Saturday, July 11, 2020

Eagle Butte
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

Gardening and home Improvement tips

Floyd Braun

Greetings to everyone, I hope all is going well with your home and garden. Thank you again for your continued following of this weekly column.

Signs of fall or signs of stress in plants

You may see the leaves at the tops of large trees starting to change color, and you might be wondering “is this a start to an early fall?”

The answer to this is “no.” What you are seeing in most cases is a sign of plant stress — either the plant has too much soil accumulated around its base, or its root system is shallow and has not been able to retain the rain water we received this year.

Your plants, as far as trees go, should not start to change color for about three more weeks, as part of its normal life cycle. This may be different, however, in cases of annuals – plants that live for only one season. If you are seeing this change in an annual that is over 85 days old, then, yes, the plant may be in its final week of life before it begins to die.


Your corn should be tasseling now, and ears should be forming. Some stalks may have two ears, but in general, there is usually one ear of corn per stalk. As the tassels begin to dry, they will pollinate the corn ears which will result in rapid maturing of the ear.

If you see blue fungus, which is called corn smut, remove that plant completely from the garden. Most people in the lower 48 states do not like find the fungus appetizing, but in many countries, it is a delicacy.


The tops of your carrots should have some healthy-looking green tips now, but don’t let looks deceive you – the root portion is that we eat is not ripe. Continue to feed your carrots and they should be ready to harvest in mid-September.


Squash should be in peak production now and may begin to slow down in the next week; although, if you planted late in the season, this may not occur for another week or two.


Melons should be forming and be green right now. As they grow and mature, make sure to put them in a board or thick piece of cardboard to ensure they do not grow unsightly fungi. Fungus is harmless for the fruit, but if you are entering anything into the fair, you will want your melons to look pretty.


Home Improvement: Spider concerns

Things you can do to keep the spiders out of your home:

  1. Make sure your door sweeps are in good shape, with no light coming through.
  2. Spray your door thresholds with a long-acting spray bug spray. Please limit your use, keeping in mind that more is not always better. Follow the label instructions.
  3. Keep plant growth away from your home’s exterior walls.
  4. Make sure your windows have screens.

If you think you need to do chemical spraying of more than 10 linear feet, please hire a licensed pest control service. A licensed spray company will save you money in the long term, as they can apply chemical and organic solutions that will be more effective than what you can buy at the store.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs, if found, must be treated by a professional. The only licensed company for bed bugs that serves our area is located in Plunket, Minnesota. According to Home Advisor, the average cost to treat a three-bedroom home is about $3,000. Check your homeowner’s policy for coverages, as this problem has grown nationwide some homeowner policies have bed bug coverages.

Bed bugs like to remain close to their host/food source, which is us humans. Check the seams of your bed and the edges of the carpet nearest to your bed. Bed bugs, prior to feeding, are translucent, and are very hard to see. After feeding, they can be red, blue or purple. Using a flashlight will make them easier to spot.