- Editor: Tammy Majcherek
- Author: Jason Suppes
- Editor: Tammy Majcherek
- Author: UC Integrated Pest Management Program
Report Unsolicited Seeds to APHIS
Have you had unexpected seeds show up in the mail? Unknown seeds could be invasive plants, contain invasive insects, or have plant disease causing agents. Here's what the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has to say about it.
APHIS Stakeholder Announcement July 28, 2020 (Language from their website)
USDA Investigates Packages of Unsolicited Seeds
USDA is aware that people across the country have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.
USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their State plant regulatory official or APHIS State plant health director. Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.
At this time, [USDA does not] have any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.
USDA is committed to preventing the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protecting U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. Visit the APHIS' website to learn more about USDA's efforts to stop agricultural smuggling and promote trade compliance.
Cecilia Sequeira (301) 851-4054
There are many methods to tackle weeds. The UC Weed Research and Information Center has put together a variety of training videos about these pests including demonstrating weed control techniques as collectively listed by Gale Perez in her blog article More training videos: Weed Control Techniques.
Good luck - don't let them overstay their welcome!
Having received quite a bit of rain lately, your irrigation system is probably the last thing on your mind. In truth, now is actually the perfect time to check things out before you do turn your system back on for the upcoming warm months of summer.
Below is a seasonal checklist to make sure your system is in working order.
Feel free to print the attached and post near your controller for easy reference.
1. Take an inventory of what you have, is it in good shape? Be honest.
I am all for re-purposing and fixing whatever I can, but holding on to items like those old gloves that are literally falling apart is just not worth it. If you do need new ones, and can't get out to purchase a new pair and have a sewing machine, I found a crafty little site that shows you how to make new ones out of old sweatshirts https://latelyreconstructed.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/10-minute-sweatshirt-garden-gloves-tutorial/
2. If it is broken and fixable, try repairing it yourself.
It is very frustrating when you need to haul a load around the garden only to find the wheelbarrow has a flat tire. Pump up, or patch, deflated wheel barrow tires now before you get started on any big projects - there are many DIY online sources with easy to follow instructions, if that doesn't work, you can order a replacement online from most box stores.
Don't forget to inspect your wooden handled garden tools too. Are the handles of your rake, shovel, hoes, etc. beyond a light sanding and oiling? Maybe showing signs of splintering apart? Most are easily replaced and are available from your local hardware store or other online sources who also offer complete directions.
3. Dull blades can be dangerous to you and your plants.
Trying to dig with a dull shovel will only make the job harder and rough on your back, just as pruning plants with dull clippers will only cause harm to your plants creating cuts that shred the branches leaving them open to disease and other pests.
Click on the document below from the UCCE Master Gardeners, Orange County, for instructions on sharpening your single bevel tools.
4. Be sure to organize things so they are easily found.
5. Have FUN
That's all for now, just a few things to help pass the time and make your life a little easier later on.