Northern & Central Midwest

July, 2006
Regional Report

Watch for Emerald Ash Borer

Keep your eyes open for the emerald ash borer. The small, metallic-green beetle larvae bore in the bark of healthy ash trees and can kill them by girdling. They've been found in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and now Illinois. Contact your local County Extension office if you suspect you have one.

Keep Mosquitoes From Breeding in Your Yard

To keep mosquito populations down, keep drains and culverts free of grass clippings, weeds, and trash so water drains properly. Empty standing water from potted plants, bird baths, pet dishes, wading pools, and old tires. Use mosquito dunks containing Btk (a type of Bacillus thuringiensis) in areas where standing water cannot be eliminated.

Watch Tomatoes for Leaf Spot

Watch for septoria leaf spot symptoms on tomato leaves. Infection first appears as water-soaked lesions on the lower leaves and eventually develops into numerous leaf spots on the upper leaf surfaces. Remove any leaves with spots and improve the fertility of the soil to encourage growth of vigorous plants.

Mulch Your Garden

If not done yet, mulch garden beds immediately after weeding with 2 to 4 inches of organic mulch. Summer heat is upon us, and this is the best way to retain moisture and keep weeds under control. Mulching vegetable crops is particularly important to avoid some problems caused by water fluctuation, such as cat-facing on tomatoes.

Prune Suckers and Watersprouts

Although all other pruning should stop now, prune out ground-level sucker growth from crab apple, apple, plum, peach, and apricot trees by cutting out growth below soil level. Also, prune out weak, green but very fast-growing watersprouts that grow vertically from branches of fruit trees, redbuds, or other ornamental flowering trees.

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