• 81°

Blackwelder column: Hickory horned devil is harmless

It was cool earlier this week; a sure sign fall is on the way. However, there are still days of warmth and even the possibility of more hot weather.
Any change in the weather often stimulates questions about gardening, especially with insect pests. Many have called with various questions concerning pests and other horticultural queries. Here are a few that may be of interest:
Q: I found this huge aqua-green caterpillar in my pecan trees. (This insect was brought into the office.) What is the insect and does it do any harm?
A: The caterpillar is a hickory horned devil, the larvae of Royal or Regal moth. These feed on a variety of trees such as oak, hickory, pecan, etc. These larvae do not do any significant damage. The larva does not sting, but does have a menacing facade. They are actually quite docile.
Q: Do I still have time to kill Bermuda grass before over-seeding?
A: Yes, maybe, depending on the weather. Bermuda grass grows best at very hot temperatures. When temperatures fall, the ability to eliminate the grass gets more difficult. Apply glyphosate (Roundup and others) as soon as possible for total root kill.
Q: I have some grapes that have a white substance all over the vines. It looks like somebody has spit all over the vines. Can I eat my grapes? Will this kill the vine?
A: Spittle bugs are what you have. They do little damage to the plant. These can be washed off with garden hose.
Q: I am over-seeding my lawn and will have some bare areas. You have spoken about putting down a mulch to conserve water. How much do I put down and what type?
A: Use clean wheat straw if possible. Put down about 1-2 bales per 1,000 square feet. Avoid putting down too much. You should be able to see the color of the soil underneath the straw. If you put too much, your seed will either fail to germinate or germinate weak. Some retail outlets sell a product that is made from paper and pressed into pellets. It expands with water and makes great mulch with no weeds. I have used it with great success.
Darrell Blackwelder is an agricultural agent in charge of horticulture with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Call 704-216-8970
http://www.rowanmastergardener.com
http://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu
http://rowanhorticulture.blogspot.com/

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Blotter: Two men rob convenience store at gunpoint

Business

Brewery, second-floor restaurant planned for downtown China Grove

Local

Sonny Allen, former mayor of Salisbury, dies at age 90

Education

RCCC names Student Excellence Award finalists

Local

City approves permit for child care center near downtown

Business

Deadline approaches to apply for Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Rowan program

Landis

Landis removed from Local Government Commission’s watch list

Local

YSUP Rowan launches month-long drug use prevention campaign

Education

Shoutouts

Education

RSS reports man impersonating summer meals worker

Local

County ponders plumbing replacement to completely eliminate lead in Dukeville

High School

High school baseball: Round 2 for South, East

College

College baseball: Former East slugger Chandler Blackwelder commits to North Greenville

News

High Rock Lake Association calls for entries in Fourth of July dock decorating contest

Sports

Hornets’ LaMelo Ball selected NBA Rookie of the Year

Education

Horizons summer camp takes students on mission to Mars

Nation/World

Congress approves bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

News

Veterans’ tax exemption expanded in bill clearing NC House

News

Appeals court refuses to reinstate N Carolina abortion ban

Kannapolis

Ryan Dayvault drops out of Kannapolis mayoral race

Local

City adopts nondiscrimination ordinance for employees, entities receiving city services

Crime

Blotter: Shots fired after truck chases car off interstate

Crime

I-85 road rage incident results in assault, child abuse charges

Crime

China Grove man arrested for sex crimes involving woman with disabilities