Every gardener I talk to says the same thing, even the professional growers. Sure, endless watering because it refused to rain (the drought finally broke last week)...but holy crap the bugs. I've been gardening for 25 years, and I've never felt so under assault. That fella there in the picture is a red-legged grasshopper, measuring over 2 inches long. There are dozens like him out in the yard, each capable of devouring many times his body weight in tasty plant material every day. Add to that his lesser cousins, numbering in the thousands. Factor in the flea, tortoise, and cucumber beetles, the cabbage loopers and moth worms, centi- and millipedes, slugs and snails, all in quantities enough to make me queasy; it's a wonder there's a single leaf left. But.
I am vigilant. I prevail. And my garden thrives, flourishes – and feeds us.