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Fungi in Mulch

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by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

 

 

Mulching2Each spring I like to spread a fresh layer of mulch on my flower beds.  As you may know mulch helps conserve moisture in the soil, keeps weeds at bay, keeps the soil temperatures lower in the summer and insulates the plant roots in the winter. Usually, organic materials (mulch) inhibit unwanted microorganisms like soil borne pathogens that cause diseases in plants and organic materials can stimulate the activity of many types of beneficial microorganisms such as mycorrhizal fungi. I have found that sometimes mulches can contain microorganisms (primarily ...

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Fall Webworm, Bagworm and Tent Caterpillars

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener       People have nothing on bugs when it comes to using bags and tents for protection while sleeping.  Some caterpillars have similar methods to protect them from the elements and from the voracious appetites of birds. The Eastern Tent Caterpillar appear early in the season, usually in …

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42 Signs You’re From Shipshewana, Indiana

1. You know how to pronounce “Shipshewana.” And it’s not “Shipshewan-ee” or “Sip-se-wana.” 2. You don’t have to pinch your nose at the smell of manure. To you, it’s just “good, fresh country air.” 3. Your driver’s education training included learning how to pass buggies and bicycles. 4. Rush hour is on Tuesdays & Wednesdays during …

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The Basics of Tomato Flavor

  by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener   There are plenty of fresh tomatoes to be had this time of year.  What makes the best tasting tomato?  Well, that all depends on what your taste buds prefer and a blend of plant chemistry and garden variables such as temperature, soil, rain and sun. Tomato flavor …

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End of Season Color

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener   Your flower gardens may tend to not look their best by mid to late August.  It’s hot and dry and many perennials may be finished blooming now.  The coneflower may just be what you need to perk up that garden.  They all have a similar type of flower …

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Japanese Beetles

by Karen Weiland       Japanese beetles are one of the most aggressively damaging insect pests of landscape plants and turf grass.  Japanese beetle(Popillia japonica) larvae are a type of white grub that feeds on the roots of grass and the adult Japanese beetles eat the leaves and flowers on more than 300  plant …

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