- Author: Denise Godbout-Avant
Seasonal Landscape IPM Checklist for Home Gardeners
UC's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Home, Garden, Turf and Landscape Pests Quick Link has a Seasonal Landscape IPM Checklist which is a wonderful resource with monthly checklists within your selected county/region to help guide you how to keep your landscapes healthy.
Topics include common pest problems to look out for, preventative measures, and links to more information. You can also subscribe to receive an automated monthly list by email.
December and January Lists
I reviewed the December and January checklists for Stanislaus County. The following are some topics listed and additional appropriate links:
- Frost – Temperatures sometimes drop to freezing during the winter months. Cold temperature can kill bark, buds, flowers, and shoots, so protect sensitive plants from frost. To increase a soil's ability to absorb heat rake away mulch to expose the ground around the base of the plant. If frost is expected irrigate the soil (if there hasn't been any rain recently) at least three days prior. You can also cover sensitive plants overnight with cloth or similar material other than plastic but leave covers open at the bottom so heat from soil can help warm plants and remove covers during the daytime. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/ENVIRON/frostdamage.html
- Irrigation – Always adjust your watering schedule according to the weather. We have had a very wet December, which followed an atmospheric river storm in October. So, gardens have needed little to no irrigation lately, depending on your soil type. Overirrigation can lead to root rot. Resume irrigation if storms diminish during the remainder of the winter (let's hope it remains wet!). If there is an extended dry spell during upcoming winter months, irrigate infrequently and deeply. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/homegarden/irrigating/
- Clean up – Remove old fruit and nuts in and under trees to avoid harboring pests. Also rake up fallen leaves beneath deciduous fruit trees and roses (but leave the leaves elsewhere in your yard for beneficial overwintering insects including butterflies and bees). http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/FRUIT/CULTURAL/sanitation.html
- Prune – Trees and shrubs that need pruning including apple, crepe myrtle, pear, rose, spirea, and stone fruits (exception are apricot and cherry trees which can harbor certain pests, i.e. shothole borer, which should be pruned in the summer). Remove dead and diseased wood. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/homegarden/pruning/
- Mistletoe – Mistletoes are parasitic plants that absorb nutrients and water from a host tree. Healthy trees can tolerate a few branches infected with mistletoe, but a heavy infestation could ultimately kill a tree, particularly if the tree is stressed or unhealthy. With leaves having dropped during fall months from deciduous trees, mistletoe is visible on the now-bare trees, and thus can be removed easily. Remove branches at least a foot below the mistletoe attachment before it produces seeds that will infest other limbs and trees. Since mistletoe often infects many trees on the same street, a neighborhood effort to remove all mistletoe from any trees on the block will help reduce continued spread in the area. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/QT/mistletoecard.html
- Peach leaf curl –If leaf curl has been an issue on your peach or nectarine plants apply preventive spray once or more times until bud break. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/QT/peachleafcurlcard.html
- Bare root plants – Now is the time to plant bare root deciduous trees, shrubs, and vines, including roses, fruit, nuts and grapes. Select species and cultivars that are appropriate for the site it is being planted. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/homegarden/planting/
This compilation is a partial overview of the lists I reviewed. Check out the January seasonal landscape checklist for your area to see which tasks you need to do. Then bundle up, get your garden tools, and go outside (preferably on a sunny day!) to do the necessary winter maintenance chores in your garden. You and your landscape will be rewarded for your cold weather efforts come spring.
Denise Godbout-Avant has been a UCCE Stanislaus County Master Gardener since July 2020./h3>
Where: On Zoom. You will receive a link the morning of the class.
When: Tuesday, June 29, 2021 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Register at: http://ucanr.edu/water-wise/2021
Instructors: Instructors Denise Godbout-Avant and Johnny Mullins
The recording will be posted to our YouTube channel at http://ucanr.edu/youtube/ucmgstanislaus
- Author: Denise Godbout-Avant
According to UC Integrated Pest Management (UC IPM), aphids are small, soft pear-shaped bodied insects with long legs and antennae, with slender mouthparts used to pierce stems, leaves and other tender plant parts to suck out plant fluids. The site recommends first attempting to control aphids by washing them off with a gentle stream of water. I did this over several mornings and evenings, with my hose set on fine spray, washing both the top and underside of the leaves. After about a week, I still had quite a few aphids, so I sprayed an insecticidal soap, making sure I covered both the top and bottom of leaves. Aphids produce many offspring, so they required an additional treatment.
Soft scale is a sucking insect, appearing as tiny dots on the leaves or stems of a plant. They can grow up to ¼ inch long and have a smooth, cottony or waxy surface. They feed on the sap of the plant and excrete sticky honeydew, which can attract ants. Mine were brownish-yellow with a waxy color, usually appearing on the underside of the leaves.
I removed badly damaged leaves, checked undersides of the leaves for the scale and scraped off any scale I found using a wet Q-tip. I also checked my other two plants and occasionally found a scale or two on them, scraping them off also. I repotted the infested plant with potting mix. Over time I was able to completely get rid of the soft scale.
My Buggy Summer Summary
It has been an educational summer learning about these insect pests and dealing with their infestations. I'm gratified I've been able to manage them using less toxic pesticides that are less harmful to beneficial insects and the environment. You can learn more about less toxic pesticides such as insecticidal soaps and oils by visiting the UC IPM website or by watching this video.
Denise is a UCCE Stanislaus County Master Gardener.
- Author: Anne E Schellman
This past week, the UCCE Stanislaus County Master Gardeners held a class about pollinators and the plants they prefer. Speakers from Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Xerces Society helped the audience “meet” many local pollinators found in our county.
Everyone knows about honey bees, but many might not realize there are over 4,000 native bees in California nor be able to recognize them.
At the beginning of the class, one speaker showed the image above and asked the audience, “How many bees are in this photo?” Participants shouted out several numbers, but most didn't know the answer. Take a moment to view each insect and count the bees. How many did you find? The answer and insect identities are at the very bottom of the page.
Education about pollinators is important so people can learn how to recognize bees and incorporate sustainable gardening practices that help protect them.
Our program plans to create a pollinator collection to have on display at events to help people learn how to recognize these helpful insects. We also plan to have more classes about pollinators throughout the county. In the meantime, you can consult the following pollinator resources.
Best plants for native bees and pollinators
Visit these sites for lists and information about plants native bees and butterflies prefer that provide pollen and nectar. Many local nurseries and garden centers also carry these plants.
Visit a Local Garden!
You can see a local pollinator garden by visiting the La Loma Native Garden located near downtown Modesto.
Six of the insects are bees!
- Bumble bee
- Sweat bee
- Mining bee
- Mason bee
- Honey bee
- Velvet ant (actually a wasp)
- Metallic green sweat bee
Special thanks to the Natural Resources Conservation Council and the Xerces Society for making this class possible. The first photo in this article is based on a study written in Frontiers in Ecology called Public support of bee conservation.
- Author: Anne E Schellman
University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Stanislaus County started a brand-new Master Gardener Program in January of 2019. Our first class of twenty-three volunteers just graduated and are out in the community making a difference.
If you enjoy gardening, live in Stanislaus County, and are willing to volunteer your time and talent, keep reading! We are now taking applications for our 2020 class that will start in early January. To learn more and apply:
- Visit our Become a UCCE Master Gardener website
- Click on the bright yellow button to fill out our application form before September 8, 2019
- Attend a mandatory orientation meeting in October
- Interview in November
- Acceptance letters mailed in early December