By Steve Borel
These are best pulled from the tree prior to full ripe and allowed to get ripe in the house. The heat at this time of year will spoil most of the pears on the tree if left to full maturity.
Harvest the pears when you see a slight color change from green to yellow. Be sure not to bruise or puncture them with the stems of other pears when placing them in a container as that will show up as a bad spot once they are fully ripe.
You can place the pears on a counter for up to 3 weeks before they get ripe or wrap them in newspaper and place them in a box. Check them frequently for ripeness. The pears will be ready to eat when you feel softness at the top of the pear near the stem when you press gently with your thumb.
Once the pears are ready, you can place them in the refrigerator until you are ready to consume them.
Another way to tell when to pull pears from the tree is to look at the small dots or indentations on the pear skin. These dots are called lenticels and they will be white on the immature fruit but will change to brown when the fruit is ready to pick.
Another sign of August is the big influx of the weed Chamberbitter or Leafflower. You may not know this weed by those names but many people call it “little mimosa,” since it has two rows of leaves on each branch and resembles a mimosa tree.
Chamberbitter is a summer annual and grows prolifically in flower beds, lawns, patio cracks and flower pots. It is a heavy seed producer and if you look on the back of the leaves you will see a row of what looks like seeds lined up along the stem. These are actually seed pods and each seed pod contains six seeds inside the pod. This mass seed production makes Chamberbitter a very invasive specie.
Normally we control weeds in flower beds with pre-emerge herbicides such as Amaze and Preen but they are not very effective on Chamberbitter. The best way to control them in a flowerbed is first to pull up all of the existing plants. They pull out easily, but do not drop the plants on the ground; throw them away in your garbage to avoid the spread of the seed.
Next, apply a heavy layer of organic mulch. The best control is prevention by blocking sunlight to prevent seed germination.
There may be places where you do not have flowers or other desirable plants growing that you could use a glyphosate herbicide, but remember glyphosate is non-selective and will kill whatever you spray.