Mulches for Home Gardens and Plantings

Boost your garden’s production with mulches. This publication shows when to use organic mulches, like bark or leaves, and synthetic mulches, like plastic sheets, and teaches how to apply them.

Woodpecker Ecology & Damage Management

Woodpeckers are attractive, interesting visitors to bird feeders and yards. In addition to adding beauty to the landscape, woodpeckers are an integral part of the ecosystem. Woodpeckers are primary cavity nesters, which means that they use their bills (and reinforced skull structure) to excavate holes into dead wood. Woodpeckers use the cavities they create for […]

Reducing Soil pH

Sherry Combs, formerly of the UW-Madison Soil and Plant Analysis Lab Revised:  10/27/2007 Item number:  XHT1151 Is your soil pH too high?  Probably not, although the popular press urges most gardeners to question whether their garden soil pH is ‘right’.  Only a soil test for pH can indicate whether the pH is ‘right’, and ‘right […]

Phenology

Karen Delahaut, UW-Madison Fresh Market Vegetable Program Revised:  5/17/2012 Item number:  XHT1085 The word phenology is derived from the Greek word phaino meaning “to show” or “to appear”.  Phenology is a branch of science that studies the relationships between periodic biological events—usually the life cycles of plants and animals—and environmental changes.  Natural events such as […]

Degree Day Calculation

Karen Delahaut, UW-Madison Fresh Market Vegetable Program Revised:  8/6/2012 Item number:  XHT1086 Indicator plants are not always suitable for the timing of pest management practices.  You may not have the critical indicator plant  nearby to time local activities, or there may not be a good indicator plant for a particular pest’s crucial life stage.  Another […]

Ips Bark Beetle

Ips bark beetle, also known as the pine engraver, is an insect that attacks and kills weak, stressed, declining and dying pine and spruce trees. These insects are attracted to trees that have been stressed from drought, construction damage, overcrowding, transplant shock, flooding, disease and other insect problems. Identification and management are covered in this fact sheet.

Boxwood Blight

Boxwood blight (also known as box blight and boxwood leaf drop) is a devastating disease of boxwood (Buxus spp.) that can cause leaf loss and eventual death of affected shrubs. This factsheet covers symptoms and management.

Scale Insects

Scale insects feed on many plants, but are often overlooked because they are immobile and many types look like small bumps that just might be plant parts blending in with the leaves, twigs and branches. These insects secrete a waxy covering – that gives them their common name – to protect them from the environment and predators. Learn more about this group of inconspicuous and atypical insects in this article…

Aphids, in-depth

Aphids may be viewed as just another pest for gardeners to try to eliminate, but they’re really fascinating insects, with bizarre lifestyles and eating habits and they’re also dinner for lots of other insects. Forming colonies covering the leaves and stems of plants, these small sap-sucking creatures reproduce incredibly fast and a few also transmit plant diseases. Learn more about this large group of insects and how to manage them in the garden in this article…

European Larch, Larix decidua

Not all conifers are evergreen, and larch is one example of a conifer that loses its needles every year. The European larch is a large, deciduous tree hardy to zone 2 that is often grown as an ornamental (the North American species, including are rarely offered in the horticulture trade). Learn more about Larix decidua in this article

Aphids

Aphids are soft-bodied, sucking insects that are sometimes called plant lice. They feed on plant sap and subsequently excrete a sugary substance (called honeydew) that can attract ants as well as support the growth of a saprophytic fungus called sooty mold. Learn about common aphids found in home gardens in this factsheet.

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