This time of year, it is not uncommon to see the valley oak trees (Quercus lobata) with their leaves yellowed and splotchy with numerous small seed like balls on the underside. These are called Jumping oak galls and they are made by a small Cynipid wasp larva (Neuropterus saltatorius) that is developing inside the gall. Don’t worry-the wasp doesn’t sting humans. In fact, you would be lucky to actually see the critter. While the galls do cause some defoliation, they are not particularly harmful to the trees. They may cause some serious leaf loss in some years and this year seems to be one of those years. The adult female wasp, in order to be able to create a gall that contain an egg, must sting the leaf at...
Creeping woodsorrel is a major weed in turf, ornamental plantings, gardens, and nurseries. Uninfested landscapes can become contaminated if infested container stock is used in plantings. As seed pods mature and expel seeds, creeping woodsorrel spreads from container to container, flower bed to flower bed, or across ornamental plantings and lawns....
I have been growing the most wonderful variety of cantaloupes called “Athena” in my vegetable garden. This variety is to die for….sweet, firm, and longer lasting than the Tuscan varieties. The vines were vigorous, productive and gorgeous until the aphids moved in and started curling the leaves and excreting honeydew, making everything a sticky mess. I am partly to blame because I watched the small aphid population just explode to a huge problem. I knew I should have done something early on but I didn’t….my excuse was not enough time in the day. Nonetheless, there was also a large population of both ladybugs and parasitic wasps that I thought might do the job for me so I really didn’t want to spray a pesticide. Now the big question...
Summer is an important time not only for fruit harvest but also for insuring a good crop in subsequent years. For example, typical summer fertilizing calls for:
Summer Growing Season
- Fertilize young trees monthly. Use 0.5 lb. urea or 25 lb. manure/tree/appl. Mature trees need 50% more. Water fertilizer in. If drip irrigated, do not exceed 1 oz. urea/emitter/mo.
- Drip irrigate daily or sprinkler irrigate about every 3 weeks.
- Maintain a weed free area around the base of the trees within 3' of the trunk with an organic mulch 3–4" deep.
We’ve got an exciting program coming up on August 14 at the Wolfskill Experimental Orchard. Spend the day with us learning about creating and maintaining sustainable home orchards of any size. We’ll be tasting fruit, offering a hands-on demonstrations, touring Wolfskill and much more! Your registration of $45 includes lunch, fruit tastings and a pomegranate plant.
Please join us – you’ll leave prepared to start your own backyard fruit production! You can pay by credit card, download the flier, agenda and directions at/o:p>/o:p>