Tag Archives: ornamentals

Upcoming Events: Online Gardening Classes

Looking for an online gardening class?

Check out these classes being offered by Cornell Cooperative Extensions around the state.

Click on the topic to see what classes are being offered.

Container Gardening

A short wooden tub set next to a tree overflowing with plants: a tall grass with red leaves, a bright green plant with white veins and a dark purple plant spilling over the edge.Creative Container Gardening

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Composting

Full Wooden Compost BinComposting

Monday, May 18, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Onondaga County

Two hands holding finished compostBuilding Soil and Composting

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chenango County

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Fruit

Two small light green fruits (pawpaws) growing of a branchGrowing Unusual Fruits

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Herb Gardening

Bright Green Herb Plants - Chives, Basil, ParsleyGrowing Culinary HerbsSOLD OUT!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
6:30 pm
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Broome County

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Insects

Close-up of a leaf cutting bee on a yellow flowerPollinator Gardens

Monday, May 18, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extensions
Jefferson County

Yellow beetle with black spotsPest and Disease Management

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chenango County

Swallow Tail Butterfly, yellow and black, feed ing off pink flowersCreating a Butterfly GardenSOLD OUT!

Monday, May 27, 2020
6:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extensions
Broome County

Green lacewing - green bodied bug with large net-like wings sitting on a flower with pink petals and a yellow centerAll About Bugs: pollinators and more!

Thursday, May 28, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Warren County

Squash bug adult laying eggsGarden Pests

Thursday, May 28, 2020
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Madison County

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Pest Management

A hand how and a gloved hand pulling weedsWeed Identification and Management SOLD OUT!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
6:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Broome County

A pair of gloved hands holding some freshly picked weedsGarden Weeds

Thursday, May 21, 2020
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Madison County

Yellow beetle with black spotsPest and Disease Management

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chenango County

Squash bug adult laying eggsGarden Pests

Thursday, May 28, 2020
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Madison County

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Pollinators

Close-up of a leaf cutting bee on a yellow flowerPollinator Gardens

Monday, May 18, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extensions
Jefferson County

Swallow Tail Butterfly, yellow and black, feed ing off pink flowersCreating a Butterfly GardenSOLD OUT!

Monday, May 27, 2020
6:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extensions
Broome County

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Soil

Two hands holding finished compostBuilding Soil and Composting

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chenango County

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Technology as a Gardening Tool

Taking a picture of a field of flowers with a smart phoneUsing Your Cell Phone as a Gardening Tool

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Orange County

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Vegetable Gardening

A vegetable garden with a combination of cabbage surrounded by small yellow and orange flowers and dark purple leafy greensCaring for Your Vegetable Garden

Monday, May 18, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chemung County

A cluster of cherry tomatoes growing on a tomato plant wet with the morning dew.Family Food Gardens for Beginners

Thursday, May 21, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Warren County

Pile of cucumbers, a red, yellow and green pepper, green onions, tomatoes, a bunch of parsley and a sprig of rosemaryHow Does Your Garden Grow Check-In

Thursday, June 11, 2020
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Madison County

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Weeds

A hand how and a gloved hand pulling weedsWeed Identification and ManagementSOLD OUT!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
6:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Broome County

A pair of gloved hands holding some freshly picked weedsGarden Weeds

Thursday, May 21, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Madison County

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Upcoming Events: Online Gardening Classes

Looking for an online gardening class?

Check out these classes being offered by Cornell Cooperative Extensions around the state.

Click on the topic to see what classes are being offered.

