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Old 06-14-2010, 10:00 PM   #1
bosox
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Default Leaf Holes and Soil Disturbance

I have my hops planted in half whiskey barrels, and I've noticed in both my barrels that over the past few days there seems to be holes being dug very shallow in my soil. I wasn't sure if it was from rain/wind as we've had bad weather here for a week, but there didn't seem to be any damage so I just pushed the soil back. Today I went to check on my hops, and for the first maybe 6 or 8 inches up one of my hops there are little holes in almost all of the leafs, and again found the soil disturbed....Nothing was wrong with the other hops in the other barrel though.

I've noticed spiders and ants before in my hops, but I didn't think spiders were a problem, and I wasn't sure if the ants would cause problems or if the spiders would eat them. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do, or what it could be? My Mt. Hoods are being nommed while my Cascades look like they haven't been touched yet..

Also, I do have a spray bottle of "Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap Insect Killer" says it's safe for fruits, veggies and and other non-edible plants...is this safe?

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Last edited by bosox; 06-14-2010 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:36 PM   #2
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Well I went and sprayed it on. It seemed to be safe for this kind of stuff. There aren't any hop buds yet growing so I figured it couldn't hurt. I did it, hopefully there wont be any more trouble. Any advice will still be greatly appreciated!

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Old 06-16-2010, 04:28 PM   #3
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It sounds like you have been infested with the rare night burrowing marsupial slug! All hope is lost!

Seriously, the holes I have noticed in my yard are actually birds looking for bugs. Some of it is in a nearly perfect pattern, kinda weird til I figured it out.

As far as the leaf holes, I have found that the leaves close to the ground (or on the ground if you haven't trained yet) get a lot of drive-by snacking by all kinds of bugs. Earwigs and slugs (not the marsupial kind) are often blamed.

Get your vines climbing if you haven't - and on mature plants, I remove the first foot of leaves - mostly to keep things dry (mildew) but it helps with critters too.

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Old 06-16-2010, 04:29 PM   #4
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And yes, insecticidal soap is a good low-impact solution for most critters, especially when their numbers are low.

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Old 06-16-2010, 04:42 PM   #5
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Well my plants are already trained. The tallest one is about 3.5 feet and the shortest probably hovering around 2ft 8inches. I'd feel so bad if I plucked my leaves haha they'd look so bare! They're first years by the way if that matters

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Old 06-17-2010, 07:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiltLifter View Post
And yes, insecticidal soap is a good low-impact solution for most critters, especially when their numbers are low.
Soap will only work if you spray the bugs directly. It works to smother the bug by clogging their breathing holes.

If you can't see the bugs and spray their bodies then soap will not work.

When you can't see the bugs the conventional approach is to use systemic insecticides.

Systemic poison can be used to make the entire plant poisonous to pests. The poison is absorbed by the leaves and when a bug eats the leaf they die. But I would not use these on hops that I plan to use to make beer. You'd have poison beer. Besides systemics are dangerous to handle. The chemicals are quickly absorbed thru the skin.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:51 PM   #7
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Grubs? Emerging as beetles dining on a hop salad?

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