Saturday, June 30, 2012

How Gross Are the Grubs?

By Lois Tilton (LTilton)
June 25, 2012

While there are several kinds of grubs that damage turfgrass, most are relatively harmless as adults. The most notable exception is the destructive import, the Japanese Beetle. Once it emerges from the ground where it has been gnawing the roots of your plants, its life of destruction goes into high gear. 

A typical white grub is a whitish color with a hard brown head capsule and a darker terminal segment.  Entomologists can identify the species of grub by inspecting the pattern of hairs on this anal segment.  White grubs are legged and their bodies curved in a characteristic C-shape.
While the life cycle of the different species varies, typically the adult female deposits her eggs in the soil, where they hatch into grubs.  These larvae then feed on the roots of plants, doing damage to crops and to turfgrass.  In the winter, they burrow deeper into the earth to avoid freezing, then tunnel upward again in spring.  Some species may spend more than a single year as larvae, others emerge in the next spring or summer as mature beetles.
In the lawn, a large infestation of grubs can destroy substantial sections of grass by eating away the roots so that the sod can be easily lifted from the soil.  When the grass is rolled away, the grubs can clearly be seen just below the sod.  Often, additional damage is done to the lawn when animals such as skunks and raccoons dig holes to hunt for the yummy and nutritious grubs.  This may reduce the grub population, but it doesn't help the grass!
It is this damage to lawns that has been the greatest motivation for the typical homeowner to make war on the grubs. It was once common to apply insecticides such as diazinon to the lawn, but such poisons kill indiscriminately and are now discouraged;  diazinon is now largely prohibited in the United States for non-agricultural use, but newer insecticides such as imidacloprid are still available.  Less toxic biological controls are becoming more widely used.  Spores of the bacterium Bacillus popilliae, often sold under the name of Milky Spore, can inoculate a lawn with bacterial milky disease, which effects the grubs of Japanese Beetles.  Another method of control is the introduction of several species of parasitic nematodes such as Steinernema carpocapsae applied to the lawn.

The problem with most these methods (Milky Spore is said to be specific to the Japanese Beetle) is their lack of target specificity.  A wide range of insects and other arthropods, many beneficial, live in the soil, particularly in their larval stages. Widespread application of toxic substances can do serious ecological damage.  This is also true of the use of nematodes.  Even if a species of nematodes only attacks grubs of the Scarabaeidae family, there are thousands of beetle species that might be affected, most of them harmless.
Few prevalent species of grubs grow up to be serious problems to gardeners.  The common June beetle, for example, is usually little more than an annoyance as it flies against window screens at night.  But in North America, a foreign invader has now changed the stakes.  Early in the last century, the Japanese Beetle Popillia japonica was accidentally introduced into an environment where it was free from natural enemies.  It has since spread westward, establishing itself in most areas east of the Mississippi.

This insect, while destructive as a grub, becomes an even worse pest as an adult.  The beetles can accumulate in vast numbers to feed on their preferred species of vegetation, and they are capable of serious damage, sometimes defoliating entire plants.  Their method of feeding on leaves is skeletonization, consuming the tissue between the veins.  They will also feed on flowers and fruit.  A few of their preferred targets are roses, grapes, plums and corn, as well as birch and maple trees.
As the Japanese Beetle enters a region, the use of both grub controls and insecticides rises in response as homeowners, gardeners and farmers combat the infestation.  Nontoxic methods have been tried.  Pheromone traps, which attract the beetles into a trap from which they are unable to escape, have had mixed results.  Many people insist that the traps attract more beetles to a location than were originally present.  This has been my own experience.  While I trapped thousands of beetles, the number of them feeding on my plants only seemed to increase.
So far, alas, the beetles seem to be winning, and causing unfortunate collateral damage among related species as humans attempt to control them.

Heat, Drought, No Problem!

From Kiefer Landscape and Nursery

Wow!  Did you see that last water bill?  Summer irrigating can run up quite a tab for those folks living where a municipality supplies the water.  This is the time of year I begin to think about having to drag a hose around my yard after working all day and quickly talk myself out of it!
No worries!  Here in zone 7, we have numerous plants that thrive despite our hot, humid, often dry summers.   These plants are tried and true and have been grown by many generations of southern gardeners.  Below is a list of some of the top performers that are workhorses through the summer heat.  I did not include those plants that will likely survive a drought but will become unattractive either because of excessive leaf drop (like River Birches) or daily wilting (like Oakleaf and Smooth Hydrangeas).  As an added bonus for many of us that have to contend with deer browsing, many of the structural qualities that make a plant tolerant of dry conditions, such as hairy, waxy, or narrow leaves, also make the plant unpalatable to deer.

