As a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent, I see a lot of insects. People leave jars of them on my desk, send me photos or call me out to their gardens to identify them and give control recommendations.
With summer and the first tropical storm of the season arriving simultaneously this year, we're getting warm, wet weather at a time when more folks are spending time outside. This combination is sure to signal a rise in mosquito interactions, making it a perfect time to think about mosquito control around your home and community.
As we head into summer, we start to see problems with weeds, diseases and insects in the landscape and around vegetable gardens. Some of these pest problems can be solved without the use of chemicals, but if the pest population reaches damaging levels, using pesticides may be warranted. Remember that using pesticides is safe and legal but requires reading and following label directions in their entirety.
As warm-season turfgrasses continue to green up, diseases are rearing their ugly heads. The main culprit this time of year is a fungus, Rhizoctonia solani, that causes large patch disease in lawns. Large patch can infect all warm-season turfgrasses, but centipede, St. Augustine, and zoysia are particularly susceptible.
During the summer growing season, the love many have for a homegrown tomato approaches obsession. In fact, some people love tomatoes so much that they struggle to grow them — because they give their plants too much care.
You might be reaching for the watering can here in Georgia, considering recent hot and dry conditions over most of the state. And with World Environment Day coming up on June 5, home gardeners are considering what they can do to sustainably irrigate their plants and sustain soil moisture. There are actions you can take now to help conserve water in your landscape and keep your plants hydrated.
To call this past spring in Georgia normal would be a mischaracterization. Typical springs in Georgia seem to last about three days — and then we hit the hot weather. This spring, the cooler temperatures were most pleasant and hung on through the middle of May. Rainfall has also been feast or famine, and wind patterns have been higher than normal. Together, these conditions have made for a challenging time in the vegetable garden.
Over the past few decades, pollinators have been in decline worldwide, which is concerning because 70% of crops used for human food depend on pollinators. Turfgrasses – used for most residential lawns – often take some of the blame for pollinator decline as they are known to be wind-pollinated and were thought not to serve as a pollinator food source, until now.