Northampton Press

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Growing Green: Tips for propagating native plants

Friday, June 14, 2019 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Choosing plants native to the Lehigh Valley can improve gardening success since many of these plants have adapted to the region over hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

However, not all plants native to the region will thrive in the garden. Like any other plants, some natives have very exacting requirements for moisture, soil, and even microscopic fungi. Native orchids, such as the lady slipper orchids, are one such example usually best left to be enjoyed in their natural forest environment.

Growing Green: ‘Mulch volcano’

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Overmulching landscape trees is common.

This is most obvious when mulch extends up the trunk, smothering the root flare and root zone.

This practice, known as “volcano mulching,” results in a “mulch volcano,” and is never recommended and should not be utilized.

As beneficial as mulch is, too much mulch is harmful.

Deep mulch may suppress weeds, but it wastes time and money and can cause major health problems that lead to tree decline and possibly death.

There are many problems associated with overmulching.

Growing Green: A strong, green lawn

Friday, April 26, 2019 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

May your lawn be strong and green.

However, if you feel that you need some advice, here are some tips that may help.

There are a few things you can do immediately to promote the health of your lawn.

First, start the season off right with a sharp mower blade. A dull blade will fray the ends of the grass and make it more difficult for the plant to heal after each cutting, providing ready access for disease organisms to enter the leaves. Also, frayed ends can look ragged and give a lawn a whitish cast.

Growing Green: Tips

Friday, March 29, 2019 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

It’s 16-feet-long, 4-feet-wide, and brimming with yellow marsh marigolds: A display that gladdens the heart of gardeners and passers-by alike.

What’s even more uplifting is the example this flowerbed makes.

It shows for all to see that gardening can continue as a lifetime pleasure regardless of age or illness.

How so? Because this garden plot is planted waist-high in the bed of an old farm wagon.

Growing Green: Sharpen your pruning shears

Friday, March 1, 2019 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

For the avid gardener, there are always things to keep you busy. Even during the coldest part of winter, there are still things that can be done to keep your gardening habit going.

Here are some activities to keep you occupied as we anticipate the arrival of Daylight Saving Time, March 10, and vernal equinox and the first day of spring, March 20:

Start slow-growing flowers, such as garden verbena and ageratum.

Rinse houseplants under your shower or place in a tub and use a sprinkling can.

Growing Green: Bird-feeder seeds

Friday, January 18, 2019 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

In much of North America, winter is a difficult time for birds. Days are often windy and cold. Nights are long and even colder.

The lush, berry-laden vegetation of summer and fall has withered and been consumed. Most insects are dead or dormant. Birds may have difficulty finding enough food during the short winter days to fuel their internal furnaces.

Setting up a backyard bird-feeder makes their lives easier and ours more enjoyable.

Growing Green: Christmas tree tips

Friday, December 14, 2018 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Christmas trees have been a tradition for hundreds of years and bring the beauty and amazing scents of the outdoors into our homes for the holidays.

Real trees are part of an outdoor ecosystem, thus there is always a chance that insects may be brought indoors with a tree.

With the region’s infestation of the spotted lanternfly a concern, questions have been raised regarding the possibility of spotted lanternflies being carried into homes.

Growing Green: Yellow jackets

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

In the fall, bees and wasps are on the hunt for sweets or carbohydrates, the primary energy source that keeps them flying and active for other routine activities.

The bald-faced hornet is an “aerial yellow jacket,” one of seven or eight species in the genus Dolichovespula in North America.

However, it is not a “true” hornet. It is a yellow jacket.

All of the yellow jackets in the genus Dolichovespula build nests in bushes and trees, sometimes on the outside of buildings, and produce the characteristic football-shaped, gray, papery nests.

Growing Green: Prevent deer from eating your trees, shrubs, flowers, garden

Friday, October 19, 2018 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

The deer population in Pennsylvania is on the rise, and as land development increases, deer are frequently found in areas densely populated by humans.

Deer control is now one of the biggest challenges for home gardeners. Deer are North America’s largest garden pest and they can wreak havoc in the garden.

Deer feast on vegetable gardens, flowerbeds, shrubs and trees. They will graze on leaves, grass, bark, acorns, fruits, nuts, berries, lichens and fungi.

Growing Green: Colorful fall at your residence

Friday, September 28, 2018 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Just because you’re starting to rake leaves and preparing your garden and lawn for winter doesn’t mean you can’t have colorful flowers and plants until winter sets in.

You can maintain a beautiful display throughout the fall by choosing cool-weather plants for your landscape and containers.

The most popular of the cool-weather plants are mums, pansies and ornamental kale.