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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

The "To Do" List

Posted by John Fulton -

Young bagworms are present at this time. Spray after eggs have all hatched (guessing this week) to control them. Sevin, Thuricide, or one of the pyrethroids will work.

Pruning evergreens is done about the end of June. This applies to both broadleaf and traditional evergreens. Pine, juniper, yew, arborvitae, spruce, holly, rhododendron, azalea, and other evergreens should all be pruned around the end of June. This keeps new growth from getting too rank this growing season, but still allows new growth that does occur to harden off before the cold month this fall and winter. Pruning can be done for shaping or size containment.

Check tomato plants for signs of septoria leaf blight. If you see brown areas between the veins and along tips of leaves, especially on the lower leaves, you may want to start a fungicide spray program. This is the disease that has caused leaves to drop off of plants the last couple of years, and it is present very early again this year. Fungicides such as mancozeb, maneb, or Daconil will have provide some control of the fungus.

Also on tomato plants, if you haven't mulched them yet you may want to do so. The mulch evens out soil temperature and moisture. This is a great assistance when preventing blossom end rot on the fruits as they begin to form. You may use straw, grass clippings, or any commercial mulch material. Apply about four inches deep and hopefully this will help prevent those leathery bottom tomatoes.

Keep spraying, or dusting, cucurbits and potatoes. Different things on each, but the potato leaf hopper populations have increased, and the beetles that transmit the wilts on cucurbits are present. Sevin and bifenthrin are the mainstays for these programs.

Japanese beetles will soon be emerging. Protect your favorite roses or apple tree with a cover spray of permethrin, bifenthrin, or Sevin liquid.

Keep up foundation sprays to help control nuisance pests in the home. Crickets, millipedes, and ants are among those controlled to a great degree by spraying the foundation and adjacent foot or so of soil with permethrin or bifenthrin.

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