Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pests, pests and more.....

PESTS, PESTS AND MORE…..

If you haven’t been checking your plants on a regular basis, you may be surprised when you do! If you have noticed, in passing, deformed or sticky leaves, your plant may have aphids. Check the underside of the leaves. They are very tiny insects that oftentimes gather along the spine of the leaf or they may be all over the underside of the leaf if you have an infestation. They produce sticky honeydew and they may carry plant viruses resulting in those yellow, curled leaves. Take out your garden hose and blast the aphids off the plant or tree. Aphids are also attracted to the colour yellow so place a yellow tray or dish near the plant and fill about ¼ of it with water. The aphids will be attracted to the colour, mistaking it for a plant, and will sink and drown. Also, try to rid your lawn and garden of ants as ants feed on the sticky honeydew excreted by the aphids. They will also carry those aphids to their nests during winter months to continue their food supply and then, come spring, will carry them back to a plant to continue their food source. Companion planting helps as well. Marigolds are somewhat of a deterrent as are cilantro, chives, onions and garlic. Nasturtiums, an aphid attracter, will attract many of the existing aphids out of your garden and onto themselves. Ladybugs, lacewings and hummingbirds are some of the natural predators of aphids, however, if you find yourself with a situation that’s out of control, drop in for some Ambush or Insecticidal soap to use. Follow the directions, they are both effective!
Keeping your plants healthy, well-watered and well fertilized will help deter a lot of insects and disease. If you are using a fertilizer that is too high in nitrogen, be aware, as high levels of nitrogen help aphids produce!
With all the moisture, high humidity and some cool nights the number of cases of mildew and black spot have increased. A tablespoon or 2 in a litre of water has always been a great organic deterrent but if you wish to try something stronger and a little bit more effective, come in for some Defender, ready to use or concentrate; Copper Sulfate spray or Garden Fungicide. Remember never spray your plants or trees when the sun is shining on them as this will result in the burning of the leaves. Spray in early morning before the sun gets to them Copper Sulfate spray is very effective for black spot. Remember – Read the Directions!!!

Arlene Ortiz (Wheeler)
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 1:01 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Aphids, Fungus, and Lily Beetle

Aphids, the Lily Beetle...............but, Few Mosquitoes!!!
Summer……..at last!!!
We have been so fortunate to finally be enjoying summer and all the lovely warm weather, with little rain. We are able to sit out on our balconies and in our backyards at night and enjoy the sweet aromas of alyssum, lilies, heliotrope and many other fragrant flowers, and be out during the day to enjoy the beauty of the season, without being bothered by the pesky mosquito. We have to enjoy every moment! We must bow down to our City Entomologist, Taz Stuart and his staff for removing Winnipeg of the title of Mosquito capital of Canada. Edmonton has the honours now! We’re able to enjoy our backyards and our parks and our great outdoors! Great work guys!!!

But, if you haven’t been vigilante in checking your flowers and vegetables regularly, now is the time of the season where you will notice some damage. I have been battling aphids on my ‘Pretty Much Picasso’ petunias for the last month or so. I’ve been spraying them every few days with about ½ tsp. of dish soap in about a litre of water. Some days I’m not sure I’m winning the battle!!! But, I know it is being kept under control. My petunias are doing quite well actually. I stopped by to visit a few of my friends in the last week. My friend Jennifer knew something was eating her prize lilies, but, didn’t realize it was the dreaded Lily beetle. My friend, Mona, was also in the same situation. She has so many lilies; she’s barely keeping up with the infestation. In the adult form, the Lily Beetle is bright red in colour and may even be seen on neighbouring plants, however, it is your lilies they are enjoying. The best thing to do is get a pail of water and hand pick the beetles, putting them into the water and then disposing of them. Using Neem is an effective way to control them, as is End All 1 and Malathion. Check out the Manitoba Lily Society website at manitobalilies.ca/lily%20beetle.htm for further information. Be vigilante; learn to be able to recognize them in all stages. If they’ve eaten most of the leaves of your lilies, allow the remaining leaves and stem to die back on their own, as this is replenishing the bulb for next year. Once the stem and leaves have turned brown, just give the stem a twist and pull it out. Disturb the ground around the lilies in the fall and dispose of all the dried stems and leaves.
Fungus is also prevalent this year with all the moisture around and the cooler nights earlier on in the summer. Control the fungus on your plants by mixing 1 Tablespoon of baking soda with 1 litre of water and then spraying on your plants every few days. Try to spray them before you really get hit with a powdery mildew or fungus. Never spray your plants with anything when the sun is shining on them, as this may burn your plants. Spraying in the early morning is best, if possible.
Should the home recipes for your infestation or fungus fail and you need something stronger, please drop by Jensen's for the product for the solution to your problem! 
And smile. No Mosquitoes!!!

For the kids:
What did the Fast Tomato say to the Slow Tomato?

Answer: Ketchup!!!

by Arlene Wheeler
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 12:44 PM 1 Comments