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Our wet and cold early spring followed by the recent hot weather has bugs and diseases running rampant in our lawns and gardens. Let me share some of the most significant issues we are seeing right now:
-Slugs are on the move and are they hungry! ***Beware*** Many of the very effective liquid slug control products are exceedingly toxic to pets and wildlife. We have had 1 dog death and another put into a coma from liquid slug control poisoning. Earth –tone Slug and Snail control is an organic alternative that is effective and safe for pets. As an added bonus it not only provides safe slug control but also provides an additional fertilizer charge to plants.
-Now is the time to begin to control insect and diseases on your fruit trees. Bonide Orchard Spray is an organic alternative that controls a wide range of fungal diseases and insects.
-Roses will show adverse signs from our wacky weather as well. A single treatment of Bayer All-In-One Rose and Flower Care will feed roses as well as kill insects and disease for up to 6 weeks.
-Viburnum beetles are attacking the upper foliage of smooth leaf viburnum species. Caterpillars should be treated with Sevin or Eight insecticide as well as Bonide systemic Tree and Shrub Insect Control. This is a serious problem and can destroy infected viburnum plants if left unchecked.
-Squashes, cucumbers and pumpkin vines are extremely susceptible to damage from insects. Treat vines at the base of the soil with sevin insecticide or rotenone organic insect killer. Repeat applications through the month of June until the squash bugs have passed through their life cycles.
-Those of you that have Mugo Pines should look closely at the growing tips for signs of sawfly larvae. Infected plants will be populated by hundreds of wriggling, black caterpillars that can eat your Mugo to the bone. Treat sawfly with sevin or rotenone spray.
-Lawns will not escape the wrath of our weather issues. Those of you who have had disease issues in the past and wish to get in front of what is to come should apply lawn fungus control at this time. Orange residue on shoes after walking in the lawn is a sign of rust and red-thread disease displays pinkish/orange stripes in lawns. Both usually subside with an application of lawn food but serious problems may require a fungicide application.
Those are just a few of the many insect and disease issues we have seen most recently. Most of what we do see requires no action at all so it is always a good idea to make a correct identification of the problem before treatments are made. If you have something that doesn’t look right bring a sealed specimen of a leaf, branch, insect specimen to a local garden professional for an expert diagnosis. If you require additional assistance, consider a house call with a garden expert who can diagnose problems on site that you may not notice until it is too late.
Now go outside and have fun in the dirt!