Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Converting Lawn to a Vegetable Garden--A Problem

All is not roses in the new boulevard garden. The little lettuce transplants in the edible section have come onto hard times. (Of course, the kale volunteers are all thriving.) Note the crumpled appearance of the lettuce plant at the bottom centre:

A second plant succumbed in a similar manner a day later, with its main root cut. Digging down I discovered the perpetrators, wireworms! The only good thing about these creatures is that they are such a bright orange color that they're easy to spot. With their hard bodies, they are difficult to smash, so to avoid a time-consuming mass murder, I took a bunch of them over to a new home in the forest. Although quite small they can do a lot of damage, and unfortunately, they live for several years.

I found out later that two of the favorite foods of wireworms are lettuce and grass roots. Perhaps instead of turning over the sod and retaining it for extra humus, I should have removed it entirely. However, the wireworms may have been lurking lower in the soil in the colder months when I was digging up the grass. It's something to consider if you are turning your lawn into an edible space. There is helpful information from British Columbia's Robin Wheeler here: Wiley Wireworms.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Yuck! Wire worms, anytime I see them in the soil out they come and I'm not so nice, they get squished.