Don’t get Spooked by Webworms

    Listen 00:52:57

    Are there webs ‘decorating’ your trees that have nothing to do with Halloween? Mike McGrath, host of You Bet Your Garden, will discuss cures for the highly un-ornamental homes of fall webworms. Plus: answers to all your growing questions.

    Question of the Week:

    “I have a beautiful large pecan tree that came with our new home. The first couple of years we lived here, it didn’t really do anything. The third season, the tree was so full of nuts the branches were dragging on the ground! I would stare at it and dream of pecan pie, but before they started to drop, the tree was picked clean! Not sure if it was the squirrels or crows, but I did not get one single pecan!!! Now I’m afraid I have bigger problems than creatures stealing my nuts. At the end of the summer last year, I noticed two small areas of fall web worms. Didn’t think much about it until we returned from a long vacation this summer to find webs all over the tree. Can I just cut out the infected branches and throw them away? Can I collect and compost the leaves from the tree or will they be infected with worms?”

    — Emily in Edmond, Oklahoma

    Learn more about webworms and tree care»

    • Webworms Web in Tree

    Highlights from show:

    Tomato Plants

    Allen in North East Philadelphia has only one nice section to plant tomatoes in his garden and has to replant in that section all the time; so naturally he’s susceptible to verticillium wilt, which is a fungus in the soil caused by planting in the same spot over and over. He’s curious if a product called root shield, a cure he found online that’s suppose to fight off this disease, will help him. Mike suggests for him to try the root shield out, test it, and wants to hear back from him on the end results.

    Plum Tree Regions

    Sarah between Muncie and Gaston, Indiana wants to know the type of plum tree she’s able to grow specifically for her gardening region. She’s tried planting Plum trees many times with very little progress and she wants to know what she is doing wrong. Mike suggests for her to go to the Indiana State extension services website and see what they recommend on plum trees in Indiana. He tells her the wind is stopping her progress, because it whips the moisture out of the plants in the orchard so she must check the website and look at the recommendations for plum trees in Indiana.

    Trumpet Vine Trouble

    David in College Station, Texas is dealing with a trumpet vine invasion and wants to know how to get rid of the problem. The root system is so established Mike thinks the vines might be under and around the other side of his house. Mike advises him to cut the vine completely down and once the leaves start opening up afterward, cut the vine again to solve the problem. He lets him know he must be dedicated to eradicating the plant and might not see progress until a year later. Once it gets low again he should spray it with organic herbicide so it’ll remain calm and settled.

    The Pumpkin Garden

    Colleen from Carlisle, PA is the new director of a Garden Club at her school and is in charge of a 180 by 40 foot pumpkin garden. The previous garden club instructor said that the pumpkins last year died of a fungus. Mike immediately tells Colleen that the previous instructor wrong. He also instructs her to divide the garden into raised beds or at least defined growing areas. It’s also important to have defined walking areas so you don’t walk on the plants or crush the roots. He also bets “dollars to donuts” that the squash vine borer is the culprit with the old plants. Mike suggests that she start the pumpkin seeds inside with the kids as a learning exercise and when the vines start growing just wrap them with gauze to prevent the night flying moth from laying it’s eggs, which then turn into nasty caterpillars that eat the stem.

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