Defense against summer diseases and pests

The heat of summer, it seems, is not only the time that gardens produce the most, it is also the time when the things that want to eat or destroy your gardens are at their busiest.

So while the heat and humidity may have you wanting to be a couch potato rather than tending your potatoes, you should be out checking on your plants, scouting for diseases and insects, and treating them appropriately.

Video: Japanese Beetles

While the Japanese Beetle infestation is dying down (for this year), the info from this Backyard Farmer segment by Jonathan Larson and Jody Green can help you get ready for next year.  

Tobacco budworm

The heat of the summer is stressful and this year is no exception.  If you planted geraniums or petunias you may have noticed the flowers have gone missing.  It would be easy to blame the Japanese beetles for this because they like everything.  However, this is not the case.   If you take a good…

National Moth Week: Not all that flutters is friendly

So this week is National Moth Week.  Much of the info you’ll see online is about how to attract nice moths to your garden, how some moths are pollinators, and other interesting moth facts.  And while most moths are perfectly nice creatures, there are some that you definitely DON’T want in your garden.  These are like the lepidopterans that your moth-er warned you about.  They’re insects only a moth-er (or entomologist) could love.

Hand Picking Japanese Beetles

If you have a small Japanese beetle invasion, or you’ve decided not to use an insecticide, there are some tips you can utilize when hand-picking them. First, the JB response to disturbance is to drop straight down from the plant.  You can position your bucket of soapy water beneath the branch you’re tapping and use…

Satellite Coneflower

Does your purple coneflower look odd?  Do the flowers look more green than purple?  Do you have satellite flowers growing out of the center of the main bloom?  If you answered yes to any of these questions there is a good chance your plant is infected with Aster Yellows. Aster yellows is a caused by…

Now What?

If you are like many of the Metro area readers your landscaped has been attacked by the Japanese beetles. Now what do you do? Plants are stressed and one of the first things we think of doing is “feed” the plant.  So we reach for our favorite fertilizer and give our plants a good “feeding”. …

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…

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.