East Penn Press

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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.

Growing green: September song

Friday, August 24, 2018 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

August: hot, dry, humid, hazy, lazy, sweaty, sticky, yucky.

Many of us stay indoors as much as we can, out of the hot weather.

But a true gardener is always thinking, if not doing, something about the garden or in the garden, even during the dog days of summer, as August is known. Believe it or not, once September hits, history tells us that the weather will indeed cool down. We will want to be in the garden for longer stretches of time.

Growing Green: pollinators

Friday, August 10, 2018 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anthers of a flower to the stigma of the same flower or another flower. The result is the production of fertile seeds.

When the pollen transfer happens within the same flower, it is called self-pollination. When it occurs between different flowers, it is cross-pollination.

Cross-pollination is preferable to self-pollination because it produces more genetic diversity in plant populations. Genetic diversity plays an important role in the adaptability and survivability of a species.

Growing Green: Tomatoes

Friday, July 20, 2018 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Can’t wait for that first ripe tomato?

You go to pick it, and then you see it: blossom end rot, or maybe a tomato hornworm.

These are some of the typical maladies that may test your tomatoes.

Tomato hornworms are one of the garden’s largest caterpillars at nearly 3- to 4-inches long and about as big around as your little finger. They are green with diagonal white stripes with a black or reddish horn-like protrusion projecting from its rear end, hence hornworm. Don’t worry, it will not sting or bite you.

Growing Green: Keep Pa. waters clean

Friday, June 1, 2018 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Pennsylvania is blessed with ample water resources, second only to Alaska in the number of stream miles in one state.

While water seems so abundant, clean water is not.

Our devotion to landscaped lawns, lovely gardens and beautiful properties, as well the region’s farming and agriculture, can have a substantial impact on the health of our streams and rivers. Stormwater has become a major pollutant in Pennsylvania.