Friday, February 25, 2011
From Grubby to Groovy
A few weeks ago, when the weather was deceptively warmish I decided to plant some drab vacant areas of the garden to what we call in the trade "color". Yes, color is what is needed as a gardener's heart quickens this time of year when spring is tantalizingly close.
So I double dug the planting areas. In one of them, less than a square yard area between the myrtle and the aloe brevifolia, I found at least 20 medium sized grubs. I picked 'em out as I went, gathering them in a little orange plastic bowl. Once upon a time we bought a bunch of these bowls for serving and eating ice cream. Now I find they look colorful while collecting things like grubs.
Anyway, the plants got planted and so far there's no evidence of damage from grubs. Grubs are the larvae of certain beetles that lay their eggs in the soil; the larvae feed on plant roots obviously sapping the vitality of the plants as they do so. Did I get them all? Not likely; but UCI IPM says that grub populations of less than 6 per square foot are not harmful (?!?).