BT - Summer
I hate having to deal with pests in the garden. But to grow beautiful flowers and all those fresh vegetables, it's a reality ' it's just inevitable.
When you look closely at some of the leaves on these shrubs they look like they are suffering from some sort of nutritional deficiency. But actually this is the damage caused by lace bug and spider mites. The reason for the discoloration and stippling of the leaves is that insects have literally drained the sap out of the individual cells of the leaves.
Now we all know that plants derive energy and growth from the green chlorophyll in their leaves. So a heavy infestation of these little guys can bring your plants down. It seems as though these pests are most destructive when conditions are hot and dry. We often don't detect their presence until later on in the summer.
Now there is not anything I can do about these damaged leaves. What I am interested in doing is protecting any new foliage that make come on this summer and in the fall. I do this by beginning a vigorous spraying program.
I start with something like an insecticidal soap and move up to stronger chemicals, if necessary. I always try to completely drench the plants, giving a little extra attention to the underside of the leaves. Depending upon the level of infestation, you may have to re-apply the treatment several times.
No matter what you spray, make sure your plants are fully hydrated. Water them in well before you spray them. And never spray your plants in the full hot sun.
From the garden, I'm Allen Smith.
P. Allen Smith Gardens
© 1998 - Hortus, Ltd.