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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Steering your tomato plants for optimum growth and yield

According to the National Gardening Association, tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in home gardens. And, if you have ever grown tomatoes, you know that a well-grown tomato can produce an abundance of fruit. But have you ever had a year where you had huge, leafy plants, but the tomatoes were fewer and smaller than expected and took longer to ripen? If so, you were experiencing an exc...

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Hollyhock rust

Hollyhock Rust

Posted by John Fulton -

Hollyhocks are one of the traditional, old-fashioned flowers often grown in our area. This year, they are definitely interesting. Even before the flowers open. Most area hollyhocks are infected with rust. Rust is usually a spring and fall disease problem, when it occurs. Rust first shows up on the bottom of the lower leaves, and the top side of the leaves has some rathe...

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fire blight on apple

Fire Blight

Posted by John Fulton -

Apple and pear trees continue to have their problems. There is a large amount of tip dieback in some varieties, and this is probably fire blight. Look for a shepherd's crook at the tip of the affected areas as a clue it is fire blight. Fire blight is a bacterial disease, therefore there is little chance for you to treat it. The common treatment in commercial operations is streptomycin, but it h...

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