Tuesday, August 7, 2007

They're Baaaack... Blister Beetles Attack!

For the most part I have been lucky over the years to not have much of a problem with pests in the garden. I have an occasional loss to a deer or some other animal and I have a few minor bouts with insects. None of the pests really make much of a difference in the overall outcome of the harvest - EXCEPT FOR THE BLISTER BEETLES!

Last year they wiped out my Brandywine tomatoes. They are the nastiest of garden insects. I don't even want to go into the details about how awful they are in this post. If you are interested in learning more about the Darth Vaders of the garden you can read about them from one of my previous posts.

In that post, I wrote about how I was going to grow horseradish next to my tomatoes to keep the blister beetles away, which I did. You know, I think it actually works! You see the important thing is not were the beetles are in the garden, its where the are not! I found the beetle in the above picture on my early tomatoes which is on the other side of the garden from the horseradish. The heirloom tomatoes next to the horseradish are doing great, with no signs of insects on them.

So even though this post appeared to be a negative report, it actually is a positive one. I only found (and extinguished) three blister beetles on my Early Girl tomatoes and my Brandywine and Prudens Purple tomatoes that live next to the horseradish are doing well. Having those two kinds of tomatoes together look odd. Both of them have the unique potato-leaf look to them. Here is a leaf from the Prudens Purple:

So at least for now, I guess I'll say thank you to the horseradish. The odd thing is that the horseradish is there to deter insects from the tomatoes but the horseradish itself is taking the worst damage from insects out of all of my plants. There are some new bugs on them that I hadn't seen before. I will be writing a whole post strictly about the new insects. For now though, I will leave you with a picture of my Super Hero Horseradish plants.

Keep up the good work guys!



I haven't seen these on my plants, But it sounds like they are nasty little buggers.


I don't think I have those, or at least I haven't seen them. Have you ever tried grinding up the horseradish plants until they are liquid and spraying it on the tomato plants? I wonder what it is about it that repels the beetles??

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