SOIL SERVICE NEWS- Boxwood leafminer alert, Emerald Ash Borer, organic updates and much more!
Boxwood Leafminer Damage Last Fall
The boxwood leafminer is an insect found throughout the US and a common problem on boxwoods. Last fall we saw lot of activity from these pests. Here’s what you need to know.
Boxwood leafminers are flies that emerge over a two-week period in early spring just after the shrubs put out new growth. The adults look like small orange mosquitos that swarm around the plant. The flies die after laying eggs in the leaves, having one generation per year. While the adults do not cause damage, the newly hatched larvae (maggots) are found INSIDE THE LEAVES, so you will not see them while they munch away. However, you will see blisters on the lower leaf surface or mottled /browning leaves that may be smaller than normal. The maggots feed and grow throughout the summer which is why damage in the fall is more obvious. They overwinter as maggots then pupate in early spring, and you may be able to see orange pupae that hang down from the underside of the leaf. Adult flies soon emerge to start a new generation. Several insect control products can be used including Ferti-lome Spinosad and Ferti-lome bifenthrin. Once the eggs hatch, Ferti-lome Systemic Tree and Shrub Insect Control with imidicloprid may also be used as a soil drench. More than one treatment per year may be needed. See us at Soil Service Garden Center if we can help you with this problem.
INSERT PICTURES OF ADULT LEAFMINER, MAGGOT INSIDE LEAF, PRODUCTS
Emerald Ash Borer Spring Treatment Begins Now
If you have ash trees you should already know about this devastating insect that is now in Kansas City and rapidly reaching the point where damage and death become painfully obvious.
The sad truth is that you will eventually lose the tree (based on recent research) but if it is healthy now and you want to keep it as long as possible, you can either use a tree care company , or treat it yourself with Ferti-lome Tree and Shrub Care or Safari soil drench. Your spring window to treat is early April to mid-May when trees actively move control products and nutrients from roots to leaves.
We love hostas! They’re easy to grow and quite pretty. Unfortunately there are a couple of critters that also love them; slugs and rascally rabbits.
About this time every year we have a boatload of customers come in with holes in hosta leaves. Holes in the middle of the leaf are probably from slugs. They come out at night to party hard on the leaves while you’re asleep, and then hide under mulch during the day. Rabbits take out big chunks along the leaf edges. Bunnies can take hostas down to the nub at one feeding and newly emerging plants are especially attractive to the furry little darlings.
Soil Service Garden Center has Sluggo, Hi-Yield Slug and Snail Bait and Rabbit Scram for these critters.
INSERT PICS OF SLUGGO, HY SLUG AND SNAIL BAIT AND RABBIT SCRAM
Gardeners and probably a few dentists of a certain age remember this line from a well-known movie that featured Steve Martin and Rick Moranis. Can you name the movie? Here’s another hint- the main character was a huge plant named Audrey.
INSERT PIC OF AUDREY FROM LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
The movie was “Little Shop of Horrors”, a musical comedy and the movie’s star, Audrey, was a giant carnivorous plant in a flower shop that needed human blood to live. When Audrey was hungry she would say “feed me” in an unforgettable loud voice. Does your garden have little Audreys that need to be fed? Your Soil Service Garden Center has a huge selection of organic plant foods from Espoma and Fox Farm’s Happy Frog. We also have Hi-Yield sodium nitrate which is the ONLY organic quickly available nitrogen, and many choices of Hi-Yield and Ferti-lome traditional plant foods. Your plants will thank you for feeding them!
Your Soil Service Garden Center carries a full line of organics including potting mixes, mycorrhizae and control products. Here’s a short but by no means complete list of our organic product line:
Potting Mixes– Fox Farm (Ocean Forest) and Coco Loco (with mycorrhizae)
Garden Soil Amendments– Happy Frog soil amendment with organic plant food and mycorrhizae, Mykes mycorrhizae for transplants
Lawn Food– Milorganite
Weed Control– horticultural grade vinegar for non-selective weed control
Fungus and Bacteria Control-copper soap- best when applied as preventative
Insect Control– neem oil, Azotrol (active ingredient in neem), pyrethrums (derivatives of natural insect control in chrysanthemums), Captain Jack’s Spinosad and Natural Guard Spinosad bacteria that is a much improved version of Thuricide BT.
Wild Violets and Creeping Charlie (also called Ground Ivy) are two of the meanest weeds in Kansas City, and it’s not unusual for these troublemakers to hang out together.
A WILD VIOLET AND CREEPING CHARLIE PEP TALK
They look like harmless cute little plants at first, but trust us; ignore them long enough and they will take over your lawn. Violets are more difficult to control and unfortunately many products list them on their labels, but the reality is that Turflon Ester with Triclopyr is the best product- and it also controls Creeping Charlie, giving you a “twofer one” on control. This only comes in a concentrate, so you’ll need to break out the pump-up sprayer. If you don’t have a sprayer, see us at the Soil Service Garden Center. Ferti-lome Spreader-Sticker should always be used with Turflon. Be ready to treat several times during the year because new ones will pop up, but now is the time to start!
Tips from the Turf Pros- Mowing Fescue Lawns
Anyone who has a fescue lawn knows this is the time of year when it grows fast- as in REALLY FAST between now and around mid-May in normal years. This means we should mow more often than the typical once a week on Saturday morning. Mowing every 4-5 days is better for this grass until growth slows as we move into summer. Remember to keep the blade sharp and don’t mow when the grass is wet.
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