Grasshoppers and garlic

treebarb Z5 DenverJuly 10, 2011

So, we are in year two of the grasshoppers from he** invasion. They've completely defoliated the potatoes, spearmint, dahlia's, lobelia's, columbine, nearly everything but the sunflowers, conifers, tomatoes and a few roses. Over the last few days they turned their sights and teeth to the garlic. They've eaten the leaves and left the stalks on each plant.

Do I harvest the garlic now or will the bulbs continue to grow without the leaves?

Any tips for battling grasshoppers without heavy chemicals?

I think it's too late for this year but it'd be nice to have a plan for next year.

Thanks as always for your help!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52 Zone 6

Around here, they use 'nolo bait' for grass hoppers, and some people living closer to the desert buy it by the pallet load.

You should be able to get this in any nursery. But to be effective, you, and your neighbors, need to set it out early in the season.

Here is a link that might be useful: link to what it is

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 7:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All I can say is my garlic got hit by a hail on May 24th and the bulbs never grew anymore. I let them completely die hoping they would size up some more but they didn't. They were completely stripped except for the scape stalk sticking up on some. I'm not sure if it was the stripping or the piling up of the hail. It was 6 inches deep and several tomato plants ect turned brown and mushy and died. I supposed from being frozen. So both could have had an effect. Hope yours size up. Jay

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 6:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
treebarb Z5 Denver

Thanks to both of you! I figured the end of the leaves meant the end of growing, but thought it was worth the question.

The good news is some of the leaves were beginning to brown anyway. The bad news is we've had about an inch of rain a day for the last 3 days. I think I'll tarp the garlic during rain the next few days should it fall when I'm conveniently home from work (probably not good odds there, lol) and later in the week when it has dried out some, I'll dig out a few and see what I've got.

David, thanks for the nolo bait tip. It's a quarter mile to the nearest house in either direction and we're surrounded by wheat and alfalfa fields. The fields have been sprayed and that's probably why the hoppers are moving in here. I'll read up on it and see if it's worth starting this year or if I should just start fresh next year.

Elkwe, so sorry about your hail. You've been so helpful in getting me started in growing garlic. There's always next year!

Thanks again!


    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Barb, I have used the bait for the past three years. It doesn't get rid of grasshoppers, but it delays the onslaught. There are less each year in late spring/early summer, but when all of the fields/empty lots around us dry up, they do come to my little oasis in the desert.

I'm surprised about the garlic though. My herb bed is right across the alley from a large field, and it gets hit harder than anything else. That is also where I planted the garlic. They eat the rhubarb, sage, and oregano, but leave the chives and garlic alone. Maybe you could grow something near it that they will like better, a sacrificial crop of some sort.


Here is a link that might be useful: Semaspore Grasshopper Bait

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dan Staley

I'm surprised they went for the garlic too. They don't touch mine. I read a paper not too long ago that quantified how much bulb weight was lost with x number of leaves lost. Anywhere from 7-19% from just one leaf, IIRC. Like Bonnie, I'd try a few beans or something to see if that trap crop keeps them off.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
treebarb Z5 Denver

Bonnie and Dan,
I was surprised too! I think a trap crop might be worth a shot. The garlic is planted on the north side of my garden, unfortunately the most likely place for the hoppers to come in. I have one row of Jerusalem artichokes on the northern most row, and they are ignoring it.
We have thousands of hoppers, about a half and inch long, both yellow and dark green ones. You take a step anywhere and 20 - 30 of them jump up.
I've not been able to keep beans going. I sow them, they come up, get to about 2 inches tall and start to form leaves and the next time I check they've been eaten to the ground. Time for grasshopper bait. I know it won't salvage this year, but it'll give me a fighting chance for next year.

Thank you!


    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 9:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dan Staley

Just a couple weeks ago on one of my listservs the entomologists were remarking how few hoppers there were this year. I suspect local conditions and recent rains have changed all that.

You may also want to band some blood meal below the cloves at planting time, to give them a good start and get them tasting garlicky earlier.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I tried setting the chickens loose in the garden as much as possible. It helped until they rearranged the bean row, looks like I had WAY too much wine while I was planting. Anyway, since I have raised beds, I moved the ducks in there and they seem to be doing great at cutting down the hopper issue. If I go out of the garden, there are more and more, but the garden is minimal compared to other areas.

I also tried the flour thing, did not really seem to help. They just avoided the plants that were treated. For those who don't know, there are lots of books that give old hints and tricks and one of them was to dose your plants with regular old flour. The hoppers eat the plant and the flour. The flour is supposed to gum up their mouth parts and they cannot eat. You are only supposed to leave the flour on for two days then wash it off with a good spray of water. Of course getting the flour to stay on the plant is a trick in itself (wet the leaves before sprinkling) but don't plan on getting it off. We had hail after I treated my plants and I thought "oh cool, mother nature cleaned them for me." No such luck most still had all the flour on them.

