Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2001
Regional Report

Renovate Strawberry Beds

Renovate older June-bearing strawberry plantings after the harvest is finished. Mow beds with a lawn mower as high as possible to avoid injuring the plant crowns. Rake up all debris, till under all but an 8 to 10 inch diameter row in the middle, and thin the remaining plants to 6 inches apart.

Control Hornworms

Keep your eyes open for tomato hornworms. Hand pick and destroy them when spotted. If they are covered with small white protrusions, these are beneficial wasp larvae, so leave these alone. They will not be alive much longer and serve as an incubator for these beneficial bugs.

Control Spider Mites

Hot, dry weather is perfect for spider mites. If you suspect mites but don't see any webbing, tap a leaf over white paper and look for moving dots. A red or yellow smear on the paper means spider mites are present. Regular strong sprays of water will help control them.

Prune Out Suckers

Prune suckers and water sprouts from fruit and ornamental trees. Suckers grow from the base of the tree. Water sprouts are arrow-straight shoots that form on main branches of fruits and ornamental crabapples. Both types of growth sap energy from the plant. Pruning in June keeps them from coming back as prolifically next spring.

Fertilize Roses

Fertilize roses just after their spring blooming cycle is over. Side-dress plants with compost, composted manure, or another organic fertilizer. If using synthetic fertilizer, use the amount recommended on the package and lightly scratch it into the soil. Cut roses just above first five-leaflet leaf to encourage more blooms to form.

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