Category Archives: Pests and Diseases

Piglet in Portugal

I usually always wear gloves when I’m gardening because of all the little beasties lurking in the soil or on the leaves of my plants.

Guess what?

On this occasion I got sloppy and I put my naked hands into my strawberry bed to do some weeding. I saw something lurking among the dead leaves and initially thought to myself “Mr. Grasshopper’s turned a funny colour” Hang on…rewind that thought process Piglet, grasshoppers are not that colour! I quickly withdrew my hands. Lucky for me I did because this particular little beastie was a scorpion.

I ran squealing like a speared piglet into the house to take cover and hide behind Mr. Piglet. When we returned the Scorpion was making its getaway. Guess who I persuaded to take the photographs as my hands were still shaking?

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Is This Blight?

My tomatoes had blight last month so I’m now wondering if my cabbage and brocoli could also be affected?

I’ve been away for a few days and left Mr. Piglet in charge of my veggies. I was quite surprised when I returned to see brown and white patches on the cabbage and brocoli leaves. He had sprayed the leaves with diluted washing up liquid to kill the caterpillars…perhaps that’s the cause…

Anyone heard of Cabbage blight? Looked on net and can’t really see much info. All suggestions gratefully received.

In the meantime think I will pick all the affected leaves off and see what happens.

My brocoli leaves look like they may have blight
My brocolli leaves look like they may have blight
Any idea what this is?
Any idea what this is?

Growing Fruit and Vegetables – September

August merged seamlessly into September, the drought continued and the bugs, despite my best efforts continued to thrive and multiply.

The latest visitor to take up residence bored its way into several of the tomatoes, growing in pots. Once discovered I quickly disposed of these (that’s the tomatoes not the pots) and then wished I’d cut open one of the tomatoes to discover who had moved in. I’m still none the wiser as to their identity – any clues please?

An insect bored into my tomatoes!
An insect bored into my tomatoes!

Read more about my successes and failures over at Piglet in Portugal

Problem Cucumbers – Is it Anthracnose, Downy Mildew or…?


I don’t pigging believe it – the cucumber plants I’m growing in pots are dying…

The picture below, taken in July 2012, shows a healthy cucumber plant.

My healthy cucumber July 2012
My healthy cucumber July 2012

However, by August brown spots had appeared on the plant and the baby cucumbers failed to develop. A little research revealed the problem could either be caused by a fungus called Anthracnose or Downy Mildew. Or could it be something else?

August Cucumber leaves with brown spots
August – Cucumber leaves with brown spots

And to top it off I then discovered another cucumber plant has white mold growing on the stems. I wonder if it is Sclerotinia Stem Rot?

August - Cucumber with white mold on stem
Cucumber with white mold on stem

The baby cucumber plants I’m bringing on to provide Autumn cucumbers are also affected. So I need to find a cure…urgently!

I’m now off to search for, and trial some natural recipes – baking powder and milk seem popular ingredients – I hope they work!

If you have any suggestions re. diagnosis and/or natural cures please, PLEASE share in the comments section below.