A website from UGA Cooperative Extension

Other than the extremely loud bunch of cicadas that have taken over our state what else is going on in the middle Georgia area? You can read Nancy Hinkle’s article that was written in 2011, when these cicadas were being made, Here.

Winter annual weeds are doing what they do best, annoying homeowners.  At least this year I am not getting a bunch of calls about purple flowers (henbit) or yellow flowers (hop clover).  This year it is the nice white cottony blanket or spots of seed heads from Facelis or Trampweed.  This weed is pretty inconspicuous until now when it shoots up a seed head that looks like a small dandelion seed head.  The reason it looks like that is because it is in the same family (Compositae). 

Facelis like many other weeds that are flowering now is a winter annual.  It germinates in the fall to late winter and grows during the winter months.  Being an annual it reaches maturity in the spring (now) and puts up a seedhead.  Any attempt during spring greenup can damage our warm-season grasses and trying to spray it now is just a revenge killing.  Since folks are into that I will tell you that the three-way mixtures are what we would recommend for controlling it.  I just don’t recommend anything at this time except a sharp mower blade.

Secondly, a lot of folks out there have dead patches of grass mostly in centipede.  What I have seen is probably a combination of over fertilization, excessive rainfall and improper mowing.  All of these things can lead to excessive thatch which makes centipede more susceptible to winter injury or drought stress.  There are several things that can be done once you know you have too much thatch, but proper management is the best practice. 

Aeration with a plug aerator can help reduce thatch. In neighborhoods, you should be careful aerating because of the shallowly buried phone and cable lines. Top-dressing with coarse sand can also help reduce thatch. Thatch should not be a problem if you maintain proper pH and follow the recommended mowing height and nitrogen application. If you fertilize Centipede like your neighbor does his Bermuda you will eventually have a beautiful yard…full of Bermuda.

Finally, if you are one of the stubborn ones who tries to grow peaches and not spray, you may be seeing damage from insects right now.  Plum Curculio (PC) are the most damaging insects to the actual peach fruit.  Several insects attack and damage the tree, but the PC is what causes “wormy fruit”.  Once you see the clear substance oozing from the peach it is too late to try and spray.  The larvae feed throughout the peach until they are ready to pupate.  They fall to the ground below the tree and finish their immature life in the ground.  These PC emerge in June causing damage and wormy late season fruit.  If you already have damage you could remove that fruit and destroy it, but still be ready to apply insecticides during  the next peak in June

Contact me your County Agent if you have related questions or comments.

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