Crepe Myrtles
American Elm
Nellie Stevens Holly
Southern Magnolias
Arizona Cypress
Deodar Cedar

Evergreen Shrubs:
Abelia (semi-evergreen)
Caroliana Cherry Laurel, Prunus caroliniana
False Hollies, Osmanthus
Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina
Japanese Plum Yews, Cephalotaxus
Sweet Box, Sarcocca
Wax Myrtles, Myrica

Deciduous Shrubs:
Deutzia gracilis
Lady Banks Rose
Ninebark, Physocarpus
Quince, Chaenomoles
St. John’s Wort, Hypericum

Bush Clover, Lespedeza
Butterfly Weed, Asclepias
Downy Coreopsis, C. pubescens ‘Sunshine Superman’
False Lupine, Baptisia
Lenten Rose, Hellebore
Most Ornamental Grasses especially Switchgrasses and Lovegrasses
Sage, Salvia
Threadleaf Coreopsis, C. verticillata ‘Moonbeam’

Don’t put up those gardening gloves yet!  Come to Kiefer and let us help you select drought tolerant plants for your garden.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


You Are Needed!

Guess what is just around the Corner?The Fall State Board Meeting!  We are the hosts this year and we are working hard to make it a memorable event.
Your help is needed.  We need people as pages, to work at the registration table, to help at Trash &Treasure table, to donate items for the Silent Auction, to give your excellent discards to the Trash & Treasure table, to provide Door Prizes  and to attend the Meeting.  Rhonda Pollard is looking for Door Prizes.  She needs about 100 Door Prizes.  We are asking each Club to give 3 Door Prizes per 15 members.  Contact Rhonda with any questions, she will be delighted to speak with you and will make arrangements to get your Club's Door Prizes to the Event.

Another area needing your help is the T&T and The Silent Auction.  We are looking for any of your attractive discards in good condition.  So as you go through your closets, preparing for out of town visitors, or simply, trying to make your space in your home, remember we are looking and hoping for your goodies.

Remember, we want to see our Durham Council Club Members at the Fall Board Meeting, September 23- 24,  2012.  Come experience how your State Board works, meet other Garden Club members from across the State and make new friends.  Sunday afternoon you will be able to stroll through the Durham Hilton, visit our vendors with their unique, well priced merchandise; pickup some bargains at the Trash & Treasure table; bid on some great items in the Silent Auction;
be serenaded by the 100 Men in Black ensemble and enjoy  a libation in the newly refurbished bar at the President's cocktail(or non) hour.


I have reached the stage where I no longer prepare long and involved recipes, only to see the food disappear in less time than it took me to make it. My Beef Wellington days are gone. Now I am making items that require minimum preparation and yield maximum pleasure for my guests.  Below are 2 recipes I prepared for Heritage Garden Club's annual picnic held in the garden rooms at member Trish Verne's home.  Club members requested I share the recipes so I thought I would share them with you also. Also included is a newly discovered easy coffee cake recipe.  Its has a healthy factor since yogurt is a main ingredient.  Don't turn up your nose.  Yogurt makes it moist.

Neiman Marcus Bars

1 pkg pound cake mix
1/2 c  butter
3 eggs
1 c. chopped pecans
1 lb. confectioner's sugar
1 8oz pkg cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9x13 inch pan.  I use butter but you can use spray or shortening.

Combine cake mix, butter, 1 egg and pecans in medium bowl  with electric mixer.  Press mixture into prepared pan-bottom only.  No need to spread it up the sides.

In another bowl, combine 2 eggs, sugar & cream cheese using mixer. (note: I sometimes add 1 tsp almond extract).  Beat until smooth.  Spread over cake mixture on pan bottom. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown.  Cool.  Cut into bars.  Makes 16 bars but you can cut it into smaller pieces and get a higher yield.

Asian Noodle Salad

1 pkg broccoli slaw
2 pkg dry ramen noodles, beef flavor
1 c. toasted, shelled sunflower seed
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
2/3 c. oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger

Crumble dry ramen noodles.  Set aside flavoring packets.  Put broccoli slaw into large bowl, add crumbled dry ramen noodles.  Scatter sunflower seeds and scallion on top.  Mix.

Put soy sauce, vinegar, oil, minced ginger and 2 seasoning packets into a jar.  Shake.  Pour over salad.  Toss.  Chill at least 1 hour before serving.  6-8 servings.

