October 11, 1996

The First Frost

Nothing sends gardeners running faster than a weather forecast of FROST. Cool air, clear skies and light or calm winds are necessary for frost to occur. Cool air permits temperatures to drop low enough to freeze moisture in the air which would otherwise form dew. When skies are clear, heat from the soil is able to rise, allowing the cool air to settle close to the ground and chilling the plants as they lose heat. Calm winds allow the cool air to settle without mixing it with warm air.

Powdery Mildew on Turf

The first symptoms of powdery mildew are light spots on leaves. When the mildew growth becomes more dense, infected areas look as though they have been lightly sprayed with white paint or "powdered". The white substance observed on leaves is composed of millions of spores of the powdery mildew fungus. Heavily infected leaves turn yellow and may eventually brown and die. Infected plants are weakened, causing them to be more susceptible to other stresses, such as drought or low temperature injury.

Continuing Instruction for Commercial Pesticide Applicators

Continuing instructional courses (CIC's - 1996) for commercial pesticide applicators are listed below. Continuing education courses are approved for specific certification categories. Mailings with registration information for these programs are sent to companies or applicators who are certified in each of these categories. If you are a certified commercial pesticide applicator but do not receive registration information 3 weeks before the program, call the Entomology Department at 515-294-1101.


Fall-Blooming Bulbs

While most gardeners are familiar with spring-flowering bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, many don't realize that some bulbs actually bloom in the fall. These fall-blooming bulbs make unexpected, colorful additions to the fall garden.