MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 8:02 pm00303
Yes, it is the northern corn rootworm beetle. They have been reported to be exceptionally bad in this region this year.
Soil amending is something that is planned for following years. We were not sure how long the flowers would be at this location so initial preparations were not extensive. I might have had some extra gypsum from the row crops that made it into a few beds? I can’t remember if I only did the vegetable garden or also some flower areas with the left overs I had. And 2 weeks ago I had a mix of Rejuvenate, Spectrum, Sea Stim, Sea Crop, and Rebound Moly, Cobalt, and Manganese left over from a field application that I sprinkled on a few areas to see if it would made a difference.
Since it looks like the flowers will be at this spot for at least a couple more years we will apply a layer of manure based compost this fall with some straw mulch and Rejuvenate. Next spring I will hopefully have some more gypsum or OrganiCal from Midwestern BioAg to add as well since we struggle with low Ca and high Mg in our area, and another AEA spring mix.
My main hesitation has been adding too much soluble N since it is the flowers, not vegetation, that my wife is trying to grow. I would think the goal would be more “reproductive” nutrients? But not too much to rush the plant into seed production…? It’s a different approach than I am used to with the pasture and row crops.
A shorter term fix for our beetle problem will be to move the chickens and guineas into the area to hopefully eat some of the offending insects.