Bugs in the Basement

The lettuce is growing fine in the basement.  The only problem is that gnats and/or white flies have found the leaves.

12-22-08_Lettuce With Bugs on Leaves 

I’m going to have to figure out a non-pesticide way to get rid of them.  The little buggers really had a population explosion over this last week.

Last time I picked the lettuce I got two gallon bags full. This time I got one.

12-22-08_Lettuce Picked Today

We’ll see how long it takes until the next picking.  I gave the plants a pretty good leaf cropping.

12-22-08_Lettuce After Picking

It’s probably a good idea to start a new batch of seeds because technically these are about three or four months old already.

Tomato seeds are resilient little things.  Here’s a volunteer, and I can’t figure out where it came from because I used bagged container mix in these planters. 

12-22-08_Volunteer Tomatoe

Everybody’s talking about the weather.  We had a minus 30 wind chill yesterday and another snow storm is predicted for tomorrow.   I REALLY DISLIKE WINTER.  I guess the only upside is we’ll have a white Christmas.


Happy Gardening!!!



  1. engineeredgarden said,

    December 23, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Cheryl – I second that…I don’t like winter, either. I think it’s great that you are growing lettuce indoors. I’m going to grow some myself, at work.


    • gardengoodies said,

      December 23, 2008 at 10:18 pm

      Growing it at work sounds good. Lots of flouresent lights and probably big windows. Keep us posted.

  2. melissa said,

    December 23, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I am so sorry to hear about the tiny bugs that have set up camp within your little pot. Have you decided how to get them to leave (Die )? I hope you figure it out soon. I can’t imagine what would happen to the rest of teh lettuce since it is already being reduced quickly.

    p.s- The weather in chicago is so very cold and ugly these days
    The price we pay for a hallmark white christmas!

    • gardengoodies said,

      December 23, 2008 at 10:15 pm

      I forgot to buy some fly paper while I was out today. I’m going to spread a little honey on some paper and see if that works.

  3. melissa said,

    December 23, 2008 at 10:14 am

    “the lettuce”

  4. December 23, 2008 at 11:01 am

    My lettuce, spinach, carrots and beets are still “growing” outside, but there isn’t much “growing” going on. It’s too bad I have no place to bring them inside under lights.

    I had a gnat problem with a snake plant I bought at Walmart last year, Nothing got rid of those bugs, even the nasty poison I sprayed on them in desperation. I finally had to get rid of the plant.


    • gardengoodies said,

      December 23, 2008 at 10:12 pm

      I started some spinach seeds too and they’re doing next to nothing.

      I’ve heard nothing kills a snake plant. I had one that I was given when my son was little and I still had it when he graduated from high school. It even bloomed once, but I can’t remember what eventually happened to it.

  5. engineeredgarden said,

    December 24, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Cheryl – I’ve got a tote bin at work that is low profile, and will be setting it in front of a window that has perfect sothern exposure. Aside from cloudy days, it should work great! I’ve already got some that have germinated, and will try to grow lettuce in it for the entire year of 2009. Woo Hoo!

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful christmas!


  6. gardengoodies said,

    December 24, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    EG-You’re going to be a popular guy at work. :~)

    Merry Christmas to you too.

  7. melissa said,

    December 28, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Hello Cheryl,
    Let me know what method you choose to eliminate the bugs and how well it worked my dear.

  8. gardengoodies said,

    December 28, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Okay…confession time. I have neglected my lettuce babies. But thanks for the reminder. I’m trying the honey on a piece of plastic wrap. I’m trying for the homemade fly paper effect. Wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted.

  9. January 1, 2009 at 10:24 am


    You probably have fungus gnats -here’s a picture of them partying in my greenhouse –

    They hatch out in the soil, and eat organic mater – including your tender lettuce roots. They are a #1 problem in greenhouses in the winter. Once you have them the only organic thing to do that I know of is to use BT on the soil every 2 or three days. Good luck with that.

  10. gardengoodies said,

    January 1, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    David-Thanks for the picture. They do look like the same bugs. But then they invited some little white flies over and some little brown bugs over. They’re having a multiracial pow-wow on my poor little lettuce.

    The honey trap worked…a little. I had suggestions from one of my Yahoo groups to use cider vinegar, and it woked…a little. I don’t have any BT to try and I’m kind of losing my enthusiasm. Plus I’m worried about the bugs hanging around when it’s time to start my seeds for the garden.

    I just may have to pull the plug on my lettuce babies. The parsley and the sage are still hanging in there, so I’ll be able to fuss over them.

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