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2012

Fresh Cut Christmas Trees: Good for the Environment and the Economy
December 11, 2012
Some people think it is wasteful and harmful to the environment when Americans cut down and use 30 million live trees to celebrate Christmas...
Chipmunks and Squirrels
December 3, 2012
As you are putting up holiday decorations, doing some last minute outside repairs, or cleaning up around your yard, keep an eye out for two potential problems: squirrels and chipmunks. They can easily settle around and even inside your house for the winter, plus they can damage your plants...
Garden Soil 101
November 26, 2012
The more we learn about soil the more appreciation we have for it. We are blessed by the intricate relationship between the mineral, air, water, and organic components of soil...
Protection and Control of Rabbits
November 19, 2012
There is one familiar furry resident in your home landscape which does tremendous damage in the upcoming winter months...
Brighten Up Your Home with Houseplants
November 14, 2012
Indoors it is, as the weather is unpredictable, and the days are growing shorter faster...
Winter Bird Care
November 13, 2012
The chill of November is here to remind us the cold will soon settle in for a long stay...
A New Threat in the Vegetable Garden
November 5, 2012
Vegetable gardening is wonderful. Starting plants from seeds or planting young tender seedlings is an act of faith...
Don’t Trash Those Leaves!
October 30, 2012
Before you bag up the leaves falling from your trees, consider their potential for your landscape...
Spring Bulbs
October 22, 2012
Gardening has its good and not-so-good parts. It is a healthy hobby, but intense at times...
Looking Forward in the Backyard Orchard
October 15, 2012
Many of us backyard fruit growers had either a small tree fruit crop or no crop at all in 2012. You may be wondering what that means for next year...
Why Do Leaves Change Color?
October 9, 2012
Did you know that the brilliant colors of autumn leaves are there all year round? When leaves turn in the fall, they lose their green color, and that loss reveals the underlying reds, oranges, yellows, and golds...
Falling on Tough Times
October 1, 2012
It has been a difficult year for your lawn. Extended hot, dry periods in the summer after a very mild winter, as your turf grass was exposed to everything in between...
Autumn is the Time to Lime
September 24, 2012
Autumn is in the air. The vegetable garden is winding down, the summer flowers are fading, and it is time to think about applying lime...
Has your property been “invaded”?
September 19, 2012
Drive down any road and you will probably find non-native plant species beginning to invade our forests, stream corridors, meadows, and yes, even the landscape at your home. When was the last time you walked your property and wondered why there seems to be plants that are taking over?
Master Gardener Training
September 19, 2012
Penn State Extension in Lackawanna County will be offering the Master Gardener Training Program in the fall...
Garlic - The taste was in the air
September 10, 2012
If you were one of the tens of thousands who visited the Italian Festival in downtown Scranton last weekend, you could smell and vicariously taste the one essential condiment of Italian cooking: garlic...
Downy Mildew
September 5, 2012
A few weeks ago I wrote to you in a vegetable pest update about downy mildew moving into Northeastern Pennsylvania. What you may not know is that downy mildew infests a wide range of garden plants...
Protect Your Trees and Shrubs from Lawnmower Blight
August 27, 2012
Each year a large number of trees and shrubs in our landscapes are severely injured and die from lawn maintenance equipment. Sadly, those deaths are preventable by keeping lawn mowers and string trimmers away from the trunks of trees and shrubs...
Blossom-end rot
August 20, 2012
One of the current issues plaguing the home gardener right now is blossom-end rot. Often mistaken for a disease, it is primarily a physiological problem...
Vegetable Garden Pest Update
August 13, 2012
It is harvest time and life is good. Enjoy the fruits of your labor...
What’s Killing Your Landscape Plants?
August 6, 2012
Diagnosing plant problems can be a difficult task. To diagnose plant problems, you need to know how a healthy plant grows and have some knowledge of the stresses that affect plant health...
Harvest Time
July 29, 2012
Soon all the toil and trouble will be history, and you can finally enjoy the benefits of having a garden...
Protecting Your Landscape During Hot, Dry Conditions
July 16, 2012
Most of the water entering the plant through its roots is lost through pores or tomatoes in its leaves as water vapor, a process called transpiration...
Caring for Your Lawn in the Summer Heat
July 10, 2012
Most homeowners take great pride in the lush green grass carpeting their landscape. Equaling their pride, is the effort put into maintaining their turf...
Late Blight is Back
July 2, 2012
If you were growing tomatoes back in 2009 then you know how deadly late blight can be to your tomato and potato plants...
Dealing with Unwanted Dinner Guests in Your Landscape
June 25, 2012
Many homeowners, golf course superintendents, landscape maintenance firms, and...
Health Officials Warn Tick Season is Starting
May 31, 2012
It is the start of tick season. At Nay Aug Park in Scranton, walkers were on the move, both two and four legged, enjoying the warm weather. But health and environmental experts warn, while you`re taking in the rays outside, be careful not to take on an unwanted guest. It`s tick season again...
Caring For Trees
May 31, 2012
Plant a tree and nature will take care of the rest, right? Not necessarily...
Finding the Right Arborist
May 29, 2012
Finding someone knowledgeable to work on your trees can be a real challenge...
