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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Foundation Sprays

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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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. An...

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Blossom end rot

Tomato Care

Posted by John Fulton -

With the widely fluctuating amounts of rainfall, blossom end rot is definitely a possibility. It has even started on some container grown tomatoes. 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 eve...

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Ant and Termite Differences

Swarms

Posted by John Fulton -

With some warmer weather comes the swarms of insects that raise that perennial question of "Are they ants or termites?" Swarming time for both insects is about the same time, and they are really looking to start new colonies because they have outgrown their old ones. This is the reason for the winged insects, as the wings allow the ants or termites to cover larger areas to start their new colon...

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Spray Programs

Posted by John Fulton -

For most of your fruit trees and also your crabapples, spray programs should have begun when the leaf buds started to open. According to the pest control handbook, sprays should continue on about a 10 day schedule until within 2 weeks of harvest for fruits, and until fruit set on crabapples. For the homeowner, a multipurpose fruit spray is the easiest product to use (it contains 2 insecticides...

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Anthracnose on maple

Tree Leaf Diseases

Posted by John Fulton -

With the cool, wet weather we have been experiencing it is only a matter of time before the fungal diseases make themselves widely apparent. These would include apple scab on apples and crabapples, as well as anthracnose on the good quality shade trees. Both diseases are present in their early state at this time. To give a brief overview, these diseases are preventable but not curable....

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Rhizoshpaera Needle Cast

Spruce Tree Woes

Posted by John Fulton -

Many spruce trees, especially Colorado blue spruce, are not very well acclimated to our environment in Central Illinois. The altered growing conditions often weaken the tree over a period of time, making it more susceptible to other diseases and insects. Rhizosphaera needle cast is one of the main diseases of spruce. Symptoms include a purple cast to needles, needle drop, and a tendency...

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