Time for 5 Eastern Tent Caterpillar Egg Hatch

After spending about 9 months as eggs in masses on twigs of wild cherry and related trees, the first few tiny eastern tent caterpillars (ETC) of the season should soon be leaving their eggs. The onset of the single generation that occurs each year varies with the character of the season. Hatch was noted as early as March 14, 2012 during an unseasonably warm spring and as late as April 2, 2014 during one that was slow to develop. Continue reading

Top Three New Year’s Resolutions for Gardeners

Many people enjoy making New Year’s Resolutions, so I would like to encourage you to make some gardening resolutions. Even those of you who do not typically grow anything can reap benefits from planting something, nurturing it, and watching it grow. It doesn’t have to be a large vegetable garden. A small container garden or raised bed garden will be just fine. Continue reading

Mistletoe: tree thief, holiday tradition

Once autumn leaves have fallen, mistletoe becomes highly visible on large trees throughout Kentucky. Phoradendron, the scientific name for this parasitic plant, means tree thief. You can commonly find these small leafy plants on twigs and branches of many hardwood species in the southern two-thirds of the United States. Mistletoes extract water, mineral elements and food from their host tree by way of a parasite

nutrient-uptake organ; hence the name, tree thief. Continue reading

Leave Houseplant Pests Out in the Cold This Fall

When you bring houseplants indoors before temperatures get too cold, be sure to leave pest problems out in the cold.

A rule of thumb is to bring plants in before night temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit to allow plants to adjust to warmer indoor temperatures. It’s a good idea to inspect plants for pest problems several weeks before you plan to bring them inside. This precaution gives you ample time to take care of any insect or disease problems. Continue reading

Fall Gardening Cleanup Controls Spring Diseases

You can reduce the risk of some common problems next year by getting rid of leftover plant debris in vegetable, flower and fruit gardening areas this fall.

Several disease-causing fungi and bacteria spend the winter on plant debris, and can cause diseases the following growing season. Proper garden sanitation can combat such diseases as early blight, mildews, gray mold fungus and various root rot and wilt problems. Continue reading

Disease Management in the Home Lawn

Numerous infectious diseases can occur on lawns in Kentucky. Unless diagnosed and managed, these diseases can sometimes cause extensive damage. A sound lawn management program provides benefits in two ways: it reduces the severity of lawn
diseases; and improves the lawn’s recovery should a disease outbreak occur. You can control diseases of turfgrasses most effectively by using as many of the following lawn management practices as feasible. Continue reading