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John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Grub Check

Posted by John Fulton -

The first indicator of grub numbers to come is the number of adults. Right now we are starting to have the June bugs out and laying eggs. There are actually three types of grubs that can be found in turf areas. These would be larvae of the Japanese beetle, the June bug, and the green June bug. All of these insects cycle annually, and the green June bug is not really a turf pest, but rather is...

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Foundation Treatments

Posted by John Fulton -

It's about that time once again when the lowly cricket makes a real nuisance of itself in your home. Add to this a large number of ants, and an ounce of prevention goes a long way. The best offense is a good defense, and that means putting down a preventative foundation treatment. A foundation treatment entail...

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Weekly Rainfall

Posted by John Fulton -

Logan County Extension Office Week ending Rainfall in inches Week ending Rainfall in inches 3/11 .14...

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periodical cicada

Periodical Cicadas

Posted by John Fulton -

The hatch is on. Even though Logan County is not in the heart of the 17 year cicada territory, there are spots experiencing large numbers. Here is a news release from Martha Smith, Horticulture Educator in Macomb, that discusses cicadas in depth. Periodical Cicadas in Illinois, But Where? The word is out.... 2007 is the year of the periodical cicadas! But not ev...

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Conserve Moisture

Posted by John Fulton -

Weather is another concern. Many areas received very little rain, while others received about half an inch. The heat is also taking a toll on cool season crops and turfgrass. Turf is showing some major stress symptoms at this time. Grass plants are going to seed at very short heights, and some areas with very good drainage are starting to go dormant. We can water all we want, but it is hard to tak...

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Halloween Pumpkin Planting Caution

Posted by John Fulton -

Remember the best time to plant pumpkins for Halloween is about Father's Day! For earlier fall decorations, earlier planting may be advisable....

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Fungal Infections of Trees

Posted by John Fulton -

Fungal diseases have started in earnest on shade trees. This group of fungi includes anthracnose, apple scab, and others. Most have irregular dead areas along the leaf tips, margins, and between the veins. We have had this group of diseases most years, and have seen that trees generally survive quite well. This year will be worse on trees with borderline health, because of the freeze. There is no...

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Tomatoes - Blossom End Rot

Posted by John Fulton -

Tomatoes have really taken off with the warm weather. Remember blossom end rot, especially with the uneven moisture conditions we have been experiencing. While blossom end rot is technically a calcium deficiency, it is really caused by uneven moisture supply to take the calcium around the plant. Mulching with 2-4 inches of material will greatly help your situation later at fruit set. If you are...

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Cutworms in the Garden

Posted by John Fulton -

Watch those cutworms! With many of the garden areas sporting a covering of chickweed, cutworms may have found an ideal egg laying site. Some of the cutworms actually cut plants, while others tend to just clip leaves. The dingy cutworms overwinter in our area, and tend to clip only leaf tips, while black cutworms blow in on the winds as moths. The moths lay eggs that hatch into the larvae that c...

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Weekly Rainfall

Posted by John Fulton -

Logan County Extension Office Week ending Rainfall in inches Week ending Rainfall in inches 3/11 .14...

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Borers and their Control

Posted by John Fulton -

Few things strike fear in the hearts of tree owners like the mention of borers. Borers are most often the larvae of beetles or moths, and they do their damage where you can't see it. The eggs are laid on or under the bark, and the small hatchling chews through to the part of the tree they feed on. They spend almost their entire lives inside the tree, where they can't be seen or controlled....

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emerald ash borer

Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

Posted by John Fulton -

If you have an ash tree in your yard, now is the time to begin checking it for emerald ash borers in the adult beetle stage according to University of Illinois Extension entomologist Phil Nixon. "May 20 to 26 has been selected as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week because it coincides with the time of year that the adult beetles will begin to emerge." How to identify the emerald ash borer beetl...

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Gardening Calendar

Posted by John Fulton -

The gardening calendar shows it is about time, from May 10 th to the 25 th , to start in on our tender vegetables. This group includes green beans, sweet corn, and tomato plants. It is also time for successive plantings of leaf lettuce, other greens, radishes, and spinach. The way the wind has blown, it is probably a good idea to provide some protection for tender transplants...

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Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Posted by John Fulton -

I saw my first small tent from the Eastern Tent Caterpillar this weekend. It happened to be on one of their favorite trees – an apple tree. Egg hatch may be running as much as three weeks later than normal. Of course, with the crazy "spring" we've had, the insects are probably somewhat disoriented as well. After hatching, the caterpillars create a white, silken tent in...

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Effects of the Freeze

Posted by John Fulton -

Some of the effects of the late freeze are easily visible on fruit and shade trees. Trees and shrubs with exposed, tender leaf material (or even swollen buds in some instances) have partially dead leaves. It is common to see leaf tips that are brown on an otherwise healthy leaf. It is amazing there are a few apples set on at least some protected trees. There are even some later blooms coming o...

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Weekly Rainfall

Posted by John Fulton -

Logan County Extension Office Week ending Rainfall in inches Week ending Rainfall in inches 3/11 .14...

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Pruning Flowering Shrubs

Posted by John Fulton -

Remember pruning flowering shrubs and trees after they flower will help with the shaping of the plant, and will help with the number of buds available to bloom the following season. Examples for pruning at this time would be forsythia and redbuds. Hold off on pruning those evergreens until we get toward the end of June. Pruning at this time will tend to cause extreme regrowth. This regr...

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biting midge

Biting Insect Outbreak

Posted by John Fulton -

There seems to be a biting insect outbreak going on. After a brave soul actually brought some in, and a little bit of research, it seems these are biting midges. They also are called biting gnats, punkies, no-see-ums, and worse. Like anything in the biting fly family, they are hard to control. They don't need standing water to develop in, they aren't dawn and dusk feeders like mosquito...

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