Sneaky Stink Bugs

I'm seeing damage on ripening tomatoes in southwest Ohio caused by Brown Marmorated Stink Bug nymphs. I first saw damage from both the adults and nymphs on my own tomatoes in 2015. At that time, we didn't know which direction BMSB populations would take in the southwest part of the state.
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Joe Boggs

Morning Dew Brings Gossamer Creations to Light

This is the time of the year in Ohio when female spiders of many web spinning species reach maturity. They become most evident when their gossamer creations are illuminated by early morning sunlight reflecting off a heavy dew. I was lucky to experience this magical but fleeting light effect during an early morning hike around my neighborhood a few days ago.
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Joe Boggs

A Real Sweet Dilemma

I was asked to help a vegetable grower figure out what was going on with something wreaking havoc and eating his ripening sweet corn.  Typically, when someone mentions sweet corn and problems, the first demon that comes to mind are those little masked, sweet-toothed bandits, known as raccoons!   When I arrived out in the field, I was surprised to see the corn stalks standing tall in nice rows.  The masked marauders climb up the cornstalk to the get to the ripest, uppermost ear of corn; consequently, the corn stalks are most often snapped off or pushed over down to the...

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Erik Draper

A Blooming Bias

In the world of plants, most often our attention focuses on bloom color, size and timing of when blooms will make an impact in our landscape.  Blooms are nice as a moving focal point during the growing season, but people become a little upset when plants don’t do what they are supposed to and only when they are supposed to do it.  This is the time of year that concerned citizens call into the office wondering whether or not their magnolias or rhododendrons are going to die.  When asked why they think that the plants are going to die, the response is always the same, “...

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Erik Draper

Blister Beetles Wreaking Havoc on Tomatoes

I received two e-mails over the weekend from backyard gardeners in southwest Ohio with pictures showing Black Blister Beetles swarming over tomato plants. Black blister beetles as well as Margined Blister Beetles are the two most common species found in Ohio. Both beetles are capable of showing-up in large numbers to feed on the leaves and flowers of a wide range of perennials and annuals including vegetable plants.
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Joe Boggs

Marestail (Horseweed)

Marestail, which is also known as "Canadian horseweed," or just "horseweed," has moved from field crops to become a plague in landscapes and nurseries. The main reason is that certain biotypes are resistant to glyphosate (e.g. Roundup) as well as a number of other agricultural herbicides. In fact, this native North America plant has become such a problem in Ohio it has been added to the state's noxious weeds list.
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Joe Boggs

Monstrous Porcelain-Berry Barrage

I posted a BYGL Alert last October on Porcelain-Berry when the problem berries were fully ripened and available for widespread distribution by birds and other animals. I'm revisiting this ever-expanding non-native vine because its invasive arc in southwest Ohio is being compared by some horticultural professionals as possibly rivaling kudzu.
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Joe Boggs

Embrace the Milkweed Menagerie

This is the time of the year when the menagerie of insects that feed on members of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae), including common milkweed, seem to arrive en masse … to the consternation of monarch lovers! Some aim to reserve milkweeds for monarchs. What about other native insects that feed on milkweeds; let them eat cake?
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Joe Boggs