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  1. #11
    "Fringe tree: Removed some of the turf and added a little ground soil mixed with mushroom compost, then newspaper, then mulch. Mulch makes everything look so pretty."

    "Great news about your fringe tree.*"

    Sometimes all I need is a kick in the behind to get motivated. Like when Betty gave me all thos plants, I knew I better get to digging, and I went on a marathon!

    Today I also removed some of the turf and added a little ground soil mixed with mushroom compost, then newspaper, then mulch to the following at the other property:

    Weigelia, peach tree*, nectarine tree*

    Both of the fruit trees (really small, only 3 feet tall, IF that) produced plenty of fruit last year. This year nothing at all, the neighbors down the street is loaded! These trees have nevr been fertilized as long as we have had the property (about 7 years) as we worked on the road 90 percent of the time and only mowed the lawn and pruned a little here and there, nothing else.

    Any suggestions on what to get them going. Probably just a little TLC. Will the mushroom compost help with that? Or should I apply a fertilizer. There are not even any BUDS looking about to bust.

    Another note: I meant to keep this article from the newspaper 3 weeks ago, put it aside, forgot, and used it as a weed barrier, so never got to read the article. But I do remember the*ghist of the headline...about not being enough honeybees to pollinate this year. I realize I have not seen ANY honeybees around this property, but plenty at the 10-acre. Could this be a reason why we have no fruit?

    Boy, did this topic go astray!!!!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
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    3,042
    "Sometimes all I need is a kick in the behind to get motivated."

    Know that you are not alone!* I am a member of that club too, especially when it comes to housework.* :shock:

    As to the peach and nectarine, did they bloom?* If they bloomed but didn't produce fruit then the lack of bees could be a problem, but peaches and nectarines are self fruitful and don't need a pollinator so I would suspect something else.* You did say they are only 3' tall.* Maybe they're young?* Peaches are short lived trees to 15 to 20 years.

    * I found this really neat site.* It's about fruit production and lists different types of fruits on the left.* Do click on 'Stone Fruit Flowering Habits' here for stone fruits as it explains where they flower depending on which fruit.* You might want to write that down someplace for future id of fruit trees when they're in bloom.* At least it should give you some idea.
    http://ssfruit.cas.psu.edu/StoneFruit.htm

    Not sure what is going on with these two trees.* Maybe this will help.
    http://www.luvnpeas.org/edibility/edible8.html#Peach

    Since you composted the article on bees and probably now have nothing to read, this site has interesting info on the history of different fruits as well as other trivia.
    http://www.innvista.com/health/foods/fruits/default.htm

    There are several theories about the disappearance of bees.* Do a google with: disappearance of bees

    Newt


  3. #13
    Yes! these two trees did bloom in the spring, I remember taking pictures of the beautiful pink blossoms. Not profusely, actually quite sparse. Cant speak for the prior years as I wasn't always here at the right times to take notice. Dave bought this property 7 years ago and the trees were here then, so they are not young, but they have not gotten too tall either. Nothing in the yard has EVER been fertilized or taken care of, except, like I mentioned earlier, a obvious required pruning of either dead or wandering branches. I think I will check witht the local feed store down the road and give these babies a shot of ferttilizer for next year.

    BTW - these two babies are only the beginning of the interesting plants we have going on here at the original property. Who wants to help me write a book? Just kidding, no time for that, but* I sure do have alot of plants to report!!!

    Arghhhh... I want to do so much, but I have to wait...patience is not one of my strong points!!!!!!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
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    So, they didn't get pruned at the wrong time either.* I would suggest you get an organic fertilizer or topdress the roots with compost and mulch.* Kinda like you did with the fringetree.* Mushroom compost is ok, but not the best as it's highly alkaline.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spent_mushroom_compost

    Newt

  5. #15
    Didn't get to check the oranges until 11 Am due to a veterinary emergency this morning. If there were slugs, would that be too late? Typically, I would be over there right at daybreak, around 6 AM.*

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
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    I don't think you were too late.* If you have a slug problem I would think you would have found a few. We still don't know what your leaf eating pest is though.

    Hope everything went well at the vet!*

    Newt

  7. #17
    Still have not found ANY critters in the garden first mentioned. A mealy bug here or there but that is all. I am transplanting most of the plants from that garden to a different location to possibly escape the elusive critter problem, but ALSO because I think the sun is TOO hot in the afternoon in that spot. Should I put my hollyhocks back in pots for now, or just directly into a new spot in the ground? They have only been there 1 month and have not grown at all.

    What I have found in other areas of the yard:

    1) aphids and little black ants on both okra plants. (The squash and tomato plants in that same garden are fine). A friend told me they were aphids and the relationship between the ants and the aphids, but she wasn't sure the best solution.

    2) Japanese Beetles! Arghhhhh...I just happened to take a close look at my oak-leaf hydrangea*today and just about every single flower on the bush is housing a group of beetles. I dont think they have been there long as not too many of the petals have that lacy look, just a few. But OMG there are SO many beetles....none on the leaves and the leaves are not being eaten either. I assume I need to move quick on this, so any suggestions would be GREATLY APPRECIATED.

    Oh, and by the way....I found hydrangeas on a list of plants that were not likely to be eaten by Japanese Beetles. Makes no sense to me.

    Thanks in advance for any advice :) Dina

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
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    3,042
    I wish I had more time, but I'm leaving soon on a short trip and won't be back until Tuesday nite or Wednesday.* So, I'll make this quick.* You may need to do some googling.

