Wayne Post
  • August garden and home landscape tips from Master Gardeners

  • Here we are, it’s already August. Most lawns are still green as we’ve had plenty of rainfall in our area.

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  • Here we are, it’s already August. Most lawns are still green as we’ve had plenty of rainfall in our area. Crab grass is also growing well in areas with compacted soil or where lawns are sparse. In the past few weeks, our Master Gardeners have had many questions about plant disease and insect pests as well as several calls about pond weed identification and control.
    We currently don’t have any confirmed cases of Late Blight of Tomato/Potato in Wayne County although conditions have been favorable for its development. Those growing tomatoes/potatoes should be vigilant. Pay special attention to plants in areas where they stay wet in the morning, near tree lines, or where there is poor air circulation. If you suspect that you have LB please contact us.
    Training for our “Class of 2013” Master Gardener volunteers will begin in early September and run through mid-November. Classes will be on Wednesdays and will be held at the experimental station in Geneva. Cornell University staff will cover most of the topics for the training. After completing the training volunteers work out of our office in Newark advising on many different home landscape/garden issues. Some volunteers give presentations while others work in our demonstration garden or answer hotline and e-mail questions. There are always plenty of different opportunities for our volunteers. If you have an interest in horticulture/insects/composting etc. and would like to volunteer or would like to learn more about this program please contact me by Aug. 16 at ljv8@cornell.edu or 331-8415. Please leave a daytime phone number where I can reach you.
    Upcoming events
    Gardening Hotline: Call or stop in on Tuesdays and Fridays from a.m. to noon to talk with one of our Master Gardeners. Plant and insect samples can be left at our office at other times but should not be left over the weekend. You can also leave a message on our voicemail 331-8415 ext. 107 or e-mail questions to us at mgwayne@cornell.edu Please leave a daytime phone number where we can reach you with any additional questions we may have.
    Wanted: Forest Owner Volunteers — Cornell Cooperative Extension is looking for a few good forest owner volunteers to meet and work with their neighbors. The NY Master Forest Owner Volunteer Program is entering its 23rd year with a new volunteer training scheduled for Sept. 25 to 29 at Cornell University’s Arnot Teaching and Research Forest Van Etten, N.Y. Volunteers who complete the 4-day workshop will join the corps of 200 plus certified volunteers across the state. Applications due by Sept. 11
    Participants can commute daily, or accommodations are available at the Forest. There is a $100 fee that helps defray lodging, publications, food, and equipment costs. The workshop combines classroom and outdoor field experiences on a wide variety of subjects including; tree identification, finding boundaries, forest ecology, wildlife and sawtimber management, communication techniques, timber harvesting, and a visit to a nearby sawmill.
    Page 2 of 3 - The goal of the MFO Program is to provide private forest owners with the information and encouragement necessary to manage their forests to enhance ownership satisfaction. MFOs do not perform management activities nor give professional advice. Rather, they meet with forest owners to listen to their concerns and questions, and offer advice as to sources of assistance based on their training and personal experience.
    Some of the program’s biggest supporters are the volunteers who have worked with the program for years. Give one of them a call to learn of the program’s unique benefits. More information regarding the MFO Program, a listing of current volunteers, a sample training agenda and an application form is also available on our website at www.cornellmfo.info or call (607) 255-2115.
    Free Woodlot Visits: Call 331-8415 ext. 107 to schedule a free woodlot site visit. These free site visits typically last up to 3 hours with our Master Forest Owners providing woodlot management information to Wayne County woodlot owners including best management practices for achieving management goals. During the visit our MFO’s can also provide you with   additional sources for assistance and information.
    For information and webinars on forest health visit www.cornellforestconnect.ning.com.
    Monthly garden and home grounds tips
    • To decrease diseases such as Septoria Leaf Spot and Early Blight on your tomatoes follow a minimum crop rotation of three years if the disease is present. Stake and trellis to reduce soil contact with foliage. Mulch in the rows. Disinfect stakes before the season, or better yet, use new ones. Work in affected parts of the field last. Plant resistance! The new variety ‘Iron Lady’, developed by Cornell professors Martha Mutschler-Chu and Tom Zitter is resistant to Early Blight, Late Blight and Septoria. These diseases move from soil to plant and plant to plant.
    • Scout for and remove weeds before they go to seed. Many weeds are forming seed heads now.
    • Add mulch to cover bare or thin areas in garden beds and foundation plantings to help retain moisture and decrease weed germination. Mulch should be 2 to 3 inches thick and shouldn’t touch tree trunks or shrubs.
    • Harvest onions when the tops fall over and cure in the sun for 3 to 5 days before storing.
    • Garlic should be dug if you haven’t done so already. Examine bulbs and only save the best ones to replant in the early fall.
    • Remove and destroy or compost fallen fruit to decrease fruit pests next year.
    • If plant diseases occur clean up and destroy all diseased plant material. Don’t compost diseased plant material.
    • Practices that promote deep rooting of turf are beneficial. Mow lawns high (3 inches) and consider core aeration to help alleviate compacted areas.
    • Consider lawn renovation or repetitive over-seeding with appropriate grass variety in areas where turf is thin. Call us for recommendations specific to your conditions.
    Page 3 of 3 - • There’s still time to plant broccoli (early)*, cauliflower (early)*, bibb and leaf lettuce, beets, Swiss chard, spinach and turnips for late fall harvests. Plant by early August. Use of low tunnels can extend crops as well. *indicates transplants.