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Fig Rust

Fig Rust

Kerry Stober 9/14/2017

Question: The leaves on my fig tree are covered in brown spots and some are falling off. What can I do?

The most likely culprit of these symptoms is a common fungal disease called Fig Rust, caused by the fungus Cerotelium fici. The good news is this disease only occurs on the leaves and should not damage the fruit. Rust usually attacks younger leaves first. You may start to see yellowish spots, which then get bigger and turn into a brownish color all over the leaves. There also can be raised brown spots or lesions on the underside of the leaves. Over time, these leaves will turn completely yellow, followed by becoming brown and curled, and then falling off of the plant. Rust usually begins appearing in the late summer and, when severe, it can cause the tree to lose leaves very rapidly. This disease and loss of leaves will not kill the tree, but when it occurs many seasons in a row, you may see a reduction in yield of fruit. Rainy weather can cause this disease to be more prevalent, and unfortunately we had a particularly rainy summer followed by a series of wet tropical storms. Figs produce their best fruit in a climate with warm dry summers and cool wet winters.

Spraying to control this disease presents a bit of a problem, as there are no fungicides currently labeled for figs in Alabama. As a result, your best methods of control are going to be using cultural methods of sanitation and pruning. Prune out infected areas and rake up older dropped leaves, disposing of them by bagging or burning. You can also prune the tree to open up areas to more airflow throughout, as moist enclosed areas are more likely to become diseased.  These methods will not completely defeat this disease, but can reduce its effect on your plant’s overall health. If you water your fig plants regularly, try to avoid spraying the leaves, as we learned earlier water plays a large factor in fig rust appearance. You can also add mulch around the tree and fertilize in the spring to help keep it healthy.

The fig is a hardy tree with relatively few pest and disease issues. Keeping the area around your tree clean plays a huge role in keeping their most common pests at bay. Hopefully by following the methods, you will see less spots on your tree next year!

“Garden Talk is written by Kerry Stober of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). She is housed at the C. Beaty Hanna Horticultural and Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities. Email questions to Kerry at KDS0010@aces.edu or call 205-879-6964 x19. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

Lawn Burweed – Preventing the Prickly Pest

Photo courtesy of Alabama Extension

  1. Last spring, I noticed our family dog almost tip-toeing through the yard. He acted like something was pricking his feet.  When I walked in the same area, I realized that he wasn’t just acting!!  Whatever it was pricked my feet too!  On closer inspection, I found this weed that had small stickers all over it.  What is this weed and how can I prevent it from being a problem next spring?
  2. Ah – the infamous lawn burweed! As you discovered, it is a menace to man and beast alike!  I am thrilled that you asked this question now, because this time of year is the perfect time to start your plan of attack!

Lawn burweed (Soliva sessilis) is a winter annual that germinates throughout thin turf in the fall months as temperatures cool.  It is small and not very noticeable during the cold winter months. However, as temperatures warm in the early spring, lawn burweed initiates a period of rapid growth and begins to form spine-tipped burs at the base of each leaf. The seed is contained within the hooked bur.

Now that you know what it is, the most important question remains – how can you get rid of it?  The best strategy in controlling lawn burweed is to apply a preemergence herbicide, containing the active ingredients atrazine or isoxaben in late September to early October, before the winter weeds germinate. This method will kill it upon sprouting and greatly reduce its presence in your yard next spring.  One point to mention – these products are available in either a granular or liquid form.  Granular products require ½ inch of rainfall or irrigation to become active.

Just in case you have a few weeds that escape the preemergence herbicide (which is not unusual), you can also spot spray with a postemergence herbicide.  The key to success is to treat between November and February, when lawn burweed is very small and much easier to control.  During this time, the weed has yet to develop the spine-tipped burs.  Spray your lawn with a postemergence herbicide containing the active ingredients of three broadleaf weed killers: 2,4-D, dicamba, and mecoprop (MCPP).  Many brands of broadleaf herbicides on the shelf contain these ingredients.  Using the herbicide 2-4-D alone may not be quite as effective, so a three-in-one product is preferred.  Keep in mind that broadleaf herbicides are not effective unless applied when the air temperature is above 68 °F.  The window of opportunity can be very limited during the winter season.  Again, another reason to use pre-emergence herbicides in the fall.

