fruit orchard

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

This is my first year with my fruit orchard and I have encountered my first pest. It is the spotting cucumber beetle. We are trying to stay away from pesticides so I was wondering if anyone had some ideas. Our local guy said to put DE (diatomaceous earth) on the trunks of the trees but I hear that will kill any insect including the good ones. We are about to bring in about 10 chickens to help with the clean up too. I also hope that when the neighbors plant their corn it will lure some of them out of there as well.

Ferndale, WA

What a great neighbor you make, wishing your problems on them. For shame.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

Well, I am talking about a few thousand acres of corn next to my dinky little orchard. The pests wouldnt be here in this number if it werent for the corn in the first place. So I stand by my statement. I hope they plant soon. At least, I will find out what trees are resistant to the little suckers.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Oh Juju... if you don't know, Haystack is a querulous old cuss... just take a vacuum out to your orchard, suck up a few million beetles and send them COD to him. LOL He's just pulling your leg.

Really Haystack, for someone who looks at naked chickens, you've got a lot of nerve saying 'for shame' to anyone. LOL

DE is indeed non-specific, not to mention a lung irritant if you apply without protective equipment.

Ferndale, WA

Hey there Jay! You have got to quit following me around. AND your just jealous of all my naked ladies. O K !!! I'll behave myself. Sorry Jujube (sob's) NOT your still a lousy neighbor. REPENT!!! REPENT!!! LOLLLL Have a great day Jujubee, and yes you also Jay. Buddy.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Following you around!? In your dreams... which is probably all you've got left. LOL And repenting... only those who have lead an unremarkable life have nothing to repent for... I 'spect you and I are freaking experts in that category...

Have some fun
Have some fun

=0) Jay

Anza, CA(Zone 8b)

So, did the chickens work?

I think every bug has an enemy, a kind of natural pest control, so if you can figure out what eats spotting cucumber beatles or their larvae, maybe you can fight them that way. Maybe put bird feaders around?

Good luck-


San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

I put the chickens in a coop this weekend. The coop is on slick steel poles so critters cant get up there at night. The chickens will have staggered perches leading up to it so they can get in but non-winged folks cant. After a week or two, I will let them free to go after the cucumber beetles. They were donated by a nice family that had to find them a home. One chicken is supposedly 10 years old. I didnt think they got that old. I will also be trying cedar mulch. The sticky strips worked great at catching friendly bugs but not one cucumber beetle.

Chino Valley, AZ

Your name ?? I grow jujube in Chino Valley Az. I assume your name has something to do with the chinese date? Cathy

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

Yes. We have a few hundred jujube out there. We are have about 40 varieties of jujube but the bulk of them are just honey, li, sherwood and ga866. This is just our second year so everything is beginning to take shape. We are also trying many unusual fruits for this area. Really, I am going to focus on what can flourish with the least amount of care and then focus on those fruits and abandon the rest. I figure it will take me about 10 years to narrow it down. What are your findings with jujube? What type of soil are you working with?

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

BAck to the spotted cucuber beetle....
Here's a little info on its habits...

Beetles lay their eggs near the base of the plant on which they feed. The larvae, also known as corn rootworms, tunnel through veg roots, feeding for 2-4 weeks. Injured plants turn yellow and break off. Adult beetles end hibernation in the spring and suddenly appear in large numbers on vine and bean crops.

My catalog from Gardens Alive recommends spraying with kaolin clay in early summer prior to beetle infestation. Continue application every 7-14 days until harvest. Reapply after heavy rains. For adult beetles, use pyrethrins and rotenone. Kaolin clay can be tank-mixed with pyrethrins and rotenone if infestation is heavy. For larvae, they recommend their product "Grub-Away Nematodes", which I'm sure is available from other organic dealers as well under a different name.

You might also check with Peaceful Valley Farm Supply...

Sounds like the chickens will be a big help, too!

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

Good info. I will check on each product.


Ferndale, WA

Hey there Juju: I was stationed in San Antonio way back in the 50's. Was curious as to what types of fruit your trying down in those parts?? Haystack

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

I am trying lots of exotics but jujube, persimmons, asian pears and certain citrus do really well.


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