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Before I get into the list of gardening chores for July, I want to do a little re-cap of June. For the month of June, we had close to average temperatures. The official rainfall was 5-inches, which is an inch below average. I know some of you had much more rainfall this month, with heavy, isolated downpours. Most of this official rainfall occurs in the first half of June. After the 13th, the rain has shut down. The second half of June has been hot and dry.
Every day I am talking to customers about the plant damage being done by active Japanese beetles. Japanese beetles love to eat on our beloved roses, crape myrtles, grapes, and other plants. The life cycle of the Japanese beetle consists of four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Female Japanese beetles will leave the plant that they are feeding on to find ideal conditions and soil to lay eggs in. The females will lay anywhere between one to five eggs throughout the area they choose. When done with this egg laying process the females return to a food source (i.e. roses, crape myrtles, etc.) to continue feeding until another mating cycle occurs, where this process is repeated all over again. This process will repeat itself until the female lays over 40 eggs throughout her life cycle (2 months).
Beetle Traps: Traps are a great means to control beetle populations. Place these traps at least 25 feet away from the plants that are being damaged. The lure inside these traps will draw bettles to the trap and away from plants.
Chemical Controls: Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew is excellent. Its main content is Spinosad. Spinosad is regarded as a natural product and approved for use in organic gardening. Spinosad is safe for birds and mammals. It can be toxic to bees, but once dry it is considered negligible. So, timing is very important. Because bees do not fly late in the day or after dark, Spinosad should be applied late in the day.
THE GLORY OF GARDENING: HANDS IN THE DIRT, HEAD IN THE SUN, HEART WITH NATURE!!