» Japanese beetles continue to be our No. 1 question. Continue to spot-treat high-value plants. Keep in mind that with the extreme heat, applying any pesticides should be delayed until the temperatures return to the 80s. The best time of day to physically remove them is around 7 p.m.
» Do not be alarmed if flowers on tomatoes, peppers or eggplant fall off or do not set fruit. With the temperatures above 95 degrees, pollen will become sterile and flowers will not be pollinated.
» Tomato ripening will be delayed when night-time temperatures are in the upper 70s and low 80s.
» Cicada killer wasps are currently buzzing around town. They are Nebraska’s largest wasp and hunt cicadas. Male wasps will fly around nests protecting their territory, but they are unable to sting. A female wasp will be actively hunting cicadas and will rarely approach or sting people unless mishandled. The wasps nest in dry, exposed soils and retaining walls. They can be discouraged by excessively watering and covering the soil with mulch or ground covers. They will only be around for another few weeks.
» It’s time to start thinking about fall crops. Things such as lettuce, spinach, radishes, turnips, micro-greens, mustard and beets. We can start preparing beds for planting mid-August.
» Now is the time to clean up iris beads. They can be cut down and divided. Check for any damaged rhizomes and remove.
» Canning season is upon us. The Nebraska Extension office at 8015 West Center Road can check gauge pressure canners. If you have any canning questions, give our food safety experts a call at 402-444-7804.
— Scott Evans, Nebraska Extension in Douglas and Sarpy Counties