Japanese Beetles are Here!

Because Japanese beetles have a flight area of several miles, they will be swarming in from all over very soon or maybe already?  Adults feed on leaves, buds and flowers of many common garden and landscape plants, especially roses, grape vines and Virginia Creeper vines.  On leaves, feeding is usually restricted to the softer tissues between the larger leaf veins, which results in a characteristic feeding pattern known and described as ‘skeletonizing’.  More generalized ragged feeding occurs on softer tissues, notably flower petals; rose flowers are particularly susceptible to Japanese beetle injury. Damage on individual plants may be patchy, concentrated where aggregations of feeding beetles occur.

Hand Picking

Hand picking beetles will be effective in small plantings if you can keep up with it. The beetles are easily picked or dislodged into a container of soapy water especially in early morning and again in the evening. The regular removal of beetles prevents the feeding damage by those beetles and also deters other beetles from aggregating on the plant. Beetle presence on plants and prior injury is attractive to other beetles.  Hand picking also eliminates egg laying in your lawn.


Adult Japanese beetles can be effectively controlled by regular use of sprayed insecticides which either kill and/or repel beetles.

Bonide Eight – big guns with a 2 week residual

Natural Guard Spinosad Soap – organic control, with some residual

These are particularly effective and may provide protection of plants for 1-2 weeks following a single application.  As with all pesticide applications, read the label and follow the directions carefully.  Make your application in the evening, after the sun has gone down so as not to disturb the pollinators.

Budworms are showing up again!

Now is the time to treat for Budworm again.  These little light green worms have two cycles per summer – early July and early August.  Budworms prefer to feed on petunia, geranium and verbena plants.  They feed on the flower buds of these species.  You might notice that there are less and less flowers, flowers that looked chewed upon, or little black worm droppings in the leaves.  Treat with the biological Natural Guard Caterpillar Killer with BT, available in ready to use spray or dust.  Or spray with Bonide Eight or Natural Guard Spinosad Soap.  Treat now to help keep these flowers in full bloom all summer long.

How are your tomatoes growing?

Now is the time to apply Fertilome Tomato & Pepper set to help promote flowering, increase blossom set and increase fruit yield.  It is a natural plant hormone that provides Biological Grow Power when applied to flowers and adjacent foliage.

  • Problems with Blossom End Rot?  The dark grey, black-sunken area on the blossom end of tomatoes.  Fertilome Yield Booster with help stop and prevent blossom end rot caused by calcium deficiency when applied to foliage after fruit initiation and during sizing period.  Or consider adding an application of Hi-Yield Calcium Nitrate to boost the calcium availability to the plant.
  • Keep up with your regular fertilizer applications and consider switching to a Blossom Booster formulation.
  • Harvest ripe vegetables!  This will encourage the plants to continue producing fruit all summer.
  • Summer blooming shrubs should be pruned for shape after flowering. Remove any dead or diseased branches.
  • Brown patches in your lawn are probably the result of lack of water in those spots.  Your sprinkler head may not be operating properly resulting in poor water distribution which is magnified with the long stretches of hot weather we have been experiencing.  Check your sprinkler heads to find out what is going on.
  • Creek Side Cash program is in progress!   Don’t let your “Cash” burn a hole in your pocket!  Creek Side Cash may be used dollar for dollar on anything in the store, EXCEPT they may not be applied to sale priced items.