Container Gardening

A short wooden tub set next to a tree overflowing with plants: a tall grass with red leaves, a bright green plant with white veins and a dark purple plant spilling over the edge.Creative Container Gardening

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

A small child in a jean shirt, teal skirt and bright yellow rain boots put seeds in the groundSeed Starting and Container Gardening with Kids

Thursday, May 14, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Warren County

A short wooden tub set next to a tree overflowing with plants: a tall grass with red leaves, a bright green plant with white veins and a dark purple plant spilling over the edge.Creative Container Gardening

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Composting Classes

Full Wooden Compost BinComposting Ins and Outs

Monday, May 4, 2020
10:00 AM – 11:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Delaware County

Three large compost bins, one made of wire fencing and two made of palletsComposting

Friday, May 8, 2020
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Schenectady County

Pile of kitchen scraps, mostly peels of various fruits and vegetables, spead out on top of a compost pileHome Composting

Monday, May 11, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Jefferson County

Two hands holding finished compostBuilding Soil and Composting

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chenango County

 

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Edible Landscaping

A vegetable garden with a combination of cabbage surrounded by small yellow and orange flowers and dark purple leafy greensEdible Landscaping

Monday, May 4, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Jefferson County

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Fruit

Two ripe red raspberries and an unripe green raspberry growing on a raspberry plantFruit 101: Growing the Big Three!
Raspberries, Strawberries and Blueberries

Monday, May 4, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Steuben County

Quince Tree with two large green quince fruit - almost apple like in shapeFruit 102: Growing Unusual Fruits: An Introduction to Unfamiliar Fruits

Monday, May 11, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Steuben County

Two small light green fruits (pawpaws) growing of a branchGrowing Unusual Fruits

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Gardens of the Hudson Valley

End of a branch of a blooming magnoloa tree with large pink floweresLunch in the Garden Series: Gardens of the Hudson Valley

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Rensselaer County

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 Gardening with Kids

A small child in a jean shirt, teal skirt and bright yellow rain boots put seeds in the groundSeed Starting and Container Gardening with Kids

Thursday, May 14, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Warren County

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Insects

Bumble bee on a pink flowerPlant a Pollinator Paradise

Saturdays, May 2 & 9, 2020
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Putnam County

Spotted Lanternfly adult on a green stemSpotted Lanternfly Workshop

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Ulster County

Close-up of a leaf cutting bee on a yellow flowerPollinator Gardens

Monday, May 18, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extensions
Jefferson County

Yellow beetle with black spotsPest and Disease Management

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chenango County

Green lacewing - green bodied bug with large net-like wings sitting on a flower with pink petals and a yellow centerAll About Bugs: pollinators and more!

Thursday, May 28, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Warren County

Squash bug adult laying eggsGarden Pests

Thursday, May 28, 2020
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Madison County

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Invasive Species

Spotted Lanternfly adult on a green stemSpotted Lanternfly Workshop

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Ulster County

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Native Plants

Small Tree covered with Pink FlowersUsing Native Plants in the Landscape

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Nassau County

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No-Till Gardening

Plants sprouting out of straw baleStraw Bale Gardening

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Delaware County

Light purple clover flower against a background of green leavesNo-Till Gardening Techniques

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Pest Management

A hand how and a gloved hand pulling weedsNatural Weed Control

Monday, May 4, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chemung County

A pair of gloved hands holding some freshly picked weedsGarden Weeds

Thursday, May 21, 2020
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Madison County

Yellow beetle with black spotsPest and Disease Management

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chenango County

Squash bug adult laying eggsGarden Pests

Thursday, May 28, 2020
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Madison County

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Pollinators

Bumble bee on a pink flowerPlant a Pollinator Paradise

Saturdays, May 2 & 9, 2020
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Putnam County

Close-up of a leaf cutting bee on a yellow flowerPollinator Gardens

Monday, May 18, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extensions
Jefferson County

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Soil

Plants sprouting out of straw baleStraw Bale Gardening

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Delaware County

A garden trowel stuck in the the soil of a raised garden bedAll the Dirt on Soil

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chemung County

Two hands holding finished compostBuilding Soil and Composting

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chenango County

Light purple clover flower against a background of green leavesNo-Till Gardening Techniques

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Technology as a Gardening Tool

