June 12, 1998

Leaf Spot and Melting Out

Turf samples showing symptoms of leaf spot and melting out have been arriving in the Plant Disease Clinic. Leaf spots on grass blades are initially reddish brown to dark brown. As they enlarge, they take on an oblong shape and develop a gray to light tan center with a dark border. Heavily infected blades may turn yellow, wither, and die. The activity of the fungus can also move to the crown of the plant and cause collapse and death of plants. This is referred to as melting out, because the overall appearance is a severe thinning of the turf.

Renovation of June-bearing Strawberries

A June-bearing strawberry planting can be productive for several years if the bed is given good care. One important task is to renovate June-bearing strawberries immediately after the last harvest. The renovation process involves leaf removal, creation of 8-inch-wide plant strips, and fertilization. After the initial renovation steps have been completed, irrigation and weed control are necessary throughout the remainder of the growing season.

Perennials with Interesting Flowers

Home gardeners can choose from many species and varieties of perennials. Perennials differ in growth habit, size, leaf morphology, and other characteristics. Sometimes what sets one perennial apart is its interesting flower. Below is a list of perennials with unusual flowers.