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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Green June Bug

Green June Bugs

Posted by John Fulton -

Large, shiny, green beetles have appeared, and many think they have bumblebees because of the buzzing sound they make when they fly. These beetles are much larger than either June bugs or Japanese beetles. Green June Bugs are also called fig eaters. This is because they can eat soft fleshed fruits such as grapes, plums, peaches, and apricots. In their larval stage they are a grub, but d...

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Cicada killer wasp

Large Wasps - The Cicada Killer Wasp

Posted by John Fulton -

The cicada killer wasp has returned. They are actually considered beneficial insects because they control cicadas and katydids. This wasp gets its common name due to the fact that it hunts and supplies its nest chambers with a cicada, which becomes a food source for the young wasp. Cicada killers are a nuisance pest, especially when nesting in large numbers in a play area or near the house. Peo...

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Japanese Beetle Update

Posted by John Fulton -

Numbers of Japanese beetles are finally starting to decrease. The peak seemed to be about a week ago. Damage will continue through the end of August, with some beetles present until frost....

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Blossom end rot

Blossom End Rot of Tomato

Posted by John Fulton -

Many tomatoes are suffering from blossom end rot, where there is a leathery rot opposite the stem end. This is a calcium imbalance in the plant, usually caused by uneven moisture conditions. Mulching and watering once a week help. If you have container tomatoes, the problem is much harder to solve. Things should even out on their own for soil grown tomatoes....

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Identifying white grubs

Grub Control Options

Posted by John Fulton -

We have discussed the timing of grub control treatments in past columns. As a reminder, the date would have been early August for annual white grubs. Treatment times for Japanese beetle grubs should probably be late August this year. Knowing when to treat grubs is one thing, and knowing what product to use is another. Many grub control treatments are combined with fertilizer products, a...

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Potato leafhopper
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Potato Leafhoppers

Posted by John Fulton -

Insect of the week honors go to the rather inconspicuous potato leafhopper. This is the small wedge-shaped, light green insect that seems to just fog around security and patio lights. They are also small enough to come in through screens after dark. They are not only a nuisance, but they can cause damage to a wide variety of plants. Potatoes are the first plant that comes to mind when w...

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Rust on Lawn Grass

Rust on Lawns

Posted by John Fulton -

The weather we have been experiencing has made rust a problem for many homeowners in their lawns again. As grass growth slows, rust will be one of the lawn fungi we are dealing with. Rust appears as an orange or yellowish-orange powder (spores) on grass leaf blades, especially in late summer to early fall when the weather is dry. Rust typically develops on lawns growing very slowly. Overall, th...

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Yellow Nutsedge

Water Grass

Posted by John Fulton -

Watergrass is one of those names that means different things to different people. In our area, the main two weeds called watergrass are crabgrass and yellow nutsedge. Nutsedge isn't even a grass, hence the name. It is easily identified by its triangular shaped stem. Control in lawns is usually accomplished with bentazon (Basagran) or halosulfuron, and neither is something you usually find in the l...

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Sticky Mess Under Trees

Posted by John Fulton -

People are beginning to complain about leaking sap coming from trees. Actually this has been going on for a week or so. What happens is a fine mist of sap coats things beneath a tree. This is actually called "honeydew," which is a secretion of sucking insects such as aphids and lacebugs. What makes matters worse is a fungus begins growing in the honeydew, making it turn black. There are...

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squashbug nymph

Cucurbit (Pumpkin, Squash, Melon, and Cucumber) Insects

Posted by John Fulton -

Cucurbits are basically everything in the squash and melon families. There are several potential insect problems with them, and today's column attempts to help minimize or prevent these problems. The first group of insects is the cucumber beetles. These can be green, black and yellow striped, or black and yellow spotted. These are also called corn rootworm beetles when they are in corn fields....

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Mature bagworms

Bagworm Reminder

Posted by John Fulton -

If you haven't checked for bagworms yet, now would be a good time. I've seen some this year of ¾ inch bag size. Re-treatment may be necessary in some cases. Sevin will work on the smaller sized bagworms, while the B.t. products may be required for the larger ones. Remember bagworms frequently start in the tops of trees. Bagworms are the larvae of clearwing moths that don't fly too well....

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