I suppose it may have helped, but really hard telling without leg banding them all to see how many are left.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 2:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
treebarb Z5 Denver

You really cracked me up with the wine and bean planting! I've been similarly challenged in trying to create straight rows. And the visual image of banding grasshoppers is too funny!

DD is leaving the nest for college in a month and one of the things I'm considering to occupy my "free time" is having chickens, ducks or maybe guinea hens. I'm going to study up on poultry care this winter. What I'm using as a tack room in the barn used to be a chicken coop and I still have the nesting boxes. The DH wasn't too keen on the idea when I brought it up. He thinks the gardening thing is out there, too, but he sure enjoyed the fresh zucchini last night!

I know Charlene had some issues a while back with her chickens eating plants. I'll have to ask her about that. I don't want to create a new problem trying to solve the old one.

OMG, what a disaster I'd have if I tried the flour thing! We'd have to make a youtube video of it!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

WHAT? You mean Billie isn't serious about banding the grasshoppers??? I was looking forward to a weekly report of the numbers! And you could "flour 'em" while you're banding them, Billie! Then when they drop dead they'll already be breaded and ready to drop into the deep fryer!!! Uhh! Maybe you should start with the wine before you try to catch them to band them! :-) Be sure you post a link to YouTube when you finish the video! (Heck, if you're gonna catch, band, and flour the grasshoppers, I'll come down there myself to tape it!!!)

When I lived down just north of Parker many years back, we had a couple Grasshopper Plague years--when they just kept getting bigger and BIGGER every year. They were definitely big enough to band back then--and I think some of them were big enough to RIDE! The ones I'm getting up here in Thornton this year are only about a half inch long---and are getting sprayed with ant and roach spray--the cheapest kind of spray I can find! It seems to work pretty well!

Barb, if you're gonna be studying up on poultry, the Sand Hill catalog or web site might be a good place to start. The folks at Sand Hill really do seem to be good people--I was way amazed with the seed order I got from them. They have a lot of info available in their poultry catalog--not about care, but about breeds, size of eggs, productivity, and some other stuff, and regardless of where you decide to buy from, I think this info might help you decide what you want to get!


Here is a link that might be useful: Sand Hill Poultry

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 1:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52 Zone 6

Grasshopper bands are so old school. Here we use RFD tags and hand-held scanners, satellite radio links.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado


David, I'm gonna be in Dolores for 5 days this September, and I am DEFINITELY stopping by to check out your Grasshopper Monitoring System. Maybe I can document it with pictures and show Billie how it's done!!!


P.S. Wanna come visit me for a glass of wine in my "Cozy House" one evening?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Barb - I have had way more problems with the chickens and guinea hens then the ducks and geese. Chickens and guineas both like the dust bath and think your fresh preped seed beds are the perfect place (hence the whine and wine in the bean patch). The only problem I know of (I for see this one) is that ducks and geese like red and therefore will think the tomatoes and strawberries are fair game. I keep the geese cuz every dog and coyote in the neighborhood thought the ducks were fair game with out the geese protecting them.

I really want to know about RFD for hoppers. Id me more interested yet if when they get into their "gangs" it would turn into something less passive.

And as far as riding the grasshoppers, isn't that something from Avatar?

As far as the flouring goes, DH asked when I was applying it to the rhubarb if it wasn't more effective if you picked the rhubarb and put it in the pie crust rather than putting the crust on the rhubarb. Brat.

Barb, you have to bring your DH to the fall swap and let him talk to mine for a while. He wasn't too keen on it either, but it feeds him, gives him a nice place to sit in the evening and he has been playing with really cool toys lately because of it (International Harvester tractor and International dump truck.) He has actually decided that it would be really cool to buy a tractor so I can expand my garden more (you just need to sell it: my hobby = work for you + good eats + cool comfy shade + toys to help = DH says sure! Boys and toys LOL)


    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 2:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52 Zone 6

Skybird, we'll see you in Sept. You've discovered the best time of the year to visit this part of the world :-),

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jnfr(z5b CO)

The baby grasshoppers are just showing up in my garden now. Last year I had a ton of them and they ate my eggplants to skeletons. I'm going to re-read all the advice above about what to do to discourage them. Doubt I'll ever get rid of them all.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 11:08PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Roses for the Front Range- Highly recommended type
Everyone, I'd highly recommend that you check out Buck...
sweet potatoes froze, will they come back?
I planted sweet potato slips last year, late. I am...
remove russian olive
At my gfs house she has a russian olive tree growing...
Spring Swap official site
Good Day all, Just wanted to start an official site...
Plant protection after this spring in February
Hi, I have some daffodils and tulips moving right along....
Sponsored Products
Grasshopper Floor Lamp in Black
Grasshopper Table in Clear
$454.99 | Dot & Bo
Grasshopper Solid Brass Pull
Signature Hardware
Modernica | Grasshopper Chair
Grasshopper Green Griffith Five-Piece Outdoor Dining Set
$329.99 | zulily
Quoizel Pink Dragonfly Tiffany Style Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™