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Question: limp agave
hi, I live in Piedmont last spring I transplanted an agave in the garden, it was very good. This winter I covered it well with a TNT cloth, I state that it snowed and the temperatures fell to -18 °. the plant was all flabby, and with black spots on the leaves that are in the center (on the leaves that should open). and in addition I found a hole in the ground, I think it is a mole cricket. due to all this? and how could I do to cure it. how can I post photos, at least you can make a clearer idea. Thanks
Answer: limp agave
most of the agave species that can be grown in the garden do not fear frost very much, and can withstand minimum temperatures even close to -10 °, or even at -15 ° C; the winter of 2011-2012 in Italy was really a record winter, with snow even in the plains and temperatures well below the seasonal averages, and all this for a few weeks. Although your plant was covered in a correct and sensible way, the cold was so intense that it ruined the plant. Now that your agave is ruined, don't worry about it much, it survived and it's already a good sign. To avoid that the leaves attacked by frost become a vehicle of fungal diseases, or that the rottenness to which they will spread into the rest of the plant, it is convenient to clean the agave thoroughly, eliminating all the dark and loose parts. Then armed with a well sharpened shear, or even a small saw, with clean and disinfected blades, and remove all the leaves, or parts of the leaf, ruined by frost. At the end of the operation, no dark patches or zoning should remain, even if it is on new leaves. In this way, in addition to removing the dead or dying parts of the agave, you will stimulate the plant to quickly produce new healthy and lush leaves.
As for the mole cricket, unfortunately it is a very harmful insect, which lives underground and eats roots and tubers; to get rid of them there are special baits, which are also used against snails. After a heavy rain place a little bait near the hole you've noticed and possibly hide it with leaves or something. Check in the following days if you find corpses of cricket mole, which must be eliminated, to avoid that the small animals that eat it are also poisoned by the bait ingested by the mole cricket.
Traps can also be prepared against mole crickets, using plastic water bottles to be buried; inside the bottle place a piece of potato or carrot, then hide the entrance of the trap with pieces of pot or other cover. The mole cricket will be attracted by the smell of vegetables, but once it has fallen into the trap it will be difficult to get out. The adult mole crickets are about four or five centimeters long, so prepare some traps at least ten centimeters deep, and cover them with something, even a broken tile may be fine, because the mole crickets, if necessary, can make small volutes, and then quickly escape from a trap without a lid.