What was good for some, has not been good for others.
I'm not sure if it was the new soil, the new bugs, or the combination thereof. But, the cauliflower grown in the new garden box did absolutely amazing. The tomatoes are on fire. The zucchini looks great, the beans are doing well, The potatoes, however - not so much.
I dug up twice as many plants as I have previously this year in other beds to get even less potatoes. Most plants only had 1 or 2 potatoes of any decent size on them. Of the potatoes I managed to finagle out of the ground most of them were irreparably damaged by one type of bug or another. Ewww... Some of the potatoes were split, but most of them were simply - infested. Gross. and one was rotted.
Normally after pulling a plant and seeing that it wasn't very productive I would simply leave the rest to see if it would produce better if I allowed it to mature, but being that even the single potato that came up with the first plant had holes and I could see the damage, I decided to investigate further.... and of course I kept investigating. :-(
Once I pulled these 10 plants I realized I couldn't get to the last 2 plants because their roots are so close to the super productive romas. I'm not willing to risk those tomatoes yet. But, it makes me wonder HOW can the potatoes be so damaged by the bugs in the dirt and not the tomatoes? Well- the root systems of these potatoes are the healthiest I've ever had on any of my other plants. Without a doubt that is true. Is this something that will calm down once my soil establishes itself?
And here I had (wrongly apparently) thought I'd have at least a year or two of nematode free, pest (soil pest anyhow) free gardening. HA!
While I was disturbing this bed I figured I'd better check on the sweet potatoes as well. Good thing I did!
'Cause now I've got myself some sweet tater fries waiting for me this weekend! I actually harvested the same amount of weight in viable sweet potatoes as I did in regular potatoes from this bed, and that was just from checking under 2 vines and seeing what I could see poking up. LOL. I <3 sweet 'taters! I left my giant trowel there for comparison. The 'taters are bigger than my hand. :-D I can't wait to eat them. No real damage to speak of on them. I could see one tiny spot on one of them that looked like something thought about messing with it and then moved on. I do worry though what will happen now that I took the regular taters out- will the displaced bugs go to the sweet potatoes?
I've simply never had to deal with anything like this and I don't know what to do about it. I've never had an ecological system so out of whack. The good news is I did find a couple of earthworms already making themselves at home in the garden bed. It's a sign that things are - or will even out. But, meanwhile - What would you do? I'm afraid to leave the sweet potatoes there and I have a new set of slips ready to plant out now (purple!)
See you soon!