Asked on Jun 21, 2012

do I fertilize first or spray for insects

Catherine SmithDouglas HuntDonna J


I have a vegetable garden that is doing amazing, its growing crazy, maybe because of the compost. I see a lot of tomatoes, 2 were red and rotten, lots of green ones, the cucumber is all over the place but still don't see cucumber, a few watermelon and cantelope growing and a couple of peppers are doing great. But I am concerned that I have an insect problem and I haven't fertilize, I am surprised no cucumbers since last year I had lots. My question is do I fertilize first or spray insecticide first, details pls. thank you.
the veggie garden
6 answers
  • 3po3
    on Jun 22, 2012

    I think these are independent processes. If you have signs of insect damage, you should work on that quickly. There are natural formulas that are safe for vegetables. You might try spraying soapy water or water infused overnight with grated garlic. The fertilizer is a different question, and the ideal mix varies for each crop.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jun 22, 2012

    It looks to me like you've got a pretty healthy garden growing there. If you have no sign of insect damage, I wouldn't be spraying. Are you not seeing an flowers on your cucumbers, either, or are they flowering but not setting fruit?

  • Michelle I
    on Jun 22, 2012

    They are flowering but I don't see any cucumbers I planted them around April 1rst

  • Donna J
    on Jun 23, 2012

    This happened to me last year with my squash vines. I had lots of blooms and no squash. I got advice right here on Hometalk. Walter suggested that I wait. Sometimes the pollinators (butterflies, bees) are not getting to the blooms. I waited and had quite a big crop. Happy gardening!

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jun 23, 2012

    Donna's exactly right. The first blooms on a cucumber are all male, and will fall off the plant without producing fruit. When female blooms start appearing, bees will carry pollen from the male blooms to the female blooms and you'll end up with cucumbers. So make sure you're not spraying anything that will harm bees.

  • Catherine Smith
    on Jun 7, 2014

    Agree with Douglas and Donna J. You could interplant with some marigolds (the smelly kind), and nasturtiums. They both act as a insect repellent, but will help draw in the pollinators.

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