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Cooperative Extension in Somerset County


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Somerset County Master Gardener July 2013 Newsletter

Wow! It’s July already and hopefully your gardens are doing well after all the cool rains we had in the month of June. Now all we have to do is make sure that we have an adequate water supply for those dry spells that we know will eventually come — and keep ahead of the weeds and insects. Oh, yes, and be on the lookout for those things that want to harvest the garden before we get the chance, such as woodchucks, deer, and insects. If you would like information on dealing with wildlife in you gardens, visit Wildlife Control Information from Cornell University. For information on insects and weeds, visit Insect Pests & Plant Diseases from UMaine Extension.

Also, if you are seeking  help with supplying your gardens watering needs, UMaine Extension has helpful information on doing just that. See Bulletin #2160, Trickle Irrigation: Using and Conserving Water in the Home Garden or stop by your local UMaine Extension county office and ask for a copy. No wonder gardening is such fun; gardening fills each day with a new and interesting challenge!.

July is the month to

Disease & Pest Alert

July is the time for Rose Chafers and Japanese Beetles, as well as the newest addition to our insect pest alert: the Spotted Wing Drosophila!

Items of Interest

Dear Maine Master Gardener,

As many of you discovered when you shopped for plants this spring, many Maine greenhouses and garden centers are not selling garden Impatiens, or have greatly reduced their crops. You probably also noticed the increased availability of other shade plants, like New Guinea Impatiens, coleus, and begonias, because they are not susceptible to a disease that has become very serious in much of the U.S.: impatiens downy mildew.

I’d like to ask for your help in an effort to map the occurrence of impatiens downy mildew in Maine. We know that it occurred in 2012, but we don’t know how widespread it was. Together, we can map it this summer.

This disease is easy to diagnose in a garden. Here is what you’ll see:

  1. The first symptom is a coating of white spores on the undersides of leaves, especially between the veins.
  2. As the disease progresses, leaves turn yellow and wilt, and flowers drop early.
  3. Eventually, most leaves fall off, leaving nearly bare stems sticking up.
  4. Finally, the stems soften and fall to the ground.

If you’re interested in helping, please send me an e-mail at lois.stack@maine.edu and answer these questions:

  1. What symptoms do you see?
  2. Approximately how many impatient plants are in the planting?
  3. Is it in a commercial landscape, or in a municipal planting, or in a home garden?
  4. What town is it in?
  5. Is it urban, or suburban, or rural?

If you’re not sure about the diagnosis, send me a photo with your information. I’d be happy to respond to let you know if in fact it is impatiens downy mildew.

Thanks for considering this project! It’s a way that we can all work together to identify and understand a gardening problem, in order to plan for future garden success.

–Lois

Upcoming Events

Volunteer Opportunity

Thank you…

To those of you who attended the June 15 work day here at the UMaine Cooperative Extension, Somerset County office. Due to your efforts, we were able to remove the star bed and get a start on the flagpole bed by getting rid of the weeds that had taken over. There’s still plenty of work left to be done and if you are looking for a volunteer project, this project is ongoing and needs you.

Just a reminder, please keep sending in your volunteer hours.

Have a great summer!

Tom


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Contact Information

Cooperative Extension in Somerset County
7 County Drive
Skowhegan, Maine 04976-4209
Phone: 207.474.9622 or 1.800.287.1495 (in Maine)E-mail: cesom@umext.maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System