Unfortunately, most people do not notice a lawn burweed problem until warmer temperatures arrive.  However, waiting until spring is too late.  If you delay until April or May to attempt lawn burweed control, you are fighting a losing battle.  Once the weed has reached a more mature state, multiple herbicide applications may be necessary, which can increase the potential for turfgrass injury.  Because lawn burweed is a winter annual, it will begin to succumb to the warmer air temperatures (~90 °F); however, the spines have already formed and will remain after the weed withers and dies.  Mowing the area at a very low height and bagging the seeds might offer some relief.

Some severe situations may call for killing the entire area, including the turfgrass, with a non-selective herbicide, such as glyphosate.  Of course, one will have to replant grass or lay new sod but this method may be worth it, since it will ensure no more lawn burweed!

Dead or alive, lawn burweed poses a painful problem. The only solution is early identification and control.  Remember lawn burweed is an annual and will come back from seeds that develop each spring. Take action now for prickle-free turf later!

 “Garden Talk is written by Bethany A. O’Rear of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). She is housed at the C. Beaty Hanna Horticultural and Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities. Email questions to Bethany at Bethany@aces.edu or call 205-879-6964 x15. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

 

2017 Farm City Poster, Essay, and Multimedia Contest

Marion County Rules: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2017/08/Combined-Rules-1.pdf

State Rules: http://alabamafarmcity.org/

County Prizes Provided by the Marion County ALFA Farmer’s Federation

1st Place $50.00

2nd Place $25.00

3rd Place $15.00

**ALL submissions must be made to the Marion County Extension Office by October 31st, 2017. The Marion County Farm City Committee will select the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. 1st Place work will be submitted by the Marion County Committee for state submission. **

DUE: October 31st, 2017 to the Marion County Extension Office.

The Alabama Farm-City Committee is excited once again to offer a Multimedia Contest, Poster Contest and Essay Contest to Marion County Youth. The contest is sponsored by Alabama Farmers Cooperative and complements the Farm-City poster and essay contests by providing students another channel to express their creativity. The 2017 theme for all three contests is “Agriculture: Food for Life.” The 2017 National Ag Day and Farm-City Week theme of “Agriculture: Food for Life” captures the essence of farming. No other industry or activity is more connected to “life” than agriculture. Farmers produce the grains, protein, fruit, vegetables, nuts and dairy products that sustain life. The food we eat is literally fuel for our bodies. Without it, life would be unsustainable. But agriculture is intertwined to “life” in other ways, too. Private farms and forestland provide habitat and food for wildlife, and support the lives of all nature’s creatures. Through conservation and environmental stewardship, farmers protect the life-giving water, air and soil on which we all depend. Life, however, is not merely a physical existence. It’s also emotional and spiritual experiences, working together to provide a healthy, well-balanced life for Earth’s inhabitants. Agriculture provides food for the “lifestyles” we enjoy because modern farming and forestry practices allow 99 percent of Americans to pursue other occupations, hobbies and volunteer activities. Without farmers providing “food for life,” our economy and culture would suffer. Food is essential. Out of necessity, people would forego science, art and other pursuits if they were forced to gather or hunt their own food. In this way, agriculture is foundational to civilization. Still, agriculture’s contributions to life continue to expand. Through biotechnology, farming is improving life around the world. Disease- and drought-resistant plants provide “food for life” in some of the poorest regions on the planet. Improved plant and animal breeding addresses nutritional and human health needs. Farms and forests generate alternative energy sources. And agricultural products are utilized every day in not only food, but also pharmaceuticals, textiles and industrial applications. Agriculture touches every aspect of our lives. From the clothes we wear and the food we eat, to the homes where we live and the cars we drive, agriculture and forest products are ever present. Farmers help conserve the resources we need and the nature we enjoy. As we celebrate National Ag Day and Farm-City Week, it’s a great opportunity to remember the diversity of “Agriculture: Food for Life.”