Tree-Topping… The cost is greater than you think.
May 14, 2012
Trees provide so much to our communities, our homes, and our lives...
Spring Care of Fruit Trees
April 30, 2012
The early start to the spring has created some challenges for fruit growers.
Are you ready to “Go Green’?
April 2, 2012
On Friday, April 27 will mark the 140th year that Arbor Day was celebrated across these United States.
Backyard Tree Fruit Tips
March 26, 2012
It is time to prune your apple and pear trees.
Ready or Not, Here They Come
March 19, 2012
Just when you thought it was safe to go into your garden, there is a new pest eating your produce.
Caring for the Woods in Your Backyard
March 12, 2012
Would you like to spend less time and money maintaining your lawn? Do you want to provide a sanctuary for wildlife.
Backyard Tree Fruit Tips
March 2, 2012
It is time to prune your apple and pear trees if you have not yet done it. Start by pruning out any broken or diseased limbs...
Is that a Brush Pile or a Pile of Brush?
February 21, 2012
Do you enjoy seeing wildlife? Do you have lots of smaller diameter low-value trees on your property? If so, constructing brush piles is for you...
Wild Bird Feeding- Is it OK?
February 9, 2012
More than 55 million Americans feed wild birds and a third of Pennsylvanians observe wildlife around their homes. And according to an article by Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), they spend millions of dollars on these pastimes; making them part of a full-fledged American industry that influences our economy...
Plants Need Potassium
February 6, 2012
Your garden soil needs to supply plants with enough potassium to produce a high quality crop. Potassium is needed in the plant for many functions...
It’s Onion Time
January 17, 2012
Believe it or not, it is time to get those seeds ordered for your early garden vegetables. If you plan to grow your own onion transplants, you will need to plant the seed between February 1 and the 15th...
Burn dry wood to stay warm, save money, and be safe
January 13, 2012
As you relax in front of your Yule Log these next few weeks, enjoying both its warmth and the savings that it brings to you, take a moment now to plan on making next year’s firewood 20 proof or less...
Apple Harvest Time
January 12, 2012
Backyard orchardists are noticing a black sooty looking material on the surface of their apples as they harvest...
Chestnuts Roasting
January 12, 2012
The American chestnut was the dominant tree in the Pennsylvania forest a century ago. The American chestnut was prized for its massive size, excellent lumber, delicious sweet fruit, and its benefit to wildlife. Sadly, the chestnut blight changed our forest dramatically. Today only stump sprouts remain...
Tough Growing Season
January 12, 2012
The one two combination of hurricane Irene and tropical storm Lee has put an early end to most gardens. There are some enjoyable activities that you can do this fall that will help make your 2012 garden better.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Update
January 5, 2012
The brown marmorated stink bug is rapidly becoming public enemy #1 in the world of horticulture. This pest, which came to Pennsylvania sometime before 1998, has thrived to the point it is assumed that it is in every county in the state...
Curing Gourds
January 5, 2012
The rush of the first holiday of the season is over. Halloween is gone and all of the candy is too. The pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns are now part of the compost pile. However, with Thanksgiving a few weeks away, most people keep gourds around as decorations. They are ideal color for the whole fall season, as they do not rot like pumpkins. Also you may want to consider drying, or more precisely curing, gourds to make them last even longer...
Gardeners have Mulch to do in Early Spring
January 5, 2012
There isn't a lot you can do in a Pennsylvania flower garden on a March day, even if it's sunny and warm. But Robert Berghage, associate professor of horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences, recommends spreading mulch to delay plant emergence as long as possible...
Wildlife damage in winter
January 4, 2012
While the attention this week will be on our friend Phil, the rest of his kin will still be hibernating well into the month of March. The groundhog is notorious for doing quite a bit of damage around the home landscape...
Bees
January 4, 2012
Did You Know? Bees and other pollinators are hard workers, and that one-in-three bites of the food we eat is a direct result of their efforts.
Clover
January 4, 2012
"I'm looking over a four leaf clover that I overlooked before." It's the sign of the time. St. Patrick's Day parades, celebrations if you are Irish for a year or a lifetime, the green clover leaf is the decoration for now. While we can see it all over the place, most people don’t want to see it in their lawns.
Pruning to Remove Fireblight
January 4, 2012
Fireblight is a common disease of apple and pear trees in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Fireblight infects blossoms and new growth in the spring...
Managing Winter Injury
January 4, 2012
Phil made his predication a couple weeks ago that we will have an early spring, and it seems that so far the indications are true. We have had a string of warmer weather...
Assessing and correcting storm damage to trees & shrubs
January 4, 2012
After last week’s storms the coming weeks would be a good time to assess rain and wind damage to trees and shrubs. So what do you do? Start by asking yourself two questions...
Dahlias: To Dig or Not to Dig
January 3, 2012
Dahlias are considered tender perennials and as such they need to be protected from the winter cold. Many tender perennials survive very well left in the ground when provided with a thick layer of insulation from straw, leaves or mulch...
Whiteflies and Gnats on my Plants, Oh My!
January 3, 2012
Two small insects that can cause big headaches for our indoor plants are whiteflies and fungus gnats. Here are some tips on what to look for and what you can do about it...