Pierce’s Disease

Pierce’s disease (PD) is a bacterial disease of grapes named for Newton Pierce, who described the disease in 1892.  The bacterium species is Xylella fastidiosa. Sharpshooter leafhopper A grape plant is infected when insects, particularly sharpshooter leafhoppers, carrying bacteria bite the plant.  Bacteria then take up residence in the vascular tissue of the grape and…… Continue reading Pierce’s Disease

Fire Blight

Fire blight, found across North America, is a disease to be reckoned with. Caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, this blight affects: Pears.Quinces.Apples.Crabapples.Cane fruits.Roses. The disease is most likely to appear after a mild winter and during a wet spring. Insects transport fire blight bacteria from plant to plant when the hosts are flowering. Symptoms…… Continue reading Fire Blight

Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) does not affect only cucumbers. It also targets: Squash.Melons.Peppers.Tomatoes.Beets.Spinach.Celery.Petunias. The disease is primarily spread by aphids, but it can also be spread by cucumber beetles and on gardening tools. The virus overwinters in perennial weeds. Symptoms Stunted, unusually bushy plants.Thin, rough, curled leaves with mottled coloring.Reduced yields.Small, bumpy, misshapen fruits. Treatment…… Continue reading Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Get Ready for July 2016

Summer can be very busy, but don’t forget to learn and brainstorm.  Spend some time enjoying nature, researching animals, and growing healthy plants. Brush up on your birdwatching vocabulary. Discover how wood type affects the sound of your guitar. Explore the 11 physiographic regions of Kansas. Learn about rare and popular breeds of livestock. Consider…… Continue reading Get Ready for July 2016


If you use diatomaceous earth (DE) to beat your garden pests, you will probably appreciate the Dustin-Mizer. This is a hand-powered device that will help you apply a fine dusting of DE to your plants. Operation is simple: Assemble the Dustin-Mizer.Fill the bin with up to one pound of DE.Point the nozzle toward a plant.Crank…… Continue reading Dustin-Mizer

Get Ready for May 2016

Summer is fast approaching! It’s time to battle the bugs, brush up on music skills, and plan some family time for Memorial Day. Discover the historical geography of the United States.Choose the right string gauge for your guitar.Deter garden bugs before they show up for lunch.Start a homemade construction project.Learn how to communicate with a…… Continue reading Get Ready for May 2016