For color and snap, I sometimes add in 1 c. dried cranberries and 1/3 c. chopped candied ginger.  Sweet, sour and crunchy.  It tastes even better the next day.

Pet Coffee Cake
[once you make it, it will be a go-to recipe for you- a pet]

1 1/2 c.  White Lily all purpose flour                                                       8 oz. yogurt(any kind)
1 c. sugar                                                                                                1/2 c. oil
2 tsp baking powder                                                                                2  eggs         
1/2 tsp. salt                                                                                               Topping
1/2 c chopped nuts( I use pecan pieces)                                                   2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. raisins or fresh blueberries                                                              2  tbsp. brown sugar
                                                                                                                  1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9x9 inch pan.  Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.  Combine yogurt, oil and eggs in small bowl; add to dry ingredients, stir gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle on topping.

Note: when using blueberries, stir together the dry and wet ingredients and then gently fold in the blueberries.  Pour into pan. Sprinkle on topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until done.  Remember oven temperatures vary.

Things To Do:

Southern Pines

Do you think gardens when you think of Southern Pines?  Southern Pines is not just golf.  Visit the gardens at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities to experience The Poet's Garden, tropical lotuses and water lilies adrift in pools, the rose garden and two long beds filled with blooms from now until November.  Sensory delights to stir a gardener's heart.  Don't forget the great places to lunch and shop.   Enjoy a quick day trip.  Take your house guests, send them if you want some time to yourself.  Remember the Christmas Open House at the Weymouth Center.

Instant Shakespeare at Littleton

Take people who think Shakespeare is a bore to this rapid paced, witty show and experience 37 plays in 97 minutes.  Three actors perform this laugh-filled show which will keep you entertained. All the long, ponderous wordy parts are cut out. Details at or call 252-586-3124.


The Greensboro Historical Museum is host to a traveling exhibit from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.  The exhibit, "Fighting the Fires of Hate"  runs from June 19 - August 21.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Small Plants making a BIG Impact

Did your realtor describe your lot as a postage stamp?  Never fear, you can still have a wonderfully diverse garden packed with variety and beauty!  As homes have become bigger, lawns and gardens have become smaller.  That doesn’t mean your garden can’t make a big impact.  Plant Breeders have bred many of our favorite varieties to fit into these smaller gardens.  There are dwarf trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials in compact versions.  One clue as you are browsing the garden center for your plants is the names ‘Nana’ or ‘Compacta’.  Both of these words are descriptive of dwarf or more compact versions of your favorite plants.

    Loropetalum, the deep purple-leaved shrub that graces many landscapes, looks sweet and tidy in the garden center, but most varieties are vigorous and can grow quite large in the landscape reaching 8 or even 10-15 feet in height and usually 6-8 feet in width.  ‘Daruma’ is much more restrained at 4-5’ tall and wide and even could be used as a foundation plant.
    Magnolias, stately plants evocative of sprawling southern plantations, are much too large for most suburban landscapes.  While the species and most of its cultivars can reach over 30 feet tall, ‘Little Gem’ is narrow and reaches an ultimate height of only 15-20 feet.
    Butterfly bushes are a favorite flowering plant, blooming from the beginning of June on until frost and can get quite large and rambunctious in most of the varieties available.  With some breeding work performed at NC State University, we now have a few well-behaved varieties available.  Blue Chip has lavender-blue flowers and Purple Haze has purple flowers and both reach a mere 2-3 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
    Ornamental Grasses often have the reputation of being space hogs in the garden but there are dwarf versions of two of the most popular grasses.  Dwarf Maiden grass, Miscanthus ‘Little Kitten’ is a mere 3 feet (a bit more when flowering).  Dwarf Fountain grass, Pennisetum ‘Hameln’ cuddles nicely in any size perennial bed at 2 ½ ft tall and wide.
    Most conifers are handsome evergreens, and many, like Japanese cedars reach 30 or 40 ft tall.  Luckily, those of us with modest sized lots can enjoy the dwarf versions of these giants.  Cryptomeria ‘Elegans Nana’ and ‘Globosa Nana’ top out at six and four feet, respectively.   Elegans Nana is fine-textured and slightly irregular-shaped.  Globosa Nana is neatly globe-shaped and makes an elegant foundation plant.
    Perennial favorites have also been bred and selected for our space-challenged gardens.  Some of the best include: Monarda ‘Petite Delight’, dwarf bee balm;  ‘Little Joe’ Joy-Pye weed; ’Kim’s Knee High’ Coneflower; and ‘Walker’s Low’ Catmint, Nepeta.
    Plant breeding and selection continues at a faster rate than ever as plant introduction companies race to have the first, best new varieties available on the market.  Keep an eye out at Kiefer for the latest and greatest in dwarf plants.  If you have a smaller yard, yet desire a beautiful and diverse botanical display, we love a challenge!  Come out and let us help you get more from less!

