The other day, a teacher asked me if I could find her some Monarch Butterfly caterpillars for her classroom to study...
Every year, weeds come up in various parts of my property. They go through their life cycle, perhaps supporting insect life, perhaps invading habitat and driving out native plants. I deal with them the entire growing season without any real idea of what they are and what role they play in the life of my garden.
Many birds leave for warmer climates but many also still call Pennsylvania home in winter. Most of us think of using bird feeders and heated bird baths as a way to support wintering birds, but there are several natural things you can do to keep them comfortable and encourage them to stay in your yard.
There are over 400 species of native bees in Pennsylvania. This does not include the European honey bees that live in hives and supply us with honey.
Visitors to a Monarch butterfly release on September 29 were invited to become part of the event.
There are few food items which proclaim loudly that it is summer more than corn.
Master Gardeners have been participating in a statewide pollinator monitoring program through Penn State University to help to continue the expansion of knowledge of how best to preserve, restore, and protect these valuable ecological resources.
Franklin County Master Gardeners shared the excess, large crop of tomatoes grown for Tomato Day tasting with the community through the Gleaning Project of South Central PA.
I've been trying for two weeks to get some chores done in my garden, but it's too hot. I manage five minutes, and I'm done. And what about those gnats!
Fall is a good time of year to prepare for a great garden in the years to come. Plants thrive when we provide an environment that is right for them.
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...
Since school has started for most of us in the area, the gardener in us should go back to basics this fall...
While some Pennsylvania gardeners still have several more weeks to enjoy the growing season, the higher elevations could experience a killing frost before the end of September.
Following up on the Monarch Relocation Rescue, Nancy Miller still had a few caterpillars left on her milkweed. Friend and butterfly enthusiast Vaughn Erickson netted them until they formed chrysalises then captured these and transported them to his butterfly house. Master Gardeners made a road trip to see his where he raises both Monarchs and swallowtails.
Another Berks County township is quarantined in the fight to stop the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive insect new to the United States that was first found in the area last fall.
A few weeks ago I wrote to you in a vegetable pest update about downy mildew moving into Northeastern Pennsylvania.
As gardeners become more educated on the impact of chemicals on the environment, many have embraced the concept of organic/eco-friendly practices and recognize the many choices available. However, when you see an entire crop eaten by an insect literally overnight, the temptation to grab the nearest insecticide still exists for many frustrated gardeners. There is an alternative that does require some planning. Bringing beneficial insects into your garden is one organic answer to pest management.
It is usually mid-summer when we start to see many of our trees, shrubs and vegetable plants in our landscapes with skeletonized, chewed leaves and in some cases they are almost completely defoliated by August.
The 2015 Tomato Day included the traditional tomato tasting plus the biggest tomato, ugliest tomato and salsa contests, a hot pepper display and tasting table, beautiful seasonal floral displays plus some Monarch caterpillars headed to the pollinator garden.
An abundance of Monarch caterpillars in one Master Gardener's yard triggered a Relocation Rescue where they were placed on available milkweed in the Demonstration Pollinator Garden.