The summer of 2016 has proven to be one of the most difficult years to keep grass alive (let alone healthy) in recent memory. Some areas of Pennsylvania are still under a drought watch or warning, while a few areas have received timely rains. Hopefully you are one of the lucky ones, but most of us are faced with powder-dry soil, brown turf, and significant turf loss.
The PA Department of Agriculture recently confirmed boxwood blight in a residential setting. The infected material has been removed and destroyed.
Employers must often keep up with a variety of required government posters at their orchards, farms, or other places of business which can be daunting at times. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor changed two posters that employers are required to post in the workplace.
The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014.
Perhaps you have seen this wasp flying over the landscape at about 12” above the ground circling in a mass of its fellow wasps. What is it doing? Well they are selecting mates and mating, prior to laying eggs on grubs in the landscape.
At first glance it may appear as if someone has whitewashed your landscape ornamentals. But upon closer examination with a hand lens you should notice the white hyphal growth that confirms the presence of the disease known as powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is a common disease that begins to appear in mid-to-late summer in Pennsylvania on a wide array of woody ornamentals.
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is an invasive, non-native herbaceous perennial plant that can grow up to 6 feet tall. This plant is invasive in the sense that it forms large colonies in wetlands, marshes and along streams.
By now we all know Monarch butterflies flock to Milkweed. And if you have been caring for Milkweeds planted for the Monarchs you have noticed that a lot of other insects find these plants appealing as well.
In late 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency issued the long awaited revision to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Although it is now technically active it will not be enforced until 2017 but the original WPS will still be enforced until the end of 2016. Please keep in mind that the WPS covers both restricted use AND general use pesticides. This article will deal with the highlights to the revision but also some areas of the current WPS that need emphasized.
This spring, a dramatic decline in the health of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) has been observed in forest and landscape settings across New England and Northeastern Pennsylvania...
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been renamed and are now referred to as Safety Data Sheets (SDS). According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Hazard Communication Standard requires the new format starting on June 1, 2016. One of the primary reasons for the change is that OSHA requires all SDSs to use a standard format.
It is not yet the dog days of summer but it has been hot. Is there a way we can subtly trick our brain into thinking it is cooler than it really is? Can we do this through our landscape design? Blue and violet are considered cool compared to the warm colors of red, orange and yellow. Cool colors are relaxing and soothing. Let’s look at a few native perennials that could be used to provide some cool comfort through these upcoming hot days of summer.
Today I ventured out in the Penn State Extension – Bucks County Demonstration Gardens. These gardens are thoughtfully designed and lovingly cared for by the Bucks County Master Gardeners. They are designed and cared for with education in mind.
State Department of Agriculture officials announced that the Spotted Lanternfly quarantine has been expanded to Lower Macungie Township, Alburtis and Macungie Boroughs in Lehigh County and New Hanover Township in Montgomery County after small populations of the pest were found. The most recent detections are in municipalities adjacent to previously quarantined areas.
On Friday, state officials hosted an educational update regarding boxwood blight, a fungal disease that causes sudden leaf loss and sometimes death of the popular broadleaf evergreen shrubs. In an effort to minimize the disease’s impacts to plants this summer, the state Department of Agriculture announced the enactment of a quarantine order as a part of the discussion.
Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.
Yellow poplar weevils reached epidemic levels in parts of Pennsylvania in 2015, causing ugly aesthetic damage on its favored host trees and prompting many calls to Penn State Extension offices about “flying ticks.” Fortunately, ticks do not have wings and cannot fly; nor do they have antennae.
At this stage, biorational products such as Bt or Bacillus thuringiensis (DiPel, Foray, Javelin, others) or spinosad (Conserve, Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew) can provide effective control.
Bees and bee health are still making headlines, and sorely needed research results are finally starting to emerge. In early May, Horticultural Research Institute participated in a research symposium at Penn State University where early results from several research projects relevant to pollinator health were shared.
e-GRO recently released a series of videos on managing insect and mite pests in the greenhouse, presented by Raymond Cloyd of Kansas State University. Dr. Cloyd describes the basic steps of scouting, diagnosis, and the proper use of biological control agents.