When I woke up this morning I thought I was imagining things. The temperature read 62°F. I actually took my glasses off and washed them!
Yesterday I had reached the I-don’t-love -my garden-as-much stage of the summer. This summer has been a bumpy garden ride in spite of all of the lovely blooms. And a hell of a lot of work.
My one Japanese Maple continues to struggle with heat stress and the leaves on it when they went, shriveled up overnight. The tree is still alive but only time will tell if it lives.
I lost one yellow rhododendron to too much rain in the spring, and it’s mate is also suffering from heat stroke along with the maple.
And no, the rhododendron has no disease this is all weather related. There was so much rain in the spring and then there was rain and heat and humidity and more unrelenting heat this summer. I had several rhododendrons show stress but they are all recovering. This one will not. So in the fall, when my next plants arrive something will replace it.
And then there is public enemy number 1. Mother F-ing spotted lanternfly. I really wish we could send whoever imported it in the first place thank you notes. Actually I’d like to send them the bill from my arborist is more like it.
I had my trees and things the lanternfly like treated in the spring. So we have had a lot of dead lanternflies which makes me happy. However essentially no one around us treated their trees for lanternflies. So now I’m seeing more lanternflies.
And people are all convinced that home remedies are going to rid us of this bug. OK hairspray doesn’t work. Vinegar doesn’t work is caustic so if you want to burn the eyes of your birds, hurt other wildlife and beneficial insects, and damage plants spray vinegar, don’t let me stop you. I love the people that don’t want to use chemicals on their property don’t get that these are also chemicals!
Preliminary testing and results from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture indicates that insecticides with the active ingredients dinotefuran, imidacloprid, carbaryl, and bifenthrin are effective at controlling the spotted lanternfly.
I treat my trees and shrubs and protect them anyway. It ended up that the 12 month Bayer brand systemic granular for trees and shrubs and the Bayer systemic for roses contain all or most of these chemicals. But my larger heritage trees and others I had to have treated professionally. I don’t like spraying so I chose injecting and drench.
But again, since everyone around me isn’t doing it, I have reduced the problem but not eliminated it. But that is like my frustration with people who do not develop plans that include routine tree maintenance with legitimate arborists. They don’t want to spend the money, and then when they have trees die they end up spending twice the money. But hey what do I know, right?
I discovered that this hideous spotted lanternfly likes rose bushes and my chili pepper plants and grapefruit tree. They also have been hanging around my beloved willow tree. As the chili peppers have matured they leave the plants alone.
The only thing short of squashing them other than chemicals professionally applied is I think there is something to be said about the nymphs dying from being sprayed with a spray bottle filled with seaweed extract and water. That is the only “home” remedy I have seen that has had any success. But the adult spotted lanternfly only seems to get stunned by being sprayed with seaweed extract so then I can stomp them to death. These bugs seem to hop more than they fly but they’re tough and you have to stomp hard to kill the adults. They’re disgusting. Someone at Mt.Cuba told another friend about the seaweed spray trick.
This morning’s cooler temperatures are a taste of what is to come. You can already tell the seasons are poised to change. How much change will occur I’m not sure. Because every year it now seems a little different because yes we are experiencing climate change.
My garden could use some cooler temperatures. And I really have to get to my weeding. It had been so hot and humid I could only do so much. And that is one reason why this is I don’t love my garden time of year. The height of summer heat can be a very frustrating gardening time.
But then I see things like the perfect red zinnia I finally was able to grow and I smile. I have decided not to deadhead all of my coneflowers or zinnias so I can get seeds. And I will share the seeds with my birds.
And knock on wood, so far so good with the tomatoes. The ones that look the best are the ones I am growing in pots.
When fall arrives, I have a long list of chores including wrestling with two of the larger rosebushes to get obelisks on them.
But for now I’m just going to look at my zinnias and hydrangeas. I also have some new rose blooms starting.
Thanks for stopping by.