Friday, June 18, 2010

The battle of the Japanese beetles begins

Yesterday I wandered through my small vineyard and discovered a lot of Japanese beetle damage. After trying the traps, and a couple of sprays, I think the best way to attack them now is using a bowl of soapy water, and knocking the little pests into it. Works pretty good, cause they are the dumbest insects to infest the planet. You just place your bowl underneath them, and tap the vine they are on. They just drop straight down instead of trying to fly away, and then they die in the soapy water. Yesterday I must have killed something like 30 of them.

I sprayed the vines with a mixture of potassium bicarbonate and Stylet Oil. The oil is to help the potassium bicarbonate stick the the leaves of the vine. The potassium bicarbonate destroys the cell walls of just about any fungus growing there. From what I have read, it is a highly effective way of getting rid of any fungal diseases, but the nature of how it works makes it only viable to small vineyards (especially backyard vineyards like mine). The big vineyards have to use more cost effective methods which aren't organic in nature.

I had read that some oils are good to protect plants from the Japanese beetles, but it looks like Stylet Oil isn't one of them. Cause this morning when I walked the vineyard there were more of the little buggers. So, once again with the soapy water bowl I managed to rid the earth of another 10 or so.