Soybeans aphids, fruit-producing trees

Fairly high populations of soybean aphids are appearing in area soybean fields. We expected the aphid to cause problems last year but only a handful of fields were sprayed. This year aphids seem to be quite common in eastern counties in the state.

Gardeners combat flower destroying Beetles

A dull, metallic green beetle with brown wings has been destroying the blossoms of roses, peonies and other flowering plants. This culprit is the false Japanese beetle, which emerges and feeds in late June and July.

Fungi here, fungi there, mushrooms everywhere

As a result of the wet, humid weather, mushrooms are app-earing in many lawns. Home-owners are often searching for a safe, effective fungicide that will make them disappear.   Unfortunately, such a fungicide does not exist and there is little to do but let nature takes its course.  

A foreign species among us: earthworms are not helpful

Gardeners, anglers and other outdoors enthusiasts are likely to encounter earthworms. Minnesota earthworms are exotic species from Europe and Asia. Aside from their use for bait and composting, most people don’t know the purpose of earthworms.   

Taking a closer look at area storm damage

Parts of Meeker, McLeod and Renville counties were hard hit by thunderstorms last week. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear of rainfall reports up to 10 inches between Cedar Mills and Buffalo Lake. This area had flooded fields, crop injury from hail and structural damage.

Apple maggot control begins July 1

Apple maggots, also known as the railroad worm, are the most destructive pests of apples grown in home orchards. The apple maggots spend the winter in the soil as pupae and begin to emerge from the soil as adult flies in July. These flies do not all appear at the same time, but continue to emerge until September, making it important to apply some type of control until harvest. Shortly after emergence, the female flies begin to lay eggs in the developing apples. These eggs hatch into cream-colored, legless maggots that feed and tunnel in the flesh of the apple.

Control crabgrass with corn gluten meal

Corn gluten meal may be the answer for homeowners that are searching for a natural way to control crabgrass and other annual weeds in the lawn. Corn gluten meal is a natural non-toxic substitute for synthetic pre-emergence herbicides.

Spruce needlecast disease can be controlled

Colorado blue spruce, one of the most popular and loved landscape trees, is ready to put forth its new seasonal growth. This signals the time to consider protecting them against a troublesome fungus disease.