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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.

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

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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!

 

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