19August 30, 2018

The hot weather is back but last weeks cool weather got the customers in the store talking about the invasion. The cool weather caused the boxelder bugs to show up on the sides of homes and garages. The boxelder bug is a small oval shaped bug. It is primarily black in color with red or orange markings. The boxelder bugs feed on the seeds of boxelder and maple trees. During periods of cool weather, they will congregate on warm surfaces. Once the weather begins to get really cool, they will often try to find their way into homes and other structures for a sheltered place to spend the winter. They aren’t really harmful to humans or pets. They do have a bad smell if they are crushed. After spending the winter in protected locations, they will leave those locations and return to the trees to live for the summer. The biggest question that customers ask is how to get rid of them. I suppose you could use an insecticide to kill them when they congregate on the outside of the house but I swear that for each one you kill two more will take their place the next day. You can seal up all the cracks and crevices around the outside of your home to keep them from coming in, you could hire a professional exterminator to spray for them, or you could just live with vacuuming them up if they get into the house and see it as Mother Nature doing what she will.

Before you know it, the ladybugs will be on the side of your house looking for a place to spend the winter.

I have had quite a few people tell me that heir tomato plants are slow to ripen the green tomatoes. I am guessing that the constant watering of the tomato plants has “washed” much of the fertilizer out of the soil. The third number that you find on a fertilizer container is potassium. Potassium is needed in larger amounts to help those green tomatoes to turn red. There are fertilizers that are labeled as tomato food. If you look at the label, the potassium level will be higher than the first two numbers. To get those tomatoes to ripen, you may have to fertilize your plants every 7 to 10 days with any fertilizer you mix with water. Granular fertilizers that you sprinkle around the base of the plants may need to be applied every 2 weeks to help to get those tomatoes to ripen.

Well that’s all for this week. Please stay hydrated if you have to be outside early in the week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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