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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

To-Do and Not-To-Do

Posted by John Fulton -

We are now in the middle of the correct planting time for the warm loving vegetables for our gardens. This would include lima beans, cucumber, eggplant, melons, peppers, summer squash, winter squash, and pumpkins. Pumpkins for use as fall ornamentals should be planted around Father's Day so they have less chance of rotting before fall display. Believe it or not, we're at the proper timing for f...

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West Nile Virus

Posted by John Fulton -

West Nile Virus (WNV) has, unfortunately, become a household phrase. WNV was first isolated in Uganda, Africa. It can harm humans, birds, and other animals. It is transmitted by infected mosquitoes, primarily the northern house mosquito. The mosquito becomes infected after biting wild birds that are the primary hos...

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Update on Maple Trees

Posted by John Fulton -

After viewing some of the maples trees with poor looking leaves, it appears many started with wind damage from the hard blows of a few weeks ago. There is some diseases starting in them, but the predominant damage was from drying out and tender leaf material being torn. There are new leaves starting to appear on some of those trees now. Cross your fingers and hope they escape the anthracnose....

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Tomato Care

Posted by John Fulton -

With the widely fluctuating amounts of rainfall, blossom end rot is definitely a possibility. The best solution is to mulch tomato plants to help even out the moisture supply, and help keep the roots cooler. This problem is caused by uneven calcium amounts in the plant. Addition of lime when you see the problem usually isn't as effective as evening out the moisture flow for the plant by mulchin...

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Tree Leaf Diseases Accelerate

Posted by John Fulton -

As mentioned last week, fungal leaf diseases were present. They are now making their presence felt with a vengeance. These diseases infected trees and shrubs earlier, and they have continued to develop rapidly. Adding insult to injury, we had the extremely high winds affecting the tender leaf tissue, especially on maple trees. Some trees are now to the point of being, well, leafless....

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Insect Barriers

Posted by John Fulton -

If you have been following a foundation spray program all year, keep it up. If you haven't been, it is probably time to start. The foundation spray program is your first line of defense against nuisance pests in the house. It cuts down on crickets, millipedes, spiders, ants, and many others that find their way inside. And, with the crickets singing, it's only a matter of time before they find t...

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Office Closing Over Noon Hour

Posted by John Fulton -

Unfortunately, due to schedule changes, effective May 21 the Logan County Extension Office will be officially closed from noon to one each day over the lunch hour. We will have a drop box available for forms and other materials. Just be aware there will be others with access as well, so it would be best to follow up with a phone call. The office number is 732-8289....

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Tree and Shrub Leaf Problems

Posted by John Fulton -

We have had a relatively dry spring thus far in our area. This would indicate we should have less anthracnose in our good quality shade trees, but the damp period only needs to last a matter of hours. Currently most trees and shrubs have leaf problems. These can be from diseases such as anthracnose, injury from high winds and blowing debris, herbicide drift, or a combination of all the above....

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Rose Sawfly

Rose Slug or Rose Sawfly

Posted by John Fulton -

Right now, people are noticing feeding damage on rose bushes of all types. On close inspection, many have found small, green, caterpillar-like insects. These are actually the larvae of small wasps, and they do feed on roses. It doesn't matter if the rose is a knock-out, a hybrid tea, or a standard. Since these are not "caterpillars," Bt products for larvae of moths and butterflies won'...

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Vegetable Garden Planting Update

Posted by John Fulton -

We are approaching the planting time for warm-loving vegetables, which is May 10 through June 1. These would include Lima beans, cucumber, eggplant, melons, pepper plants, sweet potato slips, pumpkins, and squash. You can also put out successive plantings of snap beans, beets, carrots, and sweet corn to extend the season....

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Borer Control

Posted by John Fulton -

Here is a listing of common borers and their control times: Ash borers (early June and early July), Bronze birch borer (mid May and repeat two times at two week intervals), Dogwood borer (mid May and mid June), Flatheaded apple borer (late May and repeat in t hree weeks), Lilac borer (early June and early July), Lo...

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biting midge

Biting Gnats or Flies

Posted by John Fulton -

Call them buffalo gnats, black flies, and other unmentionable names, but they are back. The small flies, or gnats, are hatched in clean, running water. This is one indicator our water protection plans are succeeding. They will continue to hatch until water temperatures hit about 75 degrees. They will also travel up to 10 miles in search of a food source, meaning blood. These insects ca...

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