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County Extension

  • Leaf-footed bugs: a mid-season pest for vegetables


    By Sam Marshall

     

    Have you ever noticed a small, orange-and-black critter congregating on your summer vegetable plants? Similarly, have you encountered a larger one that appears to be wearing bell-bottom pants? A common mid-season pest, leaf-footed bugs are nuisance pests on many fruit and vegetable crops, as well as nut trees and some ornamental plants. And as the summer wears on, they will become more problematic, so act now to avoid damage to your summer vegetables.

     

  • Great food preservation resources
  • Ground pearls plague turfgrasses

     Ground pearls are native scale insects that attach themselves to the roots of turfgrasses and suck the life of them. Centipede is especially susceptible, but all grasses except bahia are negatively affected. The “pearl” moniker comes from the cyst stage that looks much like a granule of polymer-coated fertilizer such as Osmocote. This time of year you may see the pinkish-red females crawling around on the surface waiting for a hookup with the tiny, fly-like males. Once they mate the females burrow back into the soil and lay eggs to start another generation.

  • Local strawberries

     Local fresh strawberries are a real treat this time of year. The growers have had quite a season this year with the Mother Nature. With the really warm weather in late February, some of us were lucky to get early berries. Then the cold weather in March slowed things down. While the April rain was appreciated, it too slowed the ripening and picking. According to one local grower I spoke with, if the weather continues to be favorable, we will have berries through May. 

  • Local strawberries

    Local fresh strawberries are a real treat this time of year. The growers have had quite a season this year with the Mother Nature. With the really warm weather in late February, some of us were lucky to get early berries. Then the cold weather in March slowed things down. While the April rain was appreciated, it too slowed the ripening and picking. According to one local grower I spoke with, if the weather continues to be favorable, we will have berries through May.

  • More ornamental grasses for home landscapes

    By Sam Marshall

  • Low-cost but healthy foods

    Studies show people who eat out three or more times per week eat more fat, sodium and calories and fewer vitamins, minerals and fiber than if those meals were eaten at home. Not only that, think about what it does to your budget!

  • Beans instead of meat

     Beans beans the musical fruit … I think you know the rest of this song. They’re not just musical; beans can be a great addition to family meals in terms of nutrition, health, easy prep and good on the budget.

  • Invasive plants in your landscape

    By Sam Marshall

     

  • Gardeners love ‘magic potions’

     Thirty-plus years of working in horticulture as taught me many things: don’t prune your sister-in-law’s Japanese maple, run away as fast as you can when a potential client describes themselves as “easy to work with” and be very careful when criticizing magic potions and botanical dogma held in high esteem by some gardeners. But, being a bit of an April fool (Happy April Fool’s Day everyone), I will make my way to the end of the branch and see how quickly I can saw it off behind me. It certainly won’t be the first time I fell out of a tree.