Urban Garden: Fruit, Bugs and Disease

Brent Pittman —  06/20/2012

Urban Garden: Pepper Plant in Milk Jug

Our urban garden experiment has been going for a bit now and we’re seeing some fruit from our labor! If you’re just turning in, we planted a garden on our apartment’s balcony in 5 gallon buckets, milk jugs and assorted pots.

We’re learning a lot about gardening…this stuff is tough work.

“The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees”.-unknown

Urban Garden: Fruit

After weeks and weeks of watering and fruit has been spotted! The cherry tomato has dozens of green baby tomatos. We should be eating salad soon!

Tomato Plant

The 2/6 pepper plants have baby peppers growing, the others are flowering so they should be fruiting (is that what you say?) soon.

Pepper Plant

Urban Garden: Bugs and Disease

Geez this garden thing was supposed to be easy. Hey we live in the city, how did the bugs and disease find our plants?

Something is eating our potato plant

Mystery holes in potato plant.

It seems something is chomping on our potato plant. Possible culprits:

  • Colorado Potato Beetle– This little bugger likes potatoes and maybe even peppers. Haven’t seen one yet, so I’m sure it’s the culprit.
  • Flea Beetle- Another beetle. No sign of this one either.
  • Aphids- Could be potato or peach aphid. These guys munch and spread disease.
  • Slugs- I’ve read that slugs come out at night and munch on plants and disappear during the day…I’ll have to go out at night with the flashlight to investigate!
  • It could be we just got a diseased crop that happens occasionally.
This will take a bit more investigating, but now I’m on a mission to find out what is eating my potato plant.

Our 3 squash and 3 zucchini plants have powdery mildew. Gross I know. It looks like athletes foot.

White Powdery Mildew on Squash

White Powdery Mildew on Squash.

Powdery mildew likes hot dry areas and could be caused by too much shade and overcrowding. I’m pretty sure we’ve overcrowded and over planted our 5-gallon buckets, I’ll try separating and giving them space.

We’re going to have to try a water spay made of 1:10 milk solution. We’ll have to wait for the “June Gloom” to dissipate as you need a sunny day.

Urban Garden: Failures

We’ve only had one fatality so that’s good odds. The basil plant bit the dust weeks ago. It seems it got neglected in the watering rotation.

We’ve got our watering rotation down now. Every other day and it seems to be working out. Our toddler even gets in on the action to water a few plants with a cup.

How is your garden going? Have you ever dealt with potato bugs or white powdery mildew on your squash? 

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
  • Planted our first fruit and veggie garden this year too. Everything is growing (fingers crossed) and hope to have stuff to eat soon 😉

    • Awesome! Can’t wait for the pictures of your salad.

  • Lance@MoneyLife&More

    We just planted our back yard with sod and it is starting to get a couple random dead spots in it. No clue why. We also have a bunch of bees flying around in the grass which seems really strange. Hopefully neither are big deals and will go away.

    • That is odd. What I’ve learned from gardening so far is to nip in the bud quick before the bugs or disease wipe out your plants.

  • maria@moneyprinciple

    Gosh, you seem to be doing so well. Me? Well I have neither green fingers nor brown knees :).

    • I’ll be doing better after I find the critters eating my potato plant. Thanks for stopping by!

  • krantcents

    Since we live in a townhouse, our garden is very small. My wife has a herb garden, but that is it.

    • we just filled our balcony with plants…only need sun and 5 gallon buckets.