Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2013

Cold weather-loving cockroach discovered in U.S.

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist


Lyle Buss, University of Florida
Photo 1: Japanese cockroach, male (left) and female (right)
Earlier this month, the Japanese cockroach, Periplaneta japonica, was confirmed for the first time in the U.S. in New York City.This cockroach is originally from Japan and other parts of Asia.Although it is not known how this cockroach arrived in the U.S., it is possible that it may have been transported in the soil of ornamental plants.
This cockroach is fairly large, growing up to 1 3/8th inch long.It is generally brownish black to black in color.The male has wings which just extend past the end of its abdomen while the wings of the female cover only about half of its body.The Japanese cockroach is closely related to the American cockroach, P. americana, a long time pest of the U.S.
The Japanese cockroach can live inside buildings like other pest cockroaches.What is unusual about this species is that it is tolerant of cold weather; they have been observed…

Do-it-yourself bed bug control: What does and doesn't work

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist


Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota
Photo 1: Bed bugs are a serious insect problem today.

After an absence that lasted for decades, bed bugs have become a significant pest problem in our lives again.Unfortunately, they are usually very challenging and costly to control.Still, the most effective solution to eliminate them is hiring a pest management company to treat them; they have the experience and understanding of bed bugs to effectively control them.
However, residents can become frustrated with controlling bed bugs (and its cost) and may resort to a variety of do-it-yourself solutions.Unfortunately, many of these methods are not only ineffective but can make the problem worse and be potentially harmful to people and pets.
The following is a list of what research has shown to be effective and ineffective in bed bugs control.


What does not work? Insecticides purchased in hardware stores, retail variety stores, grocery stores,
pharmacies, and other pl…

Minnesota's Native Holly

K. Zuzek, UMN Extension

Photo 1: Winterberry, November 11, 2013
Mention holly during the month of December and we all think of cut holly branches adorning homes during Christmas season. But our native holly, called winterberry or Ilex verticillata, is just as ornamental outdoors in our early winter landscapes because of its colorful and abundant fruit (Photo 1).

Winterberry is native throughout the eastern United State (Photo 2) and in Minnesota it is usually found growing in forested wetlands in the eastern half of the state along with larch, willows, and speckled alder. You may also see it growing along lakeshores and ponds or in acidic sandy soils with high water tables.




USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Database

Photo 2: Native range of Ilex verticillata

Although there are over 400 species of holly (Ilex spp.) worldwide, less than a dozen species are commonly used as landscape plants. Winterberry is one of these species. Approximately 35 cultivars have bee…

EPA Pesticide Labeling Changes to Protect Pollinators

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has instructed the manufacturers to change the labels on those chemicals that have been designated as Pollinator Toxic Pesticides (PTP). One educational piece that has been released describes the changes (Exhibit 1). The label will contain a Bee Hazard Icon to alert users that this is a PTP (Exhibit 2).

The old label language for pesticides toxic to bees was as follows:


"For crops in bloom, do not apply this product to target crops or weeds in bloom."

The new language is as follows:


"Do not apply (product) while bees are foraging. Do not apply (product) to plants that are flowering. Only apply after all flower petals have fallen off."

The language is more extensive for commercial users and lists conditions under which one might apply chemicals even though bees are present. The main difference between old and new labels appears to be the last sentence stating that…

Protect Your Young Trees from Rabbits

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

I noticed rabbit damage on my Frosty Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis 'Frosty') (photo 1). I was again reminded of the fact that I did not wrap or protect my young apple trees last winter (photos 2 & 3). Remedy (photo 4).


Karl Foord
Photo 1: BEFORE - Frosty Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis 'Frosty')

Karl Foord
Photo 2: Zestar! Apple (Malus domestica Zestar!)


Karl Foord
Photo 3: Chestnut Crabapple(Malus 'Chestnut')

Karl Foord
Photo 4: AFTER - Frosty Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis 'Frosty')

If you have young trees don't forget to protect them from rabbits. Two articles have been previously published on this topic.

Rabbits and trees and shrubs

and Trees - Protecting from Rodent Damage

Good Question: Do you really need to rake all those leaves?

