Watch for beetles, plant diseases

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By Dennis Morgeson

The Japanese beetles are back!  The last few years they haven’t been as bad because of natural diseases that have built up over time since they moved in as well as trouble they have had lately in hard droughty soils. However, this year with the wet soils they should have no trouble getting out of the soil or laying eggs.  Well, maybe they will drown in the wet soils and we won’t have much trouble with them this year either!  Damage by Japanese beetles is pretty easy to identify because they eat leaf and bloom tissue and leave the veins.  This makes the plant look lacey.  You will probably notice them on roses first and then grapes and so on.  My scout plants so to speak are usually fragrant roses, they attack them first.

 To control Japanese beetles spray with liquid sevin, the powder works but is ugly and not quite as effective as the liquid.  Be sure to follow the label directions on mix rates and wait times before working in the sprayed plants and when eating any vegetables sprayed with sevin.  Sevin  is deadly to bees so don’t spray when they are active.  Early in the morning or late in the evening is the best time to spray to avoid killing honeybees.

Plant diseases are running rampant with the warm weather so a few things to keep an eye on are roses, tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables as well as grapes.  There are several diseases that attack these plants.  Tomato diseases generally start at the bottom and work their way up with early blight being the most likely disease right now.  To control early blight or other tomato diseases spray with maneb, mancozeb, or daconil.  Be sure to spray the undersides of the leaves as well as the tops.

 With peppers and most vegetables anthracnose is starting to attack and the sprays listed above will work well to control them too.  Peppers also get bacterial spot but I haven’t seen any of that this year so far but if it does attack a few sprays of fixed copper will help.

Grapes are getting walloped right now by black rot this will start on the leaves as spots and will eventually cause the grape clusters themselves to rot.  Immunox is very effective against black rot but be sure to read the label closely because it is systemic and you have to have a month or two wait time before you can eat the grapes.

Speaking of Immunox, it works pretty well on black spot on roses and should be something that most gardeners should have in their garden “medicine cabinet”.  It controls a lot of diseases and can be put on some edible crops.  Immunox is the brand name of this product so you should ask for it by name.  I am not sure if there is a generic out for home gardens yet.

Be sure to stop by the Farmers Market at the Depot for our third annual Farmers Market Jamboree Friday evening from 5 until 8 p. m.  We will have live entertainment, New Pioneers is grilling, there will be children’s activities, and of course lots of food, produce, and products!   We hope to see you there!