Pests and Diseases forum: Start over from scratch perhaps?

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Name: Shaw
Midwest_Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Shawwannda
Sep 1, 2013 12:40 AM CST
I'm thinking that I need to pull everything out and some how treat my soil and perhaps start over from scratch?
Maybe even skip a year of having flowers to get this chore done.
I joined Clint’s Echinaceas site over at Cubits.org and I have picked up a few tips from him and others in identifying problems, diseases and insect infestation.
I normally don't "dead-head" as I keep the heads on so the birds have something to eat in the winter which has probably been a bad choice on my part.
I’ve been putting up w/ this for a number of years now but since I’ve found ATP and Clint’s site I’ve learned a lot and I do want/need to clean this up.
Yes I admit, I have a brown thumb. *Blush* Crying
Shaw


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So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Sep 1, 2013 10:52 AM CST

Moderator

I don't think you have a brown thumb at all. I see you have some leaf spot (?) but the clumps are beautiful. Penn State has some treatments listed

http://extension.psu.edu/pests/plant-diseases/all-fact-sheet...

Is there any chance that a thorough end-of-year clean up would help?
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Cat Lover Birds Cactus and Succulents Butterflies
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JuneOntario
Sep 1, 2013 2:50 PM CST
I think I see signs of mite infestation on the coneflowers. I recommend removing any flowers that show deformed or discolored cones.
Name: Shaw
Midwest_Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Shawwannda
Sep 2, 2013 6:05 PM CST
@OldGardener
Thanks for sharing the above link w/ me it was very informative!
I also wanted to thank you for the positive comment regarding my clumps and for the info regarding my "bug" pblms.
In answer to your question, YES a thorough end-of-year clean up will be scheduled for fall VS waiting until next spring.
I'm sure the birds and other varmints will be able to find elsewhere to dine this winter.
I am just not sure how to treat my soil once I've pulled all of the flowers.
I'm not to keen on microwaving it.
Next spring I will do the egg shell thing, the coffee ground thing and the underground beer container suggestion that I read about here and on the net @ other gardening sites.
Hopefully they will help to a degree.
I'd just love to watch those grubs go into cardiac arrest from the caffeine high that they will get.
I REFUSE to do CPR on them, LOL *My bad!* Rolling on the floor laughing

@JuneOntario
Hello!
Thanks I will do that.
I'd read about the mite infestation after looking @ photos shared here and on Clint's site so I am going to pull those particular coneflowers up put them in plastic bags and throw them away.
In fact I am going to get to this project in the very near future.
My hubby is going to help though he does not know it yet. Green Grin!
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Sep 3, 2013 7:40 AM CST

Moderator

Please let us know how they are doing next spring after clean up and treatments. Your clumps are amazing!
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Shaw
Midwest_Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Shawwannda
Sep 5, 2013 11:41 AM CST
@OldGardener
Not sure how to treat this, Shrug! do you (or anyone else) have any suggestions?
Thanks in advance!
Shaw
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Sep 5, 2013 1:43 PM CST

Moderator

@Shawwannda , I do not know echinacea well enough to help but I am trying to locate someone for you that can Thumbs up
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Sep 5, 2013 2:20 PM CST
Looks like you might have Aster Yellows Virus.?
[Last edited by terrafirma - Sep 5, 2013 2:23 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #478499 (8)
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Sep 5, 2013 2:31 PM CST
I see the mite issues too. Remove those and discard as suggedted. To clean up I wait until the stalk just below the seedheads turns brown/black. Cut the stalks and bundle like this and tie to the base of a pole or small tree. I do this so the finches can have the seeds and it looks neater. My birdfeeders are on this pole too.
Thumb of 2013-09-05/clintbrown/409a56

Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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terrafirma
Sep 5, 2013 4:31 PM CST
I love that idea!!! That would be great for 'Today's Idea'!!! That's one I'll be sure to remember, and put into action this year! Thumbs up
Name: Shaw
Midwest_Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Shawwannda
Sep 6, 2013 11:27 PM CST
Thanks to all of you for your input AND responses!!!

@ClintBrown
When you say remove and discard, I am to remove the entire plant, meaning the roots as well, correct? Shrug!
Do I need to chemically treat the soil (this Fall) as well? Confused
If so, with what? Confused
I like the stalk bundling idea, thank you for sharing it w/ us! Thumbs up Thumbs up
**I am soooo NOT liking mites or leaf hoppers very much.** Grumbling Glare Angry Thumbs down
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
Hellebores Hummingbirder Heucheras Winter Sowing Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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clintbrown
Sep 7, 2013 9:14 AM CST
Eriophyid mites are microscopic in size and live inside the flower buds where they suck nutrients from the flowers. Damage results in tufts of stunted and distorted flower parts sprouting from the coneflower. Plants that are affected by eriophyid mites should be cut back to the ground in the fall and all plant debris should be removed and destroyed. For now just remove the blooms that look deformed.
[Last edited by clintbrown - Sep 7, 2013 9:19 AM (+)]
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Name: Shaw
Midwest_Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Shawwannda
Sep 8, 2013 12:13 AM CST
Thanks so very much for the 411 Mr. Clint Brown Echinacea Expert, I will do just that.
I am wondering why these mites don't attack my Black Eyed Susans as well because they are right next to and are even over flowing into my Echinaceas.
Perhaps they are not as tasty?
I just need to figure out what to do w/ or for my brown dried up-n-shriveled eaten Black Eyed Susan leaf prblm b/4 next year.
I'm thinking it looks to be grub damage and will as I mentioned above, do the egg shell thing, the coffee ground thing and the beer bath (drowning) thing.
GUZZLE, GUZZLE, HICCUP....CROAK!
Again TYVM!
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
Hellebores Hummingbirder Heucheras Winter Sowing Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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clintbrown
Sep 8, 2013 6:38 AM CST
It's normal for those plants to look bad this time of year. Group hug
Name: Shaw
Midwest_Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Shawwannda
Sep 14, 2013 10:55 PM CST
@clintbrown
I actually took the pics in early July, the 7th to be exact.
Their leafs start getting gnarly like that soon after they come up, prbly grubs?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 18, 2013 3:42 PM CST
>> I am just not sure how to treat my soil once I've pulled all of the flowers.

