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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

Items of Interest

Posted by John Fulton -

There are several items being asked about on a frequent basis, of course many asking the questions probably don't read this or they wouldn't be asking!

  • Tomatoes are experiencing blossom end rot and several leaf diseases. Fungicide sprays are necessary for the leaf diseases, while blossom end rot can be helped with a deep watering followed by at least two inches of mulch.
  • Tick populations have spiked the last two weeks. The high humidity has been ideal, but the lack of rainfall makes it somewhat puzzling. Protect yourself in highly infested areas with a 30% DEET product. Sprays of permethrin, bifenthrin, or carbaryl can be used on vegetation to control ticks, but be particularly careful with the first two products since they can be deadly to cats and dogs.
  • "Fall defoliators" are out and about. These include fall webworm, tent caterpillars, tussock moth caterpillars, and many others. The lesson of the Japanese beetles has shown us that feeding damage is probably not going to kill a tree, but will make it unsightly.
  • Japanese beetle damage will continue for a few more weeks, but at a lessened pace. Some beetles will linger until we get later into September.
  • Cicada killer wasp numbers have grown rapidly. These are the large wasps which use a cicada or grasshopper to lay eggs in, in a soil burrow. Areas can be treated with an insecticide if the nuisance is too great. The wasps that actually buzz around you are male, and can't sting.
  • Cooler temperatures and moisture should bring back much of the brown grass in lawns, but there will be some dead spots resulting. I'll be covering seeding information next week, as we will be in the correct time to begin with fall lawn seedings.

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