Affordable Gardening

Affordable Gardening Update: Pests and Growth

Have the desire to grow a garden, but don’t have the space or a large budget? Follow along with Captain Create this Summer to learn money saving gardening tips. At the end of the harvest, we will learn to cook healthy meals with what grew!


The garden is in the full swing of Summer, which means new growth! Unfortunatley all this growth also has attracted the unwelcome attention of pests.

Pests range from animals such as birds and rodents to bugs who like to munch on the leaves and produce of plants. Common pests in Utah include:

  • Aphids
  • Beatles
  • Caterpillars
  • Stink bugs
  • Earworms
  • Earwigs
  • Grasshoppers
  • Leafminers
  • Thrips
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Spider mites
  • Voles and other rodents
  • Deer
  • Birds

To learn more about the pests that could be in your garden visit Utah State University’s Extension page on garden pests, or their complete garden pest guide.

I’m determined to protect this pepper from pest damage

The Sage Pest Mystery

Having pests in the garden can be frustrating, buy my remedy is to pretend like its a mystery case and you’re the detective – it makes having pests more of a game rather than an annoyance.

Follow along to discover which pest is eating my sage:

My poor little sage – let’s find out who the culprit is

I am growing sage in the garden and at first the starts were very healthy, but disaster struck. Suddenly it seemed like the leaves were being completely eaten off by an unknown pest. Larger leaves had circular bites and holes, and smaller ones were completely withered away.

The first sage plant to be eaten was on the far right of the planter, and each plant next to it has slowly been eaten. I had a total of three sage starts in that container and the far left start is the last one remaining.

I know that voles and birds like to visit my backyard. Another category of pests I need to consider is bugs. I don’t visibly see any bugs in the container, but there is a spiderweb attached to the outside of the container which could indicate that there are bugs nearby.

Another reason why I think I may be dealing with some sort of bug is because the leaves are bitten off and occasionally have holes. These can be indicators of bugs such as caterpillars, aphids and more.

Holes and bite marks in the sage leaves

I did some research and learned that voles don’t like the smell of sage, and birds can eat sage but I believe the leaves would have larger holes if birds were the culprit.

After all of my research, I have determined that it is likely that it’s some sort of bug that is munching on my sage leaves. The bug could be some sort of caterpillar, aphid or leaf hopper based on pictures and articles I found on PlantCarer’s website.

They suggest that neem oil is a natural pesticide that will help my sage find relief from bugs. My plan is to use neem oil on my sage and see what happens!

Money Saving Tip:

There are natural and homemade pesticides and fungicides. Some homemade fungicides are easy to make and very affordable. If you know that you have pest damage do some research on what affordable remedies might be available to you.

Growth Update

Despite pest damage there still is a lot of growth in the garden!

The cilantro really has begun to grow tall!
Strawberries are still coming!
Cute little baby thyme from seed
There is a pepper!!
Tomato plant is now getting flowers which means produce is coming!
Swiss chard is now taking up more space in the planter
Did you know that basil can come in purple varieties? So cool!

Next Post

In two weeks there will be another garden growth update!

Growing your own produce increases your family’s access to healthy food. When you cultivate your own food it creates a personal connection to what is grown. Take gardening as an opportunity to learn more about vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foods to include in your diet!

Included below are the other posts related to this garden. To learn more about healthy eating and physical activity habits visit our other blog posts and our Instagram, Facebook or YouTube!

-Captain Create

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