I have NO experience with Echinacea, so take this with enough grains of salt to season all the slug soup you're making.

If those mites DO overwinter in soil, one traditional approach is to grow no Echinacea there for a year, or for several years. Could you find something different that would look good here? And grow you Echinacea in a different bed?

If they do not overwinter in soil, that's a waste of time!

i wonder what growing conditions tend to favor or discourage mites? It might be easier to make them feel unwelcome than to kill every mite in the neighborhood.


By the way, once you have chopped or pulled all the perennials, and have an empty bed, it would be a good time to turn extra amendments like compost deeply into the soil. If that turns up weed seeds, you might want to mulch right after you till.

Maybe, instead of amendments, you could squeeze an over-winter cover crop like Winter Rye into the bed between now and frost.

Or if not a cover crop, lots of leaves that will decay by spring.

Or will you be sowing more Echinacea seeds right after pulling the old plants?
Name: Shaw
Midwest_Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Shawwannda
Sep 19, 2013 5:52 PM CST
@RickCorey
Hello, thanks so much for your response!
I've researched your suggestions and have learned much.
I book marked a few sites and am going back to read more when time permits.

Slug soup, yummm, not, but I am sure in a few countries people make it, I know they eat them. Sticking tongue out

I am not sure how to tell if the mites over winter in my soil, I am thinking that they mite (get it...mite, LOL) as I've had this prblm for a number of years since planting Echinaceas.
I never thought anything of the odd looking cones until I joined this site and became more aware.
After pulling them all up I prbly won't plant anything there and if they start coming up which I know they will as they self seed, I will just pull them out and get rid of them.
The Winter Rye read was indeed of interest, I'll def go back to read that info again.
I usually harvest seeds from all of my plants so there's no prblm for future patches.
I'll take my chances as to whether they will produce or not, I've keep seeds for a few yrs and they've always produced.
I sowed when I 1st started w/ Echinaceas as I'd only purchased a couple of plants of each color.
I seldom sow now but will if need be after I get things cleaned up.
As far as soil treatment is concerned I'll prbly decide after I've finished reading the info that I've bookmarked.

Again, thanks so very much for your response and the info, all is very much appreciated!!!!
Shaw
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 19, 2013 7:13 PM CST
You're very very welcome! It would be great if you post what you learn about these mites, even what you figure out 2-3 years from now. That's how we all learn!

BTW, here's another pure speculation. Whether or not those mites can overwinter in soil, apparently they live in seed heads. Can they infest collected seeds, either inside the seeds, clinging to them, or hiding amongst them? If they can, try freezing those seeds after you're sure they are really dry. I've red that three days will kill most insects and insect eggs.

(Just be sure that humidity can't condense on the seeds when you take them out of the freezer. Like, double-bag everything in plastic, and/or tightly sealed plastic tubs or glass jars.. I use silica gel from the flower-drying isle as a potent desiccant for seed storage.)

I haven't even learned how to handle weeds in perennial beds. If I can't just hack everything in sight, I can't get most of the weeds out, and they totally take over. More mulch, I guess.

>> I usually harvest seeds from all of my plants so there's no prblm for future patches.

That's great! Do you try to select for certain things? I did that once with blue petunias, very mixed zinnias, and red and multicolor Sweet William Dianthus. I would keep seed separate that came from parents with the traits I liked. But having ALL my petunias fail to germinate one year, and not time or space for zinnias another year, kind of put a crimp in those experiments.

Name: Shaw
Midwest_Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Shawwannda
Oct 13, 2013 10:53 PM CST
@RickCorey thanks for the input and suggestions. Green Grin!

I pulled everything out this weekend and treated the area w/ Slug killer.
The bottle stated that it kills other insects as well so hopefully I'll be safe. Shrug!
I harvested the non-leaf hopper heads as I'd snipped them off a few weeks ago after I'd read the suggestions.

I harvest a large amt of my seeds from all of my plants and put them in different labeled containers.
I sow in spring if they look like they aren't coming up.

I'm not really a newbie to growing flowers, just a newbie to fighting the stupid diseases and insects that like to dine on them.
Since I found this site I've become more aware and have learned much, thanks to all of the good people here @ ATP.
I luv this site sooooo much! Group hug
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 14, 2013 4:12 PM CST
I like your avatar.

>> I harvest a large amt of my seeds from all of my plants and put them in different labeled containers.
>> I sow in spring if they look like they aren't coming up.

Cool! Do you accumulate a huge seed collection over several years, or give them away after a year or two?

We tried to get something like a seed give-away to new members going here, but there were no volunteers to "centralize" the work. I can't find that thread right now! Site Talk? Plant and Seed Trading?

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