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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  johnp 7/13/2016, 9:32 am

My last post a few days ago regarding the grasshopper invasion has not changed. My neighbor across the street left for two days. He got back yesterday he told me he lost 12 Romano plants, all the leaves and all the fruit. he has given up. I continue to try spraying everything I can find, even trying the milk suggestion, Seavin, some new stuff at the garden center and NOLO bait. They are still here. The latest casualty are three of four grape vines, onions and one 4x4 of peppers. W hat I have left is squash, cucumbers and tomatoes. Replanted lettuce, kale and beets but nothing yet. Not to be outdone by the grasshoppers, we have a 13,000 acre fire 40 miles west of us with 0 containment. And just in case that is not enough we have an 800 acre fire eight miles to the north on the army fort. The smoke is unreal (my wife has asthma) and I have trouble breathing sometimes also. The smell is everywhere, inside and out. Extremely dry also with no rain for weeks. Don't know what else can happen. Rolling Eyes
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Post  donnainzone5 7/13/2016, 11:56 am

Snow?  Rolling Eyes
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Post  Zmoore 7/13/2016, 11:57 am

Ugh!  So sorry to hear that on all counts. 
Stay safe with the fires so close.
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Post  llama momma 7/13/2016, 12:17 pm

Such severe nasty conditions. Stay safe!  
There's always another garden season. Best wishes for better conditions, and quickly.
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Post  countrynaturals 7/13/2016, 12:22 pm

Sad Sad I'm so sorry for what you're going through -- especially the smoke. Maybe the smoke and fires will get rid of the grasshoppers?
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Post  sanderson 7/13/2016, 1:35 pm

The Apocalypse? Zombies? Martians? John, I am so, so sorry about your garden struggles. I truly am.

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Post  trolleydriver 7/13/2016, 3:00 pm

sanderson wrote:The Apocalypse?  Zombies?  Martians?  John,  I am so, so sorry about your garden struggles.  I truly am.  

John, add me to those who are sorry about your situation.

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Post  johnp 7/13/2016, 5:23 pm

Thanks all for your thoughts. It really has been tough though. I am continuing on with the agony by clearing out the dead eggplants and planting more lettuce, kale, spinach and beets. Trying to figure out a quick cover,tule, that will not let one hopper in. My last cover let in two and as soon as the sprouts appeared they were gone. I am thinking of a 2x4 frame the same size as the box, cover with tule and tack it to the box. That should give the plants four inches to grow before I can come up with something else. I am doing all this one handed as shoulder surgery has hampered my movements somewhat. Shocked 

The smoke cleared a little this morning but the wind shifted easterly and then from the northeast which is right where the other fire is so back in the smoke his afternoon.
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Post  Judy McConnell 7/13/2016, 5:31 pm

John - I am so very sorry to read this - both about the grasshoppers and the nearby fires.  Stay as safe as you can.  Fortunately gardens can be replanted.
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Post  donnainzone5 7/13/2016, 7:26 pm

Just this week, I hit upon an idea that just might work to solve many similar problems: Use screening (such as one uses for a screen door) to make a frame surrounding the crop(s) you wish to protect.  It would keep out birds, as well as most insects. 

It could, theoretically, be installed over a hoop house.  It could be cut at intervals to create access, and closed with something like earth staples.

Just a thought.
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Post  bigdogrock 7/13/2016, 9:46 pm

I hope things improve for you John. Hang in there and be safe. Grasshoppers are bad enough, but keep your attention on the fires and be ready to get out. Prayers and wishes to you.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/13/2016, 10:09 pm

I love you Sad thinking John, you are a thinker....just chalk this up to the challenge that it is. Try stuff; I like the screen idea....tiny and able to be tightly secured....

Thinking of you. Above all, take care of your arm, only have 2.
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Post  CapeCoddess 7/14/2016, 3:07 pm

I've had such a bad time with pill bugs that I'm starting all my fall crops inside.

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Post  johnp 7/15/2016, 9:05 am

Some better news. The hoppers did not get all the dill and cilantro so I pulled the going to seed plants and am turning one 4x4 into nothing but cilantro and dill for later this season. The onions and leeks are starting to regrow so I May have some little ones to use later. I have covered my existing tom's with knee highs, the bigger ones anyway so am somewhat hopeful. BTW I went to the dollar store and bought 4 packs of knee highs for $2.50 a four pack, cut each in half and knotted the open end. That is 16 covers for 2.50 so I think that is good cheap protection.
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Post  CapeCoddess 7/15/2016, 10:32 am

johnp wrote:I have covered my existing tom's with knee highs, the bigger ones anyway so am somewhat hopeful. BTW I went to the dollar store and bought 4 packs of knee highs for $2.50 a four pack, cut each in half and knotted the open end. That is 16 covers for 2.50 so I think that is good cheap protection.

Excellent score! Photo please?
What a Face
Can you start some crops inside, like lettuce and other greens? I have cukes and lettuce going inside at the moment.

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Post  sanderson 7/15/2016, 7:05 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:I've had such a bad time with pill bugs that I'm starting all my fall crops inside. CC
Jimmy's thread on sow bugs! I'm going to try it. This is my year for the 7 plagues.

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Post  sanderson 7/15/2016, 7:08 pm

John, We are routing for you.

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Post  johnp 7/17/2016, 8:16 am

Squash and cuc's are still looking OK, even have two squash on the vines and no squash bugs yet. Tom's still OK. Fire to our west (40 miles) has grown to almost 17,000 acres and maybe 20 % contained. Largest fire in the US so we have all the assets we need but has taken its toll. May have lost (extinct) one pure strand of cutthroat trout when the fire crossed Hayden creek. The fire to the north is contained
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Post  sanderson 7/17/2016, 3:11 pm

John, so sorry, but thanks for the update.

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Post  GloriaG 7/19/2016, 12:50 am

Hi John,

I haven't been on the forum in a while and was sorry to hear about all your difficulties.

Grasshoppers can be controlled - but TIMING is crucial. Nolo-Bait is the correct product to use.  It is a lure that is laced with a bacteria that infects grasshoppers.  It attracts the grasshoppers and once they eat it, they become infected, stop eating and die.  Unfortunately, only the young grasshoppers are very susceptible to the infection.  Once a grasshopper has matured, it's immune system is strong enough to fight off the infection.  However - once the young in the colony become infected, the grasshopper colony will die out or become very small.  It took me two years to fully control my grasshopper problem.

The key time to put it down is when the grasshoppers are in the first or second instar - in my area that's around April.  Although it's counter-intuitive, Nolo-Bait needs to be applied very lightly but over a big area - your whole yard if possible.  Don't put down much at a time.  When there's a lot around the little grasshoppers ignore it.  You want to make it desirable, like candy for a kid.  The package should give you instructions for how much to apply and the proper timing in your area. 

I hope this helps and good luck with all your problems.
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Post  sanderson 7/19/2016, 1:03 am

It looks like Nolo-bait is approved in CA!

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Post  bigdogrock 7/24/2016, 10:13 am

Hey John, how are you doing? I hope things have improved some.
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