This disease is more superficial than
anything, since it is only on the skin. Vigorous rubbing or
scrubbing will remove the black discoloration. If you want to be
sure, you can always peel the apples.
This disease is most common with moderate temperatures and
wet weather. Wet weather can include heavy dews that don't get
dried out very well. Anything that cuts down on air circulation
helps promote sooty blotch. Pruning and thinning fruit will help
improve air circulation and lessen the disease problems.
The best chemical control program is to use a multipurpose
fruit tree spray containing captan fungicide as a preventive.
For this disease, it is recommended to begin by early June and
continue the program until harvest. For the organic gardeners,
sulfur will help some. However, it is not as good as the captan.
Remember, many diseases are preventable in home fruit
production, but they are not curable. Once you see the problem,
it becomes a to-do list item for next year.
Moles and grubs
The number of problems from moles seems to be greatly
increasing. This means the food sources are abundant. The major
food sources for moles are grubs and earthworms. With the large
increases in grubs in some areas due to the Japanese beetle
larvae, there may be plenty of food available. The exact number
of grubs necessary to cause damage to turf is dependent on the
type of grass, the condition, the moisture available and other
factors. Figure somewhere between six and 12 grubs per square
foot of turf to cause damage. One mole feeding on those grubs
can really raise havoc.
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The best way to get rid of moles is to remove their food source.
While grubs are undesirable, the earthworms are beneficial. We have
to decide on controlling a desirable part of a healthy lawn to use
this approach. In the "good old days," we treated with diazinon
insecticide. It controlled grubs, and it greatly reduced the
earthworm populations. This solved the problem, when the moles then
went to the neighbor's yard in search of food. With diazinon long
gone from the homeowner market, most of the remaining products for
grub control are not effective against earthworms. The main
exception is carbaryl (Sevin), and it is only effective against the
Japanese beetle grubs.
If you don't want to try to eliminate the food source, you are
reduced to "folklore treatments," traps or poison baits. The
folklore treatments work just often enough for someone to give them
a little validity, but they often don't work for the next person who
is trying to control moles. Some of these are Juicy Fruit gum,
bubble gum, cigar smoke, moth crystals, and the list goes on and on.
Traps can be effective, but they have to be set properly. The type
of trap also makes a difference. The loop and scissors-type traps
tend to be more effective than the plunger type. There are soft bait
poisons on the market now that will do a decent job.
As the weather grows colder, the grubs will go deeper into the
soil. This makes them harder to control, as does their larger size.
We are about at the point where this will begin to occur. This
leaves traps or poison baits. For poison baits, think about the food
sources of the mole. They don't eat seeds, so poison peanuts may not
be the best choice. The newer soft baits are similar in texture to
worms or grubs. They're just like the old "creepy crawlers" we used
to make with the rubber-type compound, and they will be more
University of Illinois Extension, Logan County]