Spring is upon us once again, and so we must once again gear up for our battle with damaging insects and diseases on our landscapes.
Horticultural oil at a three percent rate is recommended for use at this time of year for the scale prone plants, i.e. cherries, hemlocks, euonymus, yews, pines, arborvitae, azaleas and rhododendrons. Spruces and junipers can also be treated if they are not of the blue variety, Oil will remove the color from these plants and potentially damage the leaf tissue.
Spring is also the best time to fertilize the landscape. I would recommend that you use a low nitrogen fertilizer with micronutrients such as iron and manganese. These micronutrients, as well as potassium and phosphorous, are more important to the plants than nitrogen and can be bound up in certain soils.
Some of the insects that you will see appearing in the upcoming weeks along with the recommended control measures are- all types of scale- horticultural oil is the best control, aphids- horticultural oil or soaps, spring mites- horticultural oil or an approved miticide such as hexygon or floramite , mealy bug horticultural oil, hemlock wooly adelgid- horticultural oil or a systemic insecticde such as orthene, oak leaftier- Tempo sc is recommended for control. Some of these materials are restricted use, and can only be purchased and applied by certified applicators.
Spring planting should be started now for the best chance of survival. Remember to include a good starter fertilizer in with the backfill. along with some soil amendments to help root development. Watering is the key to good establishment of the plants. With the current drought conditions that we have been going through for the past few years, you will see some die back on the plants. I would strongly recommend adding a drip irrigation system to the landscape to address the plants needs.
As always if you need any clarification or want more information, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at my office at 631-691-2381.