Friday, August 27, 2010

Caterpillar Season is Here!

Late summer is prime time for more than just hurricanes in eastern NC – it is also peak caterpillar season. Many different types of caterpillars can currently be found munching on tree, shrub, and vegetable leaves in our area, such as these spiny oak worms feeding on oak leaves. In vegetable gardens caterpillar control is often necessary, but for trees and shrubs leaf damage this late in the season usually does not pose a serious threat to plant health so spraying is rarely needed. Plus caterpillars are an excellent food source for migrating birds, who can help provide control naturally. If you do have a caterpillar outbreak that requires control, both organic and synthetic insecticides are available from most garden centers than can do the job.

Learn more! Read the rest of the story from Pender County Cooperative Extension:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Treat now to prevent pecan weevil damage!

Pecan trees are a common site in eastern North Carolina. Unfortunately so is the damage caused by pecan weevil, the most destructive insect pest of pecans. Pecan weevils damage nuts in two ways. First they feed on the young nuts in late summer, causing some to drop early still in their husks and never complete development. Then they lay their eggs inside the pecans still on the tree. Within a few days plump, cream colored grubs hatch from these eggs and begin feeding on the nut. By the time the pecan drops to the ground, the grub has devoured most of the nut, at which point they drill a small hole in the top of shell and crawl out. If you have ever picked up pecans that had a hole in the top of the shell and were empty, or found grubs inside pecans when you cracked them open, then you have experienced pecan weevils. Though their damage will not become evident until later in the year, now is the time to control this pest.

Learn more! Read the rest of the story from Pender County Cooperative Extension:

Photo Credit: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Plant Fall Vegetables Now!

Current temperatures might not make it obvious, but fall is not too far away and now is the time to prepare for your fall vegetable garden. Many favorite vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collards, spinach, lettuce, beets, turnips, mustard, and radish can be planted over the next month for harvest throughout the fall and into winter. This is also the time to plant cool season herbs like parsley, cilantro, and dill. Onions, garlic, and shallots should be planted in October for harvest in spring. So don’t wait - now is the time to prepare your soil and get your fall crops started for a bountiful fall harvest.

Find out more! Read the rest of the story on the Pender County Cooperative Extension website:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Managing Fire Ants

Fire ants have become an established menace throughout the South. While there is no way to permanently eradicate fire ants from any location, there are many products available for managing them. Among the easiest to use and most environmentally friendly are baits. Baits can be applied around individual ant mounds or broadcast over a large area. When applied correctly, broadcasted baits only need to be put out once or twice a year to provide excellent control of fire ants.

Learn More! Read the rest of the story on the Pender Cooperative Extension website:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Watering Wisely

Soaker hoses allow beads of water to slowly drip into the soil and are a very efficient way to water flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Because they apply water at soil level, little is lost to evaporation or runoff and foliage stays dry, which helps prevent many plant diseases.

Applying the right amount of water to plants is important both for water conservation and plant health. Overwatered plants often suffer from root rot, while drought stressed plants are more frequently attacked by insect pests. The following tips will help you conserve water and keep your plants healthy.

Learn more! Click here to read the rest of the article on the Pender Extension website: