Taking care of your beloved plants!
During the summer, plant health issues are more prevalent than any other time of year.. Extreme heat and drought expose problems that might have been brewing since last season or even last year. And as with all kinds of health issues, awareness and prevention are the keys!
Damaging insects can cause a destructive domino effect. For example, aphids produce a substance that can quickly become an ideal environment for spores of sooty mold to collect and germinate. This is pretty common on crapemyrtles. Proper treatment requires both an insecticide to control the aphids and a fungicide for the sooty mold. Ferti-Lome Triple Action will treat both, but since it’s a contact spray and not systemic, follow up with a systemic fungicide and insecticide. Even though not all insects create fungus problems, they all weaken the plants. A wonderful systemic insect control by Ferti-Lome is called Systemic Insect Drench for trees and shrubs, and it will treat for 12 months! For best results, apply when plants first break dormancy in the spring. The Insect Drench treatment can prevent all sorts of common insect problems such as lacebugs, scale, whiteflies, spider mites, borers, bagworms and aphids. This drench also controls crapemyrtle bark scale, which is a serious pest on this beloved tree.
Don’t know what you have? Bring an infected plant sample in to The Good Earth for diagnosis. Just be sure to seal up your sample and bring it within a few hours of collection! For plants that have existing insect problems, treat with Ferti-Lome Systemic Insect Control, which is available in both ready-to-use and concentrate bottles. Borer damage has been especially prevalent this year; even on plants like arborvitae, an unusual plant host for this pest. We have even seen them on crapemyrtles. Crazy! Treat with Ferti-Lome Borer, Bagworm, Tent Caterpillar and Leafminer Spray or with Hi-Yield 38 Plus which should be sprayed with a surfactant. During high temperatures, be sure to spray only in the late evening or early morning.
Since we cannot control the weather, and Arkansas often has the perfect fungus-inducing conditions, here are some prevention tips. First, plant disease resistant varieties, such as Knock-Out Roses. Secondly, air flow is key on cutting down the occurance of fungus and insect problems, so space plants appropriately. When planting shrubs that are prone to disease, be sure to account for the mature size of the plant. And this last tip is very important; if possible, modify your sprinkler system so that the plant roots are receiving the water instead of the foliage. The Good Earth Wet Tech Team can help with these modifications.
Lawns are showing the effects of both fungus and grub damage. For control of fungus in lawn, use Ferti-Lome F-Stop granules. For the best grub control, use Bayer Season Long Grub Control which can be applied from mid-May to mid-August. Be sure to water the grub control in completely, as directed on the label. As with all products, read the labels carefully to insure the best results.
Don’t forget to bring your samples to the experts at The Good Earth Garden Center. Landscaping is an investment, and we want to help it grow!