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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
Japanese beetle

Japanes Beetles

Posted by John Fulton -

A few beetles have shown up in the area. This makes them about a week earlier than normal. Whether these are local hatches or tag-a-longs from southern areas doesn't much matter. They are coming. Japanese beetle adults have a 1/2 to 3/4 inch long body with copper colored wing covers and a shiny metallic green head. A key characteristic is prominent white tufts of hair along their sides. They al...

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Fall Pumpkins

Posted by John Fulton -

If you haven't sown pumpkins for fall decoration, usually around Father's Day is the correct timing. Vining pumpkins need at least 50 – 100 square feet per hill, with the larger pumpkins requiring the larger area. Hills should be five to six feet apart and rows of hills should be 10 – 15 feet apart. Each hill should have about four seeds per hill, planted about an inch deep. The min...

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Japanese beetle

First Japanese Beetles of 2011 Sighted

Posted by John Fulton -

With the warmer weather, it was bound to happen. The first Japanese beetles of the season were captured on June 16 in a pheromone trap north of Lincoln Japanese beetle adults have a 1/2 to 3/4 inch long body with copper colored wing covers and a shiny metallic green head. A key characteristic is prominent white tufts of hair along their sides. They also have an overwhelming appetite for...

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Mature bagworms
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Insect Update

Posted by John Fulton -

Insects are plentiful this year. I don't think we can blame it on the mild winter, but they have great systems of survival. One insect of note with the wet weather is the earwig. Earwigs tend to be in high organic areas, as they feed primarily on dead insects and plant material. However, they can and do eat live plant material such as marigolds, zinnias, strawberries, and others. They may be a...

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fire blight on apple

Fire Blight

Posted by John Fulton -

Apple and pear trees continue to have their problems. There is a large amount of tip dieback in some varieties, and this is probably fire blight. This would actually be the second bout for the year. Look for a shepherd's crook at the tip of the affected areas as a clue it is fire blight. Fire blight is a bacterial disease, therefore there is little chance for you to treat it. The common treatme...

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periodical cicada
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Periodical Cicadas

Posted by John Fulton -

Even though Logan County is not in the heart of the territory of the Periodical 13 year cicada, there may be spots experiencing the problem. Most of Sangamon County is in the expected zone, while the Chestnut and Latham areas of Logan County are the only areas indicated on a map for possible emergence. There are two types of cicadas. The first is the "dogday" cicada, which occurs in the heat of...

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Trees Dropping Leaves

Posted by John Fulton -

As anticipated many of the leaf diseases, such as anthracnose and apple scab, are causing problems. These problems include many leaves dropping from trees. Currently apples, crabapples, sycamores, maples, and many other good quality shade trees are affected. The maple group will accelerate even more in the near future, as they are just entering the worst of the phases. What starts as th...

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Hollyhock rust

Hollyhock Rust

Posted by John Fulton -

Hollyhocks are one of the traditional, old-fashioned flowers often grown in our area. This year, they are definitely interesting. Even before the flowers open. Most area hollyhocks are infected with rust. Rust is usually a spring and fall disease problem, when it occurs. Rust first shows up on the bottom of the lower leaves, and the top side of the leaves has some rather striking bright...

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Mosquitoes and 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 host of the virus. The mosquito is actually able to transmit the virus after 10-14 d...

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Garden Reminders

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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