By Gail Jacobs
Most things seem like an eternity at the time. Take Japanese Beetles for instance. About thirty plus years ago Japanese Beetles were the plague. They consumed every rose, purple leaved or purple blooming growing thing in my yard. They required each day that I head out into the green with a jar of water and a lid, to trap and kill all that were to full of MY green to fly away quickly. Of course, there was no hope for purple leaved crab tree. It was so covered with the beetles that our kids took turns grasping the trunk and shaking it as violently as possible thus causing all of the beetles to fly in a huge swarm. This act from my children caused me to dash away as if I were in a Hitchcock horror film! The thought of the beetles little sticky feet being tangled in my hair still gives me shivers. This routine continued for a long time until we did some remodeling and removing many of the beetle’s tasty food. Slowly they seemed to disappear so that today they are hardly noticeable. Still today I never miss an opportunity to pinch the life out of them. Therefore, I suggest that if a plant draws an undesirable pest or condition consider removing the plant! These little changes can make your gardening tasks less and increase your gardening pleasure.
Things that bother me.
Buzzing at night while I am trying to sleep and a spouse that doesn’t hear a thing when I try to explain what I hear. HEAR me out this is garden related! Last summer about August time I started to hear this loud buzzing at night while lying in bed, only at night I never noticed it during the day even though I would try to listen for the buzzing. So the mystery continued for several weeks me saying the noise was there while the spouse saying I was hearing things, certainly you can feel my pain in this. I felt it had to be some kind of insect and we were discussing this one afternoon. I was saying we should look around the house for insect activity. Sure enough Jay was yelling for me to come outside to see what he had found. Yellow jackets, the ones about 1 inch long, flying in and out of an exterior wall fixture where they had dislodged a small plastic access plug, gaining entrance to our insulation to make their home. When we looked behind a large wall picture hanging on the wall I face while sleeping, we found a bulge giving away their location. It’s amazing that they had eaten the drywall leaving the outer layer of paper! Well now that Jay was a believer and the man of the house he determined that HE would beat the problem insect! Jay told his woes to our pest control friend who then explained how to kill the yellow jackets. This is the secret to targeting pesky insects. Get yourself some Sevin dust (that powder stuff in the small bag or container) a turkey baster (a tool of many uses) and a dust mask or bandana would be very helpful. Put on your dust mask and draw up some of the Sevin dust with the turkey baster and inject the Sevin into the hole. The insects will pass through the Sevin then go into their nest and clean their little legs off. Bingo they die all of them eventually. Sleep at last! While the buzzing kept me awake at night what really bothers me is when Jay doesn’t believe me, that’s just plain hateful not to believe your spouse.
Things that need doing.
While attending one of those “helpful” gardening events I learned that landscaping should be ripped out or re-done every 10-15 years! Yes I know my mouth fell open and my eyes popped wide my landscaping is pushing 20 years old! I thought landscaping was like a root canal received from your favorite dentist good for the remainder of your life, well not so with either one apparently! So of course, that got me thinking about all of the poor performers around the house and then my back. Ergonomics hasn’t been my strong suite and after the damage has been done I do try to take better care of my body. I admit there are several big tasks lurking around in my yard. One of them is on my close range radar. What was once three crab apple trees with some Hosta, ferns, daffodils and a few other items has now become two dying trees, food for the rabbits and deer with many weeds. After attending a different garden event, I am now putting together a wishlist of plantings to replace the remaining two old crab apples. What I plan to accomplish is a carefree area possibly lasting past my productive years and saving my back from strain! I am fairly certain 100 year olds need to be cautious when tending to their green spaces. So while I am considering the redo project out back I will keep the thought of “Less is more” idea in mind.