Editors observe: All through the escalating period, Mike Hogan, OSU Extension Educator for Agriculture & Pure Sources in Franklin County, will response gardening concerns submitted by Dispatch viewers. Send out your issues to [email protected].
Q: I lately read an on-line information story about a new invasive soil worm called the hammerhead identified in northeast Ohio. Is this pest a concern listed here in Higher Columbus?
A: The hammerhead worm is a non-native species of terrestrial flatworm, and some of these strange-seeking worms have been observed in a couple of spots in northeastern and western Ohio this spring.
These worms have not been found in central Ohio. The worms are native to nations in Asia, Africa, Australia and South America. Populations of these worms have grow to be set up in southern states in the United States. The worm is thought to have unfold to Ohio in the motion of soil or potted crops and nursery inventory from states in the southern portion of the place.
This species of worm is assumed to be invasive simply because it feeds on our effective earthworms as perfectly as snails, slugs and insects. The lengthy-time period consequence of these worms in our Ohio ecosystem is not yet known, but they have not been discovered to be harmful or useful in other states that have had them for quite a few several years.
Flathead worms range in dimension from an inch or considerably less to 12 inches very long. They can be brown or black and are slimy and shiny in look and can have a unique crescent-formed “hammer head”. These worms reproduce asexually, so gardeners who come across them need to not try to kill these worms by cutting them, as this act will just consequence in two worms!
If you would face 1 of these worms, it truly is proposed that you wash your arms completely, because the hammerhead does create a toxin used in attacking prey.
These worms can be killed with salt, vinegar or rubbing alcohol.
Q: The azaleas and rhododendrons in our property do not look to be pretty nutritious, and have couple of environmentally friendly leaves and pretty handful of flowers this spring. Is there a condition likely around that is affecting these shrubs?
A: There are number of diseases that have an affect on both of those azaleas and rhododendrons, and we have not noticed any common incidence of disorder of these vegetation lately. What we do see very regularly in greater Columbus is a gradual drop of these acid-loving plants when they are not planted in parts with the right cultural needs.
These crops do most effective in acidic soils with small pH, and the indigenous soils in most locations of Franklin County are a lot more alkaline with a large pH, thanks to the shallow limestone bedrock which serves as the dad or mum content of these soils.
The very best way to evaluate the pH of your soil is to have the soil examined for fertility and pH. For these vegetation to prosper in our soils, superior degrees of soil pH will want to be lowered by incorporating elemental sulphur to the soil exactly where these vegetation are growing. Sulphur is readily available at any back garden center.
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These plants also need very well-drained, non-clay soils with ample moisture. When these crops are grown in clay-based mostly soils with substantial pH ranges, they tend to thin around time and flower production decreases more than time. Many instances, these shrubs are planted in foundation plantings shut to the home, often less than the eaves, where by soil dampness tends to be reduce.
In addition, planting these shrubs in open areas in the yard that acquire comprehensive sun and are subject to windy circumstances can also bring about decrease, as these vegetation mature in a natural way in woodland areas with shade and only dappled daylight.
When we see drop of azaleas and rhododendrons in the house landscape, it is generally thanks to cultural conditions and not bugs or disorder.
Q: Some tiny buckeye trees alongside a wooded ravine near our house have some leaves that have turned black and died this spring. We have a huge buckeye tree in our front garden that does not seem to be to be impacted. Is there a illness that infects only wild buckeye trees?
A: This harm appears like the function of the buckeye petiole borer. The caterpillar kind of this moth would seem to prefer tiny understory trees developing in wooded areas along streams. Rarely do we see damage from this pest on mature trees in woodlands or trees of any age in the dwelling landscape. The pest infests both equally the Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) and yellow buckeye (A. flava).
This pest tunnels into the petiole, which is the tiny stem attaching the leaf to the tree branch, causing impacted leaves to wilt, droop and switch dark environmentally friendly and black and sooner or later tumble from the tree. Because this harm takes place in the spring, the signs and symptoms are often mistaken for frost or freeze problems.
Normally, only a number of leaves are influenced on a tree and the slight defoliation caused by the pest does not seem to be to affect the extensive-term wellness of the tree.