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Lovage (Levisticum officinale) and leaf miners

 
Judith Browning
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Posts: 5547
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Lovage is one of my favorite herbs. It fits my climate, is a multiplying perennial, prolific and flavorful both fresh and dried.....but I lose it to leaf miners every year. It's one plant I am stubborn about growing. I can grow from seed to potted plant but once I set it out in my kitchen garden it starts being damaged about mid summer. This area is full of flowering herbs and plants to attract beneficial insects and I wonder if I am attracting the fly or moth that produces this leaf miner. I grow parsley also and it has a little damage but not the apparent virus that eventually kills the lovage after leaf miner damage. I've looked at celery leaf miner moths and also a fly (that I think is more likely) but haven't found eggs on or under the leaves. Anyone with leaf miner solutions? Others in my area do grow it successfully.

'herbs2000.com has excellent information about lovage
 
Paulo Bessa
pollinator
Posts: 352
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
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We have here our north european native Ligusticum scoticum (scotch lovage). It is way stronger than normal lovage to dry, cold and pests, a much longer perennial, much taller and wider, and taste is much stronger but still quite nice. It is like a super-lovage or super-celery.

The trouble is getting seeds, they have very short viability, but it is easy to reproduce by division. It grows often here by the coast.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
7
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I found only one place in the US that sales them, in CA, they seem to sell plants at about $6.75 or so apiece rather than seeds but i suppose its better than having no source - and to the best of my knowledge they do ship so you can get some if your on the other side of the country...

i have never ordered from them or heard of them so im not recommending them (neither am i saying to avoid them, they are more than likely a good, trustworthy company) but i did find them via my secret little search engine, here is the link to their home page, i found it by clicking the K-M link to the right, Ctrl+F, and then typing the scientific name in to the very small bar that appears either at the bottom of the page or near the top after pressing Ctrl+F (which is the find function and will find a word or phrase on the page for you if it exists)
http://diggingdog.com/index.php

and oooooooo! they have perennial (instead of biennial) varieties of mullein, some of which grow to 8ft high in some climates!.... im off to go mosey around their site, i think i like! lol
 
Judith Browning
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Posts: 5547
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
260
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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@Paulo, thanks for the info on another variety of lovage. I didn't know there was one. I wonder how fresh is fresh seed? Your description sounds like just what I need...I tend to have better luck with plants that are on the wild side.


@Devon, thanks for locating a source for this lovage plant. I'm going to look at that site next time at the library computer. I've never bought a plant through the mail...rarely bought a plant ...I either grow from seed or depend on my plant exchange. This could be a first...but I really want to grow lovage.

...and I am still looking for solutions to leaf miners.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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whats the water situation on your property?

im thinking that perhaps some amphibians would wipe them out or bring them to manageable numbers...
 
Judith Browning
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Posts: 5547
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
260
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Devon Olsen wrote:whats the water situation on your property?

im thinking that perhaps some amphibians would wipe them out or bring them to manageable numbers...


We don't have any close standing water...our small pond is too far away...that might be something to think about though. I guess I should work harder at finding out if its the celery leaf miner (I don't think it is because what I read said they were mostly in greenhouses) or a fly...I am betting on this. We have a small variety of lizards, toads and frogs...I could probably encourage more if I could figure out how to have standing water without mosquitos. We have a healthy bat population (bat house on our house...better than when they were in the attic but I wouldn't recommend it) and no mosquitoes to speak of unless I try to keep containers of water out for birds, frogs and bees. I keep thinking I am attracting the fly/moth with the amount of bloom in that space but you've got me thinking I just need more critters. thanks!
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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i was watching a video posted on thi9s site just a day or two ago, though ive already forgotten the name of it, and the guy giving the talk said that on his farm they had virtually no standing water, but a booming population of tree frogs throughout the farm, his farm was based on keyline systems but im not sure how much annual precipitation he normally recieved

so what im saying is that it may be possible to get some more amphibians without having any permanant bodies of standing water... though im not certain how
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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We have loads of tree frogs and no close permananent standing water. Every spring there are masses of tadpoles in the pool cover before we open the pool for the year.

I also love lovage and have leaf miners around but they don't bother the lovage.

I wonder if you could find something the leaf miners like even better than the lovage, perhaps sacrificial celery?
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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