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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Millipede

Millipedes

Posted by John Fulton -

The last week has found the lowly millipede taking homes by storm. If millipedes were insects, they would deserve insect of the week honors. Since they are not insects, we'll just dub them "pest of the week." What are millipedes? They belong to the arthropod class Diplododa, which means double footed. The reason is simple: they have two legs per body segment. There are many different ty...

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Multi-colored Asian Ladybeetle

Asian Ladybugs or Multi-colored Asian ladybeetles

Posted by John Fulton -

With the warmer weather, Asian ladybugs (technically the multi-colored Asian ladybeetle) are becoming more active. How did we come to have so many? Well.... the populations really climbed in early September as the populations of soybean aphids increased in soybean fields. The problem was the soybeans matured, and the aphids died. So now we have all these insects with no food source in the field...

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Pruning Raspberries

Posted by John Fulton -

To start with, remove all the dead, short, and weak canes. The large remaining canes are thinned to 4 to 8 inches apart. The canes are cut back to 5-6 feet tall or if no support is provided 3 to 4 feet tall. The canes that produced last year should be removed anytime after harvest, or removed in the late fall. Canes are productive only one year and the new growth will produce the next year's ha...

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Fall Care of Peonies

Posted by John Fulton -

Peonies are one of those "plant it and forget it" flowers. Many haven't been bothered for over 50 years, and still going strong. As with most plants, crowding can occur, and the time to dig and divide is late September through October. Peonies do best in soils with a slightly acid to neutral pH. The best time to add lime, if needed, is when you dig the plants. W...

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Fall Frost

Posted by John Fulton -

With impending frost, it is important to take care of a few items. For protection, you could always try the covers over the plants you want to protect. You will need to use something with a little bit of insulation value such as cardboard, blankets, or row covers. The row covers themselves don't have much of an r-value, but the air space between the cover and plant does. Just laying a cheap tar...

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Grubs, Skunks, and Moles, Oh My!

Posted by John Fulton -

Unlike lions, tigers, and bears, the grubs, skunks, and moles are not make-believe, and they can really cause some damage to your lawn. Let's start with the grubs, since most of the problems are associated with them. We are faced with a few different types of grubs, with the Japanese beetle larvae and the June bug larvae being the most common. These also are the grub types most damaging to your...

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