Pests in raised beds
Hello, This summer I had infestations of aphids and whiteflies on my kale, and leaf miners on my chard in my two large raised beds that I built from old cement pavers. Now I’m fighting hoards of snails devouring the kale, which I haven’t pulled yet as it’s still putting out new growth, which is edible when I can get to it before the snails. My question is: do I need to replace the dirt in these beds before I replant in the spring? I wanted to put cover crops in, but now wonder if I have to start over because of all the pests. Are they breeding in the dirt? These beds were filled with organic garden soil from Lane Forest Products at the beginning of last spring. I was hoping just to add compost when it’s time to replant, but I’m afraid I’ve got such a pest problem I may have to start over. This is was my first summer gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks very much for your help! Vanessa G
Lane County Oregon
Definitely clean up the bed remnants except the kale which you can eat. Take out any plants or debris than is not providing food and work up the rest of the bed with compost. Plant your cover crop over the bed and bait with an iron based slug/snail bait such as Sluggo.Do as much handpicking of the snails as possible, early morning and dusk are the best hunting. The aphids and whitefly can be dealt with next year. Increase the habitat for the beneficials by adding friendly plants for them such as clovers and hairy vetch for winter. Winter wheat is also good.