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Stopping cutworms, Sorting azala seeds

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  • Mike Creel
    Climbing cutworms have already started to climb up my native azaleas - particularly the ones with just a few buds and blooming for their first time ever. The
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2004
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      Climbing cutworms have already started to climb up my
      native azaleas - particularly the ones with just a few
      buds and blooming for their first time ever. The very
      small cutworm climbs up the azaela stem to the fattest
      bud, makes a hole and starts hollowing the bud out
      through a small entrance. You have to look closely
      for early damage and for the smallest cutworms. For
      years I have done walks on balmy winter and spring
      nights checking my native azaleas (particularly first
      time bloomers) for climbing cutworms and walking
      sticks. You have to grab either insect quickly
      andkill it or they promptly drop to the ground for
      perfect camouflage. There seems to be just one
      cutworm per plant so killing it provides extended
      protection. But the cutworms also feed on cool, not
      cold days. For the past year or so I have been
      brushing some Tanglefoot paste onto the stem below
      likely buds, whic stops the climbing insects. I may
      even try putting Tanglefoot directly on the bud.

      On another matter. Separating the fine seeds of azalea
      and rhododendron
      always seems like a chore to me and I end up losing
      some on the surface of my desk or kitchen table. I
      think I have found an an inexpensive seed-planting
      trowel that will do a good job of this chore. For
      separating azalea seeds from broken pods and trash
      you might want to buy a Seedmaster II for $7.50 from
      Lee Valley Tools at www.leevalley.com or
      1-800-871-8158. I am getting ready to purchase one,
      it uses four sizes of baffles, with a turning wheel
      that vibrates the trowel causing seeds to pass
      through. The trowel might also be useful when
      planting azalea seeds. It handles seeds as small ascarrot.

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