Articles

Mosquito Alert

I was amazed last week at the cloud of mosquitoes buzzing in my wake as I hiked in a wooded park in southwest Ohio. Studies have shown that the relative attractiveness of individuals to mosquitoes varies and I've never been very attractive to mosquitoes. However, the enormous swarm following me through the woods could have been organizing an airlift operation!
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Weed of the Week: Dayflowers Not So Common

In the ChatScape there is a lovely little flower, the Asiatic dayflower, Commelina communis, which has taken advantage of our travels this summer, invading any number of garden sites. It is well-known to move into “disturbed” sites, which may say something of this laissez-faire gardener, if not my wife. This herbaceous wanderer has quite a storied profile, from its two sky-blue petals subtended by one small white petal to the use of its blue pigments in Japanese dyes for woodcuts.

 

  Dayflower is studied for possible bioremediation for removing toxic levels of...

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Authors
Jim Chatfield

Going on an Egg Hunt - Gypsy Moth Style!

The gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is a non-native invasive species. This insect is currently in the egg mass stage, and will be in this stage until next spring when the caterpillars will hatch and begin feeding. Egg masses can help predict what population levels could be for the upcoming season. Now is the time to look for egg masses. Egg masses can be found almost anywhere. While we tend to look on trees, they can be found on homes, sheds, trailers, dog houses, bird houses, on firewood, on fences, yard art and signs. Egg masses can also be hidden under loose bark or in tree...

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Authors
Amy Stone

Robber Flies: Insect Fighter Jets!

One of my favorite insects is the Red-Footed Cannibalfly which is a type of robber fly (family Asilidae). Few carnivorous insects can match the amazing acrobatics and predatory proficiency of robber flies in their pursuit of prey. Adults of all species are predators and they will attack a variety of insects; even "armed" prey and insects much larger than their own body size.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Monarchs vs. Tussocks

I've received two e-mail message this week asking for a recommendation to control native Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars feeding on their namesake host. The senders were well-meaning Monarch Butterfly enthusiasts who were concerned the tussocks were eating the monarchs out of house and home.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Did You Give or Receive on Tuesday?

Did you know that Tuesday, August 8th was "Sneak A Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Front Porch Day"? Did you sneak, or did you get snuck upon? Didn't participate this year?  Be sure it is on the calendar for 2018! 

 

While this is a fun thing to do, it is important to remember if you have excess fruits and vegetables this time of the year, it is a great opportunity to share your bountiful harvest with others.  A simple sharing can occur neighbor-to-neighbor, among friends and family members, or excess produce can be donated food banks, kitchens or pantries.  Different...

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Authors
Amy Stone

White Grub Management

This has been one of the most prolific seasons for Japanese beetles in Ohio for many years. High localized populations were observed throughout the state. Adult populations of both Northern and Southern Masked Chafers, two of our other common "white grub producing" beetles, were also very high this season, particularly in the central and southern parts of Ohio.
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Authors
Joe Boggs
Dave Shetlar

Time to Tidy Up the Perennial Garden

Most of the perennials in my garden have bloomed a little earlier than normal.  Here it is almost the second week in August and I am seeing the late August perennials such as Sedum and goldenrod start to bloom.  It's also time for me to do a little cleaning up in the gardens, especially with those plants that have finished blooming such as Echinacea (coneflowers), Nepeta (catmint) and others.
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Authors
Pam Bennett

Linden ID

It’s Sunday night, I check my e-mail, and Frank Sinibaldi asks: “Mr. Chatfield, can you tell me what tree this comes from?”  I check out the attached image, and there it is: a linden bract with attached peduncle, pedicels and fruits.

 

  So, linden (Tilia spp.) is the tree. Common lindens are the American linden or basswood (Tilia americana), littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata) native to Europe and into Asia, and the hybrid Crimean linden Tilia x euchlora).  Lindens are much bee-beloved.

 

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Authors
Jim Chatfield

A Plant Walk in Wooster

The great thing for all of us as plant lovers is the simplicity of enjoyment of a walk in the woods or through city streets, checking out the plants we know. Here are some snapshots of just a few plant sightings on an afternoon walk in Wooster, Ohio a few days ago.

 

  First, as our lead photo, at the edge of a parking lot was Calycanthus, which a Clemson fact sheet notes has common names of Carolina allspice, strawberry-bush, sweet bubby {my favorite}, sweet Betsy, and spicebush {my least favorite since we think of Lindera benzoin as spicebush up North...

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Authors
Jim Chatfield