After identifying my plant problem as spider mites, I spent a lot of yesterday doing research on natural remedies. The internet would have me believe that spider mites is #2 on the garden catastrophe list right behind apocalyptic sun explosion spiraling the Earth out of orbit (the end of the world). That said, I was also a little surprised that the majority of sites I found people discussing natural methods of spider mite control were all about growing cannabis. Am I the only non-pot-grower that wants to keep my fruits and veggies chemical free?
After looking up a number of concoctions, and the banter back and forth on what worked for one person but not another, I decided on the simplest. A 50/50 (1:1) mix of rubbing alcohol and water, with a bit of neem oil. Enter two hours of driving to every store in the area that carries seeds and gardening dirt looking for neem oil. Turns out, nobody in all of Brainerd has neem oil in January. No store. Not in the garden section, not in the soap and shampoo section, not in the health and wellness section, not even in the craft, fragrance, or essential oil sections. I eventually gave up (I admit, I kind of threw a fit and proceeded to take a nap when I got home). This evening, my dear husband went to two more stores before finally finding a chemical that specifically says it will kill spider mites. Not neem, not organic... But I have to try something to get them under control before I start seedlings in a few months.