collaborative project between the GCNC and the NC Museum of Art

Yesterday at the President's meeting this was mentioned and this is a copy of an e-mail from the museum about their idea.  If you are interested please let Andrea, Ruth in main office or your
president know you would like further information.

Good morning, Ruth, and thank you so very much for taking the time to talk with me.

As I mentioned, the North Carolina Museum of Art  is preparing for a fabulous exhibition this fall, Visual Feast: Masterpieces of Still Life from the MFA Boston.  As you might imagine, many of the works are stunning floral still life paintings from some of art history’s greatest masters:  Renoir, Cezanne, O’Keeffe, Matisse, and so many more. 

In a recent meeting, the idea of working with our North Carolina garden clubs in a special program was discussed, and I volunteered to start the conversation.  We would like to propose that several garden clubs each  ‘adopt’ a work from the exhibit to interpret in a floral arrangement to be displayed in the Museum’s Great Hall adjacent to the exhibition.  The floral art work would have signage crediting the artist, her or his garden club, and an accompanying image of the painting that inspired the arrangement.   Acknowledgement would also be in the Museum’s PREVIEW publication and on our Web site.

We will provide a special  lecture to participating clubs about the exhibition that explores the works on view and features a special component by one of our conservators, who will talk about the joys and challenges of working with floral materials in a museum setting.  

I would love to set up a meeting  to discuss the project in full.  I worked for many years at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond on its Fine Arts and Flowers exhibition; through the VMFA’s program I enjoyed the privilege of working with garden clubs throughout Virginia.   I believe a similar collaboration between the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Garden Club of North Carolina would result in a wonderful program for our mutual constituencies.

Thank you so much for your help, Ruth, and I’ll hope to hear from you or another representative very soon.

With best regards,

Sandy Rusak

State Dates for your Garden Club Calender

Dates for your garden club calender

June 3-9                 National Garden Week
August 5-7              Flower Show Symposium Charlotte
September 23-24   GCNC Fall Board Meeting Durham
October                   District meetings listed below
December 1            Award applications due to Category

January 14          Photo Deadline for the Calendar
January 25          Annual Club reports due to District 
March 1               GCNC Youth Award applicatons due to
                                 Youth Chairman, Ginny Parker
March 25-27       SAR Meeting-Lexington, KY
March 31            Dues and membership list to GCNC office
April 14-16         GCNC Annual Meeting, Wilmington
May 23-27          National Garden Clubs meeting, Seattle, 
June 2-8             National Garden Week

District Meetings 2012

District 1               Tryon                    October 4
District 2               Morganton           October 3
District 3               Charlotte              October 5
District 4               Winston-Salem    October 18
District 5               Greensboro        October 17
District 8               Lumberton          October 12
District 9               Henderson          October 16
District 10            Raleigh                October 9
District 11            Jacksonville         October 11
District 12            Wilson                  October 10

Volunteer Opportunities

Monday, June 4, 2012

Homestead Heights Garden Club and Maple Court Veterans Transitional Housing

Service  in the Army  by Hank Reinhart during World  War II was honored  this spring  by a donation from his wife, Cam, to the Homestead Heights Garden  Club to create a therapy  project in his name.  The club selected  the Maple Court Veterans Transitional Housing, 207 Commons
Blvd. as the site for the memorial.

The club and the veterans group decided  to create a potted herb garden consisting of rosemary, basil, mint, oregano, cilantro, parsley, and chives. Under the guidance of resident David Martin, the pots will become  a teaching project as well as a source  of fragrance and cooking  herbs for the residents in the Volunteers of America apartments. The project  provides secure, affordable housing  for up to two years to veterans transitioning from  being homeless to self-sufficiency.
Joy Hager, director of the apartment complex, presented a certificate of appreciation to Laurie Renard, garden club president, for Homestead Heights' service  and compassion.

With some of the potted  herbs at the Maple Court  Veterans Transitional Housing are, from the left, Homestead Heights Garden  Club President Laurie Renard, Transitional Housing Director Joy Hager and resident David Martin.

