Butternut woollyworm on black walnut
Sawflies seem to be in abundance this summer on a lot of plants including hibiscus, roses, and jewelweed, among others. The larvae of sawflies are often confused with caterpillars. Sawflies are the larvae of young of wasps (Hymenoptera), whereas caterpillars become moths or butterflies (Lepidoptera). A key difference is that sawflies have more than five pairs of prolegs. Caterpillars never have more than five. Sawflies feed together and often curl up when disturbed.
Take a look at this great video we found from the UMD Institute of Applied Agriculture walking you through simple steps to get more and better basil.
Every month, we will highlight a few timely, key tips for Maryland homeowners’ lawns and gardens.
- Fruit plants have shallow root systems which are easily damaged by cultivation. Do not cultivate or dig into the soil around small fruits or tree fruits. Hand-pull the weeds and then apply organic mulches to control weeds.
- Practice good sanitation by removing and discarding all fallen leaves and fruits.
- Squash vine borer larvae are feeding inside squash and pumpkin stems. Monitor plants for signs of wilting and entrance holes on lower stems. You may see sawdust-like frass around the hole. Stems may contain more than one larva. They can feed inside the stems for up to 2 weeks. Here’s the easiest and surest method of control: cut a slit above the hole with a razor, remove the 1 inch long white larva with a brown head, and mound up soil around the wound.
- Early blight of tomatoes is widespread now. This fungal disease causes small, irregular brown lesions with a yellow halo on lower leaves. The spots have a bull’s eye pattern. They will enlarge and entire leaves will turn yellow and then die. Defoliation can then lead to sunscald of tomato fruits. Remove badly infected lower leaves, keep a thick organic mulch around plants, and avoid overhead watering. Applications of tri-basic copper will slow down severe infections.
Soil and Mulch:
- Have your soil tested, if you have not had your lawn or garden soil tested for the past 3-4 years. Many plant problems can be solved by correcting soil deficiencies.
- Select pine bark or hardwood mulches, not wood chips, for use around your home to minimize the possibility of attracting termites. Avoid any hardwood mulches that contain chunks.