Monday, March 31, 2008

Milky sporing our yard

First of all, take a look at our brand new addition to our backyard. I am absolutely in love with it! It is our new celtic knot birdbath. Talk about personalizing. Anyone who knows me will know how perfect this is.

And here's an overhead view of the inside.

I also have bought flower seeds to plant around the base of the birdbath as soon as I have time to work the soil.

Now, onto my intended topic for today: milky spore. We have been plagued with Japanese Beetles in the past and anyone who has dealt with them knows what a nuisance they can be in the garden. We have used chemical products like Sevin in the past to get rid of them. But since we have decided to make more environmental choices from now on, we decided to try milky spore. It is a greener way of getting rid of the pest by basically targeting the grubs that grow under ground and eventually become the Japanese Beetle. It's a bacteria that is deadly to the Japanese Beetle, but harmless to other beneficial insects, pets, humans, other plants and water sources.

I was skeptical. To me it sounds too good to be true. If it is so easy to get rid of these pesky things, why isn't everyone using milky spore? Jeff thinks it is because it isn't advertised as much as the chemical alternatives. Plus it is much slower. It may take a while for the disease to spread among the grubs and, depending on what time of year it is applied, may not work for a year or two. And it is relatively expensive. It cost me $30 for a container that covered my backyard (half of a 1/4 acre lot). But it is supposed to work for 10 to 15 years with one application. My own dad used it on his lawn two years ago and he said last summer he saw almost no Japanese Beetles.

So today I was out in the yard stepping off a 4-foot checkerboard pattern and at each stop sprinkling 1 tsp. of the powder on the lawn. Rain is in the forecast so that is good - they recommend watering a new application to help it leach into the soil. I'm curious and anxious to see if this makes a dent in our Japanese Beetle population. Considering we live in a suburban neighborhood and our neighbors aren't using the milky spore, I don't know how strong a protection our application will be, but it is worth a try. I will keep you updated throughout the season.

Today's local weather info:
High temp: 64 F
Low temp: 54 F
Windy with rain showers (60%)

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