October 17, 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

This fall appears to be a dramatic one relative to the normal inner needle yellowing and needle drop on white pine. Each fall this seasonal needle yellowing comes as surprise to many, as does the seasonal needle yellowing in springtime that is noted on American hollies and yews.

Fall is an important time in landscape maintenance. Cultural practices completed prior to the beginning of winter will ensure a healthier landscape for next spring. Many pest problems and diseases encountered this season may survive until next season on or in plant debris.

It's fall once again, a time for falling leaves, cool temperatures, pumpkins on doorsteps, Halloween costume shopping…and deer-vehicle collisions. Of all the months out of the year, October and November are on record as having the highest number of deer-vehicle accidents.

The eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus) can be responsible for a considerable amount of damage no matter the season. In the spring rabbits feast on greening vegetation such as clover, herbs, and flowering plants, leaving plenty of time for crops to ripen (fruits, vegetables, legumes), which are preferred summer foods.

Ohio State University Extension in Clark County is the host of one of 17 sites participating in these ornamental grass trials. Partnering with 12 Universities, Pam Bennett is evaluating multiple cultivars of 2 genera of ornamental grasses, Schizachyrium (little bluestem) and Panicum (switchgrass).

Disease Digest

Julie Crook reported confirmation of downy mildew on impatiens in a landscape planting in southwest Ohio. Her report prompted a discussion among BYGLers on the current status of this disease. Last season, the discovery of this destructive plant disease in Ohio made top news.

Turf Tips

There are a couple of key maintenance operations to perform in the fall to help turfgrass survive the winter and support early spring growth.  Three important operations are (1) late season fertilization; (2) coring/aerification; and (3) dormant over-s

There is an age-old suggestion to lower mowing heights in the fall to avoid turf diseases developing during the winter. This is not necessarily accurate. Ohio State University turfgrass specialists say that it is more important to KEEP MOWING until the grass stops growing for the season.

Although proper turfgrass maintenance programs can greatly reduce the invasive pressures of the various turfgrass weeds, even the highest quality turfgrass areas will occasionally be invaded by one or more weed species. While a few weeds can be physically removed, considerable weed encroachment may require chemical controls.

Plants of The Week

In the National Grass Trials at the Ohio State University Extension site in Clark County (see more details below), this cultivar of little bluestem has done well all season and is still going providing outstanding color. This 2007 introduction is a selection from the work that trial coordinator Mary Meyer has been doing at the University of Minnesota.

Have you picked your pumpkin for carving or decorating this season? Pumpkin patches have probably been hopping with the recent run of beautiful weather. In addition to the traditional uses as a jack-o-lantern, pumpkins can also be used to make pies, rolls, bread, cookies, and soup.

Black Tupelo, also known as Black Gum, Sour Gum, or Pepperidge, is known for its glossy dark green summer foliage. This tree is even more known for its outstanding autumn foliage colors of yellow, orange, bright red, scarlet, and purple. When these trees are planted "en masse" onlookers stop in their tracks to view the spectacular sight.

Kudzu has been called the "vine that ate the south." Recently it has been gaining a foothold in the north - more specifically here in Ohio. In addition to its invasive behavior, it is also a host of soybean rust. There is also a beetle that eats kudza, but unfortunately it also attacks soybeans. Two strikes if you are a soybean grower.

Bug Bytes

This is the time of the year when it seems that praying mantids are everywhere! Actually, the numbers haven't increased, only the size of the mantids as well as their behavior. When mantids hatch from eggs, the "nymphs" are very small and hard to spot as they skitter about on the foliage of plants.

Most people think lady beetles are meat-eaters. In fact, the vast majority of lady beetle species are predators and they will chow-down on any insect or mite that they can get their mandibles around. Both the adults and larvae are meat-eaters with some types of lady beetle larvae looking like a miniature alligator.

Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) was first brought from China to the US in 1784. The reviews were positive for over a century; this tough tree seemed to be able to grow anywhere.

BYGLers also ran into several other insect pests this week including: Giant Bark Aphids

Weather Watch

The following weather information summarizes data collected at various Ohio Agricultural Research Development Center (OARDC) Weather Stations spanning the dates from January 1 - October 15, 2013, with the exception of the soil temperatures which are re

Industry Insights

Joe Boggs provided highlights from the 16th Annual Bluegrass-Buckeye BYGLive! held at Equus Run Vineyards in Midway (just northwest of Lexington), KY. At the top of the highlight list was recognition for the program's host, Larry Hanks (Pampered Properties, Lexington, KY).


October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,