Monday Memories 7-25-2016

It’s actually been a pretty weird year for plant pests this year. Many things that were plentiful last year, haven’t been seen, and many things I’ve never seen before are showing up like they’ve been here all the time. This teaches me that you can take nothing for granted in this world. The life span of a human is very short compared to the life span of the earth. Although we may say, “I’ve not seen that since I was knee-high to a grasshopper”, the phenomenon may have been taking place since the dawn of time. Humans tend to think of things in our lifetime, when we really have to broaden our outlook to include many generations.

Ilex vs. Rabbitsimage

Rabbit Deterrents:
•These trees have chicken fencing around them, but it’s right against the bark. It needs to be away (1 foot) from the trunk and at least 6 inches underground, as best as possible.
•There are commercial repellants to use, but need to be reapplied often & don’t generally work according to the experts.
•Spread blood meal, cayenne pepper, manure or dog or human hair around plants.
•Spray plants with a solution of hot pepper sauce and water or vinegar. Reapply the solution after each rain. This solution can be rinsed off of vegetables after harvest and will not affect the taste.
•Use a foul-tasting spray deterrent that contains bitrex. Do not use bitrex sprays on vegetable plants because it will affect the taste of the produce.
•The last solution is a fine rabbit stew. Mmm.

Ilex vs. Snails & Slugs

Euchemotrema hubrichtiPreventing damage should start from last year’s observations, if possible. Most likely, if you had them last year in your garden they will be back.
Clear leaf litter from around susceptible plants. Don’t give them a place to hide.
Make a barrier of eggshells, twigs, or ashes around the plants as they don’t like to crawl over rough or sharp material. Copper wire or pipe is also effective, relying on the premise that the copper delivers an electric shock to them.
Provide a halved orange upside down as bait at night, and remove the takers the next morning.
Use a shallow lid buried in the ground and fill with beer or lemonade. Slugs and snails cannot resist a free drink, and will come and drown in the pool.
For smaller plants, make a cloche by cutting the bottom off a plastic bottle, bury slightly, and remove the lid for ventilation.
Encourage frogs and birds to your garden as they can’t resist a meal of escargot!

Ilex VS Lawn Fungus

disease Triangle

Changing your lawn care habits might reduce your risk of fungi problems. A healthy lawn has a really good chance of pulling through a fungal infection, but that is up to you!

  • Water your grass regularly, but don’t water it too much because waterlogged grass invites fungi. Don’t set your irrigation and not monitor it.
  • Dry grass can also makes your lawn more susceptible.
  • A nitrogen-based fertilizer applied annually (in the fall) supplies your grass with the nutrients it needs to flourish.
  • When you mow, don’t remove more than one-third of the length of the blades of grass at a time. A healthy length for grass (from the thatchline) is 3 inches tall.

I’ve noticed many different types of fungus coming out in droves because of our weather this season. Some are fairly rare and hard to treat. I wish we could get over the ‘Perfect Lawn’ mentality and all just enjoy the clovers and other blooming weeds. =-)

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

14 thoughts on “Monday Memories 7-25-2016

    • I’ve felt that way this year also. I start seeing something bloom and think it will be like that for a bit. Then go back and look at it… the flowers are done.
      It’s been a fast summer, but I’ve been enjoying it! 🚀

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  1. I had no idea rabbits could do that kind of damage to trees! Also, thanks for the tip about keeping snails away from plants; I have a begonia a friend gave me that I want to plant in my flower bed, but have been holding off because I know it will just be a midnight feast for all the snails in my garden, and I’m not keen on using snail bait.
    As to lawns, I love mine in winter because it looks so green. Of course, it is all weeds, but still – Green! 😀

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  2. We seem to have an increased number (and variety) of creatures of all shapes and sizes this year also. The biting ones I really don’t like, and they seem to be in greater numbers now. We are watching you “guys” carefully because our increased heat and humidity (global warming?) is encouraging a movement northwards towards us of a number of undesirables!
    Our main concern however is the Trumpeting Trump wingless carnivore. His constant spitting out of venom; his totally irrational behavior; his ability to totally misrepresent his world; his total absorption with himself and at the expense of others as necessary, and his total intolerance to his own kind if there are any differences visually, in mannerisms, in country of origin etc. We really want to keep him South of our border!

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  3. Great post with some useful info. I’ve no problem with rabbits. But we had them in the past before all the development began. Once in a while I see one or two in my neighbors yard-cottontails. I think maybe the fox and hawks keep them away for there are a few wild areas in my neighborhood. Never had any rabbi damage even on the farm. The balance of nature back then was very good so there were few pests.

    The insects are another story for folks that live in the burbs. Grasshoppers can eat like a hog. Folks put out Nylo sp? but it needs to be put out early so that it can work before the hoppers begin multiplying.

    Your photo looks like a beaver got hold of the tree. Gee those rabbits are destructive.

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    • Rabbits around here come in about 3 year cycles. Either there are none or many. I know our raptors take a few as meals. We don’t have many other carnivores around, just a bunch of veggie-eating animals.
      I have a wood chuck who really wants to make my yard his home. He even stood up to my hubby pushing him with a broom to “step on”, but he wasn’t having that. He liked his future home under our garage. He’s been seen a few times, but I don’t want any tangles with the boys and him. Someone’s not going to be happy. He’s big, he could cause some damage to my boys. My boys aren’t hunters, but love to play. Who knows? Maybe they just want to play together? Ha ha!

      Liked by 1 person

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