eating Semaspore, grasshoppers become sick, eat less and begin to die. The disease spore spreads to healthy grasshoppers through cannibalism. It really slowed down the hopper invasion when I used it before.

      • Well, so much for the Semaspore; I tried to order it and everyone is out of that and Nolo Bait, basically the same thing. I’ll be spraying with PyGanic a pyrethrin spray if I have to on attacked areas.

  13. We have the same conditions you just described here in Oregon. We’re the Pacific Northwest we’re supposed to be wet. We how ever are not I’ve reverted to water as I did back when I lived in Arizona. So crazy. I wonder what our winter will be like. We’ve already got our wood in as they are closing our forest due to dry conditions.

    • Yep, we’ve got a few forest fires burning in northern Minnesota right now. Thankfully, not anywhere close to us. But the Canadian fires are sending heavy smoke down to us so it’s getting real hazy. We keep praying for a good rain!

  14. I know about those grasshoppers. I have had them demolish my garden the last 2 years and I used nolo bait both years. There seems to be fewer this year and just babies. But they don’t have any nolo bait for sale so next year I think I am in trouble. I am using Ecobran this year. I hate using anything that may be harmful to anything except the target problem. We are in a drought too so I have given up on a garden this year and maybe for yeas to come. This old body can only stretch so far. I hope you can still get a good harvest!

    • You might try PyGanic, a pyrethrin spray along with Semaspore both of which are available through Arbico, online. I’ve ordered both but the Semaspore is not really quick acting when there are adult grasshoppers present as it works best on the tiny baby hoppers. I do realize how disheartening it is to fight all these critters.

  15. Wish I could send you some water. We had over 20″ in June & picked up another 5″ since the beginning of July. We are struggling to save what is left of the garden. Need to replant but mud is knee deep in places. Corn has done well as did the blueberries & strawberries but most everything else has drowned. Best crop of mud we’ve had in several years. If it doesn’t rain again soon we may lose that as well!

      • Thanks. If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. We’re only 6 weeks into hurricane season so it’s sure to get worse. Even if we don’t get a direct hit, we usually pick up moisture from anything that tracks through the Gulf. Joys of living in coastal plains of NC. Born & bred here so you get used to it after a while and learn to roll with nature.

    • Wow! I sure hope all of our weather will even out soon as it’s sure a struggle all over the country this year. Here’s hoping hurricane season will be good to you for once.

  16. Reminds me of this meme I saw. This dude is looking around at something and it’s captioned – What verse of revalations are we living today?

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