Friday, July 10, 2009

Garden Talks July 10--Cucumber Beetles, Japanese Beetles anyone?, gaga over Gazania

Hello again,

I just spoke to a customer who reported seeing cucumber beetles (spotted) in his garden.

Cucumber beetles will appear in gardens once the weather warms. Adults don't die but overwinter so as soon as it starts to warm, they come out and can be seen. Adult cucumber beetles will need to feed so anything growing will be fed upon immediately. If you plan on starting a vegetable garden, it's a good idea to treat early cucumber beetle activity which in turn will minimize or even eliminate those that might forage on your crops later in the year.

Though cucumber beetles prefer vine plants like cucumbers, squash and pumpkins, they'll eat what they can find early in the growing season. Feeding adults will chew holes through the leaves of new plant growth and they don't discriminate. Active adults will feed on most any garden variety plant they find and their damage can become substantial. More importantly, they are largely responsible for the spread of bacterial wilt. This fungus can be devastating to any garden so don't let cucumber beetle populations have free roam of your plants. (thanks to the folks @ -yes an actual website- for the above description)

At Skillin's we recommend spraying the beetles and the plants and soil you see them on with Spinosad, an all natural but very effective product. We feature Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew. Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew contains Spinosad (spin-OH-sid), a naturally occuring soil dwelling bacterium that was collected on a Caribbean island from an abandoned rum distillery in 1982. Deadbug Brew kills bagworms, borers, beetles, caterpillars, codling moth, gypsy moth, loopers, leaf miners, spider mites, tent caterpillars, thrips and more! It is easily sprayed on plants and soil and should be very effective vs. cucumber beetles.

We spotted our first Japanese Beetles today at Skillin's. It seems all the wet weather may be delaying their arrival. More on Japanese Beetle controls soon but we are all set to help you with many solutions if you see them.

Finally, if you are still looking to fill sunny spaces in your garden OR have a sunny spot where you need to put some awesome looking plants I HIGHLY recommend planting the Gazania. I plopped a picture of a gazania at the top of this post. I have some planted in a container that gets all day sun and I just love all the colors the "Gazoo Mix" brings. We have plenty of fresh gazania here at Skillin's and our Gazania qualifies for our "Buy 2, Get 1 Free" annual box sale!
Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
July 10, 2009

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