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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

Fall Lawn Care and Seeding Grass

Posted by John Fulton -

The time of year has arrived to put that final push on to prepare your lawn for the upcoming winter months. What you do now will have a big impact on how your lawn will look next spring. The timing of many of the treatments will begin in about a week, so now you'll have plenty of time to make your list and complete your shopping. Keep mowing when the grass or weeds dictate mowing. Many...

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Common Teasel

Teasel and Its Control

Posted by John Fulton -

Another invasive plant, teasel, is easily noticed along highway and railroad right-of-way. The plant looks like a thistle, and has gone gangbusters since the spray programs have been curtailed due to budget restrictions. The plant behaves like a biennial in that it has a small rosette stage the first year, then bolts to the tall, flowering plant the second year. This life cycle is similar to anoth...

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sycamore lacebug

Sticky Mess and Black Mold 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, with maple trees being one of the primary tree species identified. 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 lace bugs. There are different species of lace bugs...

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fall webworm

Fall Insects Feeding on Trees

Posted by John Fulton -

As we enter August, we usually don't think of fall - at least not quite yet. However, a quick trip through Southern Illinois this weekend showed the heat of the season has caused insects to develop faster than usual. The fall webworms are out in force, and they are one of the more visible fall defoliators. Let's begin by listing some of the culprits. Fall webworms, Eastern tent caterpil...

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Illinois Pumpkin Day

Posted by John Fulton -

ILLINOIS PUMPKIN DAY - 2015 PLACE: Vegetable Crops Research Farm at...

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giant ragweed

Allergy Season - Itchy Eyes and a Sore Throat

Posted by John Fulton -

If you're one that usually suffers from the fall allergy season, you know the symptoms all to well. Many people blame goldenrod as the culprit, when it is mostly ragweed problems. This season, the pollen has been prolific due to a great growing season for many weeds – including the ragweeds. In our area, we have two types of ragweed. The most noticeable is giant ragweed. Giant ragweed,...

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sootyblotch of apple

Sooty Blotch of Apple

Posted by John Fulton -

Apple development seems to be running ahead of normal this year. Sooty blotch and flyspeck are caused by different fungi that commonly occur together on the same fruit. The sooty blotch fungus causes surface discoloration with black spots or blotches which can be a fourth of an inch or larger. These spots may run together, making the apple appear to be covered with something like charcoal dust....

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Syrphid Fly

Black and Yellow Flies are not Sweat Bees

Posted by John Fulton -

The appearance of the black and yellow flies we have become accustomed to probably means we have had a good year for flowers and also higher than normal aphid populations. . The yellow and black insects commonly called sweat bees are actually flies. Syrphid flies to be correct. Sweat bees are about a quarter of an inch long, and are usually a metallic green in color When in doubt, count the win...

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rust in lawns

Rust in Lawns

Posted by John Fulton -

This past week or so, rust has paid us a return visit. The stress from higher temperatures, and lack of rain (for a short time), have slowed the growth of grass. As grass growth slows, rust is 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 typical...

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