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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Seaberry Massacre (almost)

Well the great weather this year for gardening has led to a near wholesale butchery of the seaberry seedlings and purchased plants.  While I was away in Maine, the weather here in Massachusetts was scorching hot and dry.  I made preparations for watering, but there were areas which were missed and the majority of the seedlings were transformed to tinder.  The dozen or so which are left certainly have some survival instinct so this may prove to be a natural selection event which will benefit the future potential of hybridized plants.

Earlier I spoke about the winter moth damage this past spring to the purchased bushes.  They recovered nicely.  A production guide states "...has relatively few pests.....green aphids can be controlled by insecticidal soap."  Well I would trade a hundred green aphid for each winter moth caterpillar or the latest defoliator.

Add you your list of possible berry bush busting bugs.  The June Bug completely defolitated the new saplings in two short evenings.  At first I was at a loss what was doing the damage since there was no insect present upon careful inspection.  What I did notice were small holes in the soil below the plants.  Originally I thought, and this may have been partly the case, they were caused by birds beaks probing for food.  When I slowly removed some soil it revealed June bugs resting during the day, dreaming of the seaberry feast they would continue later that evening.
They look like this-
 The result of their work-
No kidding, no leaves!
Some drastic measures were needed.  I applied granular Sevin to the soil and have dusted the plants themselves twice this past month.  The damage ceased and the June bug season is now past.  The plants are vigorously producing new leaves from buds covering the stems.  Barring some new pest as damaging as winter moths and June bugs, I am hoping the new leaves will provide the plants what energy they will need to survive their first winter.

2 comments:

  1. I really like the information on your site! Your background image is killing my browser though. When I scroll with the mouse-wheel the browser stops responding (and no, my computer is not slow, I have 2GB of ram, FF3.6.8, and Ubuntu. Removing the background w/ firebug makes the site usable.) Anyways keep posting the great info.

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  2. I changed the layout, hope this works better for you and anyone else who may have had that same experience. Also, thanks for the nice words about the blog - Tom

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