Here’s what was going on during this time of year in the past…
In W. L Dawson’s 1903 book, The Birds of Ohio he said, “Without question the most deplorable event in the history of American ornithology was the introduction of the English Sparrow.”
The House Sparrow originated in the Mediterranean and expanded its range into Europe as civilization also grew. Many factors contributed to the House Sparrows invasion of America. In 1850, green inch-worms were destroying trees in New York City’s Central Park. It was thought that the house sparrow’s main diet in Europe was these green worms and if sparrows were brought to New York City, they would solve the worm problem. One year later, the Brooklyn institute released eight pairs that didn’t survive the climate change. However, after many more attempts, they did finally adapt. Others hypothesized that the House Sparrow would eat grain out of horse manure, which would help the manure decompose faster. Finally, many Europeans who immigrated to the United States during this time smuggled in the little birds they were accustomed to seeing in their native country. By the time it was realized that house sparrows do not regularly eat insects outside the nesting season or eat grain out of horse manure (yet ate it out of the horse feeders), the birds range had spread tremendously.
There are many species of fungus that cause powdery mildew on plants. Most only infect the leaf surface or stems and do not attack the leaf tissue of the host plant. Powdery mildew is not usually a serious problem, but to avoid severe damage to plants, quick control methods need to be taken.
Many powdery mildews, especially those that attack woody plants, are more unsightly than destructive. Good sanitation is highly important to reduce infections the next season.
- Be proactive and purchase disease resistant plants.
- Space the plants properly, in-well drained soils where plants receive good air circulation.
- Dispose of diseased leaves as soon as they drop.
- Do not compost or use as mulch.
- Always avoid working among plants with wet foliage. Stay inside on rainy days!
I was asked by a client the other day if we could plant her annual flowers right over her tulips, with the intent that the bulbs will ‘multiply’. I had to pass on bad news. Bulbs and annuals don’t play nicey-nice together. At least here in the Midwest…