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Showing posts from April, 2018

May to-do list for vegetable gardening

The snow has melted! So when can I plant? Annie Klodd, Extension Educator-Fruit and Vegetable Production Michelle Grabowski, Extension Educator-Plant Pathology Extension Educator Annie Klodd planted these bell peppers from seed in a greenhouse on April 1 and will transplant them outside on May 30. (Photo: Annie Klodd, University of Minnesota) The cold spring and record-breaking snowfall in mid-April may have delayed the start of the 2018 vegetable garden for many Minnesotans. But do not worry! There is still plenty of time to prepare your garden and plant vegetables throughout May. The May to-do list includes preparing the soil, choosing healthy transplants, deciding the right time to plant, and planting cool and warm season vegetables.

Do not prune oaks!

Michelle Grabowski, UMN Extension Educator It is now the high risk period for oak wilt in Minnesota. Gardeners in the area of the state where oak wilt occurs should not prune oaks until next fall. Oak wilt is a fatal disease that can affect all oak trees. Red oaks can wilt and die in as little as 4 weeks. White oaks often slowly decline over several years. Protecting trees from wounds and pruning cuts during the high risk period is critical in preventing new oak wilt infections.

It's tick season!

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist We have waited patiently (or in some cases impatiently) for the arrival of spring. Now that it is here, we can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. Keep in mind that with the warm weather also comes ticks. With a few precautions, you can still enjoy the outdoors without worrying about them. Adult female American dog tick (wood tick) is not an important disease vector. Photo: Jeff Hahn, UMN Extension There are two common ticks in Minnesota; the blacklegged tick (also called deer tick) and the American dog tick (also called wood tick). Both ticks are nuisances because they bite to feed on our blood as well as the blood of our pets, including dogs and horses. However, blacklegged (deer) ticks are a health problem because they are a potential vector of Lyme disease and other diseases (see Tick-borne disease in Minnesota ). Both of these ticks are common in grassy fields and the underbrush of hardwood forests.

Growing healthy transplants

M. Grabowski, UMN Extension Educator Starting seeds indoors can be a great way to get a jump on the growing season. Unfortunately damping off, a common disease of seedlings, can kill plants before they are strong enough to transplant outdoors. Find out best practices to prevent damping off and grow strong healthy transplants. For more information about damping off or starting seeds indoors , visit UMN Extension online.