Weeds and bugs can be a problem in your yard and garden. All pests need water, shelter and food to live. Yards and gardens provide many, if not all, of these things. The best way to manage pest problems is to prevent them from happening.
It is important to find the best and least toxic way to remove the pests. By using fewer pesticides, you increase the safety of people and the environment and preserve the natural enemies of the pest.
Each summer, we never can wait to pick that first tomato from the vine.
But every year many unhappy gardeners are plagued with blossom end rot.
Blossom end rot usually appears as a brownish, water-soaked spot which gradually increases in size and turns black and leathery. It usually occurs early in the season and seems to improve as the season progresses.
Annual flowers include some of the most colorful plants in home gardens. With a little extra care during early and mid-summer, you can keep them attractive right up to frost time.
The first rule in keeping annual flowers blooming is to cut off dead flowers so they won't go to seed. True annuals die after setting seed, and even those plants that don't die will be reduced in vigor.
Young trees loaded with fruit may be a source of pride to home orchardists, but unless the excess fruit is removed they will be small and trees may be damaged.
The first few years after planting, devote your efforts to developing the framework. A few fruit on the side limbs will not interfere with structural development.
Young branches bend easily under a fruit load. If a branch-bending load of fruit is allowed to remain on the tree until harvest, the branch usually will not return to its original position after harvest.
Is the name ericaceae familiar to you?
It's really only a fancy title for the King and Queen of shrubs: rhododendrons and azaleas. Azaleas are members of the genus Rhododendron. These plants are all related.
There are no clear-cut definitions for distinguishing between the plants we commonly call rhododendrons and azaleas. "Rhododendrons" are usually evergreen and "azaleas" usually lose their leaves in fall. There are exceptions to this general rule.
A large amount of insect mortality occurs in winter. Insects perish because of cold temperatures and natural diseases that attack them while they are in the resting stage.
Many pests are impacted by winter's climate conditions. For the most part, fungus spores are highly resistant to winter conditions, but are much more sensitive to tillage than certain weeds and insects.
Grubs, for example, exist as larvae during winter and many are killed by a pathogen that infects their outer skin, which desiccates (dries out) the body.
January and February are some of the bleakest months in the Pennsylvania landscape with cold, snowy weather and gray skies. Fortunately, there are shrubs that brighten winter days with colorful fruits or stems that are suited to every landscape. One of the best is the state's native winterberry, Ilex verticillata.
Picture a tropical paradise: sun warming the earth, a fresh moist breeze blowing in from the ocean. A refreshing early morning shower passes. Dappled shadows appear under tall palms as the sunshine returns to dry the rain.
Well, that pretty much describes the environment of most of our houseplants in their natural state: warm temperatures, moist breezes and plenty of bright light.
It's no wonder that adjusting to our household environments is quite a challenge for tropical plants. And it's amazing how many of them can flourish if given the basic care that suits their needs.