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Wednesday, July 24, 2013 11:44 PM


Ag Educator


Putnam County


Here are some garden and horticultural problems we are seeing this year:

Zucchini or tomato blossom end rot: When zucchini and tomatoes fruit starts to turn to mush on the ends, this is due to calcium deficiency. Plants are having trouble getting adequate calcium due to excess rain. Improving drainage will help but you’ll need to add a quick source of calcium to correct the problem. First check your pH which should be between 6.0 and 6.5 for squash and 6.0 and 6.8 for tomatoes. Adding lime may make your soil too basic so buy either quick calcium or add gypsum (wall board) to your soil to increase the calcium and sulfur soil content. If you find end root, remove the blossoms and fruit and then spray plants with a calcium rich spray.

Zucchini stalk borer: The larva of stem borers often kill squash and zucchini plants. The best control is prevention. When zucchini plants first start to grow, cover with a netting to prevent moths from laying eggs. Moths may be hand-picked from the stalks in the early morning or evening and are usually found on the upper sides of leaves. Once you have borers, check the stalk at the base, and cut or dig out the borer with a sharp knife. You can usually see the borer hole. Press the sides together and mound some soil over the cut to promote healing and new root growth. You can also spray the plants with Sevin or carbaryl, malathion, or pyrethum sprays or dusts when then the plants start vining out however you have to repeat this process every 7-10 days to prevent moths from laying eggs on your plants.

Cupping on Oak tree leaves and other hardwoods: Cupped leaves that appear dark green are showing up on many hardwood trees and this condition is due to a late frost in May. The frost killed some cells while other cells are still healthy, so the leaves are cupping. There is nothing a homeowner can do for this problem but the trees should survive.

Fireblight on apples, pears and cherries: Looks like dark black dead leaves and limbs dying back on the trees and is caused by a bacteria. There is no real solution except to plant resistant varieties. Trees should be pruned immediately removing at least 6-12 inches of healthy growth below the dead limb or branch and dipping your pruning tool in 10 percent bleach after each cut. This disease is fast spreading and generally lethal over time. Burn the dead leaves and make sure the smoke does not blow into healthy trees.

Field Days: Paulding County John Deere Ag Focus field day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday by Paulding County Hospital on the corner of CR 103 and CR 111. I will be speaking at 10 a.m. about “Capturing Your Nutrients” and at 1 p.m. on “Creating more Soil Carbon.”

Western Ohio Manure Application Technology Field Day from 1-4 p.m. and repeated from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday at the corner of Stelzer and Olding Roads, one half-mile east of US 127 and a mile south of SR 274. (Rain date is Aug. 1.) Topics: Nutrient Boom - Discuss and demo a new tool bar that applies manure to wheat and forages; Manure Side-dress of Corn – Discuss and demo Dietrich toolbar for applying manure to corn; Cover Crops as a 2nd Forage – Using cover crops for nutrient uptake of manure and to make a forage hay crop. Certified Crop Adviser credits available.

Northern Ohio Tomato Field Night from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 6 at the North Central OARDC Station, 1165 County Road 43, Fremont. The program is “What’s new in tomato disease control, weed control, herbicide carryover, new tomato breeding genetics.”

Sprayer Demonstration & Technology Day from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Fulton County Fairgrounds on State Route 108, north of Ohio Turnpike Interchange 36. Registration: No cost but pre-registration requested by Aug. 6 to guarantee lunch by going to or leaving a message at 740-223-4043.

Western Ohio Forage Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Western OARDC Agricultural Research Station, 7721 S. Charleston Pike, South Charleston. Topics include: Grass inter-seeded into alfalfa, Leafhopper resistant alfalfa trials, Annual forage alternatives after wheat, Nutritional aspects of warm season annuals and corn silage and forage preservation, Alfalfa management inputs for high yield, Red and white clover variety trials, Native grasses for forage and biofuels and Grass variety trials.


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