My Garden Gnome Eats Daisies

----Well, at least he is a suspect. The only daisies that have all of the petals eaten off are the ones by him.
I know I've been slacking when it comes to giving or gnome aka 'Minion' attention, but I never thought it would come to this. Or possibly he's trying to work out the, "She loves me, she loves me not" question?  All I know is that my daisies are suffering for it.

Seriously, whatever is eating my daisies will have to be investigated. So far I've gathered its a chewer and I will have to look under the other flowers and examine surrounding plants to see if I can find out what it is. That will help me to determine what to do next.

In my yard, you won't always find my plants pristine like the ones you see in magazine photos. I try but I sometimes have a round of this or that pest and I try to use the least harmful method first on them. In some cases just a good spray of water on plants knocks culprits off such as aphids. But depending on what it is I will have to deal with it accordingly. If I find its some sort of caterpillar, I may have to use Bt, and organic pesticide that is a protien that caterpillars can't digest. On the negative side though,  I also must consider what is a wanted caterpillar, like for butterflies for example. They are not immune to Bt. Organic methods have their harms and drawbacks also.

Most  pest control really is common sense.  If your problem is with insects then:

  • Take time to investigate what insect is doing the damage -- is one source or contact your local Extension office and take a specimen in for ID 
  • Consider if the damage is harming the overall health of the plant (risk losing it or crop) If not, a few damaged leaves won't bother you.
  • If you find something that could spread to other plants, it needs to be addresses immediately. ie, bagworms, squash bugs, tomato hornworms, cabbage loopers, aphids etc.
  • Try to look for a solution that will cause the least harm to the plant and environment (this can include manually picking off pests, water spray, making the environment better surrounding the plant ie. prone to slugs and so on)
  • If a pesticides or biological control is needed, research exactly what that is, how it works and how it harms. How do pyrethrins and rotenone work? If I need to use a horticultural oil on soft bodied insects and what season to apply? And on and on until you know what exactly you need for that given situation and how to deal with it.
One issue many of us have is that we just grab up something and use it. And we often think that more is better and that's not always the best solution. In fact it often works against us. It takes a bit of a gumshoe detective work and a bit of research, but its doable. Once you learn how to deal with that particular pest, the information will make you more confident if it arises in the future. 

Gardening sometimes is like working on an old car that breaks down from time to time. You learn how to fix each thing as the problem comes along. That's why I love hanging out with people that have gardened for years. They just seems like wise old owls with a wealth of helpful information and the war stories to go along with it. 

--- But we still need to find out if Minion is innocent of the crime against my daisies. He's a good gnome and dutifully guards his post by my front steps, so his character is rock solid as far as know.


  1. And he's got that innocent look on his face. Make him fess up! LOL.

  2. I was thinking the same thing. He knows something and probably saw the whole thing go down right before his eyes. I need to crank up the pressure on him to spill the beans. :D


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