This has been a wet year and plant pathogens have done very well, especially on herbaceous annual and perennial plants. Downy mildews, powdery mildews, fungal leaf spots, and bacterial diseases of leaves have all thrived in 2014.
As nighttime temperatures dip into the low 50s and the days continue to get shorter, one thing is certain; fall is coming. To most lawn care professionals, this is a welcome sight.
Many cultivars of Hydrangea paniculata flower in Pennsylvania, mid-July through August, with bursts of white flower color that slowly change to shades of pinks and reds.
It’s that time of year when we get reports about the various species of beetles responsible for grub damaged turf. It could be a banner year for white grubs. The adult beetles are active and you may have one or more species in your area.
Flowering Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana) known to most by the name Bradford Pear, which was one of the first introduced cultivars of this Asian pear is probably the most over planted landscape tree.
People are concerned about the effect pesticides have on wildlife and the environment. Specifically, there is a lot of discussion about the role pesticides play in the decline of pollinators; both honeybees and wild insects.
American consumers love to buy the latest and greatest; whether it’s electronic gadgets, new cars, or the latest fashions. I suspect many gardeners are the same way, looking for the latest in new perennials, hanging basket designs, or tomato cultivars. At times though, it is worth looking at the tried and true.
As the summer temperatures continue to climb, it is extremely important that employers and workers become familiar with the signs, symptoms, and dangers of heat illness. By taking the proper precautions, serious injury or death can be easily prevented.
A number of grass species appear in lawns and ornamental beds and are considered weeds.
The Extension offices have been receiving calls about black leaf spots and leaf drop on maples. Some of you are wondering if this is detrimental or worthy of treatment. Although the only way to be sure is to submit samples to the disease clinic, there are some fungal pathogens that are likely culprits at this point in the season.
Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) appears to have become more abundant over the past few years.
The winter of 2013 caused considerable damage to many plants. The polar vortex left brown conifers, bedraggled rhododendrons and patches of dead turfgrass in its wake. Your customers are asking you the same question that we are getting in the Extension office: “Are my plants going to live?”
A sure sign of summer, yellow nutsedge is showing up in lawn areas.
It seems we usually have to choose between shade trees and flowering trees – rarely do you find a great shade tree that also is a great flowering tree. Fortunately, American yellowwood - Cladrastis kentukea - fills both roles handsomely.
Today’s modern garden mum growers are benefitting greatly from improved genetics and the use of ethephon as a plant growth regulator.
Bagworms, an absolute plague in parts of Allegheny County for the last few years, are now hatching.
Landscape fabric is often used in ornamental landscapes as a method to block weed growth permanently. While there are appropriate uses of these products in the landscape, too often they are used in ways that not only fail to control weeds, but cause other problems as well. This anecdotal story illustrates how good intentions can result in a landscape fabric nightmare.
Michael Dirr describes the American beech (Fagus grandifolia) as “a sturdy, imposing tree often with a short trunk and wide-spreading crown, a picture of character.” Anyone who has been fortunate enough to spend time in beech forest can attest to the awe-inspiring nature of this tree.
Extension professionals and pesticide industry representatives have consistently reminded growers to read the pesticide label thoroughly and to observe any and all precautions that are listed on the label. While the label is considered to be “the law” we often see growers try to stretch the pesticide label to meet pest control challenges that they are facing in their greenhouse, field, or orchard.
I routinely ask about soil drainage when trying to troubleshoot plant demise. Some of the worst cases of plant death in the landscape I have seen were caused by installing plants into poorly drained soils. However, it seems to be an often overlooked consideration when new landscapes are installed.