Sorrel can increasingly be found in vegetable gardens as a cultivated plant. Useful properties and taste with a characteristic acidity provide the plant with a lot of fans. Like other crops, sorrel is susceptible to diseases, various pests that must be dealt with in order to harvest a rich crop. Often, bugs eat huge holes on sorrel, so gardeners try all effective means to combat the green pest.
Why sorrel in holes
When holes appear on the sorrel, experienced gardeners immediately diagnose the sorrel leaf beetle. It is a fast and dangerous pest. If the plant is not processed in time, the crop may die completely. Adults eat through holes, and larvae hatched from eggs feast on the pulp between the veins.
Outwardly, the pest looks like a bug 3-4 mm long. Color - emerald with a blue, metallic sheen. Females have a large abdomen, move much slower than males. The wings are fully developed. Pests begin to feed immediately after wintering, as soon as the first leaves appear. By the end of spring, green beetles mate and lay eggs. After laying eggs, a week passes, the first larvae of the pest appear. Then the pupation process takes place, which takes place in the soil. An adult emerges from there - a new pest.
They again mate with females, after a short period of time they die. Females have time to lay eggs again, which can be found on the underside of the leaf.
Experts say that when already young bugs are found, it is almost impossible to save the sorrel crop, since the number of pests is too large.
What to do if sorrel leaves are in a hole
First of all, if holes are found on the leaves, it is necessary to remove all weeds. The sorrel leaf beetle can perfectly reproduce on them. Be sure to feed the cultivated plant with slurry after watering.
Some gardeners cover sorrel plantings in the spring. So you can not only get rid of the leaf beetle, but also please the household with early greens.
If a pest is found, especially if there is a lot of it, the most damaged specimens should be removed.
Some gardeners prefer manual picking as a control method. To do this, you need a concentrated saline solution, where beetles and eggs are collected from the sorrel by hand. In any case, treatment with chemical insecticides is not recommended, as the sorrel will become unusable.
How to get rid of bugs on sorrel
There are many methods of struggle. In terms of efficiency, they are not inferior to each other, but each gardener, depending on the degree of damage to the sorrel, chooses the most suitable one:
- Treat with a drug called "Maxim". This is a chemical insecticide, so all treated leaves must be cut off without fail. Eating such greens is prohibited. But the harvest will be saved, because new leaves grow quickly on the sorrel. It will already be healthy, full-fledged greens.
- Mix 200 g of pyrethrum powder with a bucket of hot water. Insist 12 hours and rub with laundry soap. Then spray all affected plants with the resulting solution.
- Dust the leaves (without using water) with sorrel with a mixture of wood ash and tobacco dust in a 1: 1 ratio. The procedure is repeated, it is better to do it as a course within 5-6 days. Then the result will be higher and will be fixed for a long time.
- You can also pollinate the plant with a mixture of a glass of ash and a large spoonful of dry mustard with hot black pepper.
- Grate a bar of laundry soap for 3 liters of water and squeeze out as much garlic as possible. After a few hours, strain the resulting solution and sprinkle with sorrel. If you feel sorry for garlic, garlic tops or plant arrows will do.
The problem with fighting is that when using chemicals, you shouldn't eat splashed sorrel for at least a month. But while the gardener waits for a whole month, oxalic acid accumulates in the leaves, and by the end of this period, sorrel is no longer useful, but harmful to health. Young leaves bring the greatest benefit, and therefore, even after processing, it is better to cut the sorrel damaged by the beetle and wait for the appearance of a new crop. By autumn, leaves will grow, which are suitable for winter harvesting. Therefore, to avoid holes in the sorrel, it is better to take preventive measures against the green beetle.
The main preventive measures against the appearance of holes in the leaves in sorrel are:
- deep digging of the garden in the fall to destroy wintering insects and larvae;
- removal of suspicious leaves with holes at the first appearance;
- careful inspection of the plant to identify the pest at an early stage;
- in the spring it is also worth loosening the aisles;
- change the planting site every 2-3 years, and treat the previous one with chemicals or simply sprinkle it with ash;
- when changing the planting site, it is important that cultures of the buckwheat family, for example, rhubarb, are not planted there earlier, otherwise there is a danger of catching the same pest in a new place.
Experienced gardeners advise planting plants around the sorrel that successfully repel the pest. For the leaf beetle, such plants are marigolds, calendula, pyrethrum, garlic, nasturtium.
And also experts noted that planting sorrel in partial shade is the best option. So the leaves turn out to be softer and tastier, and pests on the culture are seen several times less.
If only the first small holes appear on the leaf, it is better to immediately pluck, rinse and eat. This is a healthy product, and it would be better not to sprinkle it with chemicals. Therefore, experts advise to regularly examine the leaves in order to identify the first symptoms. Large-scale destruction using chemicals should be initiated if eggs and a large number of damaged leaves are present.
On sorrel, beetles of a pleasant color, which children call fireflies, may not immediately attract attention. But in fact, it is a dangerous pest that is capable of destroying the entire crop of a useful product in a season. Therefore, it is worth taking preventive measures, since it is difficult to deal with the leaf beetle: it is impossible to spray with chemicals, and the rest of the means are effective until the pest has got rid of it. Inspection of the leaves should be carried out regularly and at the first appearance of small holes, the product should be plucked, washed and eaten, and the plant should be sprayed with one of the folk remedies.