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The Garden Scoop

Horticulture Hotline Happenings

July is the time of the year where plants show their wear. Here are the common problems occurring in homeowner landscapes:

1) Vulnerable Vegetables

Heat-loving plants, such as tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers all love hot weather, but not persistent rains. The most common diseases affecting vegetable plants this year are fungal. Tomatoes have signs of Septoria leaf spot and early blight. Cucurbits have powdery mildew. Some gardens are washed out and plants suffer from root rot because the water cuts oxygen flow.

Horticulture Educator Sandy Mason discusses these vegetable problems as well as others in "Q & A in the Vegetable Garden," an article in her weekly Homeowners Column.

If your vegetable garden failed to be a high-producer, visit local farmers markets and support small farmers while still getting your favorite summer vegetables.

2) Tired Turf

Depending on where your house sits, your lawn may love the excess moisture resulting in a fast regrowth rate, or show signs of stress. With the frequent rains, it's difficult to run a pass with the mower before the next torrential downpour. So the lawn (and weeds) continues to flourish.

If your yard is showing stress, you turf may be affected with leaf spot, which thrives in warm evenings and frequent rainfall.

Horticulture Educator Richard Hentschel talks about how to "Yard Work through Heavy Rain" in his podcast Green Side Up.

3) Tattered Trees

Despite their appearance of strength and stature, trees can show signs of stress from wet weather. Rhonda Feree, Horticulture Educator, shares which trees are hardy (bald cypress, littleleaf, linden, redtwig dogwood, etc.) and which trees are more susceptible (American beech, black locust, crabapples, eastern hemlock, etc.). This post in her blog ILRiverHort discusses how to manage waterlogged plants.

It is easy to get discouraged by the wet weather. But, as all gardeners know, the best part of gardening is learning how to manage the unexpected problems each season brings.

Bring your plant problems and questions to each of the Horticulture Hotlines located in Champaign, Danville, and Onarga.


Picture of Septoria leaf spot on tomato

Picture of leaf spot on Kentucky bluegrass