Bethlehem Press

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Growing Green: Proper pruning and mulching for trees

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Tree health can be difficult to determine, but checking your tree yearly may help you notice problems as they appear.

Is this year's growth much less than past years' growth? Fast growth does not mean good health, but a dramatic reduction in growth rate may be an indication of poor health.

Here's a tip: Look at the branch tips or tree top. A year's branches will typically be smaller in diameter and a different color.

Growing Green: Transplant tips for tomatoes

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

All recipes are not for the kitchen.

If you're interested in plump, juicy tomatoes this summer, here's a recipe for the garden.

Don't plant tomatoes in the same location year after year.

Plant tomatoes that are disease-resistant. They may be labeled "VFN." If you have space in the garden, plant two or more varieties. This increases your chances of good production.

Growing Green: Pansies cheer up your yard

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

The calendar does actually indicate winter is officially over.

But, as experience has shown, the weather is very unpredictable. Mother Nature pays no attention to what month it is.

The home landscape this time of year is in need of cheering up. There are better and brighter days ahead even though things look dirty and old. It would be nice to see some color around the yard.

Right now at your local garden center you can have your choice of a host of colors. The greenhouses are full of pansies.

Growing Green: Raise the roof sustainably

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Green roofs, otherwise known as living roofs or eco-roofs, are the wave of the future in sustainable design. The long-term aesthetic and ecological benefits of green roofs far outnumber those of traditional roofs.

Environmentally-sensitive roofing systems allow plants to grow on the surface of what would otherwise be just a protective covering for houses and commercial buildings.

Growing Green: Houseplants can be pesty

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Those houseplants you kept outside all summer may be harboring unwanted guests.

Even though your plants have been inside for the winter for a couple of months, it's still important to check them for insects and other pests. Even one or two insects can be the start of an infestation.

Pests to look for are aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, whiteflies and scale.

Growing Green: It's time to prune evergreens prudently

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Social News

Planting evergreens around a house's foundation is a landscaping no-brainer because they stay green and require little maintenance. However, foundation evergreens should be pruned to keep them looking good and scaled to the size of the house.

Many homeowners plant yews, junipers or arborvitae. After a few years, the plants block window views. The best time to prune evergreens is during the winter dormant season from December to March.

Growing Green: Deck the halls with holiday herbs

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Although any aromatic herb can enhance holiday decorations, several have special biblical links with Christmas.

Many craft shops and florists carry dried herb plants along with the baskets, bowls and other trimmings needed for decorating. You might even have grown one or more these herbs in your own herb garden.

For a special touch this year, try one or more of the following in your holiday wreaths and mantle decorations:

Growing Green: Overwintering geraniums avoids frost

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 by LEHIGH COUNTY EXTENSION in Focus

Geraniums are popular bedding plants, blooming from May through frost. However, the first hard frost doesn't have to be the end of your geraniums. They can be overwintered indoors by potting up individual plants, taking cuttings or storing bare-root plants in a cool, dry place. Regardless of the method, the plants should be removed from the garden prior to the first frost.