Taking a picture of a field of flowers with a smart phoneUsing Your Cell Phone as a Gardening Tool

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Orange County

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Ticks

Blacklegged Tick Don’t Get Ticked NY

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Schenectady County

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Vegetable Gardening Classes

A hand holding a pencil over a piece of blank papaerPlanning your Garden

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chenango County

Plants sprouting out of straw baleStraw Bale Gardening

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Delaware County

Wicker basket full of lettuce, tomaotes, peppers, beets, turnips,onions and a sprig of mintVictory Garden 2020

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tioga County

Light purple clover flower against a background of green leavesNo-Till Gardening Techniques

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

Basket over flowing with vegetables - tomatoes, carrots, peppers, broccoliGrowing Vegetables and Small Fruits

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Oneida County

A cucurbit seedling showing the two cotyledons and the first true leaf just starting to unfold.Planting a Vegetable Garden

Monday, May 11, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chemung County

Pepper seedlings in tray of biodegradeable potsSeed Starting

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chenango County

A small child in a jean shirt, teal skirt and bright yellow rain boots put seeds in the groundSeed Starting and Container Gardening with Kids

Thursday, May 14, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Warren County

A cluster of cherry tomatoes growing on a tomato plant wet with the morning dew.Family Food Gardens for Beginners

Thursday, May 21, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Warren County

Green lacewing - green bodied bug with large net-like wings sitting on a flower with pink petals and a yellow centerHow Does Your Garden Grow Check-In

Thursday, June 11, 2020
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Madison County

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Weeds

A hand how and a gloved hand pulling weedsNatural Weed Control

Monday, May 4, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chemung County

A pair of gloved hands holding some freshly picked weedsGarden Weeds

Thursday, May 21, 2020
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Madison County

Back to the Top

Upcoming Events: Online Gardening Classes

Looking for an online gardening class?

Check out these classes being offered by Cornell Cooperative Extensions around the state. 

Click on the topic to see what classes are being offered.

Container Gardening

Six heads of large heads of green and red lettuce growing in a raised garden bedGrowing Edibles in Containers

Monday, April 27, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Broome County

A cluster of cherry tomatoes growing on a tomato plant wet with the morning dew.Crops in Pots – Growing Vegetables in Containers

Monday, April 27, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Rockland County

A short wooden tub set next to a tree overflowing with plants: a tall grass with red leaves, a bright green plant with white veins and a dark purple plant spilling over the edge.Creative Container Gardening

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Composting Classes

Two hands holding finished compostMagic Compost

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Suffolk County

Pile of kitchen scraps, mostly peels of various fruits and vegetables, spead out on top of a compost pileComposting Basics

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Oneida County

Three large compost bins, one made of wire fencing and two made of palletsComposting

Friday, May 8, 2020
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Schenectady County

Full Wooden Compost BinHome Composting

Monday, May 11, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Jefferson County

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Cut Flowers

A garden patch of magenta, orange and yellow zinniasGrowing Cut Flowers

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Edible Landscaping

A vegetable garden with a combination of cabbage surrounded by small yellow and orange flowers and dark purple leafy greensEdible Landscaping

Monday, May 4, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Jefferson County

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Fruit

Two small light green fruits (pawpaws) growing of a branchGrowing Unusual Fruits

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Native Plants

Swamp Milkweed - Lots of small pink flowersNative Plants

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Rockland County

Small Tree covered with Pink FlowersUsing Native Plants in the Landscape

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Nassau County

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No-Till Gardening

Light purple clover flower against a background of green leavesNo-Till Gardening Techniques

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Pest Management

Yellow beetle with black spotsGarden Pest and Disease Management

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Lewis County

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Pollinators

A butterfly on a pink zinniaAttracting Pollinators to Your Garden

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Schenectady County

Bumble bee on a pink flowerPlant a Pollinator Paradise

Saturdays, May 2 & 9, 2020
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Putnam County

