Winter sown corn vs direct sown corn

smarmyclothes(6a Kalamazoo, MI)June 5, 2013

I'm trying to stay calm in the midst of an earwig infestation that is destroying a lot of my WS babies, so here is one of the positives I'm trying to focus on right now.

This is a photo of my sweet corn taken today. I WS'ed half on April 20th. After an admittedly freakish warm spell for Michigan, I was able to transplant them on May 6th. I direct sowed the rest of the bed the same day. Here's the progress 1 month later.

The direct sown plants (the ones that made it... score another point for WSing) are about the size of the WS corn when I transplanted it. You've probably heard "knee high by the fourth of July". I keep bragging that my WS corn is almost crotch high by the fourth of JUNE.

So now I will go back to trying not to grumble about the beans, squash, and melon planted/transplanted at the same time that the earwigs have almost completely destroyed.

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ladygladys(z5b/6a NEPA)

Fantastic! I'll have to try wintersowing corn because you got such great results!

I know what you mean about the bugs! I had to set my water nozzle on full power to remove a bunch of aphids and ants off my wintersown Romaine lettuce. I hate doing that though because the leaves are all scraggly now.

For the earwigs I heard you can set a trap of equal parts canola oil and soy sauce into a shallow container and place in infested areas. In the morning check the trap and dispose of them in soapy water.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:42PM
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smarmyclothes(6a Kalamazoo, MI)

I have been trying various methods over the last few nights. Rolled up damp newspaper was my least favorite/effective method.

White wine worked fairly well.

Oil in a fishy smelling cat food can also worked well.

But I tried the soy sauce/oil last night, and that was by far the most effective.

I got about a dozen dead earwigs a night with the wine and oil/cat food. With the soy sauce method I probably had 200 dead earwigs overnight.

A friend also told me 30-40 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract mixed in a small spray bottle and sprayed on and around the plants keeps them away. Hopefully with these two methods, I can get rid of them!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 6:22PM
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ladygladys(z5b/6a NEPA)

Wow 200! They most love the soy sauce! I got the tip from the book Trowel & Error. She has a lot of great organic tips to get rid of pests. Glad it worked out for you! :)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 10:48PM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

Did the grapefruit extract spray work? Where did you get the grapefruit extract?

I'm having one of the worst years for earwigs ever, probably because it was so warm this past winter. I'm going to try the soy sauce deal this weekend and hope it helps.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 8:47AM
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smarmyclothes(6a Kalamazoo, MI)

I'm still waiting on the grapefruit seed extract to arrive, but I think the first few nights of the soy sauce treatment really brought the earwig population down to something that wasn't completely destructive. The larger plants they attacked seem to have recovered.

I bought the GSE on Amazon, but if you have a Whole Foods or health food store in your area, they might carry it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 1:54PM
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