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Dahlias: Holes In Leaves?

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Shaigirl
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 21, 2010
4:24 PM

Post #7814752

I'm new to gardening... and dahlias. Planted these "Lucky Number"s about a month ago. Amazed at how fast they sprouted... and how well they're growing. But today I noticed something! Most of the leaves are whole, but there is definitely a bunch in the front that are clearly missing chunks. I'm guessing this is not normal! Do I have an insect problem? I don't notice anything actually ON any of the leaves.

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Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 21, 2010
5:40 PM

Post #7815012

Looks like the work of the low, slow, slimy slug to me. Go out in early morning or dusk on search and destroy missions. Better still, do that AND get a good slug bait and use regularly. Sluggo and other iron based preps are non toxic, so if you have pets look for those; avoid the metaldehyde-based ones. (One little munch of toxic slug bait sent our dog to the emergency hospital- not fun.)

I just heard that Seattle is due for a 30 year grasshopper attack this summer! "They will eat trees, shrubs, anything." We see about 2 in the typical summer. Those of you with more grasshopper experience, do they eat dahlias?
queequeg_1
Pinellas Park, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 21, 2010
7:07 PM

Post #7815362

Eeeekkkkk!!!!! I know the ones here do. Strip the leaves to the stem. We don't get too many, as of late-just enough to be a semi pest (where's wood-KNOCK, KNOCK). They've usually left the flowers alone in the past. Oh no, Annie, what are you going to do?
todgor
West Caldwell, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 21, 2010
8:44 PM

Post #7815637

Slugs or leaf miners, like the grasshopper, caterpillers, etc - boy they are doing a number already on my new hollyhocks.
Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 21, 2010
10:45 PM

Post #7815867

What am I going to do about grasshoppers? 1) see if the radio news is being alarmist 2) get a baseball bat 3) practice swinging 4) get a komodo dragon or a herd of them 5) get neon red flashing arrows pointing to the Japanese Knotweed stand near the woods and a sign labeling them "ALL U CAN EAT RIGHT HERE" Right now they're saying "cover cherished trees/shrubs/plants with nets!" That's not going to happen, so we'll just wait and see. It could be war...
todgor
West Caldwell, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 22, 2010
3:26 AM

Post #7816044

Spinosad - gallons of it! :)
Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 22, 2010
7:49 AM

Post #7816469

Sounds like the hoppers are expected more in central WA than over here. Hurray. This is pretty funny- see the second entry.
http://lewiscounty.goes2find.info/forums/showthread.php?p=178624
queequeg_1
Pinellas Park, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 22, 2010
2:20 PM

Post #7817451

[quote="Poochella"]get neon red flashing arrows pointing to the Japanese Knotweed stand near the woods and a sign labeling them "ALL U CAN EAT RIGHT HERE" Right now they're saying "cover cherished trees/shrubs/plants with nets!" That's not going to happen, so we'll just wait and see. It could be war...[/quote]

Buhh-choke, chortle! Can you get a chicken lol? They love grasshoppers.

Tod-Spinosad for grasshoppers? That would be cool, because I thought there was not much you could do for them.
Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 22, 2010
3:03 PM

Post #7817593

I thought of my neighbor's former chickens, ducks and turkeys (no longer has that hobby) and then I remembered how much damage they do digging around and messing up sidewalks etc. And how many were picked off day after day when the coyotes found them :(

Wouldn't the regular birds we have here go after a nice juicy grasshopper? There's GOT to be some good reason for crows!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 22, 2010
5:42 PM

Post #7817980

If you ever find a good reason for crows please let me know. I chase them from the bird feeders many times each day. They probably find me as annoying as I find them.
queequeg_1
Pinellas Park, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 22, 2010
5:56 PM

Post #7818024

Awww...that's sad. Poor little buk-buks.
I would think crows would definitely eat them. When they're not busying trying to think of ways to take over the planet (crows scare me-a little too smart for my liking).
todgor
West Caldwell, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 22, 2010
6:44 PM

Post #7818156

Spinosad should kill any chewing insect unfortunate enough to chow down on it. Of course those Japanese beetles probably are immune though! :(
queequeg_1
Pinellas Park, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 22, 2010
7:06 PM

Post #7818231

Okay, then, that is on my list to keep on hand. Can I ask a pesticide general question? With all the different types of critters to use different sprays for... I don't want to use every toxin known to man. I was using Malathion to deter spider mites. Either I didn't use it enough, or maybe diluted it too much or missed a plant, because I found some on one plant last week. So, I hit it with the Bayer 3-in-1. How often, what types can be used during the same season, should I use one type one week, another the next, etc.? Was reading you shouldn't use the same one too often because the pests will become immune. Just gets confusing and I don't want to over do it. I feel bad enough spraying because we have so many Anoles (little lizards) that thrive off the bugs. Feel like I'm poisoning them also.

