Signup to receive email updates




or follow our RSS feed

Blog Archives

730 Total Posts

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
cricket

Controlling Crickets and Other Pests in the Home

Posted by John Fulton -

With nuisance pests, the best offense becomes a good defense. We can start with a barrier pesticide application on the foundation of the house (and the adjacent foot or two of soil around it) with something like permethrin insecticide. This puts down a barrier that insects crawl through when trying to get in or on your house. Insects may not die immediately, but shouldn't last long after crawli...

Read More >

Signs of Fall and Folklore Predictors of Winter

Posted by John Fulton -

All we have to do is look at a calendar, and we can see fall is coming at us rapidly. There are also many other signs, symptoms, and legends that predict the change in season and the severity of the winter. The wooly bear caterpillar legend is one of the most often quoted. The banded wooly bear is black at both ends, and has orange and black stripes in the middle. The legend says the mo...

Read More >

tomato plant with septoria

Tomato Plants Dying From the Bottom Up

Posted by John Fulton -

It seems like everyone is experiencing tomato plants dying. The first leaves and branches die at the bottom. Then, the dead areas work their way toward the top of the plant. Eventually, you either have a green tuft on top of the plant, or a completely dead plant. Below is information posted earlier this summer when control measures would have been more effective. Early blight, also know...

Read More >

giant ragweed

"Hay Fever" - The Fall Allergy Season

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. In our area, we have two types of ragweed. The most noticeable is giant ragweed. Giant ragweed, also called horseweed, and it can grow well over 10 feet tall. It is very noticeable as one of the few weeds that...

Read More >

minute pirate bug

More Biting Insects - The Minute Pirate Bug

Posted by John Fulton -

First came the buffalo gnats, then mosquitoes, and still mosquitoes, and now another biting insect. Having bites for the past week or so from the new insect. During the late summer small insects, known as insidious flower bugs and minute pirate bugs, become real pests by producing painful bites on people. They are about 1/5 of an inch long with black and white markings on the back, and belong t...

Read More >

sootyblotch of apple

Apple Development and Charcoal-like Sooty Mold

Posted by John Fulton -

Apple development seems to be running ahead of normal this year. Almost 10 days seems to be the norm. 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 cover...

Read More >

Time to Seed Grass and Fall Lawn Care

Posted by John Fulton -

Fall seeding of grass should be done between August 15 and September 10. This is a tried and true date, but the end of the world won't come about if you are a week later. The goal is to give the seed enough time to germinate and become established before bad weather arrives. Seed at the rate of 4 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet on bare spots, or half that rate on overseedings. If yo...

Read More >

Yellowjacket

Yellowjacket Hornets

Posted by John Fulton -

After discussing the black and yellow syrphid flies earlier, it's time for another black and yellow insect. Yellowjackets are the other common yellow and black insect this time of year, frequently spotted when the festival season begins in the late summer and fall period. Yellowjackets can be very aggressive in both biting and stinging. They are usually about twice the size of the syrphid flies...

Read More >

fall webworm

Fall Webworms and Other Defoliators

Posted by John Fulton -

It's difficult to believe we are talking about fall already, but as we approach mid-August we start a different cycle in plant growth. Things are beginning to wind down, Most fall defoliators come to us as the larval stage (caterpillars) of a moth. When we talk about controls of the larvae, the fact that they are larvae of moths or butterflies makes them susceptible to the use of B.t. products...

Read More >

Fall Gardening

Posted by John Fulton -

Another fall topic to be covered in mid to late summer is fall gardening. The idea is to harvest in the fall, and that takes a little bit of planning, and planting, on your part. The fall garden planting season actually begins in June. Most of the dates are based on the ability to withstand frost, or not withstand frost. Since we are well past June, here are some of the things we can still plan...

Read More >

crabgrass
click image to view 2 more

Watergrass

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 th...

Read More >

Cicada Killer Wasp

Large Soil Nesting Wasps are Cicada Killer Wasps

Posted by John Fulton -

The cicada killer wasps have returned! They are actually considered beneficial insects because they control cicadas. 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 cicada killer. Other food sources could include katydids and grasshoppers. We are getting cicada killers now because of the beginni...

Read More >