    Aphids secrete a waste called honeydew.* The ants drink the honeydew and will protect the aphids.* So the generally speaking, if you see ants on your plants, trees or shrubs (with the exception of peony), look for aphids.*

    Insecticidal soap will take care of the aphids.* Spray every 7 days until gone.* I think I gave you a recipe for home made.* If not here you go.
    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/hom...idal-soap.html

    For Japanese beetle adults you can collect them or knock them off your plants into soapy water and then dispose of them.

    C ya in a few days!
    Newt

  9. #19
    Got me some insecticidal soap, got the beetles off of the hydrangea. To my dismay, I happen to look up in the crape myrtles and they are having a PARTY!!! I have 16 crape myrtles around the house. The leaves start at 10 feet high and go to 15 feet high, so plucking the beetles off would require a ladder...and Dina and ladders dont go too well together, I am rather a klutz. My question is "What would Newt do?" By the way, YES, the beetles are having a party in ALL 16 crape myrtles . This is war, but it seems like they might win. I have done some googling. Wondering about bats, or purple martins (or are they purple marlins?) Also read that I can plant certain plants like peonies to attract good bugs to rid bad bugs. Also read a little about milky spore disease, but that may be a huge project on the 10 acres (about 2 of which are not woods, and I dont even know if there are grubs there because we have done NOTHING with the lawn as of yet) And besides, doesnt the milky spore only take care of the grubs, what about all the "already flying beetles" from other peoples yards. I am up in arms over these dang beetles.* And how do I differentiate between good grubs and bad grubs? I read so much the other night that I cant remember which web site, but there was something about good grubs in the dirt. (I have it saved as a favorite)* AND.....on the beetle note, I have found these copper colored beetles in the dirt squirming around, what ARE THEY??? The only picture I could find that looked anything like them was a carrot beetle. Here is a pictureof the ones in my yard. Sorry for the long babble and million questions in one post, but I need help! And I know I can get steered in the right direction here.

    Here is a picture of the copper colored beetle:





  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Well, looks like you found the guilty party to the chewing of the leaves.* Looks like you have either a Serica beetle or Asiatic garden beetle.* Click on the pics for different ones.

    Serica beetle
    http://bugguide.net/node/view/3306

    Asiatic garden beetle
    http://bugguide.net/node/view/4281

    You had me laughing with this one!
    "What would Newt do?"
    Newt would remove the crapes or learn to live with the damage.* You could try shaking the trees with sheets underneath to collect them.* Then dump in a large bucket of soapy water.* I know this is not what you wanted to hear.* :X* You will have this link twice as I use it again to answer your question about the adults down the page.
    http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xd...e-control.html

    The birds you are thinking of are purple martins, with a 't'.* From what I understand they eat on the fly and will eat the Japanese beetle.* They need rather specific habitat with some open space which you should have available.* Their housing needs are particular, but you can do gourds or a purple martin house.*
    http://purplemartin.org/main/mgt.html

    I've read that there is one specific manufacturer of purple martin houses that is better designed then others.* It has a divider between the openings. See how this one doesn't have any divider between the openings?* I've read that you won't have as many tenants with this type.
    http://www.duncraft.com/images/Q937V-250.jpg

    Here's free plans to build your own that look great too.
    http://www.whazsup.com/

    Bat houses are great but often can take 2 years or more before you have tenants.* Wanna build a few?
    http://www.michigandnr.com/publicati..._Mgmt/Bats.htm


    Also read that I can plant certain plants like peonies to attract good bugs to rid bad bugs.
    I don't remember ever reading about peonies attracting beneficials, but I suppose if the flowers aren't the double ones they could.* They do have a symbiotic relationship with ants.* It's the one plant where when you see ants on it, you don't need to worry or do anything.**:)* Want more links?* Here you go.* Soon you'll have to have catagories like:
    Garden - insect pests
    Garden - birds
    Garden - trees
    Garden - beneficial insects
    Garden - companion plants

    It helps to have them alphabetized which I've done with mine.
    http://www.rexresearch.com/agro/comp1.htm
    http://www.minifarmhomestead.com/gar...anionplant.htm
    http://www.drmcbug.com/beneficials.htm
    http://apps01.metrokc.gov/govlink/ha...s/goodbugs.cfm
    http://www.fbmg.com/GardeningPages/Beneficial.htm
    http://www.extension.umn.edu/project...al/winged.html
    http://www.organicgardening.com/subc...1-2-10,00.html
    http://www.pollinator.com/beneficial.htm

    Ok, I'll stop now!* :shock:*

    Also read a little about milky spore disease, but that may be a huge project on the 10 acres (about 2 of which are not woods, and I dont even know if there are grubs there because we have done NOTHING with the lawn as of yet) And besides, doesnt the milky spore only take care of the grubs, what about all the "already flying beetles" from other peoples yards.
    Milky spore would be so expensive on a property that size you'd probably need to sell some of your land to afford it.* This Cornell Univ site is great for info about grubs.* Especially read 'Got Grubs - Count to 10'.
    http://nysipm.cornell.edu/publicatio...bs/default.asp

    The adults are difficult to next to impossible to control on a property like yours.* You might want to use the bait traps away from the main gardens so they aren't brought to your flowers.
    http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xd...e-control.html

    Not to worry about rambling.* I think I got it all.* If not, lmk.* And don't stay up all night reading.* Get some rest.* That's an order!

    Newt


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