Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Fighting Flea Beetles With Coffee Grounds

If you grow organically, flea beetles are probably one of the top five most peskiest bugs in your garden.  They are small black bugs about the size of a poppy seed.  They feed on the leaves of plants and jump when disturbed.  For young plants, it can kill them overnight.  In our garden, the flea beetles pose the biggest threat to eggplants, tomatillos, potatoes, and arugula.  We have found three ways to keep these pesky critters at bay: row covers, hot pepper spray, and used coffee grounds.  Jon collects coffee grounds at work so we have an abundance of them to use in the garden.  Simply spread the coffee grounds under the plant and reapply after it rains.  In the above picture, fresh coffee grounds were sprinkled underneath a young tomatillo plant.

The challenge with only using row covers is that flea beetles hatch from the soil each year so your plants can get infested with the beetles even though they are in an isolated bubble.  Row covers are the easiest form of pest control to use though  because you don't have to worry about rain washing the hot pepper spray off the leaves and dissolving the coffee grounds into the soil.  To give the fragile eggplants a head start we use both the row covers and coffee grounds.  This year we did plant wormwood with the eggplants because we learned that they are a great companion plant.  The problem with wormwood is that it emits a chemical that stunts plant growth, so we are not so sure how beneficial it is.  Perhaps growing the wormwood in containers and setting them within the eggplant patch would be the better option.

Go here for another post about flea beetle control!


About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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