No. 2/May 7, 2018

Modified Growing Degree Days (Base 50°F, March 1 through May 3)
Insect development is temperature dependent. We can use degree days to help predict insect emergence and activity. Home, Yard, and Garden readers can use the links below with the degree day accumulations above to determine what insect pests could be active in their area.

Invasive Plant Phenology Report
The University of Illinois Extension Forestry produces a monthly invasive plant phenology report that gives information on the development of invasive plants across Illinois, informing readers about what is in bloom, leafing out, setting seed, senescing in different regions of the state.

Broadleaf Weed Control in Turf
We've waited a long time to see the flowers of dandelion. We wondered if spring would ever arrive. Now that it's here and the yellow blooms are bountiful (in some areas quite bountiful), you might be thinking that it's time to change that lawn or field of yellow back to a nice, uniform green. Actively growing dandelions and other broadleaf weeds can be controlled and prevented with proper practices. 

Hold Off Pruning Oaks and Elms
We prune trees with a variety of goals in mind. These goals include improving appearance and structure, reducing potential hazards, and promoting tree health. Pruning may be an acceptable way to control an existing insect or disease problem without using pesticides. Pruning can also increase light penetration and airflow through a tree's canopy, thus making the conditions less favorable for fungal disease. However, for some tree species, pruning at the wrong time of year may actually promote certain diseases.

Nutrient Issues
We have been seeing a number of plants with symptoms of nutrient issues at the Plant Clinic so far this spring. Most of these have come from plants that were started early in basements and greenhouses. Symptoms such as interveinal chlorosis (yellowing) or necrosis (brown tissue death) can often indicate a nutrient problem. In strawberries, a red or brown diffuse discoloration and necrosis across the leaves can also indicate a nutrient deficiency.

Pet Conscious Grub Control
It may be difficult to find articles specifically discussing pet safety in lawn care. In many cases, this is because products that meet human standards are also safe for pets. Many products are safe for cats and dogs when they are applied according to the labeled instructions, so it is important to read the product label before you purchase a product and again before you apply that product. Check the Precautionary Statements section of the label, if the product has any precautions specifically related to humans or domestic animals, they will be listed here and they will often describe the concern.