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Raspberries, Water and Japanese Beetles

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by LMT on June 28, 2005 09:52 PM
I have three issues but to keep from bumping other threads I'll put them all here.

1) Raspberries: Some primocanes (first year canes) on my everbearing plants are wilting/dying. Not all plants have canes in this condition and no plant is severely effected. My assumption is that there is too much fruit and foliage for the plant to sustain so it is sacrificing some of it's primocanes to maintain health and vigor to it's floricanes and their fruit.

2) Water: It's been hot (80's-90's) and dry here so I have watered either daily or every other day. I watered Sunday and Tuesday (this morning) and on both occasions, while it looks bone dry, the ground is quickly saturated. My assumption is that I have moist soil just a couple inches under the surface. (I'll test tomorrow, if it doesn't rain tonight.) If this is the case I assume I should back off a bit, especially on some of the larger and/or deeper feeding plants.

3) Japanese Beetles: I have a pair feeding on my Raspberries plants. I've read that I can snatch them off the leaf and toss them into some soapy water (best done early or late in the day) and that might take care of the problem. The theory, I suppose, is that by killing off the first to arrive you may prevent others from finding you. The buggers aren't out of the ground long so the problem is short lived.

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Currently listening to: Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Adult and contemporary but evocative of youth and innocence, a must own CD.
by Brendan on June 28, 2005 10:00 PM
Regarding japanese beetles:
If you only have "a pair" of beetles eating your plants you're lucky. If they're only just starting to come out of the ground you can count on a lot more! Last year I had a ton of beetles eating the leaves of my plants. I'm not sure if they actually damage the plants or the fruit yield (does anybody know?), but they put lots of holes in the leaves. Last summer I used the "toss into soapy water" technique with success...but more come back. A gentle tap on the leaf will send the beetle rolling into your soapy water, and they seem sleepiest in the morning. I finally put down milky spore in my lawn this spring for a long-term (10-15 years) solution. I hope this helps.
Brendan (VT)
by obywan59 on June 28, 2005 10:06 PM
Sudden wilting of the tips of raspberry or blackberry canes indicates raspberry caneborers. Look closely at the canes and you may see 2 rows of punctures about 1 inch apart at the tip of the cane. An egg is layed between the 2 rows of punctures.

To destroy the larva, cut off the wilted tips below the lower row of punctures and burn them.

I've been spraying my raspberries, grapes, and rugosa roses with pyola and Surround to try to repel Japanese Beetles. So far I haven't seen any. Garden's Alive has both of these products, but I can get Surround locally for much cheaper--$25 for a 25 pound bag instead of a 5 pound bag from Garden's Alive for the same price.

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May the force be with you
by LMT on June 28, 2005 11:26 PM
Thanks for the help.

I removed the tops of the affected canes (4 total) but the damage wasn't consistant with Raspberry Cane Borers.

(scroll down for photo)

The damage was consistant with another pest, the Raspberry Cane Maggot.

(no photo but description is best match)

It appears the only difference in treatment is the amount of cane to be removed.


I'll check into surround if the beetles increase.

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Currently listening to: Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Adult and contemporary but evocative of youth and innocence, a must own CD.
by LMT on July 01, 2005 07:02 AM
I backed off the water and virtually everything looks much better as a result. I got rid of three beetles but now have two more.

The real issue. I have two more canes in dire straits [Wink] . It appears to be inconsistant with cane borer, cane maggot and root rot. It might be consistant with winter damage. The damage manifests in late spring to early summer.

Specificly, one of the primocanes only has dried up leaves on the southwest side. It's the western most primo growing and only the leaves facing southwest are wilted. The body of the cane is green and clean and the leaves on the "shaded and wind sheltered" side are nice and green.

From what I've read they need to be pruned/removed because a weakened cane is an open invitation to more problems but I'm wondering ... winter damage that's showing up months later? I'm gonna stay on it but right now that's my new best guess.

The damage showed up on the weaker, less vigorous, plants first and the two canes in question are on the strongest. (Most fruit, 5+' primo's.) Winter damage/heat stress results in lower yield. Last year I had no yield because I planted them in the spring so I lack a key tell.

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Currently listening to: Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Adult and contemporary but evocative of youth and innocence, a must own CD.
by Stormysgrandma on July 08, 2005 11:39 PM
Hi! I'm new here. I also have problems with Japanese Beetles. The mikly spore is good, but if neighbors don't us it, you will still have a problem.

They eat my marigolds, and bagonias, but their favorite is blossoms from my beautiful 15' rose-o-sharon tree. The only thing I've found to control them is seven-5 dust. I put it in a pump duster and dust the plants after every rain, when the leaves have dried.

I used a trap once, and filled it every day - millions! I think I just drew them to my yard.

I'm still looking for an organic solution to go with the milky spore, but haven't found anything yet.

By the way, the milky spore should be applied 3 times in the first season and once or twice the second season. Then you only have to do it every 3 years or so.

Good luck!

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