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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

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plant health care

Plant Health Care

Category E Turf and Ornamental

Pesticide Applicator Training Manual Chapter 2

  • 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.
  • 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.
successful pest control programs
Successful Pest Control Programs
  • Prevention
  • Early detection
  • Diagnosis
  • Responsible pest control action
plant health care phc
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)
landscape design and phc
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?
cultural practices the promote plant health general guidelines
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
cultural practices that promote plant health general guidelines
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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
turf considerations
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
turf considerations13
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
turf considerations14
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)
turf considerations15
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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Spring Pruning
    • Shape and cut back tall canes---cut about ¼ inch above an emerging bud with 45 degree angle cut
  • 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’
indoor plantscapes
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!
indoor plantscapes25
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
indoor plantscapes26
Indoor Plantscapes
  • Pest problems
    • Discard severely infested plants
    • Insect pests include aphids, white flies, red spiders (spider mites), soft brown scale, and mealybugs
when is a pest a pest problem
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
diagnosing pest problems
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
evaluating symptoms
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