Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Leaf Beetle swarms + Fall starts and Pullet Day

Our next Pullet Day with Teenage Chickens is this Sunday at 2pm, more info here.  Beautiful fall veggie and herb starts in stock.  Plus our big sale on all Payback Organic items, continues through August 31st, see our previous post!

Have you heard about the Galerucella Leaf Beetles that were released in Oaks Bottom to control Purple Loosestrife?  They have been moving out into Sellwood, East and West Moreland and up into SE Portland.  They are primarily defoliating the related ornamental Crape Myrtle trees, but also roses, pomegranates and many other plants - birch trees, natives and vegetables are being reported, particularly in locations closet to the wildlife refuge.  If you are experiencing these beetles, please comment here to let the city know, including your approximate location.

KGW just reported on it, here is the video and article link.  And an OSU article from 1998 about this issue, talks about the specific impact on Crape Myrtle, as it is also in the Lythraceae family and generally discusses other plant populations, though the study was done on Morgan Lake, which appears to be very rurally situated outside of LaGrande, not in a dense urban area like Portland.

Here is what we wrote to the city: "We started hearing from customers this weekend, with disturbing swarms of these beetles at their houses, on them and on their plants, particularly Crape Myrtle, Roses and Pomegrantes. Yesterday on 8/9/15 they found the Crape Myrtle nursery plants at our shop and did severe defoliation damage within a few hours in the afternoon. We sprayed the plants with neem oil and quarantined them. We have not had to use any insecticides on our nursery plants in the past six years. Neem oil is the most organic option, but still needs to be used with care. It has the lowest toxicity when applied at night while bees are inactive. The Xerces Society has more info in this pdf about the best times and ways to apply organic pesticides."

Here is an update from ODA's Noxious Weed Program on 8/12/15.