Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - March 09, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Grubworms in Austin Flower Bed
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

How do I get rid of grubworms in my flower beds?

ANSWER:

Hi Ladies!   Mr Smarty Plants is happy to hear from you!

   Grubworms seems to be the topic of the moment around here.   I was listening to the weekend gardening radio shows and I think each of the hosts had a question about burgeoning populations of grub worms.

  My favorite answers that I heard were to dig them up and feed them to the chickens and/or use them for fish bait!

   More seriously, Mr Smarty Plants has a good prior answer to this question.  It can be found here.  In that, they recommend the City of Austin publication "Earth-wise Guide to Lawn Problems". I also found two  A&M references, one to their fieldguide website and another to an excellent publication.  I also found two good discussions on the web, one from life123.com and one at gardeningknowhow.

   Of course, we have a go-natural bent.  All of these publications have treatment with beneficial nematodes as a preferred treatment.  Follow the application directions given, but be aware that these living creatures need careful treatment.  At the store they should be kept in a refrigerator to extend their effective lifetime.  When you apply them, the flower bed should already be watered [1/4-1/2”] and the nematodes should be applied in the late afternoon to evening so they aren’t cooked by the sun before they get into your soil.  Once there though they make life difficult for the grubworms!  Two other recommended natural treatments are a bacteria called “Milky Spore Disease” and applying Neem oil.

Good Luck getting rid of those grub worms!

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Why is my Ash drooping?
June 22, 2009 - Last spring, I bought a house in Austin, TX with a large Ash tree in the front yard. It looked fine last year, but has been looking funny since it leafed out this spring. It's as if the leaves are we...
view the full question and answer

Why is my weeping willow looking so bad?
June 15, 2009 - My weeping willow suddenly up and looked like it died Yellow leaves dried up and dropping off It is planted in what is called "Wet lands" Clay soil water wet Just looks like it is dying
view the full question and answer

What about the brown dots on my Silver sage?
June 27, 2008 - During the past year, the leaves on my silver sage bushes around the perimeter of the front of my house have turned yellow in places and there are tiny brown dots on virtually all of the leaves. If I ...
view the full question and answer

Dieback of river fern and maidenhair fern in the Texas summer
August 28, 2015 - My river fern and maiden hair fern are dying back. I know it is hot, but they are in shade and watered regularly. The river fern is dying back from the tips. Any fungus or bugs I should be looking ...
view the full question and answer

Diseased Mexican plum tree in Austin
September 27, 2009 - I have a grove of 5 year old Mexican plum trees one of which is oozing sap from its trunk and a branch appears to have died. Is there anything that I can do to help the tree besides removing the dead...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.