- Grow disease-resistant varieties – This is one of the easiest ways to manage vegetable plant diseases.
According to our Extension State Entomologist, Dr. Phil Nixon, scale populations will greatly increase every few years to very high populations and then crash as their natural predators catch up or an environmental stressor impacts the scales presence in the landscape.
When choosing a gift, consider giving a tool that has several uses. For example, hand pruners can be used on our ornamentals, in the vegetable garden and perennial flowers. Generally, by-pass pruners can be used on young tender growth through woody stems and branches. Anvil-type pruners have limitations as the plant parts become woody.
Perhaps the more critical project is that of our earliest sprays in the home orchard. The foliage diseases for apples show up by wind with the spores floating along by the many thousands if not millions landing on the swelling buds just showing the smallest hint of green emerging leaves.
Fall colors are the result of what is already within the leaves. There are several color pigment groups that produce those vivid reds, golds and oranges and even tans.
While buying in bulk might be good for dry goods and groceries, today the pesticide recommendation is to only purchase in the volume you expect to use in a single growing season, with an exception and there will always be one of those.
When we see missing plant parts, holes in leaves or flower buds and the flowers themselves missing, we can be pretty sure that is being caused by a chewing insect.
Extension offices routinely get phone calls after a two or three year old fruit trees, "why don't I get any fruit?" Often times what is happening is natural, sometimes we contribute to the delay of fruit production by the care we have given the fruit tree. It is pretty common that we will get some fruit that first year. This is due to the growing conditions and management the wholesale fruit tree grower used to produce the fruit tree we are buying at the garden center or retail outlet.
Bulbs that flower for us in the spring of the year need to receive a cold treatment, easily provided through our winter weather by Mother Nature. Spring bulbs have been available and likely now are on sale at many retail outlets. Bulbs can be planted individually, especially those showy bulbs like fritillaries and alliums; others may be grouped together for the best effect, such as daffodils and tulips.
The heat this past week is a reminder of the summer of 2012 and the extended drought that year.
There are some landscape plants that have always needed a bit of help to get through the winter with limited damage. Whether brand new to your yard or established for years, broadleaved evergreens like rhododendrons or boxwoods can be heavily damaged by winter sun and drying winds.
The past two years a fungal disease called Diplodia Tip Blight has really hit them hard. Diplodia attacks the new growth, killing it before the candle even has a chance to expand. You can see trees impacted by Diplodia as you drive through the neighborhoods.
Q. How is the best way to handle newly planted trees and evergreens for the winter?
A: Our weather this fall has really been great for the establishment of trees, shrubs and evergreens recently planted and those planted last spring. As a general rule it will take a year for every inch of trunk diameter for shade trees and upright evergreens to recover from being transplanted.
There are several different kinds of fruit trees to consider, apple, cherry, peach, pear, plum. As we live in northern portion of Illinois, apple is likely the main fruit tree grown in back yards because it is very winter hardy.
There are so many more days to enjoy yet this year, don't think because school has started that the world (of gardening) should come to an end.
If you made a family event out of tree hunting at any one our local Christmas Tree Farms, your tree is much fresher and will easily last until New Year's, even if you put it up the first of the month. For other trees, the needles are likely already drying and the tree is no longer taking up any water.
Creeping Charlie quietly grew well into the fall of 2015 with the same great conditions that allowed our lawns to remain green well into late November last year. Creeping Charlie is very good in increasing its size by sending out long runners into parts of our lawn where it has never ventured before.
Our average frost fee date for our area can be as early as about May 5th, but it could be as late as May 20th. Depending on the micro climate in your own yard the date can move as well.
Leaves have openings to allow for the exchange gases in and out along with the water.
Chlorosis is most of often caused by a nutrient deficiency, not because there is not enough nutrients in the soil, but the plants inability to take up the nutrients.
Keeping insect cocoons and pupae cases over the winter
Caterpillars are frequently collected by students for science classes, parents to show their little ones the amazing change from caterpillar to butterfly or moth. It is how they are handled after being collected that makes the difference in how successful your project is.
Good root development counts on a balance of both. Overly wet soils will prevent roots from growing deeply so when our weather moderated, there were no roots down deep to support the flowers with the water they needed.
Putting a strong clean line on the landscape beds really makes a difference in how they look, bringing out the strong curves that make the bed flow through the yard. That edge is the transition from bed to lawn that defines outdoor spaces.
Now we have another invasive pest, the "Jumping Worm". Jumping worms are native to Japan and the Korean Peninsula. While we consider earthworms in general a good thing for our soils, the jumping worm is changing the soil, especially in our forests where the worm establishes itself.
This time of year you can do several lawn projects. Lawn cleanup is the one of the very first. Overwintering leaf litter, twigs, stems and dead branches from the trees is a good place to start.
As just hatched larva, they have a unique way of leaving home to look for new digs. They use the wind and a strand of silk they produce to float away and land on neighboring plants. As a very small larva, feeding damage is limited, as time goes along the bigger they get the more they eat every day until we see entire branches defoliated.
One of the most common kinds of damage is called 'fost crack' Frost cracks may not be readily obvious right away, the damage occurs on the south and southwest sides of tree trunks.
Can I cut back my Asparagus now? You should really leave the Asparagus foliage standing until it naturally yellows, browns and dies. That foliage is supplying the roots with energy to allow us to harvest again next year.
I planted my garden sweet corn next to field corn and now my sweet corn isn't so sweet, what is happening?
Both beetles prefer to lay eggs in moist soil and green grass. Weather will play a big role in where the eggs are actually laid.