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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
chickweed
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Turning Crop Fields Purple and Inhabiting Your Lawn - Winter Annual Weeds

Posted by John Fulton -

Each year, the winter annual weeds chickweed and henbit run number one and two in the early spring. This year, it seems like numbers are about equal. The henbit is also making a flashy show in area farm fields, with large purple areas from the blooms. Winter annual weeds can actually germinate in the fall, carry through the winter, and get going very early in the spring. They also are done by t...

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fire blight on apple

Prepare for Fire Blight Management in Apples and Pears

Posted by John Fulton -

We have had several years of increasing problems with fire blight in both pears and apples. Fire blight often shows as the newest year growth looking like you took a torch to it. As a reminder, fire blight is caused by a bacterium. This means fungicide sprays are not effective for management of the disease. Copper is an effective bactericide and almost any copper material is effective in reduci...

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Early Spring Gardening

Posted by John Fulton -

With our area being split between Zone 5b and 6a according to the USDA hardiness map, let's look at some of the vegetable gardening dates. Very hardy vegetables should be planted March 10 to 25 th in Zone 6, and March 25 to April 10 in Zone 5b. These would include many of the greens (collards, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, and spinach), new asparagus crowns, onions, peas, potatoes, ra...

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Controlling Ants

Posted by John Fulton -

If ants are your problem, use of bait stations or baseboard sprays may help solve your problems. Many of the bait station programs will require a good week to ten days to be effective. If you want to speed along control, or just like to see the dead insects with a revenge motive, you can combine the baseboard sprays with the bait stations after a couple of weeks of just the bait stations. Remem...

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Controlling Sweet Gum Balls and other Nuisance Fruit

Posted by John Fulton -

One of the main things to discuss today is the removal of nuisance fruit. You may be thinking about those apples or peaches, but really the nuisance fruit category includes things that are much more a nuisance like sweet gum balls, maple seeds, and crabapples. There are several products available to eliminate nuisance fruit. The most common is ethephon, and it is used as a foliar spray...

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Controlling Moles

Posted by John Fulton -

With spring come questions on mole control. The flooding experienced earlier this year made problems worse in some areas as moles left lower areas to inhabit your lawn. Mole control is best accomplished by trap or poison baits at this time of year. There are three main types of traps including the jaw type, the plunger type, and the loop type. The plunger type is probably least effective, since...

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Crabgrass Prevention Application

Posted by John Fulton -

With the advanced development this spring because of temperatures above normal, it looks like now is the time to apply crabgrass preventative treatments. Normally the timing is about April 1, but forsythia looks like it is ready to bloom about two weeks early. Common pre-emergence chemicals include benefin, benefin plus trifluralin, dithiopyr, pendimethalin, and prodiamine. Due to the short-lived...

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Home Fruit Tree Spray Schedules

Posted by John Fulton -

It seems like quality fruit must be sprayed at the recommended intervals. For apples and pears, we start with dormant oils, these need to be applied before buds swell. Dormant oils are usually needed only every two or three years to provide control of scales and mites. Sure, the populations will build up in the off years, but should remain relatively low if the three-year program is followed. S...

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Cutting Back Roses and Uncovering Strawberries

Posted by John Fulton -

Watch roses to determine when to start uncovering and pruning. Many recommend doing your pruning chores when forsythia is in bloom. Pruning roses too early may lead to further dieback. Also, if you haven't uncovered strawberries, keep an eye on them. They should be uncovered when you see green leaves under the straw, and definitely when you see yellow material – that means you are just a little...

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grass seeder

Spring Lawn Seeding and Care

Posted by John Fulton -

Spring seeding should be done between March 15 and April 1 for the best chance of success. The reasons for the early date are the heat and the long germination time for Kentucky bluegrass. It can take up to a month for bluegrass seed to germinate. This means an April 1 seeding might germinate May 1. Then add six to eight weeks for it to become established. This could then be close to July 1. Us...

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starting seeds

Starting Your Own Transplants

Posted by John Fulton -

It's definitely been one of those years. Questions abound on when to start transplants, finish pruning chores, when to start mowing, and several others. I'll give you a little guidance, with emphasis on the little part, on starting seeds in this column. I've held off a few weeks because of the weather. We know the weather will change, but this year it will change eventually. There are q...

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