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Plant Health Care. Category E Turf and Ornamental Pesticide Applicator Training Manual Chapter 2. Terms. Cultural practices —methods of controlling a plant and the environment the plant grows in: tilling, fertilizing, mowing, pruning, watering.

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Plant Health Care

Category E Turf and Ornamental

Pesticide Applicator Training Manual Chapter 2


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Terms

  • Cultural practices—methods of controlling a plant and the environment the plant grows in: tilling, fertilizing, mowing, pruning, watering.

  • Resistant varieties—plant varieties that are normally resistant to pest attack.

  • Mechanical control—pest control by mechanical means such as mulching, tilling, weed pulling, removing bugs by hand

  • Biological control— pest control by introducing natural predators or parasites of the target pest e.g. ladybugs.


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Terms

  • Soil test—an evaluation of certain specific soil qualities most commonly the ph (acidity/alkalinity of the soil)

  • Low maintenance/high maintenance— level of time and money the landscape requires. Low maintenance landscape will retain vigor and beauty with low investment e.g. daylilies and hostas.


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Successful Pest Control Programs

  • Prevention

  • Early detection

  • Diagnosis

  • Responsible pest control action


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Plant Health Care (PHC)

  • PHC includes:

    • Resistant varieties

    • Proper cultural practices

    • Mechanical control

    • Chemical control

    • biological control

  • Use of these measures has also been called Integrated Pest Management (IPM)


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Landscape Design and PHC

  • Assess all your client’s needs

  • Utilize your knowledge of plant growth and culture to assess the design and how it will grow and be maintained

  • Does it meet your customer’s requirements for low or high maintenance?


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Cultural Practices the Promote Plant Health---General Guidelines

  • Resistant varieties

  • Avoid injury when digging and handling

  • Avoid crowding

  • Well-drained soils

  • Avoid dense planting in shade unlesws the plants are suited to those conditions

  • Remove and destroy infected plants

  • Mulch


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Cultural Practices that Promote Plant Health---General Guidelines

  • Control weeds

  • Use insecticides to control insects that carry plant diseases

  • Rotate pesticides with different modes of action


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Pruning

  • Pruning the removal of branches or portions of the plant to maintain vigor, improve plant health, structure, and enhance flower/fruit development

    • Encourage natural form of young plants

    • Maintain appearance of older plants---in some case rejuvenation


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Pruning

  • Pruning principles

    • Do not leave stubs

    • Do not cut into the branch collar

    • Wound dressing does not promote healing

    • Best time to prune is during the dormant season or in early spring before growth begins

    • If constant pruning is required the plant is probably not appropriate.


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Turf

  • Perform soil test before planting

    • Nutrient status

    • pH

  • In MN the best time to plant a lawn is between August 15th and September 10th (2nd best time is early spring)----takes 6-12 weeks to establish

  • Water newly planted areas 2-3 times/day

  • When new lawn grows to 3-4 inches mow to 3 inches


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Turf Considerations

  • Fertilizer

    • Avoid excess fertilizer

    • Use scheduled applications or slow release

    • No more than 1 pound actual nitrogen/1000 square feet

    • Low maintenance lawn will require 2 applications late August or early November.

    • If 3 applications are made add mid-May


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Turf Considerations

  • Water

    • Low maintenance lawns in MN usually do not require watering---can go dormant

    • High maintenance lawns require regular watering---but let it dry out between waterings

    • More frequent watering may be needed for newly sodded/seeded of stressed lawns


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Turf Considerations

  • Mowing

    • Determine mowing schedule based on the ratew that the lawn is growing

    • Mow frequently enough so that no more than 1/3 of the vertical height is cut

    • Low maintenance lawns are best mowed at 3 inches maintenance lawns can be mowed to 2 inches)


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Turf Considerations

  • Aerification

    • Aerifiers removes plugs of soil from the lawn---help reverse soil compaction

    • Best time to aerify August 20-September 20

  • Thatch

    • Thatch is build-up of grass stems and roots

    • Thatch layer is natural but should not exceed ½ thick

    • To avoid thatch avoid soil compaction, low pH, excess fertilizer, improper watering, keep mowing height between 2-3 inches


