What’s up with that duck?

Not a cat on a hot tin roof but a duck on a Cotswold tiled roof

Have you seen waterfowl on residential roofs? (photo: Twitpic.com)

Each March the Canada geese herald in the beginning of spring with the honking broadcasts and displays of male prowess on lakes and storm water collection ponds.  The real sign of spring (for me) is when they start standing on rooftops, and we started seeing this “territorial behaviour” a couple of weeks ago in the Guelph area.  But today, a new species entered the rooftop domain….a female Mallard duck!  Now what’s up with that?

The red-winged blackbirds, Robins and Cardinals have been singing their territorial calls for a couple of weeks or so now but have you noticed that they’ve gotten a little louder in the last couple of days?  The weather forecast is calling for high’s in the mid-to-late teens for just one day this week, Thursday.  The long term forecast is predicting more normal temperatures, hovering just around zero for the next two weeks.  The cool spring predictions look like they may be coming true.

For those of you waiting to get your dormant horticultural oil applications “on”, you may have to wait just a wee bit longer.  Applying horticultural oil when freezing temperatures are expected may result in plant injury.  And besides, overwintering insects respire at a lower rate when weather is cold with freezing nights, making them much less susceptible to the smothering oil at this time.

Pub840CoverJL     The Crop Protection Guide for Nursery and Landscape Plants (publication 840) is available online. Publication 840 contains the crop pest recommendations for nursery and landscape plants (e.g. most common pests and pest control methods).  Formerly publication 383.

NurseryTracker  You can also access the crop protection recommendations on our new database website:  NurseryTracker.com !  Nursery Tracker allows you to search pests, host plants and registered pest control products to make timely choice for IPM on your phone, tablet or computer.  You just have to “login” by typing in the script of letters and numbers provided in the window (reCAPTCHA), to prove that you are a human user (and not a robot).  This is an open-access database for everyone.  There is even a short YouTube demonstration video to get you started.

pub841-enCOVERcomp  And don’t forget the OMAFRA Publication no. 841, Guide to Nursery and Landscape Plant Production and IPM.  This guide provides an in-depth look at soils, media, water quality, cover crops, nutrition and the biology of common pests and diseases of woody ornamentals.  If you are building your IPM calendar, look at the tables starting on pg. 39 for plant and pest phenology tables that can help you plant your monitoring activities in the landscape and nursery.

 

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