Controlling Japanese Beetles on Fruits and Vegetables

These destructive pests can decimate a landscape, but they can also do some serious damage to vegetables and fruits.  Adult beetles will feed on just about anything if they are hungry enough, but they definitely have their favorites.  Most commonly, they feed on fruits such as apple, crabapple, grapes, peach, cherry, blackberries, and raspberries and vegetables such as asparagus, corn (foliage and silks), beans, okra, and rhubarb.

When Treating for Japanese Beetles Isn’t a Good Idea

Those pesky Japanese beetles have broad appetites!  They feed on roses, trees, perennials, vines and even our vegetable plants.  Knocking them into a pail of soapy water is certainly a satisfying (read vengeful) way to keep their numbers down.  But when their numbers are overwhelming, it’s tempting to look for an insecticide to stop the…

Tigers, Trumpets, Turks Cap – Oh My!

There are hundreds of plants that have the common name lily.  I like to refer to plants in the Lilium genus as garden lilies or true lily.  These are perennial plants that grow from underground bulbs that can be planted either in the spring or the fall.  They are a great addition to any full…

IPM: An Ounce of Pest Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Perhaps the right question to ask is not about what to spray but about how to prevent the problem in the first place, and to take the advice of Ben Franklin that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  It’s a philosophy we call Integrated Pest Management. The secret is planning ahead, instead of waiting for problems to present themselves.

The Rest of the Family

This week the Gesneriad Society will host their National Convention in Omaha.  What is a Gesneriad?  Well if you have ever grown the lipstick vine, guppy plant, florist gloxinia, flame violet or Cape primrose you have grown a Gesneriad.  Oh, yeah – ever grown an African violet – they are one too.  Gesneriaceae is a…

Storm Damage in Fruit and Vegetable Gardens

Storm damage to fruits and vegetables can take various forms.  From broken limbs in fruit trees to hail damage on fruits and vegetables or flooding raising food safety concerns, severe weather can have significant effects for the health and productivity of the garden.  Some damage will require maintenance, while other warrants a wait-and-see approach.  Here’s a list of some common types of damage to fruits and vegetables and what you should do (or shouldn’t do) about it.

Storm Damaged Trees—How Much Damage Is Too Much?

The June 16 windstorm and tornado activity wreaked havoc on area trees.  Trees that are snapped in two are obvious candidates for removal, but what about those trees that lost a large limb and the rest of the tree is intact?  Should those trees be removed or can they be saved? An excellent example is…

Telephone Pole Tree

You will often hear the virtues of proper tree planting depth.  Trees that are planted to deep will often fail to thrive, appear stunted and not grow.  However, this is not always the case.  Many instances when a tree is planted to deep will have no outward signs of stress.  How do you know if…