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.
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.