Curl grub control for organic garden
Please help. I live in Gaithersburg and am putting vegetable transplants in my organic garden. I noticed quite a few of these curl grubs, some over an inch, some 1/2" and babies <1/4" in clusters. I included some photos of them. Regarding their concentration per square foot, some places have one or two and other patches have 10 or more.
I also found this beetle. It measures about 3/4" long. What kind of beetle is this and are the grubs the offspring of this type of beetle or something else?
I have composting small sized woodchips ( a Back to Eden no till garden) over my soil and they seem to proliferate between the compacted soil and those small composted chips. I have a 23 X 25' garden area and so far I have only gone through a small section hand picking these out.
Another question..do these grubs travel much underground? I am wondering if the area that I am picking through will be clear for a while or is this a big waste of time?
Also, do they prefer eating the composting wood chips or will they go after my new vegetable roots instead?
Another question.. I have a nice population of earth worms and my philosophy is to disturb the micro ecosystem as little as possible. Is there an organic control for these grubs so I don't have to spend the next two weeks hand picking these out? I have read on line about nematodes and milky spores. I don't know if both or either will disturb or kill the beneficial microbes and worms. Do you have any recommendations and if so, specific brands and time of season and methods to make an application? I do not want to use chemicals as this is an organic garden.
I wish I could speak with you in person as it would be so much easier. My cell phone is... if you feel inclined to call. I asked a lot of questions and I would so appreciate if you could take the time to answer all my concerns. I hope you can help and I am distressed about this situation and want to resolve it as soon as I can. I had a beautiful fall/ over wintered garden and this is my first go at this new season. My transplants which I planted from seed are all getting root bound and I need to get them in soon. Thank you so much for this much appreciated service.
Montgomery County Maryland
First off, no need to be distressed.
Grubs and chafer beetles are not problematic in vegetable gardens.
They do not need to be dug and removed.
Here is a page that has a photo gallery of common insect pests for your vegetable garden: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/learn/insect-pests-vegetables
The only way to tell grubs apart is to count/compare the hairlike spikes (rastors) on their butts. (Yuk.) It could be Japanese Beetle, Chafers, Oriental, June Beetles etc., but none of them are a problem for your veggies.
Go ahead and plant.
Here is our vegetable page. Check out the crops/plants A-Z for cultural management and a listing of common problems (with photos) for each.