NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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May 9, 2011 Horticulture Column


The weather is not very nice today, cloudy, not raining at the moment but sounds like a very good chance later.  We sure had a very nice weekend.  I was in Washburn with the Ramsey County Shooting Sports kids and families.  Some families drove down the night before and sat around the camp fire.  We cooked hotdogs and smores.  It was a very peaceful and just about the right temperature.  Everyone except a couple bunked in the dorms giving the kids a new experience.  Open style sleeping.  To top off the weekend the kids shot very well and took home many top honors to include the overall county award, across the state.  Great job kids.

A question came up this morning on controlling grasses in Strawberries and Raspberries.  There are products available for those pesty weeds but make sure not to apply to any grass you do not want killed or to any annuals or perennials.  Two products come to mind: Poast and Grass B Gone.  Poast works very well and needs to be mixed with a sticker to make better contact with the grass plant, you should see differences in a week or less.  The other product is made by Ortho called Grass B Gone and does a very nice job on grass in strawberries and raspberries.  Make sure you always read and follow the label. 

Wood ticks are starting to emerge and questions always arise concerning the difference between the tick that carry Lyme disease and the American dog tick.  Lyme disease is vectored by the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis), also known as deer ticks.  The black-legged tick does not occur naturally in North Dakota.  The black-legged ticks are brought in to North Dakota  from people or pets that have been in states where it occurs naturally.  If you feel that you have been bitten by a black-legged tick and start having symptoms such as a fever, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes, have the tick identified by bringing the tick to your local County Extension office.   Use a container that will not damage the tick in question.  Do not use a paper envolope.   The County Extension office will send the tick to the NDSU Entomology Department to be identified.  Over 60% of people bitten by a black-legged tick will have a circular or bulls-eye rash at the bite site.   The following illustration shows the stages for the most common ticks found in our area.  Note the size difference between the black-legged tick and the American dog tick.  Black-legged ticks are much smaller at each life cycle stage than the American dog tick.


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