HORT SHORTS

Your tomatoes and peppers are screamin' mad about this cooler weather. They are really hoping for warmer weather and you should too if you want to enjoy the fruits of your labor! These two plants in particular are warm season plants and thrive on temperatures that are around 75F during the day. When temperatures drop to below 60F at night for tomatoes and 50F at night for peppers, things stop happening. On the other hand, when the temperatures get into the 90F range at night, things slow down too. I know, picky picky picky!

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A few calls have been coming in to the Extension offices this week about unknown critters stripping bark from trees. After consulting with the BYGL team and Marne Titchenell, the Extension wildlife specialist, all evidence leads to squirrels. Squirrels may occasionally damage trees by chewing bark from branches and trunks and can even girdle trees and several species could be the causing the damage.

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The Ohio State University Cultivar Trials are conducted each year in order to evaluate ornamental bedding and container plants. The Trials are organized and conducted by Claudio Pasian and Lindsay Pangborn (OSU Department of Horticulture and Crop Science). The objective of these trials is to observe the performance of new and recently introduced cultivated plant varieties under environmental conditions typical of central Ohio.

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Blueberry, black raspberry and summer red raspberries are ripening in many parts of Ohio. Now is the best time to visit farms that off pick-your-own berries. This is a perfect way to purchase fresh berries and support our Ohio farmers at the same time.

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The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife has requested that Ohio citizens report any sightings of BARN OWLS 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.

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Along with the typical damage reports of rabbits, deer, and geese, Marne Titchenell also received reports on the ongoing of several other wildlife species. SNAPPING TURTLES typically lay eggs in June in Ohio, the females only venturing onto land long enough to excavate a burrow to lay their eggs in.

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Many BYGL readers are plant diagnosticians. As a gardener, we are always scouting in our own lawns, gardens and landscapes. As a green industry professional, you can be helping clients solve and provide solutions of pesky problems brought to your attention or ones that you have sought out on your own in a monitoring program in the landscape and nursery.

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Julie Crook is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Program Coordinator for Hamilton County and BYGL contributor. Julie joined OSU Extension in September, 2008.

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Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is a native species to the US that can be found in numerous environments from woodlots to urban streets. It is dispersed by birds and other animals that eat the fruit then drop the seeds with their feces in new locations. Thus poison ivy is frequently found growing in places beneath roosting sites and hiding places for animals such as fence rows, at bases of trees, on roadsides, and along the edges of woods.

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Last week, BYGL writer Marne Titchenell spent the week at the Ohio Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp along with 107 high school students who spent the days (and early hours of the nights) outside learning about the great outdoors.  The Ohio Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp (OFWCC) is a week-long, summer resident camp geared towards young adults with an interest in forestry and wildlife.  One of the biggest goals of camp is to get young adults outside (and away from technology and social media) while opening their eyes to the natural world.

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