 

Call or email the 4-H Agent with any questions regarding this contest. (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu Office Hours 7:30am-12:00pm 12:30pm-4:00pm Monday-Friday

Garden Talk: Allergies gone wild – What’s Blowin’ in the Wind?

Photos courtesy of Herbal Academy

By Sallie Lee

Question:  My allergies, which normally give me a fit in spring and again to a lesser degree in the fall, seem to have started earlier this year and are driving me crazy!

What is with this allergy season?  I’m not imagining miserable itching watery eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat.  But for late August, this is weird! Is it that Goldenrod plant that seems to grow everywhere?  I’ve heard that’s the culprit in which case my weedeater is going to be wearing out every one of these plants that grow wild on my property.  Is there anything else I can do to get rid of the “guilty” plants?

Answer:  OK, for those who moved to Alabama during the last year or for those who have issues remembering, the word is Ragweed. Botanically known as Ambrosia spp, which sounds like a misnomer if ever there was one, this member of the Aster family becomes a topic of intense negativity about this time of year. Actually in most cases it’s a totally different  plant, Goldenrod (Solidago spp) that gets the bad rap and unfortunate eradication by misinformed homeowners and gardeners.

Why the disconnect and misdirected frustration?  Both Ragweed and Goldenrod bloom this time of year, from mid-August until “late fall.”  In addition to timing, they often grow in the same general conditions; full sun and average to slightly dry soil conditions.  The major difference between the two is that those pretty, yellow goldenrod flowers are insect pollinated while ragweed is wind pollinated.  That means to all allergy sufferers that while goldenrod pollen is heavy and sticky, just right for honeybee pollination, ragweed is wind pollinated. Considering that a single ragweed plant can produce 1 billion (yes, that many) grains of pollen per season, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, “the answer IS blowin’ in the wind.” Medical data indicates ragweed causes about 50% of all allergies blamed on pollen in North America.

This year has produced abundant flowers due in part to sufficient rainfall through most of our spring and summer.  Healthy plants produce more flowers, a boon in most gardens. But with ragweed, more flowers equal more pollen and so on, the “benefits” of which we’re currently reaping.

Other than waging war on stands of ragweed (see photos), we can take action to ameliorate ragweed’s impact on our health. Pollen counts are usually highest in the morning until about 10:00 am, so limiting outside activities during those hours can help. Conditions for enjoying the outdoors will be best right after a heavy rainfall. If you must be outdoors during heavy pollen outbursts, a facemask will help reduce exposure to pollen.

Goldenrod is a more noticeable plant so we tend to blame what is readily visible.  Goldenrod’s yellow flowers hold a nectar source that is attractive to bees including the “honey” kind and butterflies, often considered the last strong nectar source of the season for them.

Goldenrod has a fascinating history involving Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and George Washington Carver, but that’s an article for another time.

If you’re not sure which one is growing in your yard, and it could be both, contact your county Extension office for help in determining whether or not you need to take action.

 

Garden Talk is written by Sallie Lee of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). She is housed at the C. Beaty Hanna Horticultural and Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities. Email questions to Sallie at leesall@auburn.edu or call 205-879-6964 x11. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

Fall 4-H Horse Camp October 21st

When: Saturday, October 21st, 2017 9:00am-3:00pm

Where: Alexandria Farms 850 Grady Williams Road Hamilton 35570

Ages: 9-18

Cost: $40

What To Wear: Long Pants, Boots/Tennis Shoes (NO open toed shoes)

Payment Due: Tuesday, October 17th by 4:00pm to the Marion County Extension Office 372 7th Avenue SW Hamilton, AL 35570