View Video On WCCO

Here is some really good information for all of you homeowners looking to avoid the leaf raking process this weekend. The real answer to this question is NO, but it comes with one catch......he most important point with fall cleanup is that the tree leaves are not covering a significant portion of the turfgrass canopy. 10-20% coverage of your lawn might be okay, but I certainly would make sure the leaves aren't covering any more than that. Excessive leaf matter on your lawn going into winter is bad for several reasons. First, it will smother the grass and if not removed very soon in the spring it will inhibit growth. Second, it can promote the snow mold diseases. And finally, turf damage from critters (voles, mice) can be more extensive in the spring.

The homeowner basically has three options to make sure that leaves are not covering a significant portion of their lawn:

1) Rake them up or use a blower- compost the leaves or dispose of them

2) Use the bagging a…

Take a Survey and Win an iPad Mini

K. Zuzek, UMN Extension



University of Minnesota Extension is looking for feedback from gardeners, horticultural professionals, and other members of the public to help direct future tree and shrub educational programming. Don't delay. Tell your friends. By taking a short 10-15 minute survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win an iPad mini. Find the survey here.

Thanks you for your help in planning future Extension educational programs! If you have questions regarding this survey, please contact: Kathy Zuzek, Extension Educator - Woody Ornamentals, University of Minnesota Extension at (952) 237-0229.


Fall Color up Close

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

The fall leaf color spectacular is alive and well this year, due to a warm fall and clear sunny skies.

I was curious about the variation in colors coming from one tree. The tree in question is Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer x freemanii) 'Jeffersred'. The variation in color is due to where the leaf was located on the tree and how exposed the leaf was to light. Bright light permits the leaf to produce significant amounts of sugars which are needed for anthocyanin (red pigment) production. Thus more light more red color. Another contributor to the color palate are carotenoid pigments providing orange and yellow. The various combinations give the leaves their variation in color.

Consider the following photos and see how many different colors exist in these fall leaves.



Karl Foord
Photo 1: Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer x freemanii 'Jeffersred')



Karl Foord
Photo 2: Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer x freemanii 'Jeffersred')



Karl Foord
Photo…

There's Still Time to Dormant Seed Your Lawn

For over a month now I've been receiving questions that go something like this, "I know I missed the best time for seeding my lawn which is mid-August to mid-September. Can I still seed even though it's October and temperatures have been mild?" My response is always the same, "Just wait, dormant seeding in November will be your best option." It is very true that if temperatures are warm during the month of October, you could get some seed to establish prior to winter, but temperatures are unpredictable and could change drastically within a day.


Photo 1: Tired of your lawn looking like this every spring. Consider dormant seeding this fall to improve your spring lawn quality.Sam Bauer.
So, what do/did you risk by seeding in October? Well nothing really, except the cost of seed. Chances are that a good majority of this seed will germinate prior to winter, and complete loss of seedlings is possible over the cold winter months. Because of this, your time a…

Fruit flies common now

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist



Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota
Photo 1: Look for red eyes when identifying fruit flies, although the color dulls after they die.

Fruit flies are common problems during the fall. They are associated with a variety of fermenting, moist, relatively undisturbed organic material, such as overripe fruits and vegetables.

Most fruit flies have red eyes which help to identify them. They also have a brownish body and a dark colored abdomen. There are other small-sized flies, such as fungus gnats, moth flies, and humpbacked flies, that can be confused with fruit flies. The control varies with the type of fly that is found so it is very important to correctly the insect you are seeing.

The best control of fruit flies is to find the source of the infestation and remove it. This often takes detective work to locate the problem as many times it is not obvious. It is tempting to just spray or kill the adults that are seen. However, as long as a food …

October 1st Issue of Yard and Garden News

In this issue:



The video Cicada Killer Wasps has been removed at the request of the presenter. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Impatiens Downy Mildew - Part I: The Disease

Impatiens Downy Mildew - Part II: Management

Plant Video Library 2014 cont.


the video on American Bittersweet has been removed for editing. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Pale Purple Coneflower

Trumpet Vine

Mexican Sunflower

Bugbane or Black Snakeroot

Nodding Wild Onion

Great Blue Lobelia

Flowering Spurge

Pachysandra procumbens

Revised videos from the last issue of Yard and Garden News

Tall Boneset revised

Jewelweed revised


Editors note:
Photos of flowers were added to the above videos posted in the September 15 issue of Y&G News. Thumbnail photos of the other videos have also been added to this issue.


Impatiens Downy Mildew - Part II: Management

In a followup to Part I on Impatiens Downy Mildew, Extension Educator Michelle Grabowski discusses management of the disease.