Close-up of a leaf cutting bee on a yellow flowerPollinator Gardens

Monday, May 18, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Jefferson County

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Pruning

Turquoise handled pruning shears surrounded by flower petalsPruning Shrubs

Monday, April 27, 2020
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Soil

A garden trowel stuck in the the soil of a raised garden bedAll the Dirt on Soil

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chemung County

Light purple clover flower against a background of green leavesNo-Till Gardening Techniques

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

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Ticks

Blacklegged Tick Don’t Get Ticked NY

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Schenectady County

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Vegetable Gardening Classes

Six heads of large heads of green and red lettuce growing in a raised garden bedGrowing Edibles in Containers

Monday, April 27, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Broome County

A cluster of cherry tomatoes growing on a tomato plant wet with the morning dew.Crops in Pots – Growing Vegetables in Containers

Monday, April 27, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Rockland County

A hand holding bunch of freshly picked radishes Three Steps to a Successful Vegetable Garden

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chemung County

Pile of cucumbers, a red, yellow and green pepper, green onions, tomatoes, a bunch of parsley and a sprig of rosemaryVegetable Gardening

Friday, May 1, 2020
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Schenectady County

Wicker basket full of lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, beets, turnips,onions and a sprig of mintVegetable Gardening 101

Saturday, May 2, 2020
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

Light purple clover flower against a background of green leavesNo-Till Gardening Techniques

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Tompkins County

Basket over flowing with vegetables - tomatoes, carrots, peppers, broccoliGrowing Vegetables and Small Fruits

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Oneida County

A cucurbit seedling showing the two cotyledons and the first true leaf just starting to unfold.Planting a Vegetable Garden

Monday, May 11, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Chemung County

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Wildlife Management

A baby deer (fawn) munching on a clover in a lawnWildlife Management

Thursday, April 30, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Rockland County

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What’s in Bloom? – April 2020

Even though most of the trees are still bare and must of us awoke to snow on the ground this weekend, spring has arrived and with it are some of the most beautiful blooms of the year.

Spring Flowering Bulbs

Pink and purple hyacinth flowers
Hyacinthus orientalis
Clump of white daffodils with bright orange centers and yellow daffodils
Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)

The crocuses have all but faded, but the daffodils continue to bloom, brightening up the drab landscape with their cheery yellows and oranges.   They have recently been joined by the hyacinths.  With their overpowering fragrance, these flowers add to springs color palette with their cool colors of pink and purple.

Grape Hyacinth - cones of tightly packed purple flowers

You may have noticed some small purple flowers known as grape hyacinths.   Not a true hyacinth,  the inflorescence of this flower is a cone of small purple flowers that almost looks like a miniature clump of grapes.

White daffodiles with bright yellow center
Daffodil ‘Ice Follies‘

If you want to bring some spring cheer inside (highly recommended), it is best to give daffodils their own vase as their stems secrete a substance that is harmful to other flowers.

 

Spring Ephemerals

White and purple flowers growing out of a patch of soil
A mixture of the white spring ephemeral bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and the purple spring bulb green anemone (Anemone blanda).
Clump of small flowers with five purple petals a light yellow center
Hepatica nobilis

One of the great joys of spring is the appearance of spring ephemerals.  These native plants grow in wooded areas and only have a short time to flower before the trees above them leaf out and block their sunlight.  When you are walking through wooded areas in the spring, make sure you watch your feet or might step on the delicate flowers of the bloodroot or the hepatica.

Other Spring Blooms

Clusters of cascading pink flowers
Andromeda (Pieris japonica)
Small purple and magenta flowers in a mass of green leaves with white spots
Lungwort (Pulmaria spp.)

From the showy flowers of the andromeda bush to the subtle flowers of the lungwort, the more time you spend out side the more flowers you’ll notice.

