Ask the Grasp Gardener: Yellow jackets, wasps will not be essential pollinators – Brainerd Dispatch


Pricey Grasp Gardener: I understand how essential it’s to guard bees as a result of they’re pollinators. What about yellow jackets? We have now a number of yellow jacket and wasp nests in varied locations round our home and a number of other folks have gotten stung. Ought to they be protected too or can we go forward and kill them?

Reply: In contrast to honey bees, yellow jackets will not be essential as pollinators and extraordinary measures needn’t be taken to guard them. Yellow jackets (which embrace bald-faced hornets) and paper wasps are two kinds of social wasps present in Minnesota. Honeybees and bumblebees are social bees present in Minnesota. Wasps generally nest on buildings or in retaining partitions, timber, and the bottom. When wasp nests are discovered near the place persons are energetic, the nests ought to be eradicated to attenuate the danger of stings. Honey bees principally occupy manufactured hives, however often nest in cavities of huge timber or different protected areas. Bumble bees are often discovered underground in abandoned rodent nests or different cavities, in compost piles, or beneath objects on the bottom. Each honeybees and bumblebees assemble cells manufactured from wax. Honeybee and bumblebee nests are sometimes not an issue and ought to be preserved each time doable.

To do away with yellow jacket and paper wasp nests it’s best to deal with them late within the night or early within the morning when they’re much less energetic. If after a day you continue to see them flying round, repeat the therapy. In the event you can see the nest (like these connected to eaves), you possibly can deal with it utilizing an aerosol spray labeled for wasps and hornets. For yellow jackets, spray it instantly into the opening of the nest the place they fly out and in.

Pricey Grasp Gardener: How toxic is water hemlock? Is it present in Crow Wing County?

Reply: Water hemlock, often known as noticed cowbane, is essentially the most violently poisonous plant in the USA. It’s lethal to each people and animals. Water hemlock is a local plant within the carrot and parsley household. The foliage is fern-like and the vein sample in its leaves radiates from the central vein and tends to terminate within the notch of the tooth as a substitute of the tip. It resembles different edible vegetation in the identical household, like carrots, coriander and parsnips. Its tuber-like, fleshy roots appear like small candy potatoes, scent like parsnips, are simple to tug out of the bottom, and are essentially the most deadly a part of the plant. Most unintentional poisonings (typically whereas mountain climbing) happen as a result of folks assume the roots are edible, however a chunk of root the dimensions of a walnut can kill a cow and some nibbles can kill an individual. Sure, this plant is present in Crow Wing County and most counties in Minnesota. Water hemlock is often present in moist areas akin to marshes, moist streams, and alongside lakeshores. The white, umbrella-like flowers bloom from June to August and look just like Queen Anne’s Lace.

Based on the Minnesota Division of Agriculture, water hemlock is a noxious weed and all above and under floor components of the plant should be destroyed. The Noxious Weed Regulation regulates rising vegetation which are dangerous to folks, animals, the meals we eat, and nature. Landowners are requested to manage and eradicate noxious weeds which are current on their property so as to hold them from spreading and harming neighboring property.

Pricey Grasp Gardener: Is now a superb time to divide my perennials?

Reply: It relies upon. Spring and summer season blooming perennials may be divided now. Don’t divide perennials when they’re blooming and attempt to divide them on a cloudy, overcast day so that they expertise much less stress. It might be very best should you divided your vegetation when there are a pair days of rain within the forecast to soak them properly. Perennials with fleshy roots akin to peonies, Oriental poppy, and Siberian iris are finest divided within the fall, 4 to 6 weeks earlier than the bottom freezes. Different perennials that may be divided now and into September are: Ajuga, Allium, Astilbe, Brunnera, Columbine, Coreopsis, Creeping Phlox, Heuchera, Hosta, Woman’s Mantle, Lilies, Pulmonaria, Salvia (divide when middle of plant dies), Tiarella, and Veronica. Hemerocallis (daylilies) may be divided proper after they’re completed blooming or in spring.

Pricey Grasp Gardener: Once I was a baby, residing in southern Minnesota, we had floor cherries. I by no means hear about them and was questioning in the event that they develop up right here?

Reply: Floor cherries are in the identical genus (Physalis) as Chinese language lantern and tomatillo. They’re native to Central and South America. Floor cherries belong to the Solanaceae (nightshade) household and are associated to tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Floor cherry, often known as husk-tomato, has fuzzy leaves which are oval or heart-shaped, with yellow flowers which have 5 brown spots on the within. The yellowish-colored fruit is the dimensions and form of a cherry tomato and lies inside a papery husk. The husk turns brown when the fruit is ripe, then the fruit drops from the plant. The fruit will hold for a number of weeks should you go away it within the husk. It has a novel taste that has been described as a tomato-pineapple mix. Floor cherries may be eaten uncooked or utilized in salads, desserts, jams, jellies or as a cooked sauce.

You can begin the seeds indoors two weeks earlier than tomato seeds, then transplant the seedlings into your backyard after the final spring freeze. Plant them in atypical well-drained backyard soil in a sunny location two to 3 ft aside. The fruit matures about the identical time as late tomatoes. Choose floor cherries when the husks are dry and the fruit begins to drop from the plant.

It’s possible you’ll get your backyard questions answered by calling the brand new Grasp Gardener Assist Line at 218-824-1068 and leaving a message. A Grasp Gardener will return your name. Or, emailing me at and I’ll reply you within the column if area permits.

College of Minnesota Extension Grasp Gardeners are educated and authorized volunteers for the College of Minnesota Extension. Data given on this column is predicated on college analysis.


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