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  • Watch for aphids and spider mites. It’s easy to spray them off with a hard blast of water. Be sure to get the undersides of the leaves.

  • Ladybugs and green lacewings will be chomping down those aphids, so watch for them and their larvae.

  • Aphids and other insects can create sooty mold on plants, a fungus that develops from their secretions (honeydew). Wash off the culprits and the leaves. Remove damaged leaves to the trash (not the compost pile).

  • Watch for tomato hornworms on tomatoes: squish or spray the plants with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), a natural caterpillar control that won’t harm you or pets–only caterpillars!

  • To fend off squash vine borers, keep row cover on and hand pollinate. Or take your chances with natural bee pollinators!

  • Walk the garden in early morning to pick off stink bugs and largus bugs from tomatoes. Check under the leaves for eggs.

  • Deploy grasshoppers while young. If you wait, you won’t be able to deal with them. Effective baits include Nolo Bait or Semaspore. Both contain a protozoa called Nosema locustae which is impregnated in bran flakes sweetened with sugar. Apply by hand or with a rotary spreader, early in the morning, when grasshoppers are feeding.

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