Forms Completed by a parent/guardian: Friday, November 4th 4:00pm

REQUIRED FORMS: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2017/08/Horse-Camp-Forms-and-Directions.pdf

Map from Marion County 4-H Office: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2016/10/Map.pdf

                        *Make checks payable to: Allie Trentham *

For more information call or email the Marion County Extension Office 205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu Open Mon.-Fri. 7:30AM-4:00PM 372 7th Ave. SW Hamilton, AL 35570 For more specific Horse Camp questions you can call Allie Trentham (205)495-2830

 

Fall Vegetable Gardening

Fall Vegetable Gardening

 

Q:  My summer vegetable garden has finally bit the dust (no pun intended), but I am just not quite ready to put the garden tools up for the season. Can you give some details on growing vegetables in the fall?

A: As summer nears its end, it is time to gear up for another planting (and future harvest) season. This month is the perfect time to get your cool-season vegetable seeds and/or transplants in the ground. While several cool-weather crops can survive when planted in spring, they typically do not thrive, especially in spring weather like we experienced this year.  Many cool-season vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, produce their best flavor and quality when they mature during cool weather.  In Alabama, the spring temperatures often heat up quickly making vegetables such as lettuce and spinach bolt or develop a bitter flavor when they mature during hot summer weather.

As with any garden, careful planning and good garden management are crucial to your success. The first step is site preparation.  Before preparing the soil for a fall garden, you must decide what to do with the remains of the spring/summer garden. In most cases, the decision is not difficult because the warm-season vegetables are beginning to look ragged. Remove all crop residues and weed growth, and till or spade the soil to a minimum depth of 6-8 inches.

If the spring crops were heavily fertilized, you may not need to make an initial preplant fertilization.  If not, you can apply 1 to 2 pounds of a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 per 100 square feet of bed space.  Be sure to thoroughly incorporate the fertilizer.

The next step is deciding on a planting method. Most cool-season varieties are available in seed and transplant form. If you choose to sow seed, maintaining adequate moisture is imperative to germination as well as continued growth after germination. An overhead sprinkler can help provide seeds with sufficient moisture to germinate. We all know how hot and dry late summer in Alabama can be, so be sure to keep the soil moist until the young seedlings have emerged.

Now, you should begin your regular vegetable garden maintenance routine. Continue to water based on the needs of the plants. As the plants mature, move from frequent, light waterings to single, deep applications. Like their spring-maturing relatives, most fall-maturing vegetables benefit from nitrogen sidedressing

It is not uncommon for insects and diseases to be more abundant in the fall, mostly as a result of a buildup in their populations during the spring and summer.  You may be able to keep these pests at tolerable levels, if you follow a few strategies. Strive to keep fall vegetables healthy and actively growing.  Check plants frequently for insect or disease damage.  If significant damage is detected, use an approved pesticide.

You can extend the season of tender vegetables by protecting them through the first early frost.  In Alabama, we often enjoy several weeks of good growing conditions after the first frost.  Cover growing beds or rows with burlap or a floating row cover supported by stakes or wire to keep the material from directly touching the plants.  You can protect individual plants by covering them with milk jugs, paper caps, or water-holding walls.

Good luck and happy gardening!

“Garden Talk is written by Bethany A. O’Rear of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). She is housed at the C. Beaty Hanna Horticultural and Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities. Email questions to Bethany at Bethany@aces.edu or call 205-879-6964 x15. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

Beetles Attacking Stressed Trees in the Landscape

Beetles Attacking Stressed Trees in the Landscape

Beetles Attacking Stressed Trees in the Landscape

Beetles Attacking Stressed Trees in the Landscape

Kerry Stober

 

Question: I have started to notice long tan growths appearing on the trunks of my crepe myrtles this year. The trees look less healthy now than they did last year. What is happening to my trees?

