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.
Online training courses and webinars available from UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program
—Cheryl Reynolds, UC Statewide IPM Program
This spring if you are looking for options to obtain your continuing education units (CEUs) and not sure where to get them, why not check out the online options that the UC Statewide IPM Program (UC IPM) has to offer. For license and certificate holders from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) with last names beginning with the letters A through L, 2020 will be the year to renew.
UC IPM currently offers 16 online courses for DPR credit. Many of the courses are also accredited by the California Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB), Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA), or Arizona Department of Agriculture.
If you are looking for CEUs in the Laws and Regulations category, check out these courses:
- Proper Pesticide Use to Avoid Illegal Residues (2.0 Pesticide Laws & Regs)
- Proper Selection, Use, and Removal of Personal Protective Equipment (1.5 Pesticide Laws & Regs)
- Providing IPM in Schools and Child Care Settings(1.0 Other and 0.5 Pesticide Laws & Regs)
Some of our courses do require a fee and are being offered at an early-bird price through October 31st. These courses can be purchased individually, or they can be purchased as a 4-course bundle for a special price of $85—a total discount of $20 versus purchasing each course separately.
In addition to offering online courses, UCIPM also hosts a monthly webinar series sponsored by the Citrus Research Board.
The UC Ag Experts webinar series is designed for growers and pest control advisers. It includes presentations on various pest management and horticultural topics, primarily for citrus and avocados. The next webinar will be held on April 8th from 3 PM until 4 PM with Dr. Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Riverside Department of Entomology and Extension Specialist, speaking about citricola scale. This webinar has been approved for one hour of Other CEUs from DPR and 1 hour of IPM units from CCA. Registration is currently open. View past webinars on the YouTube UC Ag Expert Talk Playlist. CEUs are only available for attending the live webinar.
DPR always encourages license and certificate holders to avoid the last-minute rush and renew early to ensure your license will be renewed by January 1st. Take advantage of UC IPM's online courses and webinar series to get a jump start on your renewal today!
Apparently there are for more male trees planted than female trees, go figure.
"Male trees are one of the most significant reasons why allergies have gotten so bad for citydwellers in recent decades. They're indiscriminate, spewing their gametes in every direction. They can't help it—it's what evolution built them for. This is fine in the wild, where female trees trap pollen to fertilize their seeds. But urban forestry is dominated by male trees, so cities are coated in their pollen."
For the full article click here and don't forget to take care of those allergies.
They provide some great information on how to prevent bringing an infestation home with you - this is always in the back of my mind no matter where I stay.
I can't wait for part 2 for host on how to prevent unwanted guests of this variety. Yikes!