Penn State Master Gardener Articles

Each month the Penn State Master Gardeners in Susquehanna County write informative garden articles for our Newsline publication.

Welcome to the world of companion planting! Companion planting is the practice of planting two or more plant species close together to gain benefits either on growth, flavor or pest control.

They are voracious eaters and will turn a leaf into open lace work. They congregate in droves once they land on a favorite plant. For a month or more they actively feed on trees, shrubs and flowers and, if not controlled, they will “skeletonize” every leaf of the host plant.

Or how to enjoy spring beauty in winter. Now is the time to plan and prepare for a bit of spring sunshine on dreary winter days.

What a lovely time of year to rest from summer chores. With fall also comes the time to tend and prep our gardens for next year's season. Here are some tips for fall clean up!

Containers are a great way to garden for those with limited space or are short on time. They add landscaping to front doorways, decks, balconies, and patios. Plus they are portable and can be moved to different locations as needed.

Now is the time to start thinking about tomatoes and starting your own plants, which is very rewarding because you can grow varieties not sold in the garden centers.

More than 55 million Americans feed wild birds and a third of Pennsylvanians observe wildlife around their homes.

It’s time to get our hands in the dirt again! And, unless we start them ourselves, it is also time to purchase bedding plants. With some planning, smart plant selection, and a little TLC from greenhouse to garden, this could be your most colorful and successful season yet!

June is the gateway to Summer. With the solstice on June 20, we enter the most active and productive season of the year. That holds true for human beings, flowers, animals, plants, vegetables gardens, weeds, mosquitoes and pests!

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) remain one of the most popular of holiday plants. Growers have expanded the range of colors from the familiar red to pink to yellow and variations in between. They are also inexpensive so the question becomes: Do I try to get them to rebloom next year (or years) or toss them into the compost heap?

Soil blocks are basically molded soil in a single block. These blocks serve as the container and growing media all in one. Eliminating the need for those pesky plastic 6 pack trays that seem to take over my shed!