Spring Garden Tips
Watch for and Prevent Borers on Trees and Shrubs

Extreme heat and cold, droughts and floods can leave our plants stressed and more susceptible to damaging borers.

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mgm_audio_497_borersThese insects are the immature stage of moths and beetles that feed under the bark and inside the stems of plants. Their feeding weakens and in some cases kills the plant.

Many borers are opportunists, attacking already stressed trees. We can’t control the weather but we can help reduce stress on our plants. Start by growing plants suited to the climate and growing conditions in your landscape.

Mulch the area under and around the base of trees and shrubs. Organic mulches like wood chips keep the roots cool and moist and reduce competition from grass and weeds.

Be sure to water new plantings thoroughly and as needed the first few years. And do the same for established trees and shrubs during extended drought. This will keep them healthy and help ward off borers.

A bit more information: Incorporate trees and shrubs into perennial planting beds. You will create an attractive garden and better environment for the plants. Plus, planting beds as well as mulching will reduce the need for hand trimming and will keep weed whips and mowers away from the trunks of the trees. And don’t pile soil or mulch over the stems of shrubs and the trunks of trees. These practices create entryways for pests and encourage disease problems.

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Plant Propagation: Layering Vines

Start new plants from your favorite heirloom grape, rose, trumpet creeper or other vine.

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Planting a Garden...Jump Start the Growing Season

Don’t let cold soil and late spring frost delay the start to your garden season.

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Planting and Training Cucumbers, Squash and Melons

The soil has finally warmed and it is time to get pumpkins, melons, squash and cucumbers in the ground.

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Planting Shrubs

Use shrubs in the landscape for extra color, a bit of privacy and year round beauty.

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Poor Fruiting on Cucumber, Squash and Other Vine Crops

Your plants look great, loaded with healthy leaves and flowers, but there is still no fruit. This is a common complaint I hear from gardeners growing squash, cucumbers and other vine crops.

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Preparing Perennials for Winter

Procrastination is a good thing when it comes to cleaning up your landscape in fall.

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Prevent Future Insect and Disease Problems

Take some time now to reduce insect and disease problems in next year’s garden.

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Prevent Iris Borer

Act now to prevent iris borer from infesting your iris plants and ruining their beautiful floral display.

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Prevent Problems in Your Vegetable Garden

Try a bit of preventative care in this year’s garden. You’ll increase your landscape’s beauty and productivity with less work on your part.

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Preventing & Overcoming Disease Problems

Keep your plants looking good and be kind to the environment despite the risk of disease problems.

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Preventing Girdling Roots

Increase the health and longevity of your trees by reducing the risk of girdling roots.

These roots encircle the trunk and interfere with the flow of water, nutrients and food reserves between the roots and the leaves.

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Propagate Trees and Shrubs with Semi-Hardwood Cuttings

Expand your collection of trees and shrubs with semi-hardwood cuttings.

"Listten to... Propagate Trees

Proper Watering

Plants like people need water for healthy growth and development. Gardeners often need to supplement rainfall to keep plants healthy. If done right, it can make the difference between a failed garden and success. Done wrong, it increases disease problems, causes greater drought stress for your plants and wastes water.

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Protect Landscape Plants from Deicing Salts

All your hard work on the lawn and landscape can be undone with a quick toss of deicing salt. A little care now will eliminate the frustration and time needed next spring to repair winter damaged plants.

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Prune Shrubs with a Purpose

Stop! Don't reach for those pruners without a plan in mind.

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Pruning Fruit Trees

Increase your harvest with proper pruning.

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Pruning Potentilla, Spireas and Other Summer Blooming Shrubs

Tame those floppy potentilla and spirea and bring other overgrown summer flowering shrubs down to size in late winter through early spring.

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Pruning Spring Flowering Shrubs

Late spring is the time to bring overgrown lilacs, forsythia and other spring blooming shrubs down to size.