Maple Court is in need CAN YOU HELP?

Maple Court has 19 new vets, and they are running low on provisions for them.
If you can help by providing any of the following it would be such a help
Laurie Renard can answer your questions.  She is pres of Homestead Heights

VOA Maple Court,
207 Commons Blvd.
Durham, NC 27704
Provisions Provided to
New Residents  


Personal Care:
  Toilet paper

Cleaning Supplies:
Multi-purpose spray
Floor/toilet cleaner
Paper Towels and/or

One Time Allotment in
First Year

Cooking Item Provision:
  2-3 qt. pot
  8-10 qt. pot
  Skillet (med. or large)
  Cookie sheet
  Baking pan (8x8 or 9x13)
  Can opener
Egg turner
Large spoon
Knives (2)
Cutting board
Flatware (4 place settings)
Dishes (set)
Trash can
Dish towel
Dish cloth
  Single sheet set
  Waste Basket

Bathroom Provisions:
  Toilet Brush
  2 Towels
  2 Wash cloths
  2 Hand Towels

General Room Use:
  Broom/dust pan
  Replacement mop head


 While walking in the Perannual Allie at Duke Gardens last week this plant caught my attention.  It is beautiful and when I find a place in my garden I hope to add it to my collection

For a bold statement in the garden, nothing makes one better than bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis)! A Mediterranean native that is found mostly in Portugal, northwest Africa, and Croatia, the plant is known to be one of the earliest cultivated garden plants.

This stunning landscape specimen produces leaves up to 3 feet long, and flower spikes that can reach 8 feet! The deeply lobed leaves are

 dark green and shiny, and tipped with soft spines. The plant itself grows in a large clump, reaching about 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide before the flower spikes appear. The tubular flowers bloom in early summer and look similar to foxglove; they are creamy or white, with purple or pink edges, and bloom from the bottom of the stalk upward, providing a long display of color.

Easy to grow, Acanthus mollis loves the sun, dry air, and average to rich soil. Once established, the clumps can survive for several decades. Drought and partial shade to do not faze this sturdy garden inhabitant, but it will not tolerate overly or constantly wet soil.

The plant has some susceptibility to powdery mildew and bacterial leaf spot. Bear’s Breeches will grow from fresh seed or 2-3 inch root cuttings, but a word of warning: it can and will expand to fill the space around it, so be vigilant with this striking beauty.

Origins of terra cotta, and using clay pots in today's garden

By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)
May 30, 2012
Terra cotta flower pots are garden classics. But what is terra cotta, exactly? The words "terra cotta" are Italian, but does all terra cotta come from Italy? Are terra cotta flower pots still the best choice for all plants, or for any plant? Inquiring minds hardly know where to stop.