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Tex68
Long Branch, NJ
(Zone 7a)

May 22, 2010
7:48 PM

Post #7818356

I sprayed with Spectracide Triazicide the other day. 7 of my dahlias were all literally stems and no leaves. I know it was some kind of an insect problem. I found an odd looking huge bug near the dahlias which might be the culprit. I was hoping I wasn't going to go to that extent since I got a colony of lady bugs in my garden. I checked this morning and so far the rest of my dahlias still have their leaves. The lady bugs were still out there. They prefer to hang out in my azalea bushes which of course I didn't spray.
todgor
West Caldwell, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 22, 2010
9:45 PM

Post #7818709

You don't need all that nasty stuff to get rid of spider mites, just take the hose (one with the multiple settings) and spritz the dahlia down good (especially under the leaves) at least once a week, twice if they are really bad. This will literally shock the bugs to death, and kill the eggs. Its like kryptonite to them, it can't ever stop working like the insecticides.
queequeg_1
Pinellas Park, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 23, 2010
6:51 AM

Post #7819275

Which is okay to do right now. But once rainy season comes, it rains every day. So, I am afraid to do that and water too much at that time. Or, would that not be a problem?
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

May 23, 2010
3:34 PM

Post #7820630

Pooch I had a nasty abundance of hoppers in Yellowknife, NT. I planted swaths of raspberries. They LUV raspberries and other berries. Your mountain must have an abundance of blackberries methinks? Maybe they will go for those? Hopefully they will just whirr on by you though.
Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 23, 2010
9:35 PM

Post #7821584

Brilliant! Thanks Dnut. Almost every periphery of yard space has either blackberries, salmonberries, and/or elderberries and I have my little stand of blue and raspberries down in the lower bed. But I'd still like neon flashing arrows pointing to the knotweed because it is soooooo obnoxiously noxious.

Bad news: my garden dog and protector of all things evil in the woods just got back from doggie ER: allergic to bees after being stung and collapsing tonight. Major bummer for summer! He has gone from please-throw-the-tennis-ball-again garden dog, to will-be-whining-in-the-house-while-I'm-outside-all-day dog in minutes flat. Poor boy.

Thumbnail by Poochella
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todgor
West Caldwell, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 23, 2010
10:06 PM

Post #7821645

Rainy season should actually cut down on the mite population, they thrive in hot dry weather. But I don't think it would add too much water to give the undersides of the leaves a good spritz.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 24, 2010
5:29 AM

Post #7822041

Poor Pooch, Poochella!
Shaigirl
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 24, 2010
9:09 AM

Post #7822677

[quote="Poochella"]Looks like the work of the low, slow, slimy slug to me. Go out in early morning or dusk on search and destroy missions. Better still, do that AND get a good slug bait and use regularly. Sluggo and other iron based preps are non toxic, so if you have pets look for those; avoid the metaldehyde-based ones. (One little munch of toxic slug bait sent our dog to the emergency hospital- not fun.)[/quote]

Whatever it is, it has definitely done a lot a damage to my dahlia leaves over the weekend. This morning, I still didn't see anything... but there was a trail of slime between the holes. So... I'm guessing it's a slug. Headed to Home Depot after work to pick up the mentioned Sluggo. Hoping this will stop the destruction! I've had one gardening blow after another lately... and being a newbie, I'm extremely frustrated! Right now, these dahlias are the only thing going right now. And if I lose these, my interest in gardening is going to be very short lived! LOL

todgor
West Caldwell, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 24, 2010
12:34 PM

Post #7823283

Hope your dog feels better, Annie, those bees can be very aggressive.
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 24, 2010
2:13 PM

Post #7823568

I loved it when my dog went out with me and kept me company in the garden and I miss that. Hope yours is up and running with you very soon.

Snails are a major problem in my garden too.
queequeg_1
Pinellas Park, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 24, 2010
3:39 PM

Post #7823797

Aww...poor fellow Annie. Hope he's better now. Was he stung by one or multiples, or? Does that mean he can't ever be outside with you again?

Yay for Sluggo! I first used a different kind that wasn't safe for dogs, then spent obsessive days-weeks watching them like a hawk so they didn't get into it. So much easier with the non-toxic stuff. And I like the way it sprinkles better than the big pellets, too.

