Be thoughtful when choosing herbicides

This time of year, I look forward to gardening again, but I dread spring weed growth. Many people elect to apply herbicides to prevent weed growth. It is important to understand the difference between preemergence herbicides, post-emergence herbicides and soil sterilants. Preemergence herbicides kill germinating seeds. These products are applied …

Mistakes to avoid when applying preemergence herbicides

Fall is a good time to get a head start on weed control by applying preemergence herbicides. Herbicides are chemicals that kill plants. Preemergence herbicides target plant seeds, providing a chemical barrier. As the seeds begin to sprout, they encounter this chemical barrier, and cell division in the young root …

Protect your vegetable garden from contamination

Reports of food-borne illnesses are increasingly frequent in the news. Most foodborne illnesses are caused by consuming raw fruits and vegetables that are contaminated by pathogens. Pathogens are disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses. Many people do not realize that home gardens are not free from pathogens. Many fruits …

Water your plants by root depth

This time of year, when the temperatures soar, we worry a lot about our lawns getting enough water. But not enough attention is paid to the rest of our landscape. Our trees and shrubs need water too – not as often as the lawn, but the water should go deeper …

Don’t apply pesticides in the heat of summer

A client recently came into the Master Gardener office with a problem in his landscape. He noticed that the lower branches of several trees bordering his lawn were showing damage. The leaves were curling and the margins of the leaves looked burnt. He wondered what disease was causing this damage. …

Spurges and pigweeds are problem weeds right now

You diligently pulled all those early spring weeds and your landscape was looking pretty nice. But where did all these new weeds come from? Now is the time of year when the summer annual weeds can become a real nuisance. The seeds of these weeds were waiting for the soil …

Beneficial insects in the vegetable garden: your free workforce

The vegetable garden is planted and growing well, and you are starting to scout for insect pests. While you’re scouting for pests, scout for beneficial insects too. Many people think all insects are bad, but the truth is, less than 1 percent of insects are pests. Most insects don’t harm …

Top six garden must-haves for 2018

Every year, new ergonomic tools and innovative items fill the shelves of local stores. Though you can find just about anything for the gardening enthusiast, we came up with a list of the six must-have items. If you haven’t acquired a hula hoe, you don’t know what you are missing. …

Trees crawling with insects

They creep, crawl, fly and inch toward you. Insects, good and bad, are all around us. Have you recently gone beneath your trees and wondered what is all that sticky stuff falling down on you and coating your sideway, decks or even your vehicle? You probably didn’t know that sticky stuff …

Common herbs can become weeds

A weed is defined as a plant that grows where it isn’t wanted. Gardeners tend to recognize what wasn’t planted on purpose, including many of our nuisance weeds, such as redroot pigweed and common lambsquarters. But, what about unwanted seedlings from desirable plants that went to seed last year? You …