The most traditional of flower pots is the classic terra cotta. Its sheer earthiness makes terra cotta the natural choice to anchor any plant. Plastic and fiberglass flowerpots are increasingly popular, but terra cotta has a long timeline in human history and a place in the gardener's heart.
 Terra cotta refers to natural clay fired at a low (in the pottery and ceramic scheme of things) temperature. Iron compounds in some clay give terra cotta its familiar "rusty mud" hue, though terra cotta exists in other earthy colors. When the clay is fired, the minerals are partially melted, resulting in a hardened but still porous material. Humans have used terra cotta for many hundreds of years.
Terra cotta pottery was many an early civilization's version of plastic. Before modern production, terra cotta allowed cheap, easy production of decorative and functional pieces. Mediterranean pottery from the ancient Greeks and Etruscans was made from terra cotta. Chinese artisans created thousands of life size terra cotta soldiers to march into the afterworld with Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the "first emperor of all China." The soldiers are life sized and were individually crafted, displaying distinctly different bone structures and even facial expressions. Terra cotta craftsmanship flourished during the European Renaissance. Italian and German artisans became skilled with terra cotta, substituting it for scarce stone in their home regions. They brought their skills to England and France during the 14th and 15th centuries. Terra cotta was found useful for increasingly detailed architectural elements and for sculpture.
 Terra cotta flower pots date to those times. Ancient Egyptians and Romans are reported to have put plants in pots. Flower pot use blossomed as Europeans explored the world in search of new herbs, spices, flowers, and trees. Explorer- scientists like Thomas Nuttall brought amazing plant discoveries to England. The use of "rude" terra cotta flourished as more common citizens caught the botany bug. Terra cotta flower pots were, and still are, produced in many countries. As we gardeners know, sometimes to our dismay, clay is found almost everywhere.
Using terra cotta in the age of plastics
 Many thoroughly modern gardeners still crave the natural look and feel of unglazed terra cotta. Common clay pots are inexpensive and widely sold in either standard or short "azalea pot" sizes. Both shapes of clay pot work well for many plants. Unique designs in terra cotta, as well as thicker frost proof clay pots, are sold at some garden centers. Use the pot that looks pleasing for the size and shape of its inhabitant. Brick suppliers may offer even more unusual terra cotta pieces such as chimney pots or flue liners. It's hard to look at terra cotta and not think "what can be planted in that?"
 No one pot material, even clay, is perfect for all plants. As Todd Boland points out in his article, Windowsill Orchids, care of plants in clay pots can be more touchy than of those in plastic pots. Terra cotta's porosity means that plants root zone may "breathe" more easily (probably good) and dry more quickly (possibly bad.) While terra cotta is breatheable, it cannot rescue a plant from an overly spongy, heavy soil.  A terra cotta pot is not an excuse to scrimp on quality potting soil. Nor will clay wick enough water to act as a reliable reservoir to a flower in a hot, dry location. A thin plastic pot used as a liner to a clay pot can mitigate these effects while still allowing the "use" of terra cotta.
 Given its composition and minimally processed nature, it's no surprise that terra cotta is altered over time by its environment. The slightly absorbent nature of a clay pot can foster the growth of algae or mosses, lending a feel of terra cotta's lengthy history. This works well with containers used in shade or wet situations. Soil minerals can seep into the pot and show as white streaks, also giving a pot that lived in look that some gardeners enjoy.
 Terra cotta is breakable. It will also crack or flake if moist and allowed to freeze. Clay pots always weigh more than similarly sized plastic or fiberglass pots. This can be a help, stabilizing a top heavy plant, or a hernia in waiting, when a large plant must be moved. Given these limitations, larger clay pots are tricky to use in frost prone zones. In cold winter areas, clay pots must either be brought indoors or emptied and stored dry to survive the freeze.
 To terra cotta, or not to terra cotta? That is the question with no wrong answer. Modern gardeners can choose, keeping their own preferences in mind and understanding both the pros and cons of clay pots. Terra cotta's long history and versatility probably means that clay flower pot tradition will continue for ages to come.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Shiny Little Enemy?

From Witherspoon's newsletter

In last month’s article we discussed the topic of insecticides and which insects are most irritating to our roses and to us, but one major bug was left out, Japanese beetles.  For the problem they are, Japanese beetles warrant their own article.
If you have not seen your first Japanese beetle this year, you probably will soon.  The grubs are maturing in the rich soil under your lawn or the nearby field or golf course.  The beetles will emerge and go straight to your roses to satisfy their ravenous appetites.  We encourage a three pronged attack.
1.       Remove the color – the best way to keep the Japanese beetles from eating you blooms is to cut them and take them inside.   They are attracted to the color and scent in your rose garden.  As soon as the buds begin to open and show color, cut them, put them in a Witherspoon Rose Caddy, and take them inside so you can enjoy them and the beetles can’t.
2.       Spray, dust, or pick – there are many products on the market that are effective for beetle control.  Sevin spray and Sevin dust work to eliminate beetles that visit your garden.  Keep in mind that since Sevin is a broad-spectrum insecticide it will eliminate any other insect that visits your garden as well.  For a more targeted approach, Bayer Rose and Flower Insect Killer and several products that contain pyrethrums may be used.  Keep in mind that beetles have to eat the plant material for any spray to be effective, so they will do some damage before they die.  Finally, picking the beetles off of your roses and dropping them into a jar of water is a time-tested and environmentally-approved approach that will certainly eliminate some of your beetle issues.
3.       Get them early – apply Milky Spore to your lawn to reduce your local population of Japanese beetles over a couple of years.  Milky Spore contains spores of Bacillus papillae which sterilize the grubs living in your lawn.  When mature, these beetles will still munch and other beetles can still fly in from other areas, but this offers a long term solution to the overpopulation of Japanese beetles.
We do not recommend using Japanese beetle traps.  Many times they draw more beetles to your yard than your roses will, and the beetles do not all go into the trap.  The best place to put a beetle trap is in your distant neighbor’s yard.  (You may want to check with them first.)
Controlling Japanese beetle damage in your rose garden is tough.  A combination of approaches gives you the best chance of victory over the shiny little enemy.  Stay diligent in your control measures and you can make it through “beetle season” without losing your roses, or your mind.