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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:27 pm
Location: san diego

Grubs and garden woes- Applied Sevin but it rained afterward

I have a grub infestation in my garden. JB and June bugs. I used nematodes 3 times to stay away from chemicals yet noticed no benefit. I spoke with the co. rep. to make sure I used them correctly. My plants have not been doing well at all, my radishes didnt even radish this summer, they barely made it out of the ground and went to seed. Nothing grows right. Plants get way too big, don't grow or go straight to seed. Everywhere I dug Id find grubs.

I also suffer from persistant white fly, cabbage butterfly, leaf miners, and the newest infestation this summer was bagradabugs, along with powdery mildew . I pulled up all plants infested but finally gave in a week ago and applied Sevin. Then it poured a few hours later. So I'm trying to figure out if I dare apply it again, or need to, as it probably washed off anyway. Clearly I have poor soil inspite of using worm castings. I'm in Oceanside, Ca.

(Also, I have a big planter full of worms Ive been feeding so I wouldnt kill all of them off. I had lots in the soil, don't know now. )

Any advice would be appreciated.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Take a deep breath. Now, search the forum (green letters on black ribbon up near the top of each page) for the phrase "milky spore." It's a specific killer of the grubs/larvae of the Japanese beetle, which it sounds like you have; are you sure? Once established, it's good for many years.

The other pests can be dealt with in other ways, but stay away from Sevin, esp. if there's any chance that it will come into contact with running water (streams, creeks, storm drains) or percolate through the soil down to groundwater (what people eventually drink).

Organic gardening isn't all hearts and flowers, but at the heart of it is the feeling that you needn't ever be afraid of when to pick produce, how to handle it, or whether to eat it. It's *always* safe. Period.

Different pests have different preventive methods and different predators, but after making lists, drawing bubble charts or pictures, or however you like to organize information, it'll start to make sense. Just hunt around here, or read through this forum looking at thread titles. You'll reach information overload quickly, so give yourself a small break and then come back for more when you're ready. :)

Best wishes in conquering those pests; I have cabbage white flies too, but these days they don't get as much as they used to! :twisted:

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Posts: 29516
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Welcome :D
It sounds like you are overwhelmed. Yes, there's a lot to learn about gardening, and sometimes every time you think you "got it" nature throws you a curve ball.

Your comment about the radish gave me a pause -- I think it was the wrong time of the year to grow them. *I* can't grow radish in the summer and where you are, it's a lot hotter. You would probably have more success growing them right now or even a little later. I started some about a month ago.

I had to look up bagrada bugs -- ah stink/harlequin bugs. I don't get the same species but similar ones here. The Cabbage harlequins I get aren't stinky but are just as persistent on the cabbage family crops. I thought I was done with them since we've had a frost or two, but I found a few more in the Brussels sprouts and one cauliflower that wasn't growing well. :evil: In my area, the evil stink bugs are separate Brown Marmorated Stinkbugs and they are all over the beans, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. I also was introduced to Blister beetles this year which primariy attack beets and Swiss chard but also peppers.

For the adults, I recommend the snatch, dash, and stomp: SNATCH them off of the plants, DASH them to the ground, and STOMP on them. Stinkbugs will stink you (and blister beetles can actually burn you) so gloves are recommended/a must.

Juvies are soft enough to hand squish and are also affected by soapy water.

Squishing these bugs are supposed to help deter new bugs from joining the party. The smell is said to warn them to stay away. Some people actually make bug smoothie spray.

For mass destruction, I prefer a container of soapy water. Just drop them in the soapy water. They tend to jump off the plant when threatened, so I hold the container underneath and chase them off with my other hand. Shaking them off the plant works too if you don't mind losing some that fly away.

For your organic garden, start a compost pile, and plant lots of flowers that attract beneficial insects. Maintain birdbaths or a garden pond and bird and hummingbird feeder stations. These will help attract and nurture your Garden Helpers and Garden Patrol -- beneficial microbes in the compost and soil (as well as on the leaves if you make compost tea and spray), predatory and pollinating insects, and nesting and insectivorous birds.

Good luck. Have fun with your fall and winter garden.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Agree, you need to slow down, take some deep breaths and work on figuring things out. There is a lot to learn when you start gardening and you can't learn it all at once. We usually suggest people start small, to help keep from getting overwhelmed.

Sevin is really bad stuff

harmful to humans, toxic to honeybees and other beneficial insects, toxic to aquatic creatures when it leaches into streams, toxic to wild birds who eat the insects killed by it etc.

AND it is useless against many of the problems you noted -- it won't improve your soil, help with powdery mildew, help your radishes to bulb up, etc. AND it is useless against the grubs

So you need to be patient, figure out how to deal with different problems and give your garden some time (several growing seasons) to get itself together. A healthy garden with healthy soil, diversity of plants and animals, lots of birds and beneficial insects does not have problems like that. (Not that you won't still have some stinkbugs or whatever, but they tend not to turn in to crop destroying infestations).

Green Thumb
Posts: 357
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:07 am
Location: San Diego, CA !! Z10/SS24

Here's some info on Bagrada bugs.. new infestation to So Cal.

I thought I may have seen a few, but squashed teh suckers before much damage was done. The did slow done my fall bush beans , however.

Yes, I have many grubs currently, and battling leafminers too. Whiteflies can be a pain, but keeping an eye on them keeps them at bay.
And powdery mildew wipped out my tomatoes early this year :cry: though I did get a good harvest :)

Now that we seem to have cooled down- finally > I'm fighting pill bugs from decimating the cool season crops. DE (diatomaceous earth) has helped, but needs multiple treatment to keep them at bay. Being under row covers, procrastination hampers the treatment.
M brocoli are doing good, though I spottted some chew leaves, and found cats even under covers :shock: and swiftly enlisted BT after squashing what I found . I may lacked in watering and made them weak attracting the suckers ...

You will find the way to nurture you plants without hasty chemical applications. Just ask here @ HG, I'm sure you will have plenty of great suggestions.

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