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Perennials

  • Sandy loam is ideal

  • Top soil needs to be 14-18 inches deep

  • Test for soil nutrients (can apply 10·10·10 if deficient ) and pH

  • Organic matter

  • Require 1 inch of water per week during growing season


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Groundcovers

  • Perform soil test correct deficiencies

  • Plant most groundcovers 18-24 inches apart but planting distance varies from 6 inches to 3-5 feet depending on the species of groundcover

  • Control weeds with mulches or by hand weedin g

  • Watch for aphids and spider mites


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Roses

  • Roses prefer well-drained soil

  • Tender and hardy roses need a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun per day

  • Containerized roses can be planted in the spring after the danger of frost has passed


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Roses

  • Fertilizer

    • Apply well-rotted manure to rose beds in spring---other meals and manures decompose quickly

    • Keep manure 6 inches away from canes

    • Fertilize once a month until August---follow label


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Roses

  • Pest Control

    • Control weeds by hand hoeing or shallow cultivation

    • Summer mulch conserves moisture and reduces need for cultivation

    • Mulch 2-3 inches deep

    • Spray or dust every 6-10 days


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Roses

  • Seasonal care

    • ‘Tipping’

      • Mid-October make trench from base of bush large enough to accommodate plant

      • Spray bushes with fungicide and apply rodent bait

      • Tie canes together

      • Loosen soil around the base of the plant

      • Gently tip the bush to the trench

      • Cover with soil

      • Cover with 3-5 inches of leaves in early November

      • Mark location

      • About April 1 begin removing the leaves and soil as it thaws


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Roses

  • Spring Pruning

    • Shape and cut back tall canes---cut about ¼ inch above an emerging bud with 45 degree angle cut


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Annuals

  • Test soil---apply 1 ½ to 2.0 pounds of 10·10 ·10 fertilizer per 100 square feet

  • If annual are started indoors ‘harden’ them for 7-10 days before planting

  • Avoid over-watering, poor light, excess fertility to avoid ‘damping off’


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Indoor Plantscapes

  • Basic media mix for flowering plants

    • 1 part vermiculite, 2 parts sphagnum peat, and 1 part sand or perlite

  • Foliage plants mix

    • 50% organic material ½ of which should be peat

  • Fertilizer

    • Established plants every 4-6 weeks

    • Do not fertilize dormant plants

  • Watering

  • Do not over-water!


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Indoor Plantscapes

  • Light requirements vary---flowering plants require higher light levels than foliage plants

  • Repotting

    • Repot only when the top has outgrown the size of the root ball

    • Pot up to the next size pot with 2 inches more diameter than the old pot

  • Fluoride damage

    • Plants in lily family susceptible e.g Dracaena

    • Raise pH or use superphosphate to overcome damage


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Indoor Plantscapes

  • Pest problems

    • Discard severely infested plants

    • Insect pests include aphids, white flies, red spiders (spider mites), soft brown scale, and mealybugs


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When is a Pest a Pest Problem?

  • Considerations

    • Pest population level

    • Geographic location

    • Plant variety

    • Plant growth stage

    • Cost of control

    • Value of the plant or commodity

  • Economic injury level

    • The population level of the insect at which the pest causes a reduction in the value of the crop greater than the cost to apply control measures

  • Economic threshold

    • Point at which pest control measures should be applied


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Diagnosing Pest Problems

  • Inspect all above-ground plant parts for symptoms of disease or insects

  • Study to insure proper cultural methods were followed

  • Examine root system (white roots are usually healthier)

  • Examine microclimate e.g. soil type and drainage

  • Test soil if nutritional problems are suspected


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Evaluating Symptoms

  • If injury first appears at bottom and/or internal parts look for soil problems or vascular diseases

  • If injury first appears at top and/or external parts look for environmental factors e.g spray, insect

  • Presence of an insect is not necessarily the cause

  • Absence of an insect or disease does not exclude them as the cause e.g. feeding damage then migration

  • Damage on 1 side of the plant/s/ suggests spray drift

  • Always check the growth rate e.g. check previous historymay indicate cultural problems


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