Pests

While the Farmer’s Away…

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Farm Blog, Garden, Pests | 39 comments

While the Farmer’s Away…

I once posted about the plight of the Pacific Madrone trees on the property. Many of the trees in our woodland areas are weak and diseased as a direct result of decades of poor land and forest management. This last weekend, while attending our first dairy goat show of the season, one of those diseased Madrones fell, and took out an entire 16 foot doubled run of deer fence, upslope of the garden and orchard. As it’s peak fawn season, you can imagine what happened once the fence was down, and the farmers were out of town. This should have been a post about the fun we had at this...

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Pear Leaf Blister Mites

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in Farm Blog, Garden, Orchard, Pests | 14 comments

Pear Leaf Blister Mites

Many pests, and pathogens, are adept at overwintering among leaf litter, dormant buds, and bark. This means that for fruit trees the dormant season is often the best time to try to remedy pest problems noted in the orchard during the previous year. Last season, as the new leaves were emerging on our pear trees, we found a widespread pest problem with the leaves. At first, from a distance, we initially thought we had an irrigation problem as the leaves on the pear trees all had a wilted appearance. As we got closer we could see the leaves were discolored, and deformed, and we thought perhaps...

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California Meadow Voles: A Sustainable Gardener’s Nightmare

Posted by on Jul 20, 2011 in Farm Blog, Garden, Pests | 42 comments

California Meadow Voles: A Sustainable Gardener’s Nightmare

The Meadow Vole (Microtus californicus) is a native member of the rodent family, and found throughout the entire coastal range of California, and inland central valleys. Voles are somewhat mouse-like in appearance, approximately 5-8 inches in length, but with shorter tails than mice, and are occasionally confused with gophers.  The difference is that for us, at least this year, they are significantly more populous, and far more destructive than gophers. Vole Life History Meadow voles thrive in habitats that are densely planted, where they can take refuge beneath ground covers and low growing...

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Got Gophers?

Posted by on Jul 26, 2010 in Farm Blog, Garden, Pests | 37 comments

Got Gophers?

***some images and video not for the faint-hearted*** We have pocket gophers.  Lots of them.   We try very hard not to interfere with native plant and animal species on the property.  However, in the garden and orchard areas we occasionally find we need to address our pocket gopher population.  Burgeoning populations can quickly decimate rows of crops, kill small shrubs and trees, and do significant damage to underground irrigation systems. When we first moved here it was clear that in some parts of the property we had a healthy pocket gopher population. We knew that some degree of effective...

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Pear Sawfly

Posted by on Jun 21, 2010 in Farm Blog, Garden, Orchard, Pests | 21 comments

Pear Sawfly

This weekend the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  Now that all the poultry projects are complete we turned our attention back toward the orchard.  We still have a lot of work to do.  The most important task is wrapping up our never-ending irrigation project, so that was our primary goal this weekend.  As we were setting up our clog-resistant Netafim™ drip irrigation lines around our Stella Cherry tree, we noticed lots of small irregular holes on some of the leaves.  Closer inspection revealed the culprit, the Pear Sawfly larvae (Caliroa cerasi). No, it’s not a slug,...

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