Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2007
Regional Report

Watch for Anthracnose

Cool days and rain this spring have provided the perfect environmental conditions for fungal diseases. Maple, ash, and oak anthracnose cause tissue death and leaf drop. Anthracnose is very hard to control with fungicides, so keep the plant as healthy and stress-free as possible. But don't panic; most plants survive without severe damage.

Learn to Recognize Four-Lined Plant Bug Damage

Watch for four-lined plant bugs on perennials and vegetables. The eggs hatch into red nymphs that turn yellow and black. They feed on the undersides of leaves, producing tiny, round, sunken spots. Heavy feeding can cause leaf tips to wilt. Damage is usually cosmetic, so tolerate it for the month and then they will be gone.

Hose Off Those Spittle Bugs

Frothy masses in leaf axils of perennial and annual plants usually contain small green spittlebugs. They suck on the plants but rarely do enough damage to harm the plant. You can crush the bugs in the mass or wash them off with a strong spray of water. They will be gone by early summer.

Care for Amaryllis Outside

Put your amaryllis plants out into the garden to replenish the bulbs. Sink the pots somewhere in the garden where they will receive plenty of morning sun. Fertilize them twice a month with a general houseplant food and keep them well watered, especially because their roots are bound in a pot.

Allow Grass to go Dormant in Dry Times

As we move into summer heat, consider allowing your grass to go dormant. You need only provide the lawn with about half an inch of water every two weeks to keep the crowns alive, and this will go a long way toward conserving water. As soon as things cool down in fall, you can begin watering if fall rains aren't adequate.

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