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From The Ground Up

New Extension Agent To Join Staff Aug. 1

By Pamela Redwine

On Thursday, July 28 at noon Lynette McDougald will present “Great Flowers for Hot Summer”. This program will be offered thru interactive video.

 We are excited to announce our new Extension Agent, Brent Gray, will be joining the staff at the Yalobusha County Extension Service on August 1st.

HORTICULTURE TIPS

Not all insects damaging turf are visible from surface scouting.  White grubs, the larvae of several species of May or June beetles, and billbug larvae can be very destructive to turf without ever being seen as they feed on grass roots about an inch deep into the soil.  White grubs when fully grown are whitish or grayish in color; about one and a half inches long, with brownish heads, three pairs of legs, and characteristically rest in a C-shaped position.  Billbug larvae are much smaller, only about 3/8 inches in length, white with yellow heads and legless.  Under the most severe infestations heavily damaged turf can literally be lifted by hand from the soil as most all roots have been completely eaten.  Often a tale-tale sign of grub damage is digging by skunks, raccoons, armadillos, and moles as they search for the grubs.

Now is a good time to scout for grub damage as the larvae are still small making them easier to control and there is still time for the turf to recover from their injury before winter.  To determine if you have a grub problem cut several 1 x 1 foot square samples of turf from your lawn to a depth of 2 inches into the soil and crumble the soil from the turf examining for active grubs.  If you find an average of three to five grubs per square foot then you should treat with an appropriate insecticide.  When treating with insecticides if the soil is dry water before applying and again after treating to ensure the insecticide moves in contact with the grubs.

Extension publication # 2331 “Control of Insect Pests In and Around the Home Lawn” can obtained from your local extension office or download from the www.msucares web.

The heat is on and plants are responding to it. Okra and southern peas are growing quicker and racing through the growth cycle. Purple hull peas may not show any sign of purple on the pods on Friday and be past ready to pick on Tuesday. This is particularly troublesome with Top Pick Pinkeye since you need to harvest them at the first signs of purpling for best quality. Okra pods may be too small one morning and too large the next morning. It is good that the sun doesn’t go down until eight thirty so we can get the crops harvested.

Weeds are also responding to the heat by germinating and growing quickly. The trifluaralin herbicide put down in the vegetable garden in April is about gone and crabgrass and other small seeded weeds normally controlled are now germinating after each rain.  Weekly hoeing is still the best weed control.

Fall tomato plants should be started now. Start new seed indoor or in a location where it is easy to water.  Seed will germinate quickly and transplants will grow faster due to higher temperatures. Disease free plants in the garden can serve as the source for plants.

Take a healthy sucker from the plant in the garden and place it in a location where it is easy to water. Bury the sucker at least two inches in garden soil or potting soil and make sure it never lacks for moist soil. The leaves will grow and the stem will generate roots and you will have a good sized transplant in about four weeks.

Tree fruit growers should be aware of moisture levels in the soil. Drought stress during the expansion phase of fruit growth not only decreases size, it can lead to calcium disorders like bitter pit in apples and cork spot in pears.

Article Source: Horticulture Tips for July 11, 2011Wayne Wells, David Nagel

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