The Q&A Archives: grubs

Question: How do I kill grubs in my garden. I'm getting ready to plant new tomatoe plants and in past years I've lost nearly 1/2 of my plants due to grubs eating them.

Answer: There are several types of grubs, not all are a concern. The worst are those which infest our lawns. They may be found in gardens, but usually not in great quantities. These "bad" grubs feed on grass roots and cause serious problems in the lawn. They can feed on other plant roots, but unless the plants are dense, the female is not interested in laying her eggs in the garden. There is another type of grub which feeds on decaying organic matter. One of these is often found in manure piles and may wind-up in a garden when the manure is spread in the garden. This type will also be found in compost piles, another way it can get into the garden. I suspect you have a compost/manure feeding grub which would not be a problem. If you had a good garden last year and a lot of organic matter in the soil and a lot of plant debris decomposing in the garden through the fall, this is probably the case.

If you are not certain that these are debris feeding grubs and want to be certain that your vegetable roots will not be eaten, you can apply milky spore disease or beneficial nematodes to the soil prior to planting your vegetables.

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