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Pruning Trees: Large Branches

Late winter after the coldest weather has passed through early spring before growth begins is a great time to prune trees. Make proper cuts to insure the health and longevity of your plants.

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Pruning Young Trees

Winter is often the time we break out the pruners and start shaping trees and shrubs. Before making that first cut, be sure you are pruning with a purpose in mind.

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Purple Leaf Shrubs

Add a bit of season long color to your landscape with purple leafed shrubs.

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Quick and Easy Fall/Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Get the family involved and look for fun, quick and easy ideas for decorating your Thanksgiving or fall dinner table.

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Rattlesnake Master

Help the pollinators and add a bit of unique beauty to your garden with Rattlesnake Master.

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Recycle Christmas Tree in the Garden

Don't drag that Christmas tree to the curb to be hauled away by the trash collectors. Give it a second, even third life, in your landscape.

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Recycle Fall Leaves in Your Landscape

Put fall leaves to work improving your garden soil.

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Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Don’t drag that Christmas tree to the curb. Give it a second life in your landscape.

Cut trees make great windbreaks in the landscape. Strategically place discarded Christmas trees on the windward side of rhododendron, boxwood and other broadleaf evergreens to reduce problems with winter burn.

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Red and White Oaks

Winter is a great time to appreciate the majesty and beauty of oak trees. Many of these long-lived large trees have endured centuries of challenging weather and the expansion of urban development.

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Redbud Tree a Four Season Beauty

Beautiful reddish purple buds line the branches and trunks of the picturesque redbud tree. As the temperatures warm the buds burst into rosy pink or magenta blooms. And this is just the beginning of this tree’s beauty.

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Reduce Stress - Visit a Conservatory

The holidays are a wonderful time for family, friends and neighbors to gather, feast and exchange gifts. It can also be a stressful time overfilled with festivities. So take a break and visit a nearby conservatory this winter.

reducestress.xml

mgm audio 122414 conservatoryResearch has shown, and gardeners know, that plants and gardening are good for the mind, body and spirit. Just being surrounded by greenery can lower your blood pressure and elevate your mood.

Conservatories are glass buildings that were constructed in colder climates to overwinter citrus and other tender or rare plants. You often can find birds and occasionally small animals along with plants in these heated glass buildings.

But conservatories are not just glass houses filled with pretty plants. They serve as a space for relaxation, a site to conserve endangered species and educate the public about the environment.

A bit more information: Conservatories originated in the 16th century, but experienced great growth and increased popularity during the late 19th century. If there isn't a conservatory in your neighborhood, plan a visit to your local florist or garden center.

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Renovating Overgrown Shrubs

Quickly tame overgrown shrubs with renovation pruning in late winter or early spring.

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Reviving a Flower Garden

Don’t panic if your spring garden lacks the vim and vigor the past. You can improve the health and beauty of your garden without starting over.

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Reviving Wilted Cut Roses

Nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like a fresh bouquet of roses. And nothing is more disappointing than when the necks of those roses wilt and ruin the display.

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Root Pruning for Transplanting Success

Increase your success when transplanting trees and shrubs with root pruning.

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Rose Flower Proliferation

Plants are amazing. They often produce unusual growths, unexpected flower and leaf colors and other surprises. Sometimes these changes lead to the introduction of a new variety while other times it leaves gardeners perplexed. The latter is the case with rose flower proliferation.

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Rose of Sharon (Althea Bush)

Add some summer and fall color to your shrub borders and mixed gardens with a traditional favorite the Rose of Sharon shrub.

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Rose Slug - Rose Sawfly

Lacy leaves that eventually turn brown on roses may be a clue that rose slugs, actually a sawfly, are dining on your plants.

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Scale Insects on Weeping Figs

Falling leaves on weeping figs (Ficus benjamina) is common with a change of season. It's also a common response to insect feeding.

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Scarlet Lily Beetle

Holes in lily leaves may mean the scarlet lily leaf beetle has moved into your garden.

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Selecting Mulch for the Garden

Mulch can beautify your garden, suppress weeds, moderate soil temperature and conserve moisture. Consider both function and beauty when selecting mulch for your landscape.

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Selecting the Best Mulch

You can suppress weeds, conserve moisture, improve soil and save time with one garden resource. And that’s mulch.

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Shrubs Made for the Shade

Add structure and a year round framework to your shady landscape with shrubs.

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Shrubs That Attract Birds

Birds can add color and motion to your landscape year round. Planting shrubs that provide food and shelter is an easy and affordable way to bring birds into your backyard.

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Sifting Through Garden Catalogs

Your mailbox and dining room table are overflowing with catalogs filled with pictures of beautiful flowers and scrumptious vegetables. With so many choices it can be a bit overwhelming – I can help.

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Skip the Rubber Mulch

Gardeners are always searching for better looking, longer lasting and less expensive mulches. Rubber mulch has been advertised as an attractive and permanent alternative. Think twice before using rubber mulch in the landscape.

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Small Plants with Big Impact

Don't let a lack of space stop you from planting. Include some small plants with big impact to liven up your landscape.

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Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Porch Night

Once again it's time to celebrate Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Porch Night. August 8th, National Zucchini Day, inspired Pennsylvania gardeners Tom and Ruth Roy to encourage gardeners to share their excess zucchini with neighbors.

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Snowberry

What a great time of year to talk about an old time favorite shrub, the snowberry. You may recognize this plant by its white snowball like fruit.

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Spittlebug

No, the neighborhood kids have not been spitting in your garden. The spittlebug, also known as the froghopper, is the culprit.

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Spots, Stripes and Unusual Squash Fruit

Spotted acorn squash, striped zucchini and warty pumpkins are sometimes found on volunteer plants growing in gardens and compost piles. No need to worry, most are edible but not always as tasty as the original variety.

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Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs Blooming in Fall

Don't worry if your forsythia, lilacs or azaleas are sprouting a few flowers in fall. You can blame it on the weather not your green thumb.

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Squash Vine Borer

All your hard work is paying off with an abundant harvest. Then, one day you notice your squash plants are wilted and near death.

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Starting Roses from Seed

Expand your garden and have a little fun by growing a few plants from the seeds of your favorite rose.

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Stating Trees and Shrubs from Hardwood Cuttings

It's all in the timing – when trying to start trees and shrubs from a cutting.

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Stop Topping Trees

Topping trees is bad for the look and health of your trees and landscape. Plus, it increases maintenance and the risk of tree failure.

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Storing Squash for Winter

Continue enjoying homegrown flavor of squash throughout much of the winter.

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Strategies for a Low Maintenance Perennial Garden

Look for ways to reduce maintenance and still have a beautiful perennial garden.

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Take a Pass on the Tree Trunk Wrap

Skip the tree trunk wrap when planting and caring for your trees.

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Test Before Treating the Lawn

Insects can damage our lawns, but many of the insects in the soil are essential for creating and maintaining healthy soil and plants. So make sure insects are the cause of your failing lawn before breaking out the sprayer.

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The Ash Tree - November 22 - December 1 Birth Tree

If your birthday falls between November 22nd and December 1st your birth tree is an ash. You are said to be uncommonly attractive, very reliable and trustworthy.

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The Edible and Ornamental Chokeberry (Aronia)

Though chokeberry is not an appetizing name, this four season beauty is making a big impact in edible and ornamental gardens.

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The Rowan/Mountainash - Jan. 21 - Feb. 17 Birth Tree

If your birthday falls between January 21 and February 17 your birth tree is the Rowan, also known as mountainash. You're said to be artistic and spiritual, a visionary, a progressive thinker and humanitarian.

