Ants in my container garden?

btbarbara(7b/8a)July 4, 2011

I've got cucumbers, Cayenne peppers, cantaloupe, watermelon, corn, and pumpkins (yeah...got a wild hair and decided to see if it could be done!) in plastic containers with half potting soil and half Black Kow. They're spread around my yard and the last few days, I've noticed ants on most of the plants. Is that a problem? Is there anything I can do about them? Ants tore up a friend's strawberry patch but I haven't noticed them on my hanging strawberries (beetles are a different story!)...I'm just wondering if the ants will be able to do any real damage on my other fruits and veggies. Thanks!

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howelbama(7 NJ)

If they are just the small garden ants, not carpenter ants, just leave them. They will help pollinate they don't eat the plants or fruints. They do farm aphids though so keep an eye out for them. The ants keep the aphids for a nectar they produce...

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 5:37PM
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terrybull

pumpkins can be grown in containers. you just need a motherbox.this self watering goes through 5 gals a day.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 6:55PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I would make sure you find any way to keep ants off your trees.

They will protect pests from their natural enemies. Don't allow ants to next in or near your citrus trees. Boric acid bait stations can help control ants.

Good luck

Mike

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 7:37PM
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btbarbara(7b/8a)

Thanks everybody...these are just tiny little ants so I guess they're ok for now but I'll definitely keep an eye on them. We usually have swarms of ladybugs so I'm hoping they'll keep the aphids at bay. If I could figure out what to do about the *&!$*#* beetles eating my strawberry leaves I'd be thrilled. Tried spraying with some insecticidal soap that says it's ok to be used right up to the day of harvest but it still makes me nervous because my kids like to just pick the berries and eat them right off the plant without washing or anything. And the stuff said not to use when it's over 90 degrees and well, this is GA...it's been over 90 every day for a while. And pretty much every "natural" solution I've seen has said it only works on contact and my experience with bugs is that for every one you see, there are 10 more that you don't. I read that garlic repels the beetles so I thought about planting one garlic in each pot with the strawberries but I'm afraid it might mess with the flavor. Oh well...the joys of gardening. Does it count as hijacking when you hijack your own thread?

Terrybull...thanks for the pic! I've got one lone pumpkin in an 18-gal container (not sure what variety...it was one of those little "kits" that the kids saw at Lowes and just HAD to try) and three more together in a 30-gal tub (not sure what kind those are either...grandpa brought us a handful of seeds and I wasn't even sure they'd grow). I have to water them twice every day and sometimes three times. The one that's by himself has two little pumpkins the size of baseballs and TONS of flowers. He had about a three-week head-start on the others but I think they're about to start flowering. The darn vines are taking over the yard though. I keep trying to situate the watermelons, pumpkins, and cantaloupe so that the vines are growing straight out but every time I look, they're wandering around reaching out to each other again.

Here's a pic of my pumpkins from about a week ago. They look TOTALLY different now. I swear if I stand there and look at them long enough I could see them growing. I keep saying I'm going to take a tape-measure out there because most days I'm quite sure they grow 6-12" overnight and another 6" between waterings each day. It's crazy!

I know I'm totally clueless but I had no idea pumpkin flowers were so pretty!

This is one of the little baby pumpkins I found hiding after the storm blew everything around this afternoon. There's another one about the size of a baseball but I couldn't find it in the mess of leaves when I was taking pics

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 10:31PM
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terrybull

i grew one last year in small self watering container and it was 70lbs. i had to hook up a extra water drip system just to keep it watered. yours look great, show pics of your harvest.

also the swc holds 30 gals of water. so i can skip a day or two if needed. later on they will go through over 10 gals a day.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 10:08AM
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terrybull

this the 70lb pumpkin with some hail damage.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 10:15AM
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