PUNCH LIST: Caring for plants after heavy rain, watching for disease in the garden»
We’ve seen it all this garden season, from destructive hail in May to weeks of hot, dry weather followed by lingering monsoon rain, then cool weather. The good news is the sun will return to ripen the tomatoes and bring back our summer. In the landscape
• Use care when working around plants after heavy rains. Avoid walking on or near plants or root systems.
• Heavy rain can splash away soil covering surface roots, so re-cover any visible exposed roots with soil or compost. Renew mulch if needed.
• Vegetables may need a light fertilizer bump after heavy rains.
• By mid-August finish fertilization of warm-season grasses (buffalo grass, blue grama, Dog Tuff ). Yellowing of grass could be iron chlorosis. Supplemental iron may be helpful.
• Female mosquitoes bite and feed on animal blood (they use it to nourish their developing eggs). Eggs hatch when they come in contact with water from rainfall or irrigation. Walk around the entire landscape and empty all water holding containers or any place where there is standing water.
• Trap slugs with moistened rolled-up newspaper or paper towel rolls near affected plants. Each day put the trap with captured slugs in a bag and throw away. Or bury to the rim several shallow containers of beer or sugar water (fermented liquid) to attract and drown the slugs. Mushrooms
They appear randomly or in certain shapes in lawns. Mushrooms can sprout overnight. They are more unsightly than harmful to the lawn.
The umbrella shape is very common, but other shapes, sizes and colors can appear too. Common names include stinkhorns, puffballs or bird’s nest. My common name — yuck!
Toadstools, as they are often called, are the aboveground reproductive (fruiting) structures of fungus caused from decaying matter in soil. Food sources in your lawn from decomposing tree stumps, mulch and sawdust or construction wood-scrap debris feed the fungi.
Never eat mushrooms in the landscape and keep children and pets away. They may be poisonous — only experts in this field are qualified to state which ones are safe or not.
Unfortunately removing mushrooms will not kill the underground mycelia (threads of the fungus).
Digging up the decaying matter might help, but that may be a big job.
Rake, mow or pick off mushrooms as soon as they appear to minimize their release of spores to other areas. They can be tossed in the compost pile or thrown away.
Ring-shaped mushrooms are often called “Fairy Rings” in lawns. Rings can be a few inches to several feet in size. The grass inside the area is usually greener, and sometimes lawn areas die because the mushrooms prevent water from reaching the soil. Fungicides are not recommended for control.
There are three types of fungus causing Fairy Rings; control options vary from adding nitrogen, water injections or core aeration. Read more at http://planttalk.colostate.edu/topics/ insects-diseases/1400-21fairy-rings/ Disease watch Powdery mildew is showing up on many plants, including aster, monarda, veronica, lilac, grapes, roses, zinnia, hydrangea, squash and pumpkins.
High humidity and susceptible plants accelerate the fungal spores to grow on plant leaves.
Powdery mildew is host specific, so the fungus causing PM on grapes is a different fungus than the one causing PM on lilac.
Left untreated, leaves turn white, yellow, then black before dying and falling off.
Avoid overhead watering and remove severely infested leaves. Do not compost.
Skip late-season nitrogen fertilization, which promotes more growth that becomes susceptible to powdery mildew.
Remove infected leaves that have fallen off the plant and be sure to clean up infected leaves later this fall.
Look for powdery mildew resistant cultivars when shopping, and next year during planting, try to give plants plenty of room and air movement to grow.
Gentler organic products containing potassium bicarbonate, bacillus subtilis or neem oil are effective for powdery mildew prevention and some control. Read all label instructions for application rates and best time of day to apply.
Mushrooms are more unsightly than harmful to your lawn.
Powdery mildew on a plant.