Rushville Republican

Agriculture

June 28, 2013

In The Grow

Q. My question is, can pine needles be used to mulch rhubarb? I’ve heard that rhubarb and walnut trees don’t mix, but would pine needles hurt rhubarb? I’m afraid to let anyone put bark mulch around my rhubarb because the companies providing the bark do not know if there is walnut in the mix. - M.S.

A. Pine needles should be fine to use around rhubarb, a 2-3 inch layer would do nicely. Stick with fallen needles gathered from your own or local pines; there have been problems with fire ants hitching rides in pine straw from Southern states.

Black walnut trees produce a substance called juglone in all parts of the walnut, but especially in the roots, foliage buds and fruit husks. Juglone is toxic to some plants, including rhubarb, so it is best to avoid using any part of walnut in your mulch or compost. Other trees closely related to black walnut also produce juglone, including butternut, English walnut, pecan, shagbark hickory and bitternut hickory, but in such limited quantities compared to black walnut that toxicity to other plants is rarely observed. For more information on black walnut toxicity, see Purdue Extension Bulletin HO-193 “Black Walnut Toxicity.”

Q. What can I apply to string bean and escarole plants that will deter rabbits from eating them? Also, Japanese beetles ravage the leaves on the fruit trees I have. I have used malthion in the past. Could you recommend something else? Is there anything new to try? - JM, Valparaiso, Ind.

A. While there are some commercially available rabbit repellents, they are of limited use in a vegetable garden. What makes the vegetables taste bad to rabbits will also make them unpalatable for humans. The most practical method of deterring rabbits is to fence the garden or at least the crops that are being damaged. The fence will need to be of woven wire or 2-inch poultry netting, 2 1/2-3 feet high to exclude rabbits. The fence should be in place at planting time as young plants are the most attractive and most susceptible to damage. More information on preventing rabbit damage to garden and landscape plants can be found at the Purdue Wildlife Conflicts website.

Text Only
Agriculture
  • Q and A: Peas Best as Early-Spring Crop Q. This year some of our peas started to die. This would start by the (rusty) post where my husband anchors a pea fence. Then the disease spread to other pea plants in the row. It went from the post and progressed east. The plants west of the post di

    August 22, 2014

  • ASA announces date for Succession Planning Workshop ST. LOUIS -The American Soybean Association (ASA) Succession Planning Workshop in Columbus, Ohio is rescheduled for Jan. 15, 2015.“The information provided in these workshops is very important for soybean producers to hear and understand so they can

    August 22, 2014

  • Purdue assisting with study for regional food hubs WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue Extension will host meetings throughout Indiana for specialty-crop producers, wholesalers and community leaders to help the Indiana State Department of Agriculture assess the potential for a statewide network of regional food

    August 22, 2014

  • Purdue: Shale oil 'dividend' could pay for smaller carbon footprint WEST LAFAYETTE - Unanticipated economic benefits from the shale oil and gas boom could help offset the costs of substantially reducing the U.S.’s carbon footprint, Purdue agricultural economists say.Wally Tyner and Farzad Taheripour estimate that sha

    August 22, 2014

  • ag-rv081514-extension awards pic Women honored with extension awards for dedication to agriculture WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue Extension honored two women for their dedication and service to agriculture with the Women in Agriculture Achievement and Leadership awards Wednesday evening (Aug. 13) at the Indiana State Fair.The Achievement Award, which rec

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Abundant corn, soybean crops expected again in Indiana, nation WEST LAFAYETTE - The federal government expects Indiana and the nation to grow bumper crops of corn and soybeans for the second consecutive year, adding to already adequate supplies but further holding down prices farmers will get for their productiv

    August 15, 2014

  • Pinney Purdue field day Aug. 20 WEST LAFAYETTE - The 2014 Pinney Purdue Field Day on Aug. 20 will enable participants to stay current on agricultural production issues and visit with fellow producers as well as supply and service exhibitors.Pinney Purdue Agriculture Center is at 1

    August 15, 2014

  • Purdue: Cover crops make stover more profitable WEST LAFAYETTE - Farmers using cover crops as a soil conservation method can remove much more corn stover per acre for biofuels or other uses and at the same time potentially increase their income, Purdue University research shows.The research points

    August 8, 2014

  • ASA responds to Russian ban on U.S. food imports WASHINGTON - In response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement Wednesday of an impending retaliatory ban on a significant number of agricultural imports to Russia, American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser highlighted soybean fa

    August 8, 2014

  • Programs to analyze crops report, farm bill WEST LAFAYETTE - Farmers attending two Purdue Extension programs at the Indiana State Fair on Tuesday (Aug. 12) will get a good idea of how corn and soybean crops are shaping up for the fall harvest and how the yields could guide financial decisions

    August 8, 2014