On the Seventh Day- Pest Control

I sprayed the boxwoods. And every week thereafter. Like many, I’ve had some difficulty during COVID remembering what day of the week it is. You know you do too.

This blog post will focus on pest control in the time of COVID. I’m grateful for the time to do some long-needed maintenance. I schedule treatments on my phone and have gotten quite involved in managing plant care. Reminder times for certain annual events like pruning are scheduled on my phone. I just finished pruning the miniature lilac- A lilac sets next year’s flowers quickly after the flowers pass. Sometimes, you can trigger a second bloom the same season. That was my hope but no go…

pest control
The boxwoods are in their weekly spray routine and the center lilac tree is doing really well post pruning.

Pest One -Boxwood Leafminer

After a worrisome diagnosis a month ago of the dread “boxwood leaf miner” I’ve been spraying all eleven bushes center garden religiously to tamp down on the ongoing bug infestation. ( see the brown leaves buried in the first photo..I started using Captain Jack Deadbug and when it ran out, I consulted with the local nursery, I stepped up to a stronger brew called Insect Disease & Mite Control. As long as you spray all the leaves thoroughly 3 hours before rain, it sets on the leaves without washing away.

More about how to recognize boxwood leafminer.

Pest control
I’ve been advised to continue spraying through the growing season, raking up all the dead leaves before winter and getting “the professionals in,” in early Spring 2021. Both pest control products in this photo have an active ingredient called Acephate that’s harmful to bees and butterflies- not something I’m very comfortable with. I hope that next Spring, a systemic treatment placed in the ground might clear bugs from the bushes for good.

I like to use Bonide products for pest control because although they’re not organic I’ve had good luck with them for a host of cures. I prefer starting with less aggressive products. In the case of the boxwoods, their lives are on the line! And, they’re expensive bushes to replace. 

Pest Two-Spider Mites

Last week I looked out the window and thought I saw a tan stain on one of several Alberta Spruce trees. No stain, I soon saw the same thing on a second tree. Apparently the spruce is one tree that attracts the tiny spider mites.

pest control
Spider mites destroy the needles and can bring a tree down. Yesterday, I sprayed all four spruce trees with the same product as the boxwoods. Apparently, you can also blast the mites with a hose and clear them off the tree. I’ll try that in a few days but I’m not giving up on my little trees!

Pest Three- Leaf Galls

We’ve had a lot of humid days this Spring. Which breeds lots of critters. I discovered a recurring fungus on an old orange azalea (that was here when we bought the house.) You may have seen leaf galls on ornamentals in your garden– they’re a large light green outgrowth from a fungus that winters over, returning with blooms. Happily, the orange azalea tree is separate from the newer azalea hill. One year, all the azaleas had leaf gall. Bonide makes a product called Captan Fungicide that’s a systemic poison. This year, I’ve watered it into the tree roots twice over a two week period.  You mix the concentrate in a gallon of water and pour it all out. More on what leaf galls look like. And that’s my little orange azalea!

Post Bloom- Fertilize and Weed! 

I think plants can get sick when they’re not getting either enough water or nutrition. Now that the azaleas and rhodies have bloomed I’m working my way around the garden with Hollytone and Sweet Peat. Cleaning out weeds under the bushes, cultivating the soil and working in the Hollytone and Sweet Peat around the base takes time. 

pest control
It doesn’t look like much but it sure feels good. Azalea roots are very shallow and dry easily. Summer is azalea boost time. We have fresh gravel coming in July for the garden and drive. It’s been at least two years and it’s time.

Serenity Now

Buddha
Buddha is still hiding in the barn trying to get my attention. I THINK I laid down the last of my hole and crack patching wood bondo a couple days ago. Looking forward to sanding. A prelude to an overall body staining. Will Mary finish this season? Yes!

Pest Four-Chipmunks and Voles

Lest I forget. Like most gardeners, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in chipmunks. I’m now working on #3 and #4 solution. Please let it work! Mole Scram and Molemax. Numbers one and two will remain nameless. Mole Scram is strategic and gives the critters a belly ache if they ingest it. I added MoleMax because I’ve lost faith!

pest control
Molemax is a solar powered noise maker. It acts as a critter distress call. Critters supposedly run away. Still waiting to see if the latest pest control works!

Scarves Are Here!

New seasons bring new designs. Sunshine is one. The sewing machine just got back from service and is better than ever. Every living thing needs maintenance!

I call her “Sunshine.” Looks like fairs are on indefinite hold. You can buy from me direct!

Waylon Jennings

Speaking of maintenance. Waylon Jennings comes to mind. I enjoyed this clip of Waylon and Johnny Cash. I’ve never been a huge country fan, but these guys I could watch a lot of- And that hair!!! There really is such a phenomenon as natural born entertainers. 

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