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July 2, 2014

Tim's Tips: July brings Japanese beetles

It’s hard to believe that we are in the month of July. Now, the gardens really begin to get growing!

Give or take around the Fourth of July, the Japanese beetles make their appearance in our yards. If you are not familiar with this beetle, it is green in color and is the adult stage of the grubs that can infest your lawn. The beetle will feed on many plants, but any plant that has a sweet fragrance will definitely attract this bug.

The beetles hatch out over an extended period of time. The males and females will eat your plants and will eventually mate. The females will then lay eggs in your lawn.

There are many sprays that will kill the beetles, but neem is particularly effective at killing the beetles. There is some research that shows that neem has a smell that beetles don’t like and, therefore, also acts as a repellent.

You should also set up Japanese beetle traps in your yard. These traps will catch both male and female beetles. The more beetles that you catch, the fewer there are to mate and lay eggs in your yard.

Keep an eye out for these beetles in your yard and begin to treat your plants as soon as the insects make their appearance.

With the arrival of warm weather, you should be paying attention to the water requirements of your plants. For example, if you have flower buds forming on your tomatoes and you let the soil go very dry, the tomatoes that form will have black patches on the bottom. This is called blossom end rot. Once the patch has formed, there is no cure for the condition.

The way to prevent this is to water your tomato plants before the soil dries out. This is especially true for any of the tomato plants that you grow in containers.

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