Michelle Grabowski
Photo 1: Sporangia of the pathogen Plasmopara obducens that causes impatiens downy mildew

Impatiens Downy Mildew Part II: Management

Impatiens Downy Mildew - Part I: The Disease

In this highly informative video, Extension Educator Michelle Grabowski explains the symptoms of this disease and how to identify it.






Michelle Grabowski
Photo 1: Early stages of the disease Impatiens Downy Mildew (Plasmopara obducens)









Michelle Grabowski
Photo 2: Sporangia of Plasmopara obducens found on the underside of the leaf of an impatiens plant carrying the disease Impatiens Downy Mildew





Impatiens Downy Mildew

Plant Video Library 2014 cont.

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture
Click on the link to see the video with host Dr. Mary Meyer, Professor of Horticulture


Karl Foord
Photo 2: Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) on left and Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida on right



Karl Foord
Photo 3: Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans



Karl Foord
Photo 4: Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia



Karl Foord
Photo 5: Bugbane (Actaea racemosa



Karl Foord
Photo 6: Nodding Wild Onion (Allium cernuum



Karl Foord
Photo 7: Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica



Karl Foord
Photo 8: Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corollata



Karl Foord
Photo 9: Allegheny Spurge (Pachysandra procumbens



Pale Purple Coneflower

Trumpet Vine

Mexican Sunflower

Bugbane or Black Snakeroot

Nodding Wild Onion

Great Blue Lobelia

Flowering Spurge

Pachysandra procumbens


Plant Video Library 2014

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture


Click on the link to see the video with host Dr. Mary Meyer, Professor of Horticulture



Karl Foord
Photo 1: Royal Catchfly (Silene regia)



Karl Foord
Photo 2: Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis)



Karl Foord
Photo 3: Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)



Karl Foord
Photo 4: Tall Boneset (Eupatorium altissimum)



Karl Foord
Photo 5: Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

Royal Catchfly (Silene regia)

Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis)

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Tall Boneset Revised

Jewelweed Revised


Beauty is The Beast

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture



BEFORE PROCEEDING PLEASE CLICK ON AND ENLARGE THE ABOVE IMAGE.



When I first saw this image I thought I was looking at a beautiful tapestry.


However, given the fact that Jeff Hahn was showing me a collection of pictures of insects he had assembled for a slide show presentation at the Minnesota State Fair, I had to rethink that initial impression. On closer examination one can see the head and hairs of a caterpillar. Nonetheless, what beautiful colors and such an intriguing pattern. So much for the beauty.

The only problem is that when this caterpillar has reached the large numbers characteristic of its cyclic pattern of life, it can defoliate many trees. Thus the beast.

Jeff has a video describing more aspects of the caterpillar that will be aired as part of a virtual conference sponsored by the Minnesota Turf & Grounds Foundation. We will provide a link to this presentation in the next issue of the Y&G News.




Jeff Hahn
Photo 1: Forest…

Rust fungi infect fall blooming perennials

M. Grabowski, UMN Extension
Photo 1: Asters showing lower leaf death from rust infection


M.Grabowski, UMN Extension Educator


As the summer winds down, Minnesota gardeners look to fall blooming asters like goldenrod and New England aster to bring color to the garden. In addition to colorful blossoms, less desirable colorful rust fungi can commonly be found infecting the leaves of these perennials. Many gardeners first notice rust infection when the lower leaves of an aster plant turn brown and die. In severe cases, over 50% of the leaves can be killed, often from the bottom up. Upon closer examination, a gardener will notice bright orange or chocolate brown bumps on the lower surface of green leaves and along green stems. These rust pustules are filled with hundreds of fungal spores.



M. Grabowski, UMN Extension
Photo 2: Coleosporium asterum on aster

There are several different rust fungi that infect asters in Minnesota. Infection by Coleosporium asterum results in yellow leaf spots on…

September 3 2013 Issue of Yard and Garden News

Flower Video Library for 2013 Sun Plants IV

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture


Click on the link to see the video with host Dr. Mary Meyer, Professor of Horticulture






Karl Foord
Photo 1: Golden Showers Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata 'Golden Showers')



Karl Foord
Photo 2: Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa)



Karl Foord
Photo 3: Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba)

Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla)

Golden Showers Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata 'Golden Showers')

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa)

Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba)

Purple Coneflower with Aster Yellows

Ground Clematis (Clematis recta)