Weeds – It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

Dandelion with a bright yellow flower growing in the crack between two pavers
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Many spring flowering plants are considered weeds.  You may think that dandelion in your lawn is unsightly, but the bees beg to differ.  Dandelions are an important source of pollen and nectar for bees in the early spring as are other spring flowering ‘weeds’ like purple deadnettle and henbit.

What about Fungus?

Bright orange sphere with orange tentecales attached to the needles of an evergreen tree
Cedar-Apple Rust Gall (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae)

Now fungi aren’t plants, so they don’t have flowers, but they can add color to the landscape.  In the spring cedar-apple rust galls that overwintered on juniper become more noticeable as they produce gelatinous tendrils that release spores  into the air.  Some of these spores will find their way to apple trees where they can cause problems by infecting the leaves and the fruit of the tree.


Happy Spring!

Spring bouquet of bright yellow daffodils and forsythia, purple grape hyacunth, white andromeda, and buds of a pink cherry treeThanks to all of the Master Gardener Volunteers who provided their thoughts and photos for this post!

Out in the Garden

As the days get warmer and the sun sets later and later, I hope you all have the opportunity to spend more and more time outside.  Sunshine and fresh air are good for the soul!

If you happen to have a garden or have decided that this is the year to start one there are lots of things to keep you busy at this time of year!

Perennial Beds

A mantis egg mass, straw colored foam like mass the size of a golf ball, on the branch of a forsythia bush covered with yellow flower buds
Mantis ootheca on forsythia

Hopefully you waited until spring to clean up your garden to allow beneficial insects and other arthropods such as bees and butterflies to overwinter.  Now that spring has sprung you should leave debris as long as you can to give these creatures a chance to emerge from their winter hiding places.  You should start carefully removing debris from around blossoming plants.  If you must cut back hollow stems, bundle them so any pollinators overwintering inside have a chance to emerge.   As you are cleaning up be on the look out for praying mantis egg cases know as ootheca.   This is one time when you should leave things till tomorrow!

Freshly mulched garden bed in front of a house
Freshly mulched garden beds

Mulching is another spring time activity.  There are many different types of organic mulch that will not only suppress weeds, but also add organic material to the soil as they break down.  You don’t have to mulch everything, in fact many ground nesting bees such as bumble bees need a bit of bare earth to make their nests.  And if you are mulching your trees make sure to keep the mulch at least 3 inches away from the base of the tree so that it is not touching the bark.

And it is never to early to start weeding!  Lots of winter annual weeds such as common chickweed and prickly lettuce have already sprouted!

Vegetable and Herb Gardening

Starting Seeds Indoors

It is not to late to seed one more round of cool season crop such as cabbage, kale,  and lettuce, but it is also time to start seeding warm season crops such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes.

To start seeds you will need:

      • seeds
Several flats of seedlings
Flats of seedlings

There are lots of places online where you can purchase seeds. If you still have seeds left over from last year and don’t know if they are still good, don’t throw them out, try this simple home germination test.

      • sterile potting mix

It is important to use sterile potting mix to avoid disease issues like damping off.  Do not reuse potting mix and do not use garden compost.

      • container
20 or 30 chard seelings sprouting in a small plastic container filled with soil
Rainbow chard seedlings in a supermarket salad container

You don’t need to buy a fancy container to start seeds.  Just make sure the container has been sterilized and has drainage holes.

      • water

You want to keep the soil moist, but be careful not to over water or you may have a problem with damping off.

      • light source
A bookcase converted into a light frame for seedlings -grow lights above seed trays placed on the shelves
Bookcase converted into a grow frame

Some seeds need  light to germinate, but all seeds need light after they germinate. Once your seeds sprout  a light source will help prevent them from becoming leggy.  You can purchase grow lights or just use a soft white fluorescent bulb.  Here are directions on how to build a Low-Cost Grow-Light Frame.

