• 54°

Blackwelder: Fighting off garden pests

SALISBURY — The unusual weather this spring has people asking a multitude of questions about lawns, gardens and insect pests.
Even with the extreme temperature fluctuations, many flowering trees and shrubs look the best they’ve looked in years. Below are a few questions Cooperative Extension has received over the past few weeks that may be of interest.
Q: I’ve noticed patches of these mushrooms in various spots in my lawn. Is this related to soil fertility or is the weather the culprit? Should I use a fungicide?
A: Humid, cool weather, along with some type of organic matter is in the soil, either old roots or a stump from years past. Mushrooms seem to pop up in certain types of mulch. When the weather begins to get hot and dry, the mushroom problem will go away.
Q: My flowers are being destroyed by voles. They are chewing up almost all of my irises and now starting to feed on my shrubs. What can I do to eliminate the pest?
A: Voles can be trapped with apple-baited mousetraps placed under the cover of flowerpots or other overhead cover that blocks out all light. Look for the tunnels or runs under the mulch, and place traps cross-wise to the direction of the runways. Locate traps on a 10-foot by 10-foot grid in the landscape. Continue to check traps at least once a week after the last vole is caught. An alternative control is to use a rodenticide such as Rozol.
Q: My tomatoes were doing well and all of a sudden it looks like somebody took a pocket knife a cut the plant off near the ground. What happened?
A: Your tomato plant has been the victim of a cutworm. The larvae of a moth hide under clods and in cracks in the soil by day and at night cut off young plants near the ground and feed on the foliage. These are usually a problem when the soil has high organic matter from plant debris. Old- timers say put a stick beside the plant and they’ll feed on the stick.
Remove weeds and plant residue to help reduce egg-laying sites and seedling weeds that nourish small cutworms. Till your garden before planting which helps expose and kill overwintering larvae. Wrap some aluminum foil or cardboard collars around transplants. This creates a barrier that physically prevents cutworm larvae from feeding on plants.
Darrell Blackwelder is the County Extension Director with horticulture responsibilities with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Learn more about Cooperative Extension events and activities by calling 704-216-8970 or online at: www.rowanextension.com
www.rowanmastergardener.com
rowan.ces.ncsu.edu

Comments

Comments closed.

Nation/World

‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza

Nation/World

Pipeline operator says “normal operations” have resumed

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransom

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors