×

Garden

Master Gardeners welcome five new apprentices

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop five trainees in Clinton County from completing the extensive Master Gardener basic training course over the past several months. Trainees Amy Strong, Suzie Cloud, Donna Krempasky, Melissa Green and Jacqueline Miller passed their final ...

Master Gardeners to celebrate garden program milestone

UNIVERSITY PARK — Without pollinators such as bees and butterflies, the world’s food supply would be reduced drastically, threatening the survival of many plants, animals and humans. But these valuable species are in trouble, warned Connie Schmotzer, Penn State Extension Master Gardener ...

Is there a water garden in your future?

Is there a water garden in you future? In my case, the answer to that question is a definite “Yes.” We added a pond to our landscape more than 20 years ago and I can’t imagine being without it. It is a constant source of beauty and interest and attracts an assortment of welcome ...

Penn State entomologists devise a system to control mushroom phorid flies

UNIVERSITY PARK — When they first showed up in 2012, Anne Kelly had no idea what the insects were. “I had a day off from work and decided to clean my deck doors, and I saw all these little bugs,” Kelly, the resident of a development in southern Chester County, recalls. “They look like ...

How to prepare a garden for spring planting

METRO — The final weeks of winter, and even the first few weeks of spring, are still chilly in many parts of the world. Despite those last vestiges of winter chills, late winter is a great time to begin preparing gardens for the coming planting season. Gardens may have to withstand months ...

Spring isn’t the only time to plant

As I count the days until spring, I find myself thinking of all the things I want to do in our yard and gardens as soon as the weather begins to warm. Each year, there are so many that I create lists that I share with my husband, who patiently goes along with my spring gardening projects, ...

For your plants’ sake, go easy on the salt

Removing ice from roads and walkways in winter might be essential for safety, but salt can be damaging to plants and soil. Salt has the same effect on plant roots as salty potato chips do on your lips: It draws water from living cells. Salt can ruin soil structure so it wads up into an ...

Rodin Museum sculpture garden reopens to public

PARIS (AP) — There is a ray of light for Parisians who, like the rest of the French nation this weekend, begin to observe a tightened coronavirus curfew: The famous Rodin Museum sculpture gardens is reopening to visitors. Though the rococo museum, showcasing the world’s largest collection ...

Growing your own plants is rewarding and great fun

PENN STATE —Are you interested in learning more about houseplant care? If so, sign up for the Houseplant Master Class on propagation, which will review various techniques including leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, air layering, and division to propagate your favorite indoor plants. Whether ...

Remember to disinfect garden tools

METRO — Disinfecting garden tools can help ensure the long-term health of plants and vegetables. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, plant pathogens, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, cause diseases that can damage and even kill plants. These pathogens can be ...

They need to chill: tips for turning seeds into trees

How exciting to think of a full-size tree locked up within each seed still clinging to the branches of sugar maples, hornbeams, oaks, sycamores and other trees at the end of summer. It was with such visions that I dropped an apple seed into some potting soil in an 8-inch clay flowerpot one ...

The powerful Pileated Woodpecker

If you have ever seen a crow-sized woodpecker with a flaming red back-swept crown, reminiscent of Woody Woodpecker, then you have been fortunate enough to observe a Pileated Woodpecker! Pileated means “crested,” and it is by far our largest woodpecker. The male has a bright red moustache ...

Young trees need some dressing up for winter protection

My young trees are decked out in their winter finery: arboreal attire, perfumes and cosmetics that will protect them through the winter. Insects and disease-causing fungi are dead or dormant, but larger, furrier animals now pose a threat. Deer, rabbits and mice are eager to gnaw on ...

A gardener’s guide to avoiding cabin fever

According to Wikipedia, “Cabin fever refers to the distressing claustrophobic irritability or restlessness experienced when a person, or group, is stuck at an isolated location or in confined quarters for an extended time.” It had its origins in centuries past when people were often ...

Yellow sights along the Pine Creek Rail Trail

(Editor’s Note: This article is the eighth and final in a series exploring plants and horticulture within driving distance of central Pennsylvania.) On the bright side, we are only days away from the winter solstice where the nights will shorten and the days grow longer. ...

Summer days on the trail or patches of plants

(Editor’s Note: This article is the seventh of a series exploring plants and horticulture within driving distance of central Pennsylvania.) This column continues our journey on Pine Creek Rail Trail through the seasons as we move into summer. Plant exploration can be a family affair ...

If you want to grow apples, choose the tastiest

If you’re thinking about growing apples, take some time now to test varieties and talk with local growers. I grow an apple called Hudson’s Golden Gem and I do so for one reason. Yes, this apple’s russeted, golden skin is beautiful. But it’s the flavor that puts it above the ...

Spring Plants along Pine Creek’s Rail Trail

(Editor’s Note: This article is the sixth of a series exploring plants and horticulture within driving distance of central Pennsylvania.) New Jersey was given the nickname Garden State back in the late 1800s. Before it gave way to suburban development, it was mostly farmland that provided ...

Growing Tips: Amaryllis for the holidays

At this time of year, it’s not uncommon to see Amaryllis bulbs sold as holiday gifts. In fact, they seem to be everywhere. There’s something especially appealing about a colorful, blooming plant during the cold, dark days of winter. Amaryllis bulbs do not disappoint in that respect. When ...

The plant community at Sampson State Park

(Editor’s Note: This article is the fifth of a series exploring plants and horticulture within driving distance of central Pennsylvania.) The past several columns in this series explored the managed (vineyards) and natural (Watkins Glen and Treman state parks) plant communities within the ...