Turning a rose into repast

GARDEN Q&A

Garden Q&A

July 08, 2006|By JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI | JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The leaves on my rose have yellow "worm-track" holes. (The leaves are not eaten away.) I live close to the Patapsco River, so I'd rather not use anything too strong.

Rose slugs are the larvae of a wasplike sawfly. Their larvae are about 1/2 -inch long, yellow-green, and blend in perfectly with rose foliage. The larvae skeletonize leaves by etching off the upper surface between the veins. With heavy infestations, defoliation may occur and a summer rate of horticultural oil can be used.

My tomato leaves began wilting, though well watered. The disease has spread to other tomato plants. Please help!

We've gotten many calls lately about all kinds of vegetable plants wilting as a result of rain-saturated soils. Roots need oxygen for good heath.

There are other reasons for wilt besides disease, and disease symptoms vary. For example, fusarium wilt disease usually begins on the lower, old leaves. Verticillium wilt also starts on lower leaves but is not as common as fusarium. Southern bacterial wilt causes leaf tops to wilt.

For help in pinpointing the cause of your leaf-wilt problem, check out our publication HG 56 IPM Series - Tomatoes, visit our Web site's Plant Diagnostic link or call us.

Checklist

Control young crabgrass plants by hand-weeding or using a post-emergent spray on them before they get too large.

Deadhead or pick off spent blossoms on annuals and perennials to encourage re-blooming.

Jon Traunfeld, regional specialist, and Ellen Nibali, horticulture consultant, work at Maryland Cooperative Extension's Home and Garden Information Center. Call the center's "hotline" at 800-342-2507 or e-mail plant and pest questions through the Send a Question feature at hgic.umd.edu.

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