Bothersome Insects

I think I just have to be okay with having bugs in my apartment.

When I think about my numerous roommates, I think of the song "Cotton Eye Joe." Where did you come from? You gotta go! Where did you come from? I'll smush you down low!

So here's the latest installment of the bug-drama. I was taking photos of the garden yesterday morning, because the radicchio and chives that I planted in January were doing amazingly well--I had used some radicchio about two weeks ago for a salad, but now I could almost make a salad with just this!

All excited and thinking of eating the beautiful, large leaves, I approached the planter after taking photographs of my setup (click for much-enlarged versions).

Only to find spider mites (right, the adult forms?) in addtion to... Something else. Spider mites I blame on bringing outdoor plants inside; something else, where the hell did YOU come from? From the same outdoor plants? Or from outer space? How long have you been there?

At first I thought they were whiteflies--I had heard about those before. But then I Googlipediaed, and they don't look like whiteflies. So, here's my working theory--they're insects and they have to die because they're on my plants in my apartment.

So, actually, I tossed the plants and reclaimed the planter. The soil in there was from the original bag that had bred the fungus gnats. It was pretty poor, compactful soil, although the radicchio and chives seemed to finally be doing well (four months later). I replaced it with organic potting mix amended with some organic compost and transplanted my Gynura aurantiaca cutting (which recently rooted) into it. It'll be a nice gift for someone at some point--the contrast of the green planter and the purple leaves? Very nice!

Additionally, I'm still fighting the last skirmishes in the Great Spider Mite (?) War of 2009, this time on a bean plant that's currently flowering.

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