Answer: What you are seeing on your crepe myrtles is a fairly common pest this year, as many trees are stressed and weakened from last year’s severe drought conditions. Stressed plants are much more likely to be attacked by insects or infected by disease. The tan growths you see, which are often described as toothpicks are actually beetle frass (or insect waste). The beetle pushing out these toothpicks is called the granulate ambrosia beetle (or the Asian ambrosia beetle), Xylosandrus crassiusculus. This beetle has a very wide host range and is seen in both ornamental and fruit trees all across the southeast. They emerge in the spring seeking out trees that will then become their home and the site for reproduction. The female beetles are borers, creating a system of tunnels in which they lay eggs and raise their larvae. They prefer high humidity, which we have had plenty of this year.

The symptoms to look for when scouting in your landscape include: the toothpick like frass mentioned above protruding from the stems and branches, wilted foliage or dieback, numerous small (1/16”) holes. If the infestation is severe enough, these damaged trees can be killed. Trees with thinner bark, are newly planted, and/or plants who sustained a recent stressful environment are more susceptible. The boring and tunnels created by the beetle are not usually the causes of death in infested trees. This beetle often brings in a fungus called ambrosia fungus on which her larvae can feed, and the holes they produce are easy entryways for other fungal infections and secondary pathogens.

While you may not be able to rid an infected tree of the beetles completely after they enter the stems, there are some steps you can take to help alleviate the amount of beetles in your landscape. The first step is to remove any infected branches or wood from the infested plants. Dispose of this material by burning or bagging securely. This will reduce the likelihood of more plants in your landscape being affected. When the beetles are in the majority of a tree, many plants that become infested must be removed completely. Systemic insecticides do not affect these pests and applying protective insecticides to uninfected plants is not always effective. Keeping your plants healthy and fixing any causes of stress in the landscape are the best methods to prevent the beetle from attacking.

Hopefully your ambrosia beetle problem is not widespread and can be alleviated easily. If you have any more questions about ambrosia beetles or plant symptoms, please contact your local extension office!

 

Garden Talk is written by Kerry Stober of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture & Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research-based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama A&M University and Auburn University. Email questions to Kerry at KDS0010@auburn.edu or call 205 879-6964 x19. Learn more about what is going on in Jefferson County by visiting the ACES website, www.aces.edu/Jefferson. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

 

Garden Talk: There’s white stuff on my Oak trees – Will it hurt them?

Garden Talk: There’s white stuff on my Oak trees – will it hurt them?

Question:  There are several large oak trees that have been in our landscape since we purchased this property 20 some years ago. They are wonderful trees, but recently we’ve noticed several of them have dropped leaves and patches of bark have fallen off the trunk.  A couple of oaks have lost leaves from the top, but lower branches still have green leaves on them.

Some of my neighbors have oak trees with smooth areas that look almost like greyish or brownish paint has been splashed on them.

Should these trees be fertilized or sprayed with something?  We’d really like to save our oak trees!

Answer: Unfortunately if what you’re seeing on your oaks is Hypoxylon canker, caused by the fungus Hypoxylon atropunctatum, there is no cure.

Examples of this canker appeared earlier this summer, primarily the result of last year’s drought stress.  How the fungal organism attacks and kills trees is still being researched, but it’s been well-established that trees weakened by injury to their roots or by drought are much more vulnerable than healthy trees.

Entering tree branches through wounds caused by any number of actions, the Hypoxylon fungus grows into sapwood, where decay begins. Outward symptoms visible at this point are yellowing, wilting leaves and death in the top branches of the tree.

As damage progresses, which may go unnoticed for months, the outer bark starts sloughing off, revealing a brownish/tannish area created by a mass or mat of fungal roots packed together.  This mass produces spores that can blow to other trees, thereby spreading the canker.  If spores land on stressed trees, particularly those in the red oak group, and find their way into a wound, those spores can start a new cycle of decay.  Healthy trees are less likely to be invaded by the fungus, so maintaining your trees via supplemental watering during prolonged dry spells, the major cause of decline we’re seeing this summer, is important. Damage to the tree’s root system could create opportunities for the fungus to attack an oak or less likely a beech, hickory, pecan or sycamore.

