Japanese Beetles 2018—Preparing for the Onslaught

Gardeners, plant aficionados and tree owners are battening down the hatches for the onslaught of Japanese beetles this growing season.  Here are some commonsense ideas for dealing with these voracious eaters. First, control measures for Japanese beetle (JB) grubs in the soil will help minimize damage to the turfgrass but does not create a force…

Interesting Insect Books

To cap off our library lover’s week I would like to encourage to check out the insect books your local library may have. If you go to the science section you should look for the 595 library number range. There you’ll find books on spiders, myriapods (millipedes/centipedes), insects and other arthropods. Depending on what you…

Three Must Have Books

This week on the GROBigRed Blog we are celebrating National Library Lover’s Month and the books that we love to use.  I want to share two of my go-to books and a new addition that I am excited to have this year. Field Guide to Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains (ISBN 978-1-60938-071-7) by…

Defense against summer diseases and pests

The heat of summer, it seems, is not only the time that gardens produce the most, it is also the time when the things that want to eat or destroy your gardens are at their busiest.

So while the heat and humidity may have you wanting to be a couch potato rather than tending your potatoes, you should be out checking on your plants, scouting for diseases and insects, and treating them appropriately.

Video: Japanese Beetles

While the Japanese Beetle infestation is dying down (for this year), the info from this Backyard Farmer segment by Jonathan Larson and Jody Green can help you get ready for next year.  

Tobacco budworm

The heat of the summer is stressful and this year is no exception.  If you planted geraniums or petunias you may have noticed the flowers have gone missing.  It would be easy to blame the Japanese beetles for this because they like everything.  However, this is not the case.   If you take a good…

National Moth Week: Not all that flutters is friendly

So this week is National Moth Week.  Much of the info you’ll see online is about how to attract nice moths to your garden, how some moths are pollinators, and other interesting moth facts.  And while most moths are perfectly nice creatures, there are some that you definitely DON’T want in your garden.  These are like the lepidopterans that your moth-er warned you about.  They’re insects only a moth-er (or entomologist) could love.

Hand Picking Japanese Beetles

If you have a small Japanese beetle invasion, or you’ve decided not to use an insecticide, there are some tips you can utilize when hand-picking them. First, the JB response to disturbance is to drop straight down from the plant.  You can position your bucket of soapy water beneath the branch you’re tapping and use…

Satellite Coneflower

Does your purple coneflower look odd?  Do the flowers look more green than purple?  Do you have satellite flowers growing out of the center of the main bloom?  If you answered yes to any of these questions there is a good chance your plant is infected with Aster Yellows. Aster yellows is a caused by…