Northern Mid-Atlantic: SE-PA/N-VA/MD/NJ/DE Region

If picked when nearly ripe, as in only a couple days away, I can tell no difference at all. The earlier you pick beyond that the more flavor you lose.

I am starting to pick Tomcot and Ilona now, I have a bunch of Ilona on the counter which will be perfect tomorrow I expect.

So far no squirrels, I’m not sure what’s going on as there are quite a few in our general neighborhood. I put out massive numbers of traps in the expectation there would be a ton of squirrels bearing down, but I only caught one.

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Interesting. I feel like I am seeing fewer squirrels as well, but I’m also seeing them stealing different things. I’ve seen squirrels in my Gerardi mulberry multiple times, which they’ve never bothered with, and now one of them is stealing every single small green Kerr apple and ignoring the apricot. Last year my Kerr apples were untouched all the way through ripening. The last few years they’ve also started to eat all the seeds off my large Japanese maple, which they never touched for at least a decade before.

I sometimes think they are running some type of game, like a Casino, where they let you win a little sometimes so you won’t give up and walk away from the table.

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I saw my first Japanese Beetles today on grapes.

Folks more north–JBs headed your way!

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Thanks for the heads up. I will get my hammer ready.

I haven’t seen too many JBs this year so far. I have seen more nocturnal brown beetles that have been feeding on stonefruit leaves. Two types of nocturnal brown beetles: one type is small and soft at about size of a JB (maybe Asiatic garden beetle), the other is much larger (probably 3x) and more crunchy. The larger one likes to eat like a caterpillar, instead of making tiny holes like JBs.