July 11, 2013
Authors for 2015:  Amanda Bennett, Pam Bennett, Joe Boggs, Jim Chatfield, Julie Crook, Erik Draper, Gary Gao, Denise Johnson, Jacqueline Kowalski, Ashley Kulhanek, Cindy Meyer,  Amy Stone, Nancy Taylor, Marne Titchenell, Danae Wolfe, and Curtis Young.

Hort Shorts

It is not at all uncommon to encounter tiny, newly metamorphosed frogs and toads hopping about yards this time of year. Marne Titchenell reported encountering SPRING PEEPERS (Pseudacris crucifer), GRAY TREEFROGS (Hyla versicolor), and AMERICAN TOADS (Anaxyrus americanus) in central Ohio, and Ashley Kulhanek reported toads in Medina County.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife has requested that Ohio citizens report any sightings of BARN OWLS (Cyto alba) to 1-800-WILDLIFE or send an email to WildInfo@dnr.state.oh.us. Barn owls are listed as a threatened species in Ohio and have had a fluctuating history of abundance in the buckeye state - up until now that is.

Disease Digest

Erik Draper reported DOWNY MILDEW (DM) has begun its foliar rampage against cucumbers in northeast Ohio, especially Geauga County. This fungal finding was on the heels of confirmed reports of DM in cucurbits in Wayne and Medina counties by Dr. Sally Miller, Ohio State University State Vegetable Plant Pathologist.

One of the surprises to many of us is the host specificity of powdery mildew fungi. The powdery white growth on plant leaves stems or fruits, the "sign" of the many powdery mildew fungal pathogens, looks similar to the observer's naked eye, whether looking at powdery mildews on cucumber, zinnia, bluegrass, lilac, or planetree.

Turf Tips

There has been an explosion of mushrooms in turfgrass as a result of the wet weather that Ohio has been experiencing over the past couple of weeks. The moisture and warm to hot temperatures have favored the development of these reproductive structures of several species, notably the HAYMAKER'S MUSHROOM (Panaeolina foenisecii or Psathyrella foenesecii) (a.k.a. Lawn Mower's Mushroom) and the GREEN SPORED PARASOL MUSHROOM (Chlorophyllum molybdites) (a.k.a. the green spored Lepiota).

Plants of The Week

This plant is still relatively new to the flower bed (introduced in the mid- to late-90's) but is an excellent low-maintenance flower that withstands hot, cold, wet, dry, and just about any conditions thrown its way.

This tried and true but little-used perennial is great for Ohio gardens and for attracting bees. In June, they begin to bloom by sending up flowers stems with dense purplish-pink flowers at the top of the stems.

A common joy this summer is the massing of Annabelle hydrangea plants with their large, sometimes foot-wide symmetrical white balls of bloom. Out of the garden these blooms are also excellent cut and dried flowers.

By now most of the early planted peppers should be fruiting in the vegetable gardens. Bell peppers are a standard in most vegetable beds. Originating in Central and South America, peppers have been developed into a generous number of varieties suited for various culinary and ornamental uses.

The bane of every gardener, Canada thistle is an aggressive, difficult to control perennial that will form large colonies if left unchecked. Growing 2 - 3' tall, this thistle is noted for the spines which line the margins of the deeply lobed leaves as well its extensive network of rhizomes which make this weed very difficult to control.

Bug Bytes

Participants in this week's SW Ohio BYGLive! Diagnostic Walk-About observed several problems on purple cone flower (Echinacea purpurea) in a mass planting. These included dangling flower heads snipped from the stems by the SUNFLOWER HEAD-CLIPPING WEEVIL (Haplorhynchites aeneus); tufted flower parts that rise rosette-like from the cones and are produced by the CONEFLOWER ROSETTE MITE (no scientific name); and chlorotic, distorted, and stunted stems, leaves and flowers caused by the disease ASTER YELLOWS.

A participant in this week's S.W. Ohio BYGLive! Diagnostic Walk-About wowed the group by bringing a nicely bagged colony of WALNUT CATERPILLARS (Datana integerrima). This means a sister species; YELLOWNECKED CATERPILLARS (D. ministra), is also most likely on the prowl in southwest Ohio.

Joe Boggs reported that participants in the BYGLive! Walk-About observed a red oak with a large number of oak marginal fold galls. The galls are produced by a midge fly (= gall fly, family Cecidomyiidae) and the observation prompted a discussion about the link between the gall-maker and a particularly nasty non-native itch mite, Pyemotes herfsi.

TOMATO HORNWORMS (Manduca quinquemaculata) and TOBACCO HORNWORMS (M. sexta) are showing up on tomato plants in southern Ohio. Both hornworms will feed on tomatoes as well as several other closely related plants in the Solanaceae family including eggplants, peppers, potatoes, tobacco, and certain weeds.

Joe Boggs reported that he received one his first offers of the season from a helpful homeowner who was interested in sharing a "rare" black widow spider that they had captured. They believed black widows do not occur or are rarely found in Ohio; a common misconception. In fact, both the southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans), and the northern black widow (L. variolus) are found throughout the state.

Danae Wolfe reported spotting a real wonder in the woods, a CHECKERED BEETLE (family Cleridae). These beetles have clubbed antenna and are often colorfully banded, or "checkered," with short hairs or pubescence on their bodies.

BYGLers also ran into a number of other insect pests this week including: Bagworm

Weather Watch

The following weather information summarizes data collected at various Ohio Agricultural Research Development Center (OARDC) Weather Stations spanning the dates from July 1 - 10, 2013, with the exception of the soil temperatures which are readings from

Industry Insights

On Wednesday, July 3, 2013, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced that two emerald ash borer (EAB) adults were submitted to ODA for confirmation from Highland and Hocking counties. Because this was the first confirmed infestation in both of these counties - they have been added to the official infestation map.

We had a great Webinar session on powdery mildew disease, Ginkgoes, the Great Lakes Early Detection Network Application for Androids and Iphones, bagworms, Japanese beetles, and mushrooms in turfgrass this past Wednesday.


"Always try to grow in your garden some plant or plants out of the ordinary, something your neighbors never attempted.   For you can receive no greater flattery than to have a gardener of equal intelligence stand before your plant and ask, "What is tha