Enter Your Delivery Zip Code to see designs available for your Zip

TOO MUCH HEAVY SPRING RAIN CAN CAUSE FIREBLIGHT

Other Stories






More
 

Media Downloads

Download
Oct 15, 2015
MIck Gainan talks Fall with MY105.9

Download
May 6, 2015
Spring 2015 TV Spot

Download
May 12, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Organic Gardening

Download
May 12, 2014
Video: Geraniums as far as the eye can see!

Download
May 5, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Herbs

Download
May 5, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Tomatoes

Download
May 5, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Crop Sharing

Download
May 5, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Responsible Growing

Download
Apr 28, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Curb Appeal

Download
Apr 28, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Xeriscape

Download
Apr 21, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Pansies 2014

Download
Apr 21, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Prep Work 2014

Download
Apr 21, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Seed Starting 2014

Download
Apr 21, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Lawn Care 2014

Download
Aug 5, 2011
Roses for Kids
More

May 29, 2011

I've always dreamt what it would be like to live in the Pacific Northwest. After the last couple of weeks it has become clear to me that the beauty of the water and the mountains is not an adequate trade for the amount of rain that that area is accustomed to. I think I will just stick to regular visits on sunny weekends.

I share the frustrations of so many customers who are late getting their gardens planted, preparing their annual beds and planting their perennials. In fact, all of my plant materials are sitting on a trailer waiting for a break in this weather to be planted.

Once we have that chance, it's important to note that, after all of this rain, many of the nutrients in the soil have been washed away. So this year more than ever, it is crucial to include a time-release fertilizer when planting and to fertilize regularly with garden sprayers to supplement. In addition, adding compost and other soil amendments will give the plants an extra boosts. Heavy spring rain and severe weather cause many challenges in the garden. I will attempt each week to address a few of them.

Prepare for an inordinate amount of fireblight to appear in our area. Two main contributing factors will be our wet spring and damage during the time susceptible trees and shrubs were blossoming. Fireblight is a bacterial disease primarily affecting apples, crabapples, pears, mountain ash, hawthornes, roses and cotoneaster.

The bacteria overwinter near the edge of a canker formed during the previous season, and become active during the warm weather in spring. Water is absorbed by the bacterial masses that swell and secrete ooze. This bacteria-laden ooze appears just as the buds turn pink in spring and may continue until mid-summer. Insects attracted to the sticky, sweet-smelling ooze will spread the bacteria as they travel from plant to plant. Birds, rain, mist and wind are also methods by which the bacteria spread.

The bacteria will enter the new host plant through wounds, natural openings and new succulent growth. The attack starts at the blossoms and moves up the twigs to main branches.

The first symptoms usually appear on the blossoms. They will look like they've been soaked with water before rapidly wilting and turning brown. Diseased fruit will become leathery and, along with affected leaves, will cling to the branches for months. Twigs and suckers shrivel, blacken and the ends curl into a shepherd's crook and appear burnt.

While there is no cure, there are methods of control. When considering new plantings, look for varieties that are resistant to fireblight and try not to interplant susceptible and resistant varieties. Select a site with low humidity, good air movement and enough sun to allow wet leaves to dry quickly. Avoid feeding with a high nitrogen fertilizer as this promotes a flush of succulent susceptible growth. Remove suckers to prevent entry of bacteria into their tender tissue as well.

Generally, during the growing season, infected twigs are cut out while avoiding heavy pruning as it may stimulate tender and susceptible new growth. Prune 6-8" up from the infected area. Immerse cutting tools after each cut into a sterilizing solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water or a solution of 3 parts denatured alcohol to 1 part water. If using the bleach solution, be sure to rinse tools and wipe them dry to avoid corrosion.

Remove all cankered limbs in late fall, winter or early spring. However, because of the widespread reach of fireblight this season, with the guidance of the MSU Extension office, pruning should be discontinued this season until after leaf drop, when dormancy sets in this fall. Remove all cankered limbs in late fall, winter or early spring before the bacteria are active. If a red discoloration is found just beneath the bark in larger limbs, a lower cut needs to be made. Do not save any part of the plant. Burn or discard all infected parts to prevent the spread of the disease.

Right now, a treatment of a copper soap (copper octanoate) fungicide and bactericide spray is recommended on the affected tree or plant and any other varieties that may be susceptible with a repeated application if there is a heavy rain, damaging hail or new visible oozing. Check for insects that may spread the disease and control them. Next spring, susceptible trees should be protected from infection by a streptomycin spray program following the directions on the label.

JIM GAINAN IS PRESIDENT OF GAINAN'S FLOWERS AND GARDEN CENTER. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FIREBLIGHT AND TREATMENTS FOR IT CONTACT OUR GARDEN CENTER AT 248-5029 OR CONTACT JIM VIA EMAIL - JIM@GAINANS.COM.

Company Weddings Custom Designs Gift Cards Refer a Friend Employment
eCards Flower/Plant Info Helping Hands Affiliate Program Privacy Policy Petal Rewards ™ Reminders Hours & Locations Contact Us
Gainan's Flowers https://www.gainans.com/images/siteSettingWide/GainanFGHforwebsite-150616111038.jpg 502 N 30th St Billings, MT 59101 866-445-7390 406-245-6436

LOCATIONS Gainan's Flowers: Downtown: 502 N 30th St Billings, MT 59101 406.245.6434 Gainan's Flowers: West Store: 1211 24th St W Billings, MT 59102 406.652.1650 Gainan's Flowers: Heights Garden Center: 810 Bench Blvd Billings, MT 59105 406.248.5029

Don't Miss Out