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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
Cedar Apple Rust on Evergreen

Cedar-Apple Rust

Posted by John Fulton -

Cedar apple rust is caused by a fungus that attacks two different groups of trees. The first group is apples and crabapples, and the second is juniper and eastern red cedar. In order to survive, the fungus must "move" from one group of host to the other. On juniper, or eastern red cedar, small (3/8 to 1 and 3/16 inches in diameter) galls develop throughout the tree on needles and small...

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Broadleaf Weed Control

Posted by John Fulton -

Everyone seems to have been waiting for warmer temperatures and the appointed date to begin broadleaf weed control programs. Well that time will come, believe it or not. For most of the broadleaf products to work, the temperature has to be over 55 degrees. These chemicals do work better when it is warmer and the weeds are actively growing. The first item of business is to know what type of weed...

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New "To Do" List

Posted by John Fulton -

Prune flowering shrubs after they finish flowering We are on the early end of the time period (April 25 to May 10) for planting tender vegetables such as snap beans, sweet corn, New Zealand Spinach, and tomato plants May 10 begins the time for planting warm-loving vegetables such as squash, melons, cucumbers, and sweet potato slips. This is also a "more assured" date...

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gall on oak twig

Galls

Posted by John Fulton -

One group of problems showing up is galls. Galls are swelling of leaves, twigs, or other plant parts. Most are caused by mites or wasps. They damage the plant parts and the plant responds with a gall. In the case of leaves, the swelling is actually leaf tissue. This is something I like to refer to as similar to you getting a mosquito bite. The damage comes in and a swelling occurs. There is no...

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Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard

Posted by John Fulton -

A new weed problem has reared its ugly head in the Logan County area. Garlic mustard is making its presence known in many wooded, or formerly wooded, areas. No, garlic mustard is not exactly new, but it is expanding its range at a very speedy rate. Garlic mustard is considered an invasive species, and some states have declared it a noxious weed. Illinois hasn't declared it such, at leas...

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Early Spring Pests

Posted by John Fulton -

Early in the spring, there are many pests that become active. Many of these are timed by the saucer magnolia blooms, according to Orton's "Coincide" book. Spruce spider mites become active when magnolia blooms are in the pink stage. This means the 2010 weather is running about two weeks ahead of last year. Not much of a surprise given the temperatures we have experienced. These mites are one of...

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Reminders

Posted by John Fulton -

Mow the grass as it is needed. Try to remove no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade to do away with catching or raking grass. That first trip out with the mower usually shocks us how long some of the grass is. We have missed the first batch of crabgrass germination. Control is still possible with one of the organic arsenicals such as MSMA or DSMA sprayed on the recently germinated...

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Master Gardener Plant Sale Scheduled

Posted by John Fulton -

Many people have been asking about the Master Gardener Plant Sale for this year. It is scheduled for Saturday, May 1, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon in the Logan County Fair Special Events Building on the south end of the fairgrounds. They will have annuals, perennials, houseplants, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and a few other assorted items....

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Dividing Perennials

Posted by John Fulton -

A common maintenance chore in a perennial garden is that of dividing. There is no set rule as to when to divide perennials. Some may need division every 3-5 years, some 8-10 years and some would rather you not bother them at all. Perennials will send signals to let you know that they would like to be divided. The signals to watch out for include: flowering is reduced with th...

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Mowing the Lawn

Posted by John Fulton -

The green grass beckons. Of course, once you start mowing, you get to keep on doing it. There is certainly enough moisture, so add a little bit of heat and we'll be hard pressed to keep up this spring. There are a few very simple rules for mowing grass. The first is to use equipment that is ready for the job. Make sure the mower has sharp blades. Dull blades will show up as injury on th...

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Warm Season Grasses in Lawns

Posted by John Fulton -

There are several "dead patches" of grass sprinkled throughout lawns in the county. Some of these patches are remnants of the crabgrass from last year, while others are more troublesome. These troublesome areas are starting to show a little bit of green coming on the "dead" stems. These types of patches are actually warm season grasses growing in your cool season grass lawn....

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chickweed
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Chickweed and Henbit are Winter Annual Weeds

Posted by John Fulton -

Each year, the winter annual weeds chickweed and henbit run number one and two in the early spring. Again, this year is seems like henbit is running slightly ahead. Winter annual weeds can actually germinate in the fall, carry through the winter, then get going very early in the spring. They also are done by the heat of the summer, leaving seed to germinate again later in the fall. Right now ch...

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