This time of year, fall, caterpillars,worms,loopers,etc have always been a part of gardening and home landscaping. The Tomato Horn worm, cabbage looper, cut worms, etc have always played a l little havoc on our newly planted winter vegetables and even those summer holdover tomatoes and peppers. We usually see a little grape leaf skeletonizer re appearing for one more time, and the fritillary butterfly and its larvae are common on passion vines… This year is different,our landscapes and gardens are under an uncommon attack from seemingly larger populations of the above mentioned plus some new arrivals.
I realize we’ve talked about some of this in weeks past, but in response to the activity and traffic of damaged plants and questions coming into the nursery-the situation is still active and pronounced. Pehaps one of the most popular and best selling landscape plants over the last decade has been the Tecoma species. Orange bells, yellow bells, Bells of Fire,etc..They are tough and colorful and along with bougainvillea, lantana,mexican birds, and a few others form a mainstay and foundation for many of our landscapes. The tecomas have come particularly under attack from seemingly nowhere by a yet to be named caterpillar and even our bougainvilleas have seen some damage from them as well. There are probably few landscapes that don’t have one or both of these plants prominently displayed in them, therefore i doubt there is a home that doesn’t have some kind of damage going on right now.
What to do? Control is a personal decision and should be assesed by how much and how significant the damage is. For example if you have a complete wall covering or are screening a neighbors with your orange bells and they suddenly have 50% fewer leaves, control is probably in order!
Remedies: The safest and perhaps even most effective on these critters is Thuricide aka B.T. or Dipel. Spinosad is also a safe and natural control that has a wider spectrum of pests on the label. Fertilome “triple action” a combination of neem oil and pyrethrin is also safe and effective. For traditionalists, Malathion and Sevin (carbaryl) will also work.
So if you’re seeing just a bit too much of fuzzy wuzzy around your place-well now you know perhaps more than you wanted to!
caterpillar damage to tecoma leaf
Fall Is Goin On!! A List Of What To Do & Look For!
This is the peak weekend for planting winter lawns..Night time temperatures are finally in the mid 60’s
Winter vegetable gardening is in full swing-plant those leaf and root crops while soil is still warm and air is cool!
Fall is prime time for planting trees and shrubs, the air has cooled and less water is needed yet the soil is warm and acts like an incubator for the roots
Cool weather flowers, bedding plants, annuals, perennials,….Geraniums ( We think the King of Fall), petunias, snaps,alyssum,lobelia,mums….time to plant and “Re Decorate” your outdoor living space. This is the time of year we get to enjoy our gardens and patios-is yours enjoyable?
As mentioned above, pests abound, watch especially your newly planted veggies, geraniums,etc…
As weather cools watch for “invader” pests. Crickets, roaches, earwigs…they will want to come in and warm up with you! Use D/E around the base of your home to get rid of them!
Spurge still seems to be a huge problem in our lawns. Now (if you’re not sewing a winter lawn, and as soon as the lawn germinates and is established if you do ) is the time to prevent spurge and other weeds from continuing to germinate by using pre emergent herbicides like “dimension”.
Adjust watering schedules: your landscape can get by with about 1/2 the watering frequency now as it was getting during the peak of the heat!
Be sure to keep those established winter veggie and flower beds fertilized and growing fast-10-10-10, Start and Grow,Natural Guard are all good and effective fertilizers for this time of year!
Dates To Remember
Saturday October 27th-Fall Garden Class (citrus care and planting, fall vegetables, flowers,etc from the Harper Boys-10 am at both locations
PUMPKIN ROUND UP-SATURDAY OCTOBER 27TH-BOTH LOCATIONS-FREE PUMPKINS FOR KIDS 12 AND UNDER-YOU JUST HAVE TO COME IN AND FIND THEM!!!
Saturday November 3rd-Market on the Move returns to our Mesa Location!!
We hope you’re finally enjoying the fall like weather. If the Harper Boys can help your garden or landscape be more enjoyable in any way-we’d love to help. From Jeff and Jay being present daily in our 2 nursery locations to answer and guide your gardening endeavors, to classes every month taught by the Harper boys (Join Us October 27th) to Jerry Harper and his team coming to your home to evaluate and create a landscape you’d be proud of and more enjoyable-the H.B. team’s goal is to help you have the garden and landscape of your dreams!!