This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We are much troubled here with "grubs," which eat the roots of strawberry plants in certain localities, whether the ground has been manured or not; and I think the larvae found in manure heaps is entirely distinct from that which destroys our strawberries and other roots. The latter is more slender and hairy than the other, and does not increase in size so rapidly ; besides I have never found the young ones earlier than the middle of July, while full grown grubs are found in the manure in June. If the smallest grub touches a root of strawberry the leaves wilt in the sun, and we search the rascal out and save the plant.
I have a plot of ground two rods wide and ten long, which I have been salting in March for several years, using a bushel of salt broad-cast on the strawberries, and have no trouble witb "grubs." The next plot, separated by a row of peach trees, has only been salted twice, and I have taken out with the aid of the chickens, over a thousand grubs, while the next plot is literally filled with grubs, and I have scarcely saved a plant for two years. None of this ground was ever manured, but has been a garden since the prairie sod was turned. Salt does not kill the larvae, for I have kept them in brine for ten minutes, and they crawled away as smart as ever ; but I think it must be unhealthy for the little ones.