Saturday, June 20, 2015

An Additional Tactic in the War Against Japanese Beetles

While I was outside yesterday morning drowning Japanese Beetles with my Death Bucket of soapy water, I realized it looks like this will probably be a bumper-crop year for those nasty creatures.  Some of my roses were unaffected so far, but it's still very early in the season.  Many other roses, especially my most fragrant ones, were already acting as bait, food, and love nests for the beetles.




Along with my two-part approach to Japanese Beetle control that I told you about in yesterday's POST, I am adding a more-drastic measure this year ... removal of all of the flowers and buds throughout the garden.  It's not like I'm really losing anything, because the beetles aren't going to let me have any decent flowers while they're here anyway.


'Prospero', before.


'Prospero', after.


I started yesterday morning by working in the English Garden.  It's a relatively small garden (by my standards) 30-feet wide and 40-feet long, with 40 roses in it ... perfectly realistic to expect that I could start and finish the job there relatively quickly.


English Garden, before.


English Garden, after.


As I worked, I dropped the trimmings into a five-gallon bucket.  Whenever the bucket was full, I emptied it into the dump-bed of my golf cart ... then I tossed it all into hedgerow tree line dumping spot at the back of our property.


Bye bye for now, Teasing Georgia.


This is about halfway through the job.  I liked how the few intact flowers ended up on top of the pile.


To be honest, removing the flowers and buds like this isn't really as drastic as it sounds.  I had planned to be in the garden anyway, because most of my roses could use a bit of a trim and deadheading of spent flowers, to tidy them up and keep the garden looking as nice as possible.  Even without beetles, summer heat makes many of the roses slow down and flower sporadically or not at all.  By the time the beetles are gone in a few weeks, the roses will have recharged, grown new buds, and they will be almost ready for their bloom time to start again for the late summer and fall.

I'm still going to have to keep the beetle trap bags changed as they get full, and continue my morning walks in the garden with my Death Bucket to drown any beetles that I find.  Beetles eat rose foliage, in addition to flowers, and they're a whole lot easier to find and catch if I don't have to dig through the flowers to get them into the bucket.  

I will spare you the photo of beetles in my bucket ... you're welcome.

17 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yeah, damn beetles. I'm not going to be a victim, though. I will do what I can to reduce their numbers, with an eye toward the future. I'm hoping that fewer beetles in the garden now means that there will be fewer eggs laid and fewer grubs produced to make next year's crop of beetles.

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  2. They're awful here - we have been trying to get rid of them too. They have taken over a bush here, and there are thousands.

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    1. That sounds like the stuff that nightmares are made of. Is it a rose bush or some other kind of bush? The soapy bucket method, early in the morning while it's cool and the beetles are sluggish, will help.

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  3. Sounds like a plan. I've done the same to the poor few that I have. I can't imagine doing it to all of yours! ♥

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    1. It's not so bad. I will be in the garden working anyway, so this is just what I will be working on. I have two mornings of work in it so far, and I think it will take two more to finish the job.

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  4. Darn, I see some pretty roses in that pile!

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    1. I know. There were a few really nice flowers in the pile, and it caused a little pang when I cut them and dropped them into the bucket, but it had to be done. I tell myself that the plants are better right now without flowers, and that they will be even better in a couple of months when the beetles are gone.

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  5. lol...I am going out now to get my unfair share of beetles, I agree, it's going to be a bumper year for them. Attacking my fig, or at least that is where I get dozens every morning. I hate cutting buds off, I brought a few in the house that haven't been touched. Stay cool.

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    1. I forgot about checking the figs. Thanks for the reminder!

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  6. No beetles here yet, but soon I'm sure. We're already picking hornworms off the tomato plants. The battle of the insects keeps on. Sorry you had to take them all, but you are saving them for sure.

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    1. Maybe it will be a gentle beetle year for you. I’m not missing the flowers, because it means fewer beetles in the garden and it’s easier to pick off the ones that I do find during my morning excursions with the bucket.

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  7. If you're removing roses, maybe you could use the undamaged petals for rose syrup or rose jelly. I know I pinned a recipe on my Pinterest board under Canning. I've would like to try the recipe but the most recent one I discovered takes 200 g of rose petals. Go, fight, win!

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  8. Rose Syrup - http://bordercollieinderozentuin.blogspot.com/2015/06/rozensiroop-rose-syrup.html It's in English and.... dutch?

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    1. I don’t feel right using the roses for anything that’s supposed to be edible, since I spray fungicide on them twice a month to prevent blackspot.

      The link you posted is to Janneke’s blog … I love her!

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  9. Great post! Excited to explore your blog some more :)

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  10. While this does seem like a drastic approach, I can totally see why you used it, Connie. Less painful than seeing those beetles all over one's gorgeous roses.

    Shirley

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