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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Pruning Evergreens

Posted by John Fulton -

This is the time of year to wrap up pruning chores on evergreens. This includes both needle-type and broadleaf evergreens. If you're wondering what a broadleaf evergreen is, that includes holly, rhododendron, and azalea. The logic behind pruning your yews at this time is to allow sufficient time for regrowth to become hardened off before winter, and to keep new growth from becoming too rank bef...

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Japanese beetle

Japanese Beetles

Posted by John Fulton -

The Japanese beetle emergence is underway. I caught the first beetles on June 17 in a pheromone trap north of Lincoln. Favored plants include Japanese maple, Norway maple, Horse chestnut, Hollyhock, Flowering crabapple, Apple, Cherry, Peach, Rose, Mountain ash, Linden, and Grape. There are other plants that are seldom attacked such as Red maple, Silver maple, Boxwood, Flowering dogwood, Euonymu...

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Japanese beetle

First Japanese Beetles of 2014

Posted by John Fulton -

The first Japanese beetles of 2014 have emerged in the Lincoln, Illinois area. I caught four of them in my pheromone trap located just north of Lincoln on June 19th. Remember, these beetles will attract others to places where they begin feeding by giving off pheromones to attract others....

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Soldier Beetle

What Looks Like a Lightening Bug without the light? - Soldier or Leatherwing Beetle

Posted by John Fulton -

Leatherwing beetles, or soldier beetles, have been with us a short while – they seem to gather particularly where linden trees are shedding pollen. They look like pale lightning bugs, but don't have the light. These beetles are elongate, soft-bodied and about 1/2 inch long. Colors of soldier beetles vary from yellow to red with brown or black wings or trim. A common and easily-spotted species i...

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Potato leafhopper

Potato Leafhopper

Posted by John Fulton -

Potato leafhopper populations have exploded in the last week. These are the small, pale green, wedge-shaped insects we often see around lights at night. The main garden crop they affect is, guess this one, the potato. The leafhoppers may also infect green beans, alfalfa, and a large number of perennials. They suck sap, and inject a toxin back into the plant. The first sign is a yellow "v" at th...

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Blossom end rot

Tomato Blossom End Rot

Posted by John Fulton -

Blossom end rot is a non-pathogenic disease that is very common during extended dry periods. It also seems to be worse on tomatoes grown in containers. It begins as light tan water-soaked lesion on the blossom end of the fruit. The lesions enlarge and turn black and leathery. This can drastically lower the yield and lower marketability of the fruits. Fluctuating soil moisture supply during the...

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Mature bagworms

Bagworms

Posted by John Fulton -

After some very severe infestations of bagworms the past few years, the calls have been coming in all year on the correct treatment times for bagworms this year.Year-in and year-out, the correct treatment time for bagworms is June 15. You can mark this date on your calendar for next year and be within a few days of the correct treatment time. With a very cool spring, a week later may be a possi...

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pin oak iron chlorosis

Iron Chorosis - light colored leaves with darker veins

Posted by John Fulton -

It's that time of year when iron chlorosis has started to show up again as the yellowing of leaves with a darker green color immediately around the veins in a leaf. This usually shows up on the younger leaves first. This yellowing is particularly noticeable on pin oaks and sweet gums, but may be seen on other species. The cause is the lack of available iron for the plant. There can be...

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24Dinjury

Herbicide Injury

Posted by John Fulton -

As if trees didn’t have enough leaf problems with the diseases, herbicide drift has shown up in a big way this past week or so. Particularly noticeable is drift damage on tomatoes and grapes. All cases I have seen, the herbicides involved have been members of the growth regulator group. This group includes products such as 2,4-D and dicamba (Banvel.) Both products are used in agricultural produ...

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Planting 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 miniature varie...

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