Now Is the Time
by Eunice Messner
Early control of weed seeds or seedlings will save lots of weeding time at a later date. Weed seed or newly emerging seedlings can be suppressed effectively by spreading fresh, shredded plant waste on bare soil. These materials, in the early stages of decomposition, release acids and allelochemicals, which inhibit germination and growth. This also protects the soil, makes a bed for microorganisms and holds rainwater in place. A spray of 5% vinegar does work on emerging weeds. I've never been able to find the 10% vinegar for larger seedlings.
MORE ON ANTS
My kitchen is finally free of ants, but it took nearly two weeks of their carrying Maxattrax back to their nests before I finally saw the last of them. If the boric acid recipe I previously printed isn't working for you, here is one Fred Maricle says he uses with great success: Make a 1% boric acid and 20% sugar solution by thoroughly dissolving 1 teaspoon of boric acid and 6 tablespoons of sugar in 2 cups of water. Do this in a clear jar so you can see when all the boric acid crystals are dissolved. Then soak some cotton balls in this bait solution. Make bait dispensers out of some old plastic margarine tubs with lids. Punch holes in them so the ants can get inside, then put the soaked cotton balls into the containers and cover them with the lids so the bait won't dry out. Place the bait containers wherever you see ants. Clean the containers and freshen up the bait solution at least once a week. Be patient! Let those worker ants continually carry the boric acid back to feed the ants in their nest. After a few weeks, reduce the boric acid content even further - to 1/2% - and use that for long, long-term control.
This is the time to spray your citrus trees for rust mite. (Use lime sulfur and water or oil.) Also dormant spray your deciduous trees for peach leaf curl, brown rot and twig borers. One of our growers said he puts 1/4 oz. of Australian Tea Tree oil per each gallon of water in with the spray.
Mangos that fruit early in the fall are beginning to show blossoms. To avoid mildew one has to spray the blossoms with wettable sulfur BEFORE the mildew appears. It is much easier to prevent than to cure.
I'm enjoying my winter crop of łNettie˛ white sapote. Will bring scionwood to our January 28 exchange.