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Think Twice Before Staking Newly Planted Trees

Break out the shovel and get busy planting. Fall is a great time to plant trees. The soil is warm and the air is cool, reducing transplant shock.

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Three Sisters Planting Tradition

Try a Native American tradition of planting corn, squash and beans - the three sisters’ method - together in your garden this year.

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Tips for Proper Tree Planting

Fall is a great time to plant trees. Follow these important planting tips to insure the health and longevity of your plants.

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Tired of watering? Save time, money and water with a few simple changes.

Mulch your garden beds with shredded leaves, evergreen needles, or other organic matter. It conserves moisture while suppressing weeds and improving the soil.

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Transplanting Shrubs

Moving trees and shrubs can be tricky and heavy work. Make the move in spring before growth begins or in fall as the plants go dormant for greatest success.

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Tree and Shrub Growth Rates

Now is a great time to plan for additions to your landscape. And as you scour the catalogs and read plant tags you will often see trees rated as fast, medium or slow growers.

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Tree Problems

Cracks in tree trunks, stunted leaf growth and thin canopies are all signs your tree is struggling. Diagnosing the cause of the symptoms is the first step in improving your tree’s health.

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Trees and Shrubs for the Winter Landscape

Walk off some of those holiday calories and gather ideas for your garden. Look for trees and shrubs that provide interesting form, bark and texture in the winter.

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Unshearing Sheared Evergreens

Tired of constant pruning or need a change from those green gumdrops, hockey pucks and meatballs? With a bit of time and patience you can convert these back to their natural beauty.

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Use Row Cover for Chemical-Free Insect Control

Prevent insect damage on your vegetables with the help of floating row covers. These spun fabrics let air, light and water through, but prevent many insects from reaching the plants.

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Value of Trees

Plant a tree and improve your mood, save money and improve the environment.

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Verticillium Wilt

Sudden wilting and death of individual branches of maples, redbuds and other susceptible trees may mean verticillium wilt has infected the plant.

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Veteran's Honor Rose

When you think of flowers that honor veterans you probably picture the red poppy featured in the poem "In Flanders Fields." But other plants, including the Veteran's Day rose have been introduced to honor our veterans.

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Vines and Groundcovers for Fall Interest

Add a bit of color and fragrance to your fall garden with groundcovers and vines.

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Walk Off Calories and Plan Your Winter Landscape

Walk off some of those holiday calories and gather ideas for next year's garden with a hike through your neighborhood, botanical garden or arboretum.

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Walnut, Birth Tree for October 24 - November 11

If you were born between October 24th and November 11 your birth tree is the walnut. It represents intellect, passion and confidence.

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Water Trees for their Health and Longevity

Save energy, care for new trees, and conserve water in one easy step.

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Watering Tips for New Trees

Save time, energy, and conserve water while caring for your new trees.

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Weed Control

It starts with one little plant. Next thing you know your garden is overrun with them. Some start from seeds that have been dormant in the soil for years while others move in on the wind, in soil additives or with garden transplants.

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Weed Your Garden Day - June 13th

Break out the cupcakes and balloons and get ready to celebrate Weed Your Garden Day on June 13th.

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Winter Care for Unplanted Trees, Shrubs and Perennials

Fall plant sales and all those tempting new varieties have many of us buying more plants than we have time or space to plant. Protect them over the winter and reduce your workload by heeling them in until you have time to find a permanent spot in your garden.

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Winter Container Gardens and Outdoor Arrangements

Add a bit of greenery to your front steps, window box or patio with a winter container.

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Winter Protection for Evergreens

Make this the fall you protect your evergreens before winter winds and snowloads cause your arborvitae to split and rhododendrons to wither.

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Winter Rose Protection

Help your roses through the winter and be rewarded with beautiful blooms next season.

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You Can Plant Cucumbers Next to Pumpkins

The old adage "don't plant your cucumbers next to your pumpkins" is not true. You can plant pumpkins next to other squash, melons and cucumbers.

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