Aster Yellows Disease in Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflowers are one of my favorite perennials. Environmentally there are few things to worry about with them. They are drought tolerant, bloom prolifically, and help to create a beautiful landscape. Unfortunately there is one major issue that can destroy whole gardens of these perennials: Aster Yellows. Recently I filmed a short video on a coneflower in my garden that has Aster Yellows disease. It's easy to spot. Check out the video below for more information on Aster Yellows disease: For more gardening videos please subscribe on my Youtube Channel: Growing The Home Garden.   Cause of Aster Yellows Disease Phyoplasma causes the deformities Leaf hoppers and juice sucking inspects transfer it from plant to plant. Prevention of Aster Yellows Disease Remove infected plants Plan your garden plantings with some space between members of the aster family.  

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Blossom End Rot and What To Do

When the fruit first begins to form in your vegetable garden you may notice a condition where the blossom ends of the fruit turns brown to black then begins to rot away. This can happen to a number of different vegetable garden producers like tomatoes, squash, peppers, and more. Aptly named "Blossom End Rot", this condition is nothing to be overly concerned about. It's disappointing to see something you've been eagerly awaiting for weeks get seemingly ruined - but it is only temporary! Blossom End Rot on Summer Squash   What Causes Blossom End Rot? Blossom end rot is a calcium deficiency that prevents the proper formation of cells in the fruit. Just like people, plants need nutrients like calcium for proper growth. The calcium deficiency can be cause by a couple things but is usually an issue with too much water not allowing the plant to bring in calcium…

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Garden Status Report: Mid July

It hardly seems to me that spring had even started before it was gone.  This growing season has gone by so quickly, or maybe I'm just getting too busy!  Unfortunately the garden has been through some rough times.  Drought and unbelievable record heat have crippled gardening in many ways from killing plants to keeping gardener's with common sense indoors (although I'm not sure I completely fit in that category!)  Here are a few photographs of how the gardens are doing now.     Zucchini - Costato Romanesco The vegetable garden is growing along just fine despite the weeds and weather.  I need to spend 3-4 days out there getting the weeds in check which should be a lot easier now that we've had rain to loosen the soil.  Before the rains removing weeds was like trying to remove the Sword In the Stone!  If successful I guess that would make…

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Powdery Mildew and How to Fix It!

This Sunday's weather was gorgeous.  A little cooler than we've been having but a great day to get out and get some big jobs done.  I spent much of the day mowing and preparing the vegetable garden then went around taking pictures of the gardens.  Things are coming along nicely but there was one issue I'm not too pleased about: powdery mildew!  I found the white powdery looking substance on my coral honeysuckle.  Mildew of course is brought on by warmth and wetness.  We've had both of those in good supply this spring.  Most of the time powdery mildew is a summer issue for us. Treating Powdery Mildew To treat my powdery mildew issues I'll be using neem oil and a baking soda solution.  I'll alternate the two on a weekly basis until the signs have diminished.  Neem oil is made from the neem tree and is a good organic…

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Aster Yellows and Coneflowers

Coneflowers are a work horse in many gardens including mine, but they aren't completely issue free. Recently one of my coneflower plants began showing deformed flowers with a complete loss of color in the petals. The petals appeared stunted and pale. In some cases the deformed flowers mimic some new interesting variety of coneflower but it's not, these are the signs of aster yellows. Aster yellows is passed on by a pathogen carried by leafhoppers and can be transmitted to many plants, not just coneflowers. The leaf hoppers ingest something called phytoplasm and transmit it from plant to plant when they feed. Coneflowers, asters, coreopsis and several other kinds of plants are all susceptible. There really isn't any method to treat aster yellows. The best thing the gardener can do is remove the infected plant from the garden to prevent it from spreading to other plants. It looks like I'm…

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Q&A: Leaf Spot Disease

Dave, I had a Yoshino Cherry Tree planted in late May and I'm noticing holes in most of the leaves. I am asking you if you know what pest may be attacking it...and if it is under attack, what treatment does it need? The answer to your question is leaf spot disease, not exactly a pest of the insect kind but rather a fungus. The fungus forms little brown-black spots on the leaves that eventually fall away from the leaves which leaves the leaves with an extremely spotty appearance. It's almost like the neighbor's kid was out with an automatic BB gun. If the fungus spreads, like fungi do, it will cause enough holes to interrupt water from getting to the leaves which causes the leaves to yellow and eventually drop off. On healthy established trees this may not be a big problem but younger, newly planted trees may have…

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