Diseases that Affect Black-Eyed Susans in Michigan Gardens

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Black-Eyed Susans are an extremely hardy plant, but even the hardiest of plants can succumb to disease. Knowing what diseases are possible is one of the easiest ways to treat or prevent disease from occurring in your Michigan garden of Black-Eyed Susans.
Different Types of Leaf Spot in Black-Eyed Susans

Angular Leaf Spot

In Black-Eyed Susan plants, angular brown spots that occur on the leaves are known as angular leaf spot. These spots can potentially cover the entire leaf and with this particular type of leaf spot, the spots generally affect the lower leaves of the plant prior to moving upward toward the top of the plant.

To treat angular leaf spot, during the late fall (following the first full freeze,) all of the Black-Eyed Susan that is present above the soil must be removed. Tools that are used to remove the infected plant should be thoroughly cleaned using a product specifically for this situation; as the tools can re-spread the infection when reused later in the spring or summer the following year.

Cylindrosporium and Ramularia Leaf Spot

These types of leaf spots are not as common as Septoria. However, when they do occur, they can produce small lesions that are often angular in appearance. Therefore, it can be difficult to differentiate from angular leaf spot.

These plants too, must be removed from the root up.

Septoria Leaf Spot

Septoria leaf spot is currently among one of the most common diseases affecting Black-Eyed Susans. Like with Cylindrosporium and Ramularia leaf spot, the lesions start out small in size. These lesions, which are dark brown in color, will double in size and most of the lesions are round in appearance. However, angular spots may occur around the leaf veins in the plant.

Again, removal of the infected portion is necessary and the tools used should be cleaned to prevent reinfection.

Aster Yellows in Black-Eyed Susans

Aster yellows is a phytoplasma, meaning it does not have a cell wall. It spreads via insects (also referred to as leafhopper vectors,) so there is little a gardener can truly do to prevent them, as any insect could potentially carry the disease.

Unfortunately, aster yellows can affect several plants within the daisy family including, but not limited to: marigolds, purple coneflowers and cosmos. Symptoms of aster yellows include deformed flowers of which additional leaves and plants grow outward from within the cone of the flower.

To treat aster yellows, the infected plants (including the roots) must be removed entirely from the garden.

Powdery Mildew

Mildew affecting Black-Eyed Susans is generally more of a visual issue, though if left untreated it can result in a die-off of the leaves. With powdery mildew, the leaves will slowly turn a shade of yellow before dying and falling off.

Like with many diseases, the affected leaves and flowers should be removed from the plant. In severe cases, the entire plant (including the roots) may need to be removed.

Stem Rot in Black-Eyed Susans

Stem rot will begin by causing lower leaves to become discolored (often to a shade of yellow or yellow-brown.) Eventually, the entire plant will die. During the process, you may notice that there is a cotton-like mound growing at the base of the plant in your garden.

Plants with stem rot should be removed from the area, including the roots and the surrounding soil.

Additional Information:

University of Minnesota: Diseases of Rudbeckia

Missouri Botanical Garden: Aster Yellows

Do It Yourself: Identifying Black-Eyed Susan Diseases

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Health Puzzle: Three Simple Ways to Improve Your Health on a Budget

If you have noticed, a lot of the food trends have leaned toward being grossly unhealthy. Our technology now also empowers us to be less active than we used to be. So how do you stay healthy? After all, not everyone has the time or the extra finances to empower a healthy lifestyle. The concept of ‘staying healthy’ is something that is often passed on by many due to the fact that it does cost money.

Here are the three simple ways that you can improve your health while on a budget:

Work Out at Home

One of the biggest misconceptions that people have about getting healthy is the necessity of a gym membership. While there are certain pieces of equipment that would certainly help getting fit a whole lot easier, it is not critical to the task.

There are a lot of different workouts that can be done in the comfort of your home. The simple act of doing daily calisthenics is a big contribution towards getting healthy. The act of simply cleaning your home is already an exercise in itself. Be creative.

You can do yoga from your home. You can get the poses and instruction from websites or even YouTube channels. Utilize the sources that you presently have and run with it.

Lay Off Food Fads

Food Fads are pretty hard to ignore since you see them everywhere—especially on social media. The world, it seems, is always waiting with bated breath for the next big food fad. You may have come across several of them: the red velvet craze, the Nutella obsession, the gooey cheese scrapings, the several layers of burgers, the need to put matcha on everything, etc—there have been so many.

What they all have in common is that they are notoriously high in calories and sugar. These, as you can imagine, can and will add several pounds to your weight.

Educate Yourself

Being educated about your choices is one of the best ways to stay healthy. If you know what you need more and less of, the better your chances will be. Information is so easy to come by. The internet is right there—full of useful information.

Libraries still exist. In case you have no internet in your own home and rely on free Wi-FI options, you can take a jog down to your local libraries. Join symposiums near you. All local government health centers will have dates on talks that they have about health and these are usually free.

Always Remember

Your health is in your hands. You do not need the fancy workouts or the equipment to get into shape. At the same time, you do not need to jump on every single food fad that comes on simply because it is there or looks so delicious.

What other ways can you think of to improve your health while on a budget?

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Kicking Your Butt into Gear: How to Get and Stay Motivated

Being in a rut is one of the most unpleasant things that you can be in. It affects your work, it affects your relationships, and it can even affect how you view life. This is why it is important to know how to get and stay motivated.

A lot of people often overlook or take the cultivation of their motivation for granted. As a consequence, they suddenly find themselves feeling at a loss or stuck despite things looking okay from an outsider’s perspective. So we would like to take this chance to discuss how you can cultivate and sustain your motivation.

What is Motivation?

This refers to the thing that gives you an extra spring in your step. You can even refer to it as what gets you out of bed every morning. It is the very reason why you do what you do and what gets you through hard and stressful times.

Some call it their inspiration but mostly, it is your motivation. Motivation is critical because it can mean the difference between accomplishing your goals and letting them lay stagnant and inert.

Getting Motivation

Before you are able to sustain motivation, you must first have it. While it can be something that is organic, it may need a bit of help. So here are a few ways on how you can build or get your motivation started:

Set a Goal

Having a destination is always good—otherwise, you’ll just be going forward aimlessly. Having a clear goal gives you an idea of what you need to do and what you’ll get by the time that you’re done.

Get a Buddy

If you feel like you are lacking motivation, talk to someone you trust about it. You would be surprised at the difference another person’s opinion will make. They can talk you through your rut and give you the jumpstart that you need.

Maintaining Motivation

Once you have your motivation started, it is important to keep stoking it. Here are a few ways how:

Keep a Progress Journal

Nothing keeps your motivation going like having a physical representation of your progress. It triggers the reward sensors in your brain and can release endorphins which can drive your energy further. Keep a journal or an app wherein you can jot down what you’ve done for the day and how much closer you are toward your goal.

Schedule Your Breaks

It will do you no good if you keep pushing forward with no rest. Your motivation is a blade that needs to be tempered in order to be sharp. Schedule your breaks both long and short. They can be little pit stops toward your destination.

Always Remember

Motivation is something that you need to work on. While it is something that would be good if it was a self-sustaining things—it sadly isn’t. So you’ll constantly need to work at it in order to meet your overall goal.

What ways do you have to start and sustain your motivation?

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