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Schmidt: 4-H always seeking newcomers

By Staff | Aug 1, 2014

The 4-H year will officially end Aug. 31. This means that on September 1 current 4-H members will begin reenrolling in their chosen project areas that they will be working on throughout the upcoming year. New families are also welcome and invited to enroll children at this time. Children ages 5-7 can join 4-H as Cloverbuds, which means that they will be able to work on and complete projects appropriate for their age level on a non-competitive basis. At 8 years of age, youth become full-fledged 4-H members and can participate in traditional 4-H programs and events.

Traditionally, fall is also when the Annual Awards Night has been held to recognize members for their achievements throughout the year. This year we anticipate this event taking place sometime in October.

We are also still looking for volunteers willing to become certified instructors in the archery and air rifle disciplines so that we can continue to move forward with the development of the 4-H Shooting Sports program in Pierce County. Our goal is to get enough volunteer instructors certified by late fall so that we may begin regular practices after the holidays. This timeline will allow youth to be prepared to compete in the spring and summer matches. Those interested in becoming certified shooting sports instructors may also contact the Pierce County Extension office.

Common yard and garden issues

County Agents and specialists across the state meet via online technology to discuss issues occurring in North Dakota yards and gardens once a week during the growing season. Here is a summary of some of the common yard and garden issues, we discussed during last week’s call, which are showing up both locally and across the state:

1. Powdery mildew – This shows up as gray blotches appearing on the leaves. Lilac, rose and honeysuckle are common ornamental plants affected. Cucumbers and other members of the cucurbit family like squash, pumpkin and melons are common vegetable plants affected. This year we are also seeing juneberry bushes affected. Leaves in shady spots with poor air circulation are especially susceptible to developing powdery mildew. For trees, shrubs and ornamentals the recommended practice is to rake fallen leaves and prune to increase sunlight and air movement. For cucumbers, squash and melons infested leaves should be removed. In some cases this may mean the entire plant to prevent the spread.

2. Early blight on tomatoes – This shows up as brown lesions with concentric rings and yellowing developing near the ring lesions. It is recommended to pick off infected foliage and protect with fungicides containing chlorothalonil, mancozeb or copper. Avoid overhead irrigation and water early in the day so leaves have more time to dry before nightfall.

3. Herbicide injury in vegetables – Pesticide drift, contaminated manure or grass clippings used as mulch may cause extreme curling of the foliage. When this happens vegetables also become contaminated.

4. Galls on leafy trees – Leaves develop bumps. Ash, linden, hackberry and maple are among trees affected. Damage is mostly aesthetic. Pesticides are not needed.

5. Spotted Wing Drosophila – Tiny white maggots appear in fruits which are often detected when refrigerated. Set out traps with apple cider vinegar to monitor. Spray only if needed. Harvest fruits regularly and keep orchard clean of weeds.

6. Chokecherry gall midge – A tiny fly lays eggs in flowers, which hatch into larvae feeding inside fruit. Infested fruits become swollen and hollow. Pick off damaged fruit in early summer. Pesticides are not needed.

For more information please see the latest edition of our NDSU Yard & Garden Report at ag.ndsu.edu/yardandgardenreport/ or contact Yolanda at the NDSU Extension Service Pierce County office by calling 776-6234 ext. 5 or by email at yolanda.schmidt@ndsu.edu.

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