Extension Educator, Horticulture
Master Gardener Program Coordinator
August 26, 2009
August 24, 2009
The New York Times calls Lawn Talk "among the most valuable grassy reference sources on the web."
The site developed by Bruce Spangenberg, former Extension hort educator and revised by Richard Hentschel, Extension Specialist, Green Industry Programming, includes information on selecting grasses, planting and maintenance issues, weeds and other pest and disease problems, and common lawn care mistakes.
Visit the new site at: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/lawntalk/
The website Focus on Plant Problems has been updated and revised and is available at:
It includes disease and pest problems for evergreen trees and shrubs, deciduous trees and shrubs, and perennial flowers. The site was developed by James Shuster, Extension Specialist, Pesticide Safety Education-Plant Pathology.
August 18, 2009
LATE BLIGHT AND BUCKEYE ROT OF TOMATO
Expect to have clients calling you about a new and devastating disease to tomatoes and potatoes. Many will have read in the newspaper recently about an outbreak in the Mid-Atlantic and eastern states of Late Blight (Phytophthora infestans)—the same disease responsible for the Irish potato famine. So this is not a new disease, just a species of Phytophthora not common to Illinois in a normal year. This disease does not overwinter here, but can "blow in" during the season from other states where it does overwinter. The cool, wet conditions this season have been very conducive to its development, allowing its movement to a larger than normal area. Like Soybean Asian Rust, it does not usually make its way here in time to cause a problem in tomatoes and potatoes because conditions were not conducive—this year is potentially different. The disease is moving westward on weather patterns and just recently a late blight-infected tomato was confirmed in Northern Illinois through the UI Plant Clinic. For this reason, I have included a link to a fact sheet on Late Blight plus a few preventative fungicide control options in preparation for calls to your office.
Homeowners have a few fungicide options for protection of plants not already showing serious signs of infection. Look for fungicides labeled for tomatoes/potatoes with one of the following active ingredients. I have included a link for one example of each active ingredient, but keep in mind other brands are available depending on your location and supplier. Spray every 5-7 days unless the label states otherwise, making sure to note the Pre Harvest Interval (when to stop spraying before harvest). If clients have been spraying regularly with one of these active ingredients for control of other common tomato/potato diseases (like Septoria or Early Blight), they should continue their program for continued protection against Late Blight this season.
Feel free to contact me with further comments or questions. The UI Plant Clinic is also available until September 15 to assist in identifying or confirming disease identity http://plantclinic.cropsci.illinois.edu/. There is a fee of $15.00 for each submitted sample.
August 17, 2009
Greg Stack, Extension horticulturist has developed a new website to track the growing season of 180 annuals that are being tested at the U of I Extension Annuals Trial Garden, Midwest Golf House, Lemont.
He is rating the annuals weekly and also designating his Illini picks (or the outstanding performers) for the week.
Go to http://urbanext.illinois.edu/trialgarden/ and follow the performance of these various annuals throughout the growing season.
The trials are for full-sun locations in a landscape application.
August 14, 2009
We are pleased to launch Wildflowers, a website to help gardeners incorporate wildflowers in their gardens. The wildflower directory features 144 different Illinois native wildflowers. This site was developed by Sharon Yiesla, Lake County Unit Educator, Horticulture.
This information is now also available on the Hort Answers website as well.
Visit the new Wildflowers website at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/wildflowers/ and be sure to share it with Master Gardeners and avid gardeners in your communities.