Protecting the Fields
Here is a question we get all the time.... How do you get rid of Japanese Beetles?
A great question and not an easy answer if you are growing ornamental flowers.
What we do, as of today:
We apply a Systemic in the spring to curb the insect infestation.
We use a 4 to 6 month grub killer in the spring.
We use an instant grub killer early June, just before they turn to beetles and are still in the ground.
We also apply Milky Spore in the spring, summer and fall.
What we don't Do:
We DON'T use Japanese bags or traps. Those just tend to invite all Japanese Beetles in the area to the party!
We also deal with Aphids in the mid summer. We will be glad to show you what we do to control all of these.
The Iowa State Extension Office is also a great wealth of information.
Like other farms we battle the Deer pressure. In the past years we have tried deer repellent... pretty much worthless. On a small garden it might work but very well on a large field.
This past year, we did target practice once we started to see Deer, which worked pretty well. Also we noticed that once we put up our grow through netting that also seemed to slow down the issues with them.
This next year we are going to try to use recordings triggered by a trail-cam that will play different sounds like wolves, coyotes, cougars and people talking (based on information we found from the DNR of Georgia). We are thinking about some Mylar streamers as well. We will post how effective these are.
Like everyone else we deal with Iowa spring time, where it is 70 degrees and then drops to 18 degrees at night.
To avoid pulling out young plants we use Agribon 19, which will keep plants warm and avoid frost damage down to about 2-4 degrees.
When the Iowa winds blow, they can blow the Agribon off all of the plants.
We tried to use spikes that are made to hold Agribon but they tend to damage the material. We found for our purposes the use of sandbags works best for us.