May 21, 1999

Rust on Plants

There are more than 5,000 known species of rust on plants. The majority require two unrelated host plants to complete their life cycle (heteroecious) and others need only one (autoecious). Some rust fungi can produce up to five (5) different kinds of spores to complete its life cycle.

Rust can be easily identified. Rusty-yellow to bright orange spots form on leaves. These spots are actually filled with a powdery mass of spores and can be easily removed by scraping off the surface. On twigs of cedar, you will find galls with orange-gelatinous spore horns.

Earthworms in Lawns

The activity of earthworms, especially "night crawlers" often contributes to a rough and bumpy lawn surface that can be both annoying and dangerous. Another "problem" associated with earthworms is the movement of large numbers to places where they are unwanted (such as, on sidewalks or patios, and in swimming pools).

Ash Anthracnose

Wet spring conditions and falling ash leaves should bring to mind a common disease problem - anthracnose. Samples of ash anthracnose from across the state have been arriving daily in the Plant Disease Clinic.

Leaflets show brown to black blotches or spots. These spots commonly start at the margin and develop to the midvein. The leaflets tend to curl toward the blighted area. Spots may also occur on the leaf tips. Infected leaves often drop prematurely, with the lowest branches usually showing the most defoliation.

Proper Care of Raspberries

Raspberry plants are relatively easy to grow. If given proper care, they are also very productive. Important cultural practices include fertilization, watering, and controlling weeds, insects, and diseases.

Growing Giant Pumpkins

Few vegetables have the ability to grow to the enormous sizes of pumpkins and squashes. The size of world champion pumpkins is staggering. Giant pumpkins have been recorded with a circumference of greater than 10 feet or weigh over one thousand pounds. While attaining a half-ton jack-o-lantern may not be your goal, growing giant pumpkins is certainly fun for many gardeners.