Tall Fescue is Not Perfect

It seems like many landowners are jumping on the turf type tall fescue bandwagon, switching from perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass.  It’s understandable – the number of problems that these species have caused many homeowners to look for other options.  The truth is no turf species is perfect, with resistance to all diseases, insects and…

Cucumber Bitterness

The compound that imparts the bitter taste in cucumbers is cucurbitacin. Wild cucumbers have a large amount of cucurbitacin, which discourages feeding by wild animals and insects. Today’s hybrids have been bred to have lower amounts of cucurbitacin in the fruit and what cucurbitacin is in the plant is concentrated in the roots, leaves, and…

Leaf Scorch

The hot, dry days of July are more than a discomfort to many shade trees.  Leaf scorch, which is a non-infectious disease is evident throughout the Midwest.   Leaf scorch is first noticed as a yellowing or bronzing of the tissue between the veins or along the margins of leaves.  Trees are more susceptible if…

Preemergence Herbicides for the Lawn – When, Where and How Much?

The traditional question for spring lawn management – when is the best time to put on a preemergence herbicide?  Also called “crabgrass preventer”, timing is important, but is not the only consideration.  In addition to timing, there are at least 5 others.   Target temperature – Since the weeds that are targeted with these products…

Lawn Mower Preparation

It’s been sitting in the back of the garage all winter, collecting dust, possibly rusting, probably caked with debris – the lawn mower.   In many cases, homeowners simply add gas, pull the rip cord and start mowing without much thought given to the equipment.  This is unwise, as mowers are investments with prices ranging…

National Poinsettia Day

Today, December 12th, is National Poinsettia Day in the United States.  Today we celebrate this durable and highly attractive plant for the indoor landscape.  Some quick tidbits about poinsettias:   *Contrary to popular belief, they are not poisonous.  Oh sure, if you ate a whole plant, it’s likely that it would result in a stomachache,…

American Robin

Nothing says spring like the American robin. Most years my mom and I will call each other when we see our first robin. There is something uplifting about seeing them. Maybe because they singal the end of winter and the promise of spring. American robins can be found throughout most of North America from the…

Follow-up Care for Newly Planted Trees – Watering

When a tree fails, it is sometimes difficult to determine the cause.  In many cases, it is due to a failure to spread the roots out in the planting hole or simply planting it too deeply.  Doing so leads to girdling or lack of an adequate amount of oxygen, resulting in death.  Other than the…

Planting in Fall

The Nursery Council says, “Fall is for Planting” – Trees, Shrubs, Bulbs, Lawns and Flowers.   Fall is actually one of the best times to plant.  Why?  Many reasons.   First, the soils are warm in fall.  Warm soil temps are necessary to encourage new root formation into the planting hole to help establish the tree,…

Landscape Journaling

Landscape journaling, the art and science of keeping track of plants and gardens in the landscape, may seem like a fluffy idea, but the task has merit. Are you having your ash trees treated every other year to prevent an infestation of emerald ash borer? A landscape journal can be a record of when and…