FLOWER OF THE MONTH
Annual, Calendula Officinalis. Calendulas are a very prolific, easy to grow annual flower. Also known as "Pot Marigolds", Calendulas produce orange, yellow, and lemon colored flowers on long stems. Flowers will bloom from mid-summer all the way until frost. They make great indoor arrangements, but need to be checked for aphids before bringing them in. They would be more popular, but they give off an unpleasant odor that is sometimes too strong indoors.
Did you know? Calendula petals are used in soups, stews and salads.
PROTECTING YOUR GREEN THUMB.
Gardening is great for your health -- unless you injure yourself in the process. Tetanus bacteria live in soil, making yard injuries especially dangerous. Dr. Bruce Bonanno, spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians, suggests precautions to avoid these top.
Scratches and scrapes
Protect your hands with leather gloves, and wear long-sleeved shirts and slacks around all thorned plants.
Wooden support stakes and broken tool handles can pierce skin. Consider bamboo stakes, and replace worn equipment.
Rakes, nails and fence wire pose hazards to even sneakered feet. Always wear work boots or shoes with hard soles.
The following article was prepared by the Clemson Extension Center:
Common Lawn Insects
The five most important lawn insect pests in South Carolina are chinch bugs, spittlebugs, mole crickets, white grubs and fall armyworm.
Chinch bugs are mainly a problem on St. Augustinegrass, which limits them to the coastal plain. They are about 1/8 to ¼ inch in length, and brown to black in color with white wings. Both adults and the immature forms suck plant sap. They prefer grass in sunny areas and warm, dry conditions.
Three species of mole crickets occur in South Carolina. They are mainly a coastal plain problem. They are tan to black and about 1 to 1½ inches in length. Their front legs are short and stout and adapted for digging. Their tunneling uproots plants causing them to dry out. One species of mole cricket also feeds on roots and above ground plant parts.
Spittlebugs are a sporadic problem, mainly on centipedegrass. The immature forms are found at the base of the plant in a white, foamy spittle mass. Adults and nymphs suck plant sap causing yellowing of the grass.
White grubs are found throughout the state on all grasses. White grubs are the immature forms of several beetles and chafers. They feed on plant roots.
Fall armyworm occurs sporadically throughout the state on all grasses. It is a caterpillar, ranging in color from green to brown to black and in length from 1 3/8 to 2 inches in length. It eats grass leaves.
Diseases, nematodes, dry weather and nutritional disorders can cause similar symptoms to insect damage in grass. Thus, it is very important that the cause of the problem be correctly identified before treating.
Often, insect problems can be reduced without pesticides by following certain cultural practices.
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