The association of poinsettias with Christmas is said to have begun over 500 years ago. The plant has been growing in dry tropical forests, along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Guatemala, for even longer than that. In its native form, it grows as a lanky, long-stemmed small tree or large bush. The wild plant has brilliant red “flowers”, but the red bits are narrow, less eye-catching, and scarcely like those on the plants we see in garden centers.
Part II to our series! Here are more common problems you might encounter in your summer-grown garlic.
Winter is the time to use your summer-grown garlic. Fortunately, we have great garlic-growing weather here in Western Oregon, although occasionally problems do arise. This week we are showing some common problems that can pop up and which are usually only found when you are cracking those heads, seeking the perfect cloves for your favorite potato and garlic soup.
Our fun Friday feature is a short introduction to a really cool app called iNaturalist. iNaturalist is essentially an online social network of enthusiastic naturalists, citizen scientists, students, researchers and experts who provide a worldwide crowdsourcing species identification system. Record your own observations, get help identifying species you record, and join projects that can use your observations for research or education efforts. Take your smart phone into your backyard or out on a hike, and try recording your first observation.
Apple scab, that fungal disease known to just about anyone who had grown an apple, can convert a promising young fruit into a disfigured, unappetizing reject. Although safe to eat, in this day of readily available perfect fruit, we would rather do without scabby fruit.
Now is the time when nurseries are propagating plants for the upcoming spring season. Odd looking plants with too many shoots or buds could be infected with the pathogenic bacterium Rhodococcus fascians. Propagators should be alert for symptoms, as shown in the gallery below, and have suspicious plants tested for the presence of the bacteria.
Boxwood blight is a relatively recent disease that is devastating Buxus plants on the east coast, and which has made limited inroads in Oregon.
The cannabis aphid is a pest aphid found on the leaves and stems of cannabis. Aphids have "piercing-sucking" mouthparts to feed on plant fluids. When aphids occur in high numbers, their feeding can stress plants and cause wilting, yellowing and other damage. Cannabis aphids are also potential vectors of plant pathogens.
Jerusalem crickets seem to fascinate those who find them. Also known as potato bugs, devil’s babies, and niña de la tierra (child of the earth), they are members of the genus Stenopelmatus and are related to katydids and cave-dwelling camel crickets.