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FWD: spider mites

Ok y'all - Kitty says it's not too long or boring and Andrea was quite enthusiastic.  Guess it's safe to send to the group!  

Andrea - I know these are the bane of your garden, here's a most
interesting (IMO) excerpt from the Texas Bug Book by Howard Garrett and
Malcolm Beck, the Texas organic gardening gurus.

A Malcolm story:

When Kelthane (a chlorinated hydrocarbon) was taken off the market,
nonorganic growers complained that the government had taken away the
only control for two-spooted red spider mites. For years, however,
organic growers had been keeping spider mites under control w/ their
natural growing practices and in worst cases used soapy water sprays.

I had always used 1 tablespoon of liquid seaweed and 2 tablespoons of
fish emulsion as a foliar feed; I had never had a spider mite problem
and gave the slightly oily fish emulsion credit for the control until I
heard of other gardeners using seaweed only and getting good control.

For the test I let two large tomato plants get dry and become heavily
infested; the stems and leaves were crawling thick w/ millions of mites.
I used 3 tablespoons of liquid seaweed per gallon of water and gave the
plants a thorough misting. I checked the plants 5 days later using a
magnifying glass and the low power of the microscope and found no red
spider mites: but I did find numerous predator mites, Phytoseiulus
persimilis, which are the natural enemy of the spider mite. I checked
again two weeks later and still could not find a single spider mite.
There were still some of the predator mites but not as many as before
since they weren't needed.

Liquid seaweed controls spider mites as well or even better than the
toxic Kelthane; at the same time, you're giving your plants a foliar
feeding of probably the best micronutrient blend nature has to offer.

cool, huh?
explains why I never get them!! 

Pam Evans
Kemp TX/zone 8A


Pam Evans
Kemp TX/zone 8A


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