59 July 8, 2006

If you like humidity, this has been the summer for you. However, it may not be a good time for your plants. When we have humid weather, the moisture in the air can settle onto plants during the night. Wet leaves during the night are an open invitation to fungus diseases attacking your plants. You should continue to check your plants for signs of fungus diseases and treat the plants with an appropriate fungicide at the first sign of the disease.


A rainy spring has meant a bumper crop of weeds. If the weeds are growing in an area such as a driveway or walkway, you can treat the weeds with a non-selective weed killer. Non-selective weed killers will kill any plant. You need to use caution using this product so that the spray won’t drift onto other plants. If the spray does drift onto non-target plants, be sure to immediately rinse the spray off of the leaves of that plant.


A number of people have come into the store with plant leaves that have turned brown or the leaves may be distorted in some other way. The common factor in all these cases is that people sprayed the plant with an insecticide during the heat of the day. Many of the insecticides contain oil. The oil helps to hold the insecticide into a spray able mixture. If applied when the hot sun is on the plants, the oil can damage the leaves. If you need to apply insecticides onto your plants, please be sure to spray before 8 AM or after 7 PM.


With the arrival of July, many of the companies that sell flower and vegetable seeds to stores, will be picking up those seed racks. If you want seeds to plant for a later vegetable crop or if you want to start some perennials from seeds, you should buy your seeds soon.


A few customers have had Japanese Beetles arriving in their yards. I told you about control methods over the past few weeks. Check your yard for signs of this beetle and begin to treat for it as soon as possible.


As your rose bushes go by flower, be sure to prune off the old flowers. This will encourage new flower buds to form faster. After the initial bloom, it is also important to fertilize your rose bushes to encourage those new flowers buds to form and to turn into new flowers.


Hot weather will mean the arrival of spider mites. These tiny insects love the hot weather. They can multiply quickly and they can damage plants in just a few days. You may be able to see tiny webs on your plants or you may see a silver-gray tinge to the leaves. This is a major pest in hot weather and they should be dealt with quickly.


Hot weather can also mean the arrival of chinch bugs. This insect attacks lawns. They do their damage by sucking juices out of the blades of grass. The grass eventually turns brown. Most people will confuse chinch bug damage with grub damage. Chinch bugs usually start feeding on your lawn near a source of intense heat. This may be the edge of the driveway, a walkway or just an area of the lawn that dries out quickly. They will feed and move along to the next area of the lawn. If you see damage that starts in one section of the lawn and moves into an adjacent area, then the damage is from chinch bugs. These lawn pests can kill a lawn quickly. If you see brown spots near your driveway or walkway, you should suspect chinch bugs are damaging your lawn. If you catch this insect early in the season, you just may save your lawn.


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

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