      • heat
Mini greenhouse made from areused plastic container covering a small tray with 8 small cups of soilEight small cups of soil
Mini greenhouse

Most seeds will germinate between the temperatures of 55°F and 75°F,  but the optimal temperature for each type of seed varies.  You can create a mini-green house to trap heat and moisture.  You can also buy heating mats to warm the soil.  Click here to see  Soil Temperature Conditions for Vegetable Seed Germination.

Out in the Garden

A small child in a jean shirt, teal skirt and bright yellow rain boots put seeds in the ground
Planting peas

Gardening is an activity for the whole family!  Children love helping plant seeds!  Right now you can be direct seeding cool season crops in your garden such as beets, carrots, lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach, and turnips.  If you want to have a continual harvest, consider succession planting or  seeding several smaller plantings of the same crop at timed intervals, rather than all at once.

Chive plant in a raised garden bed
Chives

While most people are busy seeding, some perennial plants are already coming up or even ready to harvest!  Chives are a great example of a perennial that allows you add something fresh and green to your meals in the early spring.  If you planted chives in your garden last year, they are probably already making their way to your table.  This perennial of the onion family begins growing in early March and is able to be snipped with scissors and eaten soon after and throughout the growing season right up until the fall frost.

Crinkly green and dark purple leaves with bright pink stems sticking out ogf the soil
Rhubarb

Another perennial making an appearance is rhubarb!  Rhubarb is a great addition to any vegetable garden and as it is deer resistant and highly attractive it can also be used as part of your edible landscape.  Although the leaves of rhubarb are considered poisonous, the stems of this spring crop that can be used to make the classic strawberry rhubarb pie as well as many other delicious snacks.

Click here for vegetable gardening resources! 

And as always, if you are having any issues in your garden, need help identifying the cause of a problem or figuring out a management strategy give us a call.  Our Garden Helpline phones are staffed April – November, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.  But you can always leave us a message or send us an e-mail.

Call (845) 343-0664 or e-mail your questions to mghelpline@cornell.edu.


Whatever kind of garden you have, spend some time enjoying its beauty!

A hanging ball of greens and fuzzy pussy wilow branches
December’s Kissing Ball transformed into a ‘Kitty Ball’ by the addition of Pussy Willow branches

Thanks to all of the Master Gardener Volunteers who provided their thoughts and photos for this post!

What’s in Bloom?

Bright red flowers on the branch of a red maple tree
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

by Susan Ndiaye, Community Horticulture Educator

Signs of spring abound!   Bird songs fill the air.  Buds on the trees are starting to unfurl.   New shoots are breaking through the soil.  And flowers are beginning to bloom!

Here are some of the flowers to look out for as you venture outside for a breath of fresh air.

When most people think of maple trees, flowers aren’t the first thing that comes to mind.  Red maples are native to the eastern United States and happen to be one of the first trees to flower in the spring.  Their bright pink to red flowers result in the production of thousands of winged fruits called samaras, colloquially referred to as helicopters.  After ripening on the trees for several weeks they will fill the air and litter the ground.

A branch of forsythia in full blloom - yellow flowers
Forsythia spp.

Although many people equate the yellow blossoms of the forsythia with the beginning of spring, the forsythia is not native to New York; it actually native to eastern Asia.  This fast growing shrub is a favorite among homeowners, because it is tolerant to deer, resistant to Japanese beetles, and rarely has disease problems.   If you are looking for a native alternative to forsythia, try spicebush (Lindera benzoin).  This medium sized multi-stemmed shrub has fragrant yellow-green flowers in early spring and supports 12 species of butterflies and  provides berries for the birds.

Snowdrop - small white flower held between someone's thumb and forefinger
Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)
Bunches of white ane purple crocuses
Crocus spp.

One of the many joys of spring is the emergence of all the spring flowering bulbs.   Some of them are already blooming: snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils (my favorite flower!).   Despite its sometime unsightly appearance, make sure you leave  the foliage alone until it turns yellow and dies back.  This allows the leaves of the plant to produce food through photosynthesis.  This food is stored in the bulb and will be used  to produce even more beautiful flowers next spring!