Okay-thanks Tod. I will work on it. I think this year will be different because I know better what to watch for. Last year, I didn't know till it was a bit too late, I think.
Shaigirl
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 24, 2010
5:29 PM

Post #7824069

[quote="queequeg_1"]Yay for Sluggo! I first used a different kind that wasn't safe for dogs, then spent obsessive days-weeks watching them like a hawk so they didn't get into it. So much easier with the non-toxic stuff. And I like the way it sprinkles better than the big pellets, too.[/quote]

I'm curious as to where y'all get your Sluggo! Neither my local Lowe's or Home Depot carries it! =-( Ended up getting something else called Ortho Ecosense Slug & Snail Killer. It says it can be used around pets & wildlife. Hoping this will work. If not, I've gotta find me some Sluggo!!!
queequeg_1
Pinellas Park, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 24, 2010
5:52 PM

Post #7824136

I got Sluggo from a local nursery. Then, I got the same Ecosense stuff you got from HD. Worked just fine, too. Was a little more $ because it's a smaller amount than the Sluggo was, but it's more convenient. I still call it all Sluggo though lol.
Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 24, 2010
6:37 PM

Post #7824284

Both the Ortho and Sluggo are iron phosphate based and safe when used as directed. It constipates the little slimers to dietary disinterest and ultimately death. I kind of feel sorry for them, but not to a high degree. My dog will be the one to find every Sluggo pellet, snarf them up in one fell swoop and end up in the ER again, I swear.

We don't know if it was a bee/wasp or multiples thereof that stung the dog. DH was with him when it happened. I took him out today and he is super paranoid at anything buzzing near him. Can't blame him. Perhaps that will fade in time.

King of Slugs was sliming through my favorite corner of the 'big bed' today. Photos later. I'm going out to Sluggo right now.
Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 24, 2010
9:25 PM

Post #7824769

This guy needs Sluggo or Ortho Ecosense or some kind of sense sent his way. I don't mind looking at slugs, but they don't get near my hands unless I have a giant nail or destructive tool or rock held in it.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/outdoors/2004443288_nwwnaturalwanders290.html

So the common knowledge among local gardeners is that the lovely plump and large banana slug, Ariolimax columbianus, is not much of a threat to most desired plants as it seems to prefer forest floor recycling for food and habitat. I've always let them be when seeing them up on mossy stumps, on forest trails, up on whiskey barrels, in compost piles, or shade beds. But today, I found a stray rebel of the breed slithering an inch away from Brightstar. Ewww. I couldn't find any chewed leaves or damage, but where goes one, might slime another, so I put out Sluggo in droves tonight.

The stake here is 1" wide, so you get some idea of their size. I hope he finds his way back to the woods and tells his cousins to stay the heck out of the gardens.

Thumbnail by Poochella
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queequeg_1
Pinellas Park, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 25, 2010
3:10 PM

Post #7827113

That is horrible for him and terrifying for you, I'm sure. Poor guy-can you get him a beekeepers suit lol?

Uhm, 3 words for you and your slimy friend: eeeeeeeeeeeee wwwwwwwwwwwwww eeeeeeeeeeeee! Good lord-he looks like he'd grab whatever you were trying to beat him with out of your hands and beat you back. Ick.
atalanta
Sherman, CT

July 26, 2010
8:09 AM

Post #7997811

Poochella--

Sorry to hear about your dog. My tiny Affenpinscher nearly went into convulsions after being stung. The vet told me to keep liquid Benadryl on hand in case it happened again. With the liquid you can administer it in drops appropriate to the dog's weight.

krowten
Greensburg, PA

July 27, 2010
10:25 AM

Post #8000152

I guess you guys aren't aware that there are people who like to keep slugs as pets? Illegal to propagate or ship in a lot of places, but would be a fascinating hobby for the kids. A real specialty type of thing. Some can be very colorful too.

There are some pics of pretty ones at this site: http://worldofsnails.webs.com/slugs.htm

dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

July 27, 2010
11:31 AM

Post #8000252

OMG that slug is almost bigger than the dahlia :O I do however want a slug beanie though http://slugstore.ucsc.edu/ePOS?this_category=12&store=721&listtype=begin&level2_category=12&level1_category=8&form=shared3%2fgm%2fbrowse%2ehtml&design=721
grannymarsh
Marquette, MI
(Zone 5a)

July 27, 2010
11:44 AM

Post #8000271

Pooch, you have the kewlest slugs.

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