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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Japanese beetle

Japanese Beetles

Posted by John Fulton -

Everyone who thought we had escaped the Japanese beetle attack this year may have to rethink that. The beetles are running a week or two behind schedule, due to the cool spring. A few beetles have shown up in the area. Whether these are local hatches or tag-a-longs from southern areas doesn't much matter. They are coming. Japanese beetle adults have a 1/2 to 3/4 inch long body with copp...

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Potato leafhopper

Potato Leafhopper

Posted by John Fulton -

In keeping with the insect theme, potato leafhopper numbers have exploded this last week. This is the small wedge-shaped, light green insect that seems to just fog around security and patio lights. They are not only a nuisance, but they can cause damage to a wide variety of plants. Potatoes are the first plant that comes to mind when we talk about potato leafhoppers (must be something a...

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Anthracnose Continues

Posted by John Fulton -

A lot has happened in a week with our trees. The maples continue to show increasing leaf drop. Sycamores have been hit with a vengeance, and leaves have been falling like rain for the last week. Other good quality hardwoods, such as ash, are also showing symptoms. The symptoms are dead material betwe...

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Oystershell scale

Oystershell Scale

Posted by John Fulton -

It is time to take action against the notorious oystershell scale, because the eggs are now hatching into young crawlers that are extremely susceptible to insecticide applications. However, as the scales mature later in the season, they are more difficult to control because they form an impenetrable protective covering. Oystershell scale has a wide host range, including ash, birch, dogwood, elm...

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Septoria Leaf Blight on Tomato

Gardening Reminders

Posted by John Fulton -

Believe it or not, it's time to think of fall gardens. Summer squash seedings should be wrapped up, potatoes seeded, and New Zealand spinach seeded. Some tomatoes are also experiencing some disease problems. The main ones are the leaf spot fungi such as Septoria. Protective sprays of a fungicide will slow the progress...

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Soldier Beetle

Soldier Beetles

Posted by John Fulton -

For those of us with linden trees, that are now pollinating, we probably have seen the soldier beetles. They look like pale lightning bugs, without the light. Following is some in-depth information on the beetles to give us a little clearer picture of what they do. Soldier beetles, also known as leatherwings, get their name from the soft, cloth-like wing covers, which when brightly colo...

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The "To Do" List

Posted by John Fulton -

Young bagworms are present at this time. Spray after eggs have all hatched (guessing this week) to control them. Sevin, Thuricide, or one of the pyret hroids will work. Pruning evergreens is done about the end of June. T...

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Mature bagworms

Bagworms

Posted by John Fulton -

After some very severe infestations of bagworms the past several years, the calls have been coming in all year on the correct treatment times for bagworms this year. Year-in and year-out, the correct treatment time for bagworms is June 15.You can mark this date on your calendar for next year and be within a few days of the correct treatment time. With a very cool spring, a week later may be a p...

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Island Chlorosis of Hackberry

Posted by John Fulton -

There is a disease of hackberry leaves that appears as blocky yellow spots. The spots often have green tissue surrounding them (but not always), so the disease has earned the name of island chlorosis. In addition to causing the yellowing symptoms, the chlorosis can cause some leaf drop. The disease is mainly a curiosity on established hackberry trees, and causes little damage....

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Phomopsis of juniper

Branch Dieback of Juniper and Arborvitae

Posted by John Fulton -

After several years of relatively few problems of junipers and arborvitae, we've had a resurgence in the shoot blights. The most common is phomopsis tip blight, which affects the new growth. New growth is susceptible until it loses its lighter color. Control consists of removing infected areas, and spraying new growth with protectant fungicides until it gets the dark green color. Symptoms are a...

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Pumpkins for Halloween

Posted by John Fulton -

With the weather we've had, gardening has either been a chore or it has been ignored. We are to the normal planting time for Halloween pumpkins. Father's Day is a good time to plant them in order to have them ripen for the fall decoration season, but not too early to have rot problems in advance....

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West Nile Virus

Posted by John Fulton -

West Nile Virus (WNV) has quickly, and unfortunately, become a household p hrase. With Illinois leading the nation in deaths from the virus, it behooves us all to take proper precautions. The excess moisture in much of the Midwest has led to one of the worst springs for mosquitoes in recent history. This is a more f...

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Leaf Spot Fungal Diseases

Posted by John Fulton -

It seems the leaf spot fungal diseases are present with a vengeance. Ant hracnose and apple scab are very noticeable now. If you think your trees have escaped infection, hold a leaf up to the light to make sure. If you see light areas along the edges or between veins, you'll probably have the full-blown...

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