Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2007
Regional Report

Get Rid of Mosquito Larvae

Eliminate mosquito larvae by emptying all standing water from puddles, buckets, barrels, and birdbaths. Check gutters for standing water, and use Bt dunkers in rain barrels to kill larvae. Get rid of that bug zapper since mosquitos aren't attracted to light, and encourage bats. Use a fan when you're dining outside in the evening to keep the insects away.

Cut Peonies With Care

Cut peony blossoms to bring indoors, but remove as few leaves as possible from the plant when cutting. Don't harvest blossoms from newly planted peonies, and don't cut more than one-quarter of the blossoms off one plant. And don't forget to rinse off the ants before bringing the flowers indoors.

Get Rid of Lawn Moss

Rake up any moss in the yard as soon as you see it. To get rid of it for good, correct the conditions in the lawn. Prune up the tree canopy to allow more light, core-aerate the lawn to improve soil compaction, and remove excess vegetation to allow more air movement.

Choose Container Plants Carefully

When buying container-grown trees and shrubs, don't necessarily go for the largest plant in the group -- it may have been in the pot too long. Take the rootball out of the pot to check for circling or dead roots. Choose a plant with healthy roots that spread throughout the soil. Plant as soon as you can to avoid more stress.

Watch for Rose Slugs

Rose slugs are on the rise. These are actually larvae of sawflies so they cannot be controlled with Bacillus thuringiensis like caterpillars can. They are light green with an orange head and they chew through the leaves. They don't usually harm the roses but can make them unsightly. Control by handpicking or using insecticidal soap.

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