Battle Update

“Battle Update”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

About this time last year, I wrote about two battles I was fighting in the garden, and I thought I would give an update. One of the struggles concerned the eradication of Limelight artemisia.

 

 

This lovely plant turned into an invasive enemy, and I am happy to report complete success in eliminating it from my garden. I struggled with this plant for about three years until I made a concerted effort last year to get rid of it completely. I pulled out every tiny plant I saw, and this spring there were only a handful of returnees that were easily removed. Ahhh, success.

On the second battle front, I have not been successful. This concerns the grasshoppers, specifically the Eastern lubber.

 

 

I saw the first ones four years ago, and each year has brought more and more. The reason I hate these grasshoppers so much is that they eat my amaryllis bulbs and leaves. Because this area has mild winters, we can grow amaryllis in the ground, and I have planted a great many. This past spring, there were fewer flowers, and I attribute this to the grasshoppers eating the leaves during the summer which probably prevents flower formation. The photo below shows some damaged leaves in May; it is now worse.

 

Amaryllis Leaves Eaten by Grasshoppers

 

I don’t like to use chemicals in my garden, and there is really no effective chemical solution to these eating machines, so the “stomp” method is what is recommended. Each year there has been more and more of these grasshoppers, and last year seemed the worse. This year there are a great many, but it doesn’t seem as if there are as numerous as last year. By the middle of June, they are fairly large with voracious appetites. Yesterday, I found one eating the bulb of an amaryllis I purchased last fall and hadn’t planted in the garden.

 

Amaryllis Bulb Eaten by Grasshopper

 

You can see what I am up against. This bulb was fine the day before.

While there does seem to be a smaller number of grasshoppers this year, I have decided that if the damage gets much worse, I am going to dig up all the amaryllis and plant them in very large containers and place these in the garden. That way, I can cover them with netting next summer to try and protect them from being eaten. In fact, the white amaryllis leaves already have been eaten so badly, that I am thinking I will dig them up this summer and place them in a container.

After having won the Limelight artemisia battle, I am not going to surrender to the grasshoppers.

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5 Comments

  1. Susan said,

    June 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Wow! That’s some damage to that amaryllis bulb! I don’t have these grasshoppers in my garden and I hope they never turn up.

  2. nancybond said,

    June 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Great capture of the ornery critter, but how destructive they are!

  3. June 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Congratulations on winning the Artemisia battle. I’m sorry about the grasshoppers though…good grief, they look like land sharks. Beautiful, but I can’t believe how much damage they’ve done. Maybe I should loan you some of our chickens, they have fun chasing grasshoppers around the garden (and catching them too!).

  4. June 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

    During dry summers we are plagued with Mormon Crickets and Grasshoppers. They are so destructive! It just breaks my heart to see them marching up the driveway intent on destroying my flowers. I may have to follow Curbstone’s lead and borrow a few chickens..

  5. June 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I had Oriental Limelights Artemisia in Virginia and it was a bear to get rid of there too. I see it for sale at some places here in SC and quietly tell those I am with not to buy!
    I have seen some grasshoppers around the garden, but haven’t seen the kind of damage you have …..good luck!!!


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