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 dropped to -18 °. the plant was all collapsed, 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. Can you explain to me what it is 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: Agave sag
most of the agave species that can be grown in the garden are not very afraid of frost, and can withstand minimum temperatures even close to -10 °, or even -15 ° C; the winter of 2011-2012 in Italy was truly a record winter, with snow even in the plains and temperatures well below seasonal averages, and all this for a few weeks. Although your plant was covered correctly and sensibly, the cold was so intense that it ruined the plant. Now that your agave is ruined, don't worry too much, it survived and it's already a good sign. In order to prevent the leaves attacked by frost from becoming a vehicle for fungal diseases, or that the rotting they will encounter in the rest of the plant, it is convenient to clean the agave thoroughly, removing all the dark and limp parts. Then armed with a well-sharpened shears, or even a small hacksaw, with clean and disinfected blades, and remove all the leaves, or parts of the leaf, damaged by frost. At the end of the operation, no dark spots or areas 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 luxuriant 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 on the market there are special baits, which are also used against snails. After a heavy rain, put a little bait near the hole you noticed and possibly hide it with leaves or something else. Check in the following days if you find mole cricket corpses, which must be eliminated, to avoid that the small animals that feed on them are also poisoned by the bait ingested by the mole cricket.
Traps against mole crickets can also be prepared, 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 scent of vegetables, but once it has fallen into the trap it will be difficult to get out. Adult mole crickets are about four or five centimeters long, so prepare traps at least ten centimeters deep, and cover them with something, even a broken tile can be fine, because mole crickets, if necessary, are able to make small flies, and therefore would quickly escape from a trap without a lid.