Valley Gardening: Grasshoppers and columnist jump all over the place


Man…it’s hot in the neighborhood! Years and years ago Mickey Widhalm and I would place bets on how hot it was going to be during the summer. The bet ended on Labor Day and was worth a 12-pack of beer. 

I don’t remember that we ever got over 85 back in those days—early eighties, I’m thinking. Well…it’s supposed to be 93 next Thursday, which certainly classifies as a scorcher if you ask me. I know that, as people in general, we complain about “it’s too cold, it’s too dry, it’s too windy, and it’s too hot”! I can’t stand the heat and can pretty much tolerate all the other kinds of weather—so it’s too hot and I hate it. 

AND, there’s no rain in sight, which could make the weather bearable!

As this heat envelopes us, please pay attention to how you water, and mow. Water deep but less often.  Mow HIGH! If your lawn is turning yellow, it’s not because of water issues, but because your lawn is crying for an iron fertilizer. Don’t overwater—it will only make symptoms worse.

Planted some flowers at the museum this week-finally! I took my granddaughter Peyty, age 5, with me because I thought she could hand me some flowers as I planted. WRONG! She went into the museum and visited with Joyce and when she finally came out she was so excited about what she had seen! It was so wonderful to hear her excitement and awe.  She kept saying “really cool, and beyond awesome, and please can I take some more pictures?” And, ”I have to take my Mom and Dad here—they are gonna love it”!

I know there have been a number of folks working on the museum for years and years! In fact, I was once upon a time a board member and then my life got too busy. The person I most associate with the museum is Dorothy Brandt (and her late husband, Captain John). Without her ongoing persistence, and her unwavering beliefs, I don’t know that the museum would be where it is today! I offer up my sincerest thank you to Dorothy and Mary and Joyce and all the volunteers, for making Peyty aware of history, and ivory, and old school houses, and little town dioramas, and so much more!

I will be sending a small donation in, honoring my grandchildren. I encourage all who can, to do the same.

Back to Nolo Bait, that I mentioned last week. Here’s how it works…it contains a microsporidial pathogen of grasshoppers. It infects the fat bodies of most species of hoppers and some crickets.  Infection and sickness to the grasshoppers from the pathogen begins upon ingestion of the bait. Death will begin in 3-6 weeks. The insect pathogen multiplies in infected grasshoppers and will pass from hopper to hopper and can remain active for several years. I am not making this up—I copied it off the bag.

Because grasshoppers are already being seen, in large quantities, I recommend doing something as soon as you can. One of my bug charts lists Pyrethrin and Permethrin sprays as an effective way of killing them. And I had a customer use a dormant type oil that she said worked really well.

You need to read directions, and usually spray in the evening when the sun isn’t so brutal.

And just so you are aware…cabbage loopers are her-r-r-r-e! I think it is going to be a bad year for garden pests. Be ahead of the curve. Don’t let your plants get stressed, water appropriately. Products containing Bt for loopers. Diatomaceous Earth for ants, because they move aphids from plant to plant.  Releasing ladybugs is always fun, especially with young children. Yes, many fly away, but the hope is that a few find the aphids and start laying eggs, etc. Did you know that you can spray ladybugs with a 50/50 mix of coke and water? It sticks their wings together for a couple of days so they can’t fly away.

Please light a candle and say the loudest prayer you can for the Peyton Sanchez family! They are up at Children’s for more tests. They did get to go to a Rockies Game where the left fielder, (I don’t know his name, but will find out) presented a $16,000 check to the NF Foundation for more research. We need a cure!

This past week a person blasted me on Facebook for being disjointed and “how I can drive a person crazy trying to figure out what I am talking about because I jump all over the place.” And “surely the Valley Courier could do better than me as a columnist. Just saying.”  You don’t have to read my ramblings…because that is what I do…I’m worse at city council meetings!

Final word…you can’t fire a volunteer…can you?

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