Toe Bug Patrol
"It's Okay To Be Dooty"

Dateline: 20 June 2015

Futureman went back to Ohio today. He was here for two weeks, and we went on toe bug patrol in the garden every day. Toe bugs are more commonly known as potato bugs. Futureman doesn't do very well  with three syllables yet.

On our first foray into the garden, Futureman got some earth on his hands and arm. He seemed overly concerned about getting "dooty." 

"I dooty, Boppy." he said. Over an over. 

"I dooty, Boppy. I dooty, Boppy."

And I said. "Don't be such a city slicker. It's okay to be dooty. Dooty is good." 

To which he invariably replied..."Why?"

And I said, "Cuz Boppy says so."

FYI... Dooty is "dirty" and Boppy is me.

(I thought I wanted to be called Grampie, which is the term I used for my grandfathers, but Grampie isn't easy to say at three years old, so it's Boppy, and I'm kind of liking it.)   

There were not a lot of toe bugs to be found on our daily patrols, but we always found a few. Sometimes Futureman would spy a toe bug, but most of the time I would see them first. Whatever the case, it was his job to dispatch the critters.

I showed Futureman how to set a toe bug on plastic mulch and smoosh it with his foot...

At first, he would stomp his foot repeatedly, and completely miss the toe bug every time. So we worked on that. Instead of stomping, he would place his toe on the bug and give it a twist or slide it, which is a very effective technique for killing a toe bug.

After a couple days I thought Futureman might be better at smooshing toe bugs with a rock. The first time he smooshed a toe bug with a rock, he said, "Yukky." Rock-Smooshing toe bugs is also a very effective technique (sorry, no picture).

So now, Futureman has gone back to where being dooty is frowned upon, and Boppy is on toe bug patrol all by himself.


Cynthia (C.L) Lewis said...

I am getting so tired of saying "Colorado Potato Beetles". Toe bugs are it from now on. I too patrol for these daily. I squish them. The big ones get crushed with my foot or an old garden stake. The larva and eggs get squished with my fingers. I'm glad you are having a chance to build memories with your grandson.

SharonR said...

Back about 1964ish, Daddy gave us children a penny a potato bug. He didn't have much money, but I guess he knew where to invest a penny wisely.
See, this is why little boys and girls don't need only our ladies' feminine influence. They need dirt and we need to let the dads have free reign in letting them get into dirt, squash bugs and be okay with it. Laundry isn't that important. And skin is washable. :-)

Unknown said...

Your grandson in a very lucky boy to have you for his grandfather.

shannon templeton said...

I know you and Marlene are sad when Little Man goes back to Ohio. He will only love the time he spends with you more and more as he gets bigger and bigger. Maybe one day he will decide he wants to grow up to be just like his Boppy.

cnybeth said...

About a year ago, you posted that you had had very few potato beetles and might one day give a reason. Did you post the why somewhere? Your plants look really nice!

Are you still using the seaweed foliar spray?

Rozy Lass said...

Mothers (or parents) are sure different today than even the few years ago when I had little ones. I MADE them play in the dirt! Actually our oldest son loved getting dirty, he'd roll in the stuff. Playing in the dirt is good for the immune system, as well as becoming familiar with a most basic element. What a lucky boy to have you as a Boppy.

Herrick Kimball said...

Thanks, all.

You have a good memory. I had very few potato bugs, or any bugs at all in my garden last year and I surmised that it was because I had re-mineralized the soil the year before. That is supposed to be one of the benefits of remineralizing. But some other gardeners (who didn't remineralize their soil) said they also did not have hardly any bugs in their gardens that year. So I didn't want to assert that mineralizing the soil was the reason.

That said, I do believe that my garden has benefited greatly from remineralizing (as I discuss in my Garden Idea Book). Everything seems to be healthier, though there are a few issues here and there (some strawberries I planted died mysteriously).

This year, I do seem to have more potato bugs, but they are still a minor problem, and there are no other bug issues. There are certainly bugs in the garden, and there is some leaf damage here and there, but no serious infestations. Flea beetles used to proliferate in my garden but I've not seen a flea beetle in two years.The true test will be when squash blossoms come. They always seem to attract those yellow beetles. But the beetles were missing last year. Will they be missing this year? I sure hope so.

Yes, I sprayed the newly emerging potato plants with some seaweed foliar spray, as I did last year.