General Discussion:

Help! Something is eating my flowers...

Messages posted to thread:

Kelly19-Sep-05 09:44 AM EST 3a   
Khaya20-Sep-05 08:18 AM EST 5   
Kelly21-Sep-05 07:04 AM EST 3a   

Subject: Help! Something is eating my flowers...
From: Kelly
Zone: 3a
Date: 19-Sep-05 09:44 AM EST

I really hope someone can help me with this. 3 years ago we moved into our current house and I created a beautiful landscape plan and have been planting it since then. We have large cedar bark chips overtop of landscape fabric on all of the garden beds (perimeter and island). Almost everything that I plant, regardless of location, is being attacked by something that eats the leaves and leaves a lacy pattern of holes all over the leaves. I planted two Joe Pyes this year, on opposite sides of the yard, and they now both have no leaves on the bottom 2/3 of the plant. I have the same problem with my hostas -- it's like they're being eaten alive -- as well as with my Honeysuckle vines, Black Bugbane, Liatris, and other plants. The only plants that don't seem to be affected are the evergreens (junipers and spruce), a weeping birch tree, clematis, and shrub roses (although I keep getting white "spots" on the leaves of the roses which eventually turn into little holes, but this is very different than the destruction of the other plants). Please help. I have invested so much time and energy in my garden and it's breaking my heart to see something attacking it like this. Perhaps it has something to do with the bark -- I've never used bark before, only rock, and we do have slugs (which I've never had in previous gardens). I can send pictures of the damaged leaves if that would help.

Subject: RE: Help! Something is eating my flowers...
From: Khaya
Zone: 5
Date: 20-Sep-05 08:18 AM EST

I'm not positive, but it sounds very much like either japanese beatles or caterpillars. I've had the same problem here, although mostly on my plum trees and my concord grapevine. I'm not sure each is related. I see the japanese beatles on the grapes and wisteria, and know they're the culprit there, but as for my plum trees, I'm not sure. Caterpillars (gypsy moths and others) have had a resurgence in this area. So in the Spring I look for their web-like cocoons on the trees and cut them down and burn them before they hatch. It's a rather unappealing task, but it's the only way (besides spraying perhaps?) to really get rid of them before they do too much damage. This year it did help my plum trees, but it's virtually impossible to get them all...

I'm open to other ideas!

Subject: RE: Help! Something is eating my flowers...
From: Kelly
Zone: 3a
Date: 21-Sep-05 07:04 AM EST

Well, I've figured out that the problem is slugs. I set out about 10 tin pie plates with beer in them, and within one day there were at least 30 slugs in each plate. I was able to pick some of the slugs out of one area of the garden where it's just dirt (no landscape fabric and bark) and that seems to have resolved the issue in that one small area. The majority of the garden, however, is covered with fabric and bark, and it's practically impossible to pick the slugs out of the layers of bark... I will have to be patient and see if the beer solution gets them all.

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