June 30, 1995
The dogwood spittlebug is one of several species of this commonly recognized group of sap-feeding insects. Spittlebugs are familiar because of the frothy, wet mass of "spittle" that surrounds the nymphs as they feed on sap from their host plants. The spittle is produced by the immature stage of the insect (the nymph) and is a protection from natural enemies and desiccation.
Last week's newsletter article dealt with colors, patterns and design techniques. This week's article gets to the fun part, installation.
While watering is often necessary during hot, dry weather, home gardeners can conserve soil moisture and reduce water usage by placing a mulch around landscape plantings and in fruit and vegetable gardens. Several organic materials may be used as mulches. The characteristics of several suggested mulches are discussed below.
Golf courses and home lawns throughout the state have been experiencing sick turf recently. The symptoms include circular patches of bronzed or browned turf and patches or rings of straw- colored turf. The problems have been diagnosed as summer patch or take-all, two distinct fungal diseases that attack the roots and crowns of grass plants.
Due to the cool, wet spring, we have seen a number of diseased rhubarb samples in the Plant Disease Clinic. Most of these samples are infected with Ascochyta leaf spot or anthracnose stalk rot.