While there is no cure for the canker, a recap of preventing infection in the first place includes:

  • Keep trees healthy, including protecting them from damage due to construction and utility installations and repairs
  • Water trees during periods of drought particularly during summer heat with one inch of water per week
  • Mulch root zone with a 2-3” layer of organic material but don’t pile mulch against the trunk
  • Keep weed killers (herbicides) away from tree, particularly beneath the canopy
  • Fertilize with tree/shrub material unless [lawn] area around trees is also fertilized
  • Remove and dispose or burn infected trees to prevent problem from spreading

If you have additional questions or are unsure this canker is the cause of your problems, contact the Extension office in your county.

 

“Garden Talk is written by Sallie Lee of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). She is housed at the C. Beaty Hanna Horticultural and Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities. Email questions to Sallie at leesall@auburn.edu or call 205-879-6964 x11. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

Garden Talk: Blossom End Rot

Garden Talk: Blossom End Rot

By Bethany A. O’Rear

  1. I am having trouble with my tomatoes. I have noticed brown spots near the base of the fruit. They start out small but continue to increase in size.  What is this disease and how can I get rid of it?
  2. Well, if it is any consolation, you are not alone. We have been getting several calls from folks that appear to have the same tomato malady as you.  The culprit is Blossom-end rot (BER), and is actually a physiological disorder, not a disease.  It is easily identified as a brown, leathery rot developing on or near the blossom-end of the fruit.  It starts with a dry brown, dime-sized lesion, generally increasing in diameter as the condition worsens.  In time lesions, often become covered with a black mold.

Now that you know what it is, let’s discuss the causes.  BER occurs as a result of calcium deficiency within the plant.  This deficiency is typically induced by fluctuations in the plant’s water supply.  Due to the fact that calcium is not a highly “mobile” element in the plant, even brief changes in the water supply can cause BER.  Droughty soil or damage to the roots from excessive or improper cultivation (severe root pruning) can restrict water intake preventing the plant from getting the calcium that it needs.  Also, if plants are growing in highly acidic soil or are getting too much water from heavy rain, over-irrigation, or high relative humidity, they can develop calcium deficiency and BER.

To control BER, take the following steps:

  • Keep the pH of the soil at 6.0 to 6.5.  Perform a soil test and apply the recommended rate of lime, using dolomitic or high-calcium limestone.  This step should take place 2 to 4 months before planting tomatoes.
  • Apply the required amount of fertilizer when necessary based on soil test results for tomato.  Applying too much fertilizer at one time can induce BER.  Following soil test recommendations is the surest way to fertilize properly.
  • Use mulches, such as pine straw, decomposed sawdust or newspapers, to conserve moisture.
  • Give your plants adequate water.  Tomato plants need about 1.5 inches of water per week during fruiting.  Extreme fluctuations in soil moisture can result in a greater incidence of BER.
  • This is the step that you have been waiting for.  If your plants develop BER, drench the soil around their roots with a calcium solution containing four pounds of calcium nitrate or calcium chloride per 100 gallons of water (or four level tablespoons per gallon of water). Contrary to popular belief, spraying the plants with calcium has no effect on BER.
  • Some varieties of tomato tend to be more sensitive to conditions that cause BER.  Try growing several varieties and keep notes as to their performance.
  • If you experience severe problems with BER, you should remove the infected fruits.  Once a fruit develops BER, it will not re-grow or repair the infected area.  In fact, the damaged area could serve as an entry point for disease-causing bacteria or fungi.

I hope this information has been helpful.  Following these simple steps should greatly reduce your BER woes in the future.  Happy gardening!

 

Garden Talk is written by Bethany A. O’Rear of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). She is housed at the C. Beaty Hanna Horticultural and Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities. Email questions to Bethany at Bethany@aces.edu or call 205-879-6964 x15. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!