Deer and Beetles

The gardening adventure is full of ups and downs. Of excitement and disappointments, of frustration and elation. It wouldn't be exciting any other way I suppose but those low periods sure can be low. Take for instance the deer infultration this week. The vegetable garden is my main concern - I want to eat food from this garden - it saves me money over the summer and we are planning on canning for the winter.  It's the most important garden asset in our yard but other areas have been affected too. A little purple leaf plum was cut in half - again - this might be the third time and my earliest blooming hostas have had their flower stalks nibbled off. It could always be worse. The good thing is that it's early enough to replant the cucumbers, squash, and a few other vegetables.

Today I went out briefly and began spraying my deer prone plantings with a simple spray made from hot pepper sauce, liquid dishwashing soap, and water. I tried this last year and nothing bothered the plants after it's application. Fortunately my timing couldn't have been better since the Japanese beetles have now arrived! Why is that good timing? Because Japanese beetles don't like my spray. It's a two for one deal deer and Japanese beetle prevention! One squirt and the beetles drop off the plant and fly off. They definitely don't like it. It may not kill them but it repels them from the plants I spray which is good enough for me. I've seen them on crape myrtles mostly but a few other plants like my dappled willows and some viburnums do have the Japanese beetles on them. If you can hold them off for a few weeks while they are active they aren't a giant problem. If you choose to use this spray please be warned - never stand downwind of the spray and take all necessary safety precautions! (You won't like it if it gets in your eyes, trust me.)

Public Service Message: Never buy a Japanese beetle trap for yourself, give it to a neighbor. It does a great job at attracting them! (If you want another way to control Japanese beetles in your garden try planting Four O'Clocks. They attract Japanese beetles and are poisonous to the beetles after they ingest the leaves.)


What You Might Have Missed This Week:

Sunday June 6, 2010
Monday June 7, 2010
Tuesday June 8, 2010
Wednesday June 9, 2010
Thursday June 10, 2010
Friday June 11, 2010

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