Saturday, May 9, 2009

Under Attack

My roses are being skeletonized by sawfly larvae. Also known as rose slugs (thank goodness for Google)! I planted four rose bushes last year and each is currently being chomped away by these little green worms. It's making me crazy.

We moved into this house two and a half years ago. Because it was a newly built house, it only had one small flower bed in the very front with a few shrubs and a bunch of mums (as it was Oct. when it was finished). The minimal landscaping that was there was strictly for curb appeal to help the house sell. So, needless to say, it needed a lot of attention, which I was more than happy to tackle.

The following spring and summer I spent countless hours planning the beds and picking out the flowers, shrubs and trees that would fill them. You could find me outside on any given evening, sometimes as late as 10 pm, hammering stakes in the ground to mark where a certain plant or shrub or tree would be placed. It was a major project but one I threw myself into willingly and 100%. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I spent the first summer here planting the front yard and last summer planting the backyard.

Because of the amount of time, effort and care that went into the gardens of this house, I take great pride in them. I anxiously await spring each year so that I can see the many plants and shrubs emerging from the dormancy of winter to return to their beautifully intended state. I love that each year they grow a little larger and the gardens are beginning to look as I intended. The colors are mixing and complementing each other and the plants all bloom at various times of the year so that something is always in full color. It's a wonderful thing. And, it's even more wonderful because I did the work to get it there.

So, needless to say, to find my beautiful roses being attacked by these nasty green monsters makes me crazy. I've been hand picking these worms off the leaves for the last two days.... which is the most effective organic method, they say. However, they're really hard to see and I know I'm not getting them all. I sprayed them with soapy water two nights ago but I'm not sure that was much help. I've read everything from sprinkling flour on the plants to dousing them with olive oil. But, bottom line is, from what I understand, roses are very prone to pests and diseases and unless I want to regularly treat them with chemicals, my roses are always going to be chomped up and diseased. Maybe I should have researched them a little more or taken heed to my neighbor's comment of roses being way too much work before I decided to make a bed full of rose bushes.

2 comments:

AET said...

Oh no! That stinks! I've had success with the soapy spray for broccoli bugs, but I've never tackled roses. I am starting to think of shooting rabbits with a pellet gun. That's pretty organic, right? Ugh. Why don't these pests let us enjoy the fruit of our labor?

Annika said...

Dont have green fingers but I have heard that the dont like tobacco, so if you smoke or you know someone that do, take the ashes (sorry for my english dont know how things are spelled) and mix with water and then spray!! Might help.