42May 18, 2017

I guess the new season is winter, late winter then summer. I miss spring!

All the rainy weather will have created problems in your yard. Look carefully at your lawn for signs of a pink haze on top of your lawn. This is the tell tale sign of a disease called red thread. This disease usually occurs in the spring when we have a rainy and cool spring season. If the problem is extensive, you should treat the lawn with an appropriate lawn fungicide.

You should also be checking all your plants for signs of insect attacks. Cool weather and new growth can mean that aphids will attack many of your plants. Aphids love the new growth on rose bushes. Aphids will also attack many other plants. One misconception that people have is that aphids are the green tiny insects that are just on the ends of the branches. The truth is that aphids can be green in color but they can also be black or white or red in color. Aphids can also feed lower down on the plant and they can feed on the lower surfaces of the leaves. Take some time to check your plants for signs of aphids and use an appropriate insect control to knock back the population. As an alternative method, we sell ladybugs in our store. Ladybugs love to eat aphids and will clean up an aphid population in short order.

If you have started your flower or vegetable plants from seed and you have been growing the plants indoors, please remember to acclimate the plants to moving outdoors. If you put the plants outside for 15 minutes the first day and then bring the plants inside again and then put the plants outside the next day for 30 minutes and bring them inside again and then gradually increase the time outside over the next week, you will acclimate the plants to being out in the sun and wind. If you don’t do this process called “hardening off “the plants, your plants may die due to sun or wind exposure.

Rainy weather also means that weeds have really had a chance to grow in your lawn and other areas. Poison ivy has reared it ugly head too. You can control weeds with both organic and synthetic sprays. You do need to look closely at the label on the container to see if the product is a selective or non- selective weed killer. If you chose a non-selective weed killer, it will kill the weeds but it will also kill your lawn or any other plant that happens to get the weed killer on the leaves or needles. Always apply weed killers on a day when the wind isn’t blowing to prevent the weed killer from drifting onto desirable plants. Most of the weed killers work best when there is no rain or irrigation onto the weed for 24 hours. Using a little bit of caution when applying any weed control method will save you a lot of heartache down the road.

If you are planting this weekend, make sure to give your plants an initial application of a plant starter fertilizer. This type of fertilizer will help newly planted trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials and vegetables to get their root system established. Plants will grow faster and will be less likely to be damaged by the elements if they have a chance to get a root system established in the soil. I have recommended this product to customers for many years and we do carry it in our store.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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