Asparagus/Asparagus beetle

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Quetzal

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Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« on: April 22, 2011, 11:08 »
Last year I put in some new Asparagus crowns, and towards the end of the growing season they developed a pretty heavy Asparagus beetle problem.

I eventually gave up trying to squash them all, and although some of the frondy spears seemed to be killed by the beetles, for the most part the plants put up new spears and seemed to be still doing ok. But essentially I did nothing to combat the beetles.

So now the Asparagus are coming up again. They seem to be doing pretty well so far. This is their second year (although they were bought crowns) - i'm not planning on cutting any, but I wondered if I should expect to see beetles again, and if so how best to combat them? Ideally I would like to be organic/non-chemical, but I'm not devoutly so.

Thanks in advance for any/all advice.

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Hampshire Hog

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2011, 13:55 »
Hi Quetzal, I have asparagus at home and at plot and am eating after 3 years.

The beetle will return!

My suggestion would be keep squishing ( +/- perhaps dilute mild soap solution.??)

Once they are established I understand the best way to deal with beetle is to let one spear grow whilst cutting the rest so any beetles lay on this one then burn it. I am trying this approach this year will probably burn the sacrificed spear when I see eggs/end of cropping season.

Cheers HH

 
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Salmo

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2011, 16:16 »
Asparagus beetles overwinter in the soil or in plant debris, either as adult beetles or as pupae. When they emerge, usually May, but maybe earlier with this warm weather, they feed on emerging shoots which can cause distortion and spoil them for eating. Later they feed on the fronds where they lay their eggs. The grubs feed on the fronds and then drop into the soil where they pupate. There are usually 2 generations in a season.

Pick off beetles and grubs, rub out eggs if you see them ( tiny, black, in lines on the stem). Cut down and burn fronds once they have turned brown, cultivate the soil during the Winter to disturb the beetles and pupae to birds and the elements.

The decoy frond is an excellent idea that I will certainly try.

The beeltes apparently dislike tomato plants. Has anyone experience of this?

The logical way to control them chemically would be to apply a systemic insectacide to the fronds after cutting has ceased so that beetles and lavae feeding on them would die and not go into the soil to overwinter. Any residue would dissipate long before next season and in any case the fronds would be burned. Something such as Provado Ultimate Bug Killer would probably do it. It is not on the label for that product. Does anyone know of a product that does list asparagus?

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Quetzal

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2011, 14:32 »
...they feed on emerging shoots which can cause distortion...

thanks for all the advice. I guess I'll get my squishing gloves on ...

With regard the distortion, I was at the allotment today, and whilst most of the plants are bombing away, I noticed one small spear which has 'corkscrewed' close to the ground. Is this likely to be the work of the dreaded beetle?

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Hampshire Hog

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2011, 14:52 »
Could also be a slug/snail too

Cheers HH

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BabbyAnn

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 15:13 »
I've read in several "companion planting" sites that pot marigold (calendula not french marigold) repel asparagus beetle.  I've had problems with asparagus beetle on my plants for a few years now so I'm giving this a go this year as I've not really got anything to lose by trying  :)

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sunshineband

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2011, 16:11 »
This is the first year with asparagus at the plot and this beetle has come as a horrid surprise  :tongue2:

Never had it on the plants at school.

Have just spend an hour squihing beetles and their larvae -- yuck.

Question------ if they overwinter as pupa, and instructions are to mulch the crowns well in June with somthing rich, with birds still get to them to eat them?

Probably a daft question but I hope some one has an answer please
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Trillium

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 21:17 »
They will eat the 'leaves' off the fronds but they don't seriously damage the plant. But I still spray insecticidal soap on them so they don't get too numerous and out of control.

And if the conditions are right, yes, they come back.

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sunshineband

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 09:14 »
If conditions are right ----


                           -------------- you mean like having asparagus  :lol: :lol: :lol:


Glad they are not actually lethal though  :)

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Trillium

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 14:30 »
Yep, if you've got asparagus, they'll come back  :D
I'm not sure what the commercial asparagus farms do to prevent the beetles, but I suspect the non-organic ones spray chemicals.  I too find I must do the hunt-and-squish method at times.

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Quetzal

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 17:39 »
they're pesky critters. I swear they see you and shuffle round the stalk to the far side. And then there are the eggs and the wiggly baby beetles both of which are invisible, or near as dammit :tongue2:  >:(


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Ice

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 17:46 »
Just checked mine and they're covered in the larvae. :(  Not eating them until next year so it's out with the Provado.
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sunshineband

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 18:14 »
Had another squashing session this afternoon ... how many more can there be??

I only have 18 plants  :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Trillium

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 22:45 »
I suspect they plan to keep you exercising for the rest of the summer.  :happy:

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sunshineband

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Re: Asparagus/Asparagus beetle
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2011, 20:09 »
D'you know they can even cling on in gale, those pesky little beetles.

Still squashed them though  :)



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