Hellebores are also flowering! This evergreen herbaceous perennial is native to Turkey, but does well here in Orange County.  It grows well in full or partial shade and has beautiful white to pink to purple flowers that bloom in late winter into  early spring.  Hellebores are rarely damaged by deer and as they are evergreen, after their flowers fade, they make an attractive ground cover

Pink Hellebores (Helleborus spp.)
Varigated pink and with flowe with stringy yellow stamens in the center
Varigated Hellebores (Helleborus spp.)
White flowers with bright yellow stamens in the center
White Hellebores (Helleborus spp.)

As you are out enjoying the sunshine, what other signs of spring do see or hear or smell?

Thanks to all of the Master Gardener Volunteers who provided their thoughts and photos for this post!

Pest Watch: Bagworms!

by Susan Ndiaye, Community Horticulture Educator

pinecone like structure hanging on an evergreen tree

Have you ever noticed one of these structures hanging on a Colorado blue spruce or an arborvitae?  They kind of look like pine cones, but not exactly.  Well, they aren’t pine cones, but silken bags spun and decorated by bagworms (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeform).

Bagworms are moths whose larvae feed on evergreens such as spruce, juniper, pine and arborvitae.  The larvae can also feed on deciduous trees such as maple, elm, birch and sycamore.  Bagworms defoliate the trees and shrubs they infest.  In large numbers, bagworms can cause significant defoliation, which can lead to the death of the plant.

Bagworm Lifecycle

In late spring, bagworm eggs, which overwinter in their mother’s silken bag, hatch and caterpillars emerge.  These caterpillars begin to form new silk bags, and as they eat, they cover it with bits of leaves.  As the caterpillar grows, it expand its bags.   Then in late summer the caterpillar firmly attaches its bag to the plant and pupates.

Adult male bagworm - clear winged moth with furry brown body
Adult male bagworm

Complete metamorphosis from caterpillar to moth takes about four weeks.  Adult male bagworms emerge from their bags as clear winged moths and begin to search for a mate.  Adult female bagworms are wingless moths and never leave their bags.  After mating females produce 500-1000 eggs before dying.  Their eggs overwinter inside their mother’s silken bag and the whole cycle begins again.

Management

Because bagworms are protected by their silken bag, management can be tricky.  For smaller trees and shrubs the best tactic is to remove and destroy the bags by hand.  Unfortunately, this is not possible in all instances, especially on larger trees and shrubs.  Insecticides are most effective right after bagworm eggs hatch, when the caterpillars are small.

But how does one know when the eggs are going to hatch?  Well, it turns out that there is a “Bagworm Forecast” that you can check in the spring to determine  the best time to apply insecticide.  The maps provided by this forecast are updated daily and available six days in the future, so you can plan ahead.

For recommendations on pesticides, check out the resources below.  And as always, make sure you read and follow all the instructions on the pesticide label including the use of personal protective equipment.  The label is the law!

If you need to spray a larger tree, you may need to contact an arborist.  Click here to find a certified arborist near you.

Fun Facts

As females don’t fly, you may wonder how bagworms spread.  Bagworm caterpillars can balloon, or use their silk threads to catch the wind and travel long distances.

Despite relatively little protection for overwintering bagworm eggs, research at Purdue University found that it takes a 24 hr period at -0.6 ° F or below to kill the eggs.  So if you live in Orange County New York don’t expect a cold winter to kill off your bagworms.

Here is a video of a bagworm feeding!

Video from Purdue University Landscape Report (https://www.purduelandscapereport.org/article/824/)

Resources

Bagworm – Penn State University

Bagworms – Cornell University

Bagworm Forecast – USA National Phenology Network

Bagworms on Landscape Plants – University of Kentucky

Cold weather in January 2018 may have killed bagworms in some parts of Indiana – Landscape Report, Purdue University