Garden Open House; You’re Invited!

Bring a friend. It’s free and includes hot dogs, entertainment and children’s activities.

The Licking County Master Gardener volunteers invite you to come to Newark and “get inspired” at their annual Garden Open House. It happens from 10 to 2 on July 21, and is free. The location is their Learning Garden tucked behind the OSU Extension office at 771 East Main Street in Newark.

Explore and discover this Licking County garden gem. Several themed garden plots will awaken the senses as you meander through the garden paths. Visit Continue reading

Spotted Wing Drosophila Remains a Concern for Fruit Growers

SWD larva feeding on a raspberry

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is a fruit fly that over the past five years has become a significant pest of fruit crops such as strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, grape, peach and plum. This insect causes damage when its larva – tiny white worms – feed on and within ripening fruit.

Beginning in early June throughout Ohio a number of county OSU Extension offices regularly monitor for the presence of SWD on several fruit farms. By the third week of June this year SWD had been detected in Clinton, Franklin, Greene, and Wayne Counties. Similarly, small fruit growers who have fruit that is ripe or near ripening should also be Continue reading

Tomato Diseases in the Garden

Symptoms of early blight on a tomato leaf.

Wet weather is a major contributor to a variety of diseases and pests in gardens, lawns, and shrubs. Many fungal and bacterial pathogens thrive in warm and humid conditions. Those conditions are also ideal for a variety of insect pests.

Tomato diseases are some of most often reported issues through the Extension Office. Most are soilborne diseases that can persist for multiple Continue reading

We All Love Mulch . . . Take Care Not to Misuse It!

Each year homeowners spend hundreds – and, in some cases many hundreds – of dollars on mulch for the landscape. When properly applied at the right time, mulch has its place. A thin layer of perhaps 1.5 to 2.5 inches of mulch can enhance the color of the landscape, aid in preventing weed germination, retain moisture in the soil, and moderate soil temperatures in the root zone of the plants being mulched. As mulch decomposes it also adds organic matter to the soil’s surface.

However, if applied to wet soils, or applied too deeply, when we receive the abundance of rainfall that’s been experienced throughout Fairfield County this spring, mulch can quickly become a detriment to plant health. Waterlogged mulch that retains too much moisture in the soil can be as problematic as poorly drained soils are to plant health.

Except for immediately after a rainfall, an ideal soil has approximately Continue reading

Local Foods Farm Tour: Mid-States Woolgrowers

Woolgrowers’ conveyor and wool sorting system was the only one of it’s kind when it was first utilized in 1995.

Join us at 3 p.m. on July 10th for the third stop on the 2018 “Local Foods” tour series when we visit Mid-States Wool Growers, the largest handler of raw wool in the U.S., located right here in Fairfield County! In business since 1918, this cooperative has 10,000 farmer members located across 23 states that handle and market 6 million pounds of raw wool annually.

The history of the Midstate Wool Growers is rich with producer involvement. From the beginning in 1918, where producers wanted a better price for their wool, right up to today when producers designed one of the most technologically advanced warehouses in the world, the organization’s driving force has always been to meet the needs of Continue reading

Marestail: Roundup Won’t Kill It!

Frequent rainfall this spring has allowed marestail to thrive everywhere including gravel driveways

Marestail . . . if you frequent farm stores you’ve heard people talking about how hard it is to kill. If you’ve been to a lawn and garden store, it’s the one they call, “that bushy leafed weed that Roundup doesn’t kill.” Yes, that’s correct, Roundup doesn’t kill it and it’s seemingly everywhere again this year.

Marestail has been plaguing farm fields and landscapes for the Continue reading

Vinegar: Is it a “Safer” Herbicide?

“Rain makes grain” is an ages old saying you might hear any time two or more farmers are gathered and a mid-summer shower pops up. While that adage may be true, it’s also common knowledge that rain makes weeds!

This year’s frequent spring rains have created lots of very healthy, rapidly growing weeds in the landscape. Along with those weeds come calls from homeowners asking for ‘safe’ ways to control them. One product that is frequently asked about for control of landscape weeds is vinegar. A simple question regarding vinegar commonly evolves into a conversation about toxins, pesticides, the legality of its use, and exactly what ‘safer’ means.

Let’s begin by saying that vinegar does have some weed control properties, and presently there are three vinegar products labeled in Ohio. “Labeled” means they are legal for use to control weeds, but only one of the three in Ohio is labeled as an herbicide. For some it may be hard to imagine, but common household vinegar is not “labeled” or legal for use as an herbicide in Ohio.

Regardless, when we take a look at what happens when vinegar is applied to a weed, we realize the acetic acid in the vinegar ‘burns’ Continue reading

Recent Rainfall Means Mosquitoes Are On Their Way!

While avoiding the annoying bite of the mosquito may be the motivating factor, mosquito control is important for reducing the spread of disease. And, controlling mosquito populations takes a varied approach beginning first with the avoidance of pooled or standing water. Considering the recent abundance of rainfall, it means the time for eliminating the mosquito’s breeding grounds is upon us!

Prevention of Disease is First, and Foremost

While most of us think of mosquitoes as an annoyance because of their blood sucking bite, we often times forget the greatest concern is their ability to transmit disease. While not necessarily a huge concern for Ohioans, malaria remains one of the most severe public health problems worldwide that’s spread through the bite of the mosquito. Encephalitis, a concern for not only humans but also in the horse population, is a more common disease carried and spread in Ohio by mosquitoes. Who can forget how West Nile virus was quickly spread around the country by both mosquitoes and birds back in the early 2000’s? And, in fact, as recent as early in June 2017 Franklin County Public Health officials reported finding a West Nile infected mosquito pool in Norwich Township near the Columbus suburb of Hilliard. In addition, Canine heartworm, a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs results from Continue reading

Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

Do the sunny days make you wonder about skin cancer or sun damage? Here are some stats about skin cancer:

  • Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States.
  • There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma.
  • Early detection is the key in diagnosing and treating skin cancer.

If you must be out in the sun, here are some Continue reading

Is Roundup Really Roundup?!?

The product “Roundup for Lawns” will not kill turfgrass

Last year a new product called “Roundup For Lawns” was introduced to the marketplace. Your first response might be something like ‘so what?’ And, it’s a logical question . . . until you look closer at the label of “Roundup For Lawns” and realize that it doesn’t contain ANY of the active ingredient that’s in Roundup, that being glyphosate. Since it’s named similarly, and packaged similarly, it offers lots of opportunity for confusion, misuse, and the death of plants that may not have been intended to be killed.

Here’s the problem. “Roundup For Lawns” is just that, a new 4-way broadleaf and grassy herbicide combination that does not kill desirable lawn and turf grasses.The herbicide active ingredients in “Roundup For Lawns” are MCPA, quinclorac, dicamba and sulfentrazone. These herbicides have been around for a while and collectively are effective on a broad range of weeds that might infest a lawn or landscape such as dandelion, crabgrass and nutsedge. “Roundup For Lawns” is a selective herbicide that controls specific weeds, but not lawn grasses.

On the other hand, “Roundup” has an active ingredient of glyphosate and is not selective. It will kill all plants with Continue reading