View archives | Visit our website

Home and Garden Information Center

July 2017

University of Maryland Extension

GIEI Homepage | GIEI Blog

Ask the Experts

Events and Classes

Follow the links for more info on the events.

Calvert County
July 15 | Summer Blooms, Bees & Butterflies in the Demo Garden
Garrett County
July 13 | Raised Bed Gardening
July 24 | Beans/Peas
Harford County
July 15 | Fragrant Flowers
Howard County
July 29 | Ask a Master Vegetable Gardener

» All GIEI Classes
» All Ask a MG Plant Clinics
(the above list may not be complete - be sure to check with your county extension office for the latest scheduling info)

Have you seen this?↓

Identify Poison Ivy! 

Poison IvyThis is poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). It can grow as a vine, but it also can appear in a leafy or shrubby form in woodlands, fields, and home landscapes. Its appearance can vary depending on the age of the plant and the conditions in which it's growing.

Poison ivy is a native plant and its berries provide a valuable food source for birds, which aid in the spread of its seeds. This is often how we find new poison ivy popping up in our gardens!

Many people see the "leaves of three" and the "oak-like" shape of the leaves and express concern about poison oak. Atlantic poison oak (Toxicodendron pubescens) is a low growing relative, but is less commonly encountered.

Learn more about poison ivy and take the poison ivy quiz to see if you can recognize its look-a-likes.

July Tips

  • Squash vine borer larvae are feeding inside squash and pumpkin stems. Monitor plants for signs of wilting and entrance holes on lower stems. You may see sawdust-like frass around the hole. Cut a slit above the hole with a razor, remove the 1 inch long white larva (with a brown head), and mound up soil around the wound.
  • Early blight of tomatoes is widespread now. This fungal disease causes small, irregular brown lesions with a yellow halo on lower leaves. The spots have a bull's eye pattern. They will enlarge and entire leaves will turn yellow and then die. Defoliation can then lead to sunscald of tomato fruits. Septoria leaf spot is a similar fungal disease that often occurs with early blight. Remove lower leaves, keep a thick organic mulch around plants, and avoid overhead watering. Applications of tri-basic copper will slow down severe infections.

» More July Tips

What's hot ↓

Trending Topics

Fruit - General disease and insect pest control recommendations.
Ask a Master Gardener - Do you have a plant sample you would like to show someone? Or is something growing in your yard you would like identified? 
Monitor vegetable crops - At least once a week for plant problems. Identify the cause of major problems to enable you to manage it this year and prevent it next year.

Featured Videos↓

Grow Your Best Basil: Easy Care for Basil Plants


Grow your best basil. Meredith Epstein, Sustainable Agriculture lecturer at the Institute of Applied Agriculture, walks us through the simple steps to get more and better basil.

» View on YouTube

Q&A ↓

Ask The Experts

Can you please identify these insects on my crape myrtle?

These are called Barklice or Tree Cattle (Cerastipsocus sp.). Barklice are often found on smooth-barked trees and shrubs, including crape myrtles and magnolias. Barklice do not feed on living plants. They feed on lichens, decaying organic matter, dead insects, molds, fungi, and pollen. They are not harmful to trees and shrubs, and no control is necessary.

Mohammed El Damir,

Have a plant or pest question? University of Maryland Extension's experts have answers! Send in your questions and photos to Ask an Expert.

Have a suggestion for a topic to cover in the HGIC newsletter? Send in your suggestions.

The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to any person and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression.
Twitter Facebook Youtube

©2017 University of Maryland College of Agriculture & Natural Resources