Newspaper Articles

CICADA

by Carl White, Master Gardener

We are all familiar with the sounds of summer including bird calls, trilling of crickets, drone of bees and most incessant is the buzzing of the cicada. Of the Order Hemiptera, these are true bugs and are closely related to leafhoppers, froghoppers and spittle bugs.

The life cycle of the cicada