I'm also posting a photo of two cabbage plants that are about 15 feet apart. One is growing in an area surrounded by red clover, the other is not. This was a no till bed, but clover came up and I nestled plants in the the clover. But there wasn't enough clover for all the plants.
Plants the Japanese beetles like:
Cabbage with clover, there are three in a row that all look pretty good and all in the clover patch:
There are 4 not in the clover patch that look like this:
The companion plants I put in with the cabbage was eaten, but the sage is still there. These plants that look bad here are the most isolated, in one of the least ready beds and look the worst.
The plants that were put in the garden that was ready (the no-till garden where the straw had started to create a dark crumbly soil and surrounded by wild flowers) look much better and they have been more thickly planted with mixing of the plants like tomatoes, basil, peppers, onions, Jerusalem artichokes and marigolds all together.
Next up, perennial greens. Very excited about starting those this year.
Sorry these pictures are so big, I shrunk them down?
Interesting that you have a plant that keeps those pests away from your garden. I am hopeful someone recognizes it too because it took me 4 years of picking them off my flowering shrubbery and dropping them into a bucket of soapy water to reduce the hordes that used to reduce my shrubbery to a lacework of leaves and no flowers. This year I only had to contend with a dozen or so. Nicotine spray works but I dislike using something so toxic to everything it touches.
Is it an annual? does it reseed?
Does it flower? What color? What style? Nondescript, small?
Are the stems round or have flattish sides?
Do the stems ever get woody brown?
Do the leaves come out of the stem directly across from each other, or alternating down the stem?
When you crush the leaves what do they smell like?
Did the previous owner have a garden there and brought the plant in? Or does it occur elsewhere on your property?
If it appears elsewhere, is it in the woods, the shade, full sun, wet soil?
What kind of soil is it growing in?
What do the seeds look like if it produces any?
I"m watching and learning about it. No flower yet, no seed yet. Waiting on that and I check it every day for changes.
The plant does occur elsewhere on our property and also came up voluntarily, hugging against our "top" garden as it does around our bottom garden. There is quite a good bit of distance between the two gardens and I'd go so far as to say slightly different micro-climate as well.
NOt in the woods that I"ve seen, only in the full sun. The soil is thick, dense and clayish on the top garden. Soil on the bottom land much better, dark, mostly rock free, much fluffier. Soils are very different from top to bottom, yet the plants look about the same and are roughly the same height, maybe slightly shorter in the clayish soil.
I'll check the stem for squareness, hair and note if the leaves are alternate or opposite and see if I can get a better photo of a single branch.
Head began to bunch together and get red tips:
Then little nubs appeared:
Today it started flowering, some white, some pale pink
I believe it's a Gaura Biennis. Even though most of the photos I've seen of it have no branches, what I've seen in text says it can be branched. This must be it
Woo Hoo. Now to figure out how to pronounce it. I'm saying it like Guava. This plant kept all the Japanese Beetles off of the garden, so I"m also going to call it Japanese Beetle ice cream.
Most plants in the evening primrose family are edible, but I can't find any good information on Guara's. I did nibble a leaf a time or three and it doesn't taste bad, but I wouldn't recommend eating more than a small sample until somebody can find some reliable information about it.
Our little backyard has a shitload of Japanese Beetles too. I wish some birds around here (chickens?) would either eat them or eat more of them. They're mostly after our raspberry leaves. They must not be eating them too much though because it looks like we'll have an okay fall harvest of raspberries.
I thought of taking a jar of the beetles to a reptile shop in order to find out if anything there will eat them. If so, one could harvest a bunch and sell jars of organic raspberry fed beetles to them. Never did it though.
P.S. right at the end, there is a nice shot of a beautiful red sunflower and some of the watermelons.
Picture of the plant turning red:
wayne stephen wrote:That is a great plant . I had the same experience this year with common milkweed . The Japanese beetles were stuck to it like glue. The problem I see is that this plant and milkweed will feed them and produce more . The good thing is that these plants are both short enough that chickens and turkeys can reach the beetles .
I've been working with this plant now for 3 years and the way I see it, they would be there anyway so I'm glad they are on the sassafras, wild rose and Guara. It makes it easy to pick them off and find, though we don't ever pick off more than 50% or the whole group will move. Then we feed them to the chickens. We have seen a great reduction in population since we first got here.