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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

Reminders

Posted by John Fulton -

· If you haven't applied crabgrass preventer, you have a very short window as forsythia has already bloomed (sort of), but don't apply if you seeded your lawn. You can use a post emergent product if germination occurred and immature crabgrass is present. · It is about time to mow already, and remove no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at a time to prevent raking or catchi...

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The Spring Garden

Posted by John Fulton -

While 60-70 degree temperatures get us used to spring/summer, we may be jumping the gun on planting warm season garden items. Witness the 30 degree temperature drop of the last week. Many annual flowers, tomato plants, and other warm season plants should not be set out until after May 10. When we look at our average frost free date, we see that it is April 25. About half the time in...

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chickweed
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Early Season Lawn Weeds - Chickweed and Henbit

Posted by John Fulton -

Each year, the winter annual weeds chickweed and henbit run number one and two in the early spring. 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 chickweed stands out in yards because it is quite abundant, and has...

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Fairy Rings, Mushrooms, and Puffballs

Posted by John Fulton -

Throughout the year I get several calls and samples brought in dealing with puffballs or toadstools. Even this early in the season, we have had calls about dark green grass in rings that kind of looks like a target pattern. These rings are called fairy rings, and they frequently have the puffballs or toadstools growing in the area....

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Nimblewill

Brown Patches in Lawns

Posted by John Fulton -

Many lawns have brown spots or patches. In most cases these are a warm season perennial grass such as nimblewill. There is no selective control for these grasses, meaning glyphosate (Roundup). These spots green up slowly and brown out early. The best plan is to spray them in late July when they are growing, then put down new seed in mid-August....

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Seeding Lawns in the Spring

Posted by John Fulton -

Warmer temperatures have us thinking spring. Lawns are greening up very quickly. Spring seeding lawns is usually our second best choice, because of the warm weather soon to follow, but it does work when we have cool, wet weather. Fall has been the preferred time for many years, but once again, temperature and moisture have a great effect on success. Spring seeding should be...

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Uncovering Roses and Strawberries

Posted by John Fulton -

Watch roses to determine when to start uncovering and pruning. Many recommend doing your pruning chores when forsythia is in bloom. Also, if you haven't uncovered strawberries, keep an eye on them. They should be uncovered when you see green leaves under the straw, and definitely when you see yellow material – that means you are just a little late. Keep the straw handy in case you need to...

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To Do List

Posted by John Fulton -

· Finish up pruning deciduous trees and shrubs. Buds are beginning to swell on early species. Evergreens should be done in June, flowering shrubs after they flower, and oaks in December. · Get prepared for the spring turf preparation season. The recommended dates for seeding, dethatching, and aerating run from March 15 to about April 1. · Start your own...

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Home Fruit Spray Schedules

Posted by John Fulton -

It seems like quality fruit must be sprayed at the recommended intervals. For apples and pears, we start with dormant oils, these need to be applied before buds swell. Dormant oils are usually needed only every two or three years to provide control of scales and mites. Sure, the populations will build up in the off years, but should remain relatively low if the three-year program is followed....

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Nuisance Pests

Posted by John Fulton -

As we get warm spells, we will have the usual "nuisance pests" appear. These include millipedes, Asian ladybugs, ant swarms, box elder bugs, and elm leaf beetles to name a few. They are called nuisance pests because that is what they are. Very few will do any damage to anything, they just cause that feeling of disgust when you find them in the house. The best controls are fo...

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Pruning

Posted by John Fulton -

We are rapidly approaching the end of the pruning season for most fruit trees and deciduous ornamentals. There are a few rules that are recommended for pruning, and there are several other items that are up to "pruner discretion." One of the beginning items to discuss is the equipment. Most pruning can be done with three pieces of equipment. The most used piece is a pair of...

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