The Invasion Continues
So far it has been a strange old year weather-wise. It seems nearly every day for the last month has been overcast with only the occasional break of sunshine in the early evenings. Everything in the garden has been slow, but lilies and dahlias are now starting to flower. Alliums are ready to cut back, some of the stems will be put in a vase inside as they still look attractive at this stage.
Last year, I mistakenly thought I had won the battle against the lily beetle. Over the course of the last week, I have been proved sadly wrong. I have included pictures below taken this morning. Many of the plants are covered in larvae and some have been completely stripped. The eggs are laid on the underside of the plant’s leaf from late April until mid-summer. This is when the damage starts as the larvae feed on the foliage. When done, they return to the ground to pupate, leaving a covering of what looks like bird droppings on top of the soil. They emerge as adults in mid-summer when they carry on the feeding damage.
The job for today is to clean the plants as best as possible, removing the larvae from the foliage. I am then going to cover the soil around the plants sparingly with cooking oil which should prevent the new adults from emerging.
If all this fails, next year, I may have to resort to spraying. Spraying should be only done late in the day after the full strength of the sun has passed avoiding any burning to the plants.
Good luck to England tonight, enjoy your garden