Friday, May 4, 2012
Tonight I'm wallowing in a little bit of self-pity and mourning the loss of my cornflowers and larkspur. Luckily tomorrow will be so busy getting ready for our first big weekend market that I won't have time to dwell on the loss, but tonight my feelings are hurt.
When we came home from deliveries yesterday I noticed from the driveway that the cornflowers didn't look as bright as they had the last few days but I didn't think much of it. Today I went to start cutting for tomorrow's bouquets and found the cornflowers covered in millions of tiny bugs. And then found the cosmos, sunflowers and snapdragons in the same condition. I don't have the ability to photograph anything this tiny with much success but it is possible to see the middle petal on the left has many, many tiny spots on it.
After scouring the internet, my best diagnosis is flower thrips. It didn't take long to figure out that these little critters are going to give me more than a headache. Knock on wood, the only flower I didn't find them in was the zinnias. Considering though that we sprayed the neighboring sunflowers this evening with "Organocide", they'll probably have moved into the zinnias by the morning.
I have definitely had my share of crop failures over the last few years but the flowers I've grown have always been solid. I guess we've just been lucky, we've never had a pest issue with our flowers. Hopefully, the Organocide will lessen the problem in the cosmos, sunflowers and zinnias. The cornflowers and larkspur though have so much other plant material growing in with them and have been so devastated by these tiny insects that we made the decision to mow them down.
This week has been so crazy with III working out of town, shuffling broccoli to make up for our lack of cold storage and getting ready for our first big market that this flower loss came as a big blow. I was really counting on making a big display of flowers at Saturday's market. Losing the cornflowers and larkspur and having to completely deadhead the cosmos puts a dent in that. These bugs hurt my feelings.