Nebraska Extension offers excellent resources on varying horticultural topics. One of those sources is an online, Horticultural Update newsletter at http://hortupdate.unl.edu/. The most recent articles had lots of great information, so I’ve highlighted two of those in this week’s column.
First, I’m sure you’ve noticed this has been perfect condition for weeds to take over landscapes and gardens in a hurry. The wet weather has also encouraged an increase in broadleaf weeds in turf. Control involves good management to promote a dense, vigorous turf that competes with weeds. Use a tall mowing height of three inches to reduce seed germination and to shade out weed seedlings.
September is the best month to control broadleaf perennial weeds with herbicides. If herbicides are used during summer, read label directions for temperature ranges within which to apply. Hot temperatures will increase damage potential to nontarget plants. Whenever used, spot applications are best as they result in the smallest amount of herbicide being used; saving money and protecting the environment. Read and follow label directions. Labels are the law and herbicides should not be used outside of recommended temperature ranges.
Another thing to watch for is bagworms hatching on evergreens trees. Monitor evergreens for young bagworms. At this time of year, they can be as small as one-fourth inch long. Bagworms are small, brown, triangular-shaped and covered with needles for camouflage. At this size is the time when products like Bacillus thuringiensis will be most effective in controlling bagworms.
Finally, mosquitoes are awful this year! Public Health Solutions has brought us some mosquito dunks, which can reduce mosquito number by putting them in landscape ponds, livestock tanks and other sources of standing water. Standing water areas can be treated with a biological larvicide. Bacillus thruingiensis israelensis (Bti) or Bacillus sphaericus (Bs) are naturally occurring soil bacterium that control mosquito larvae by disrupting the gut receptors and causes the larvae to stop eating anddie. Biological larvicides are safe to use in water of livestock troughs. Stop in to pick up your free sample of mosquito dunk!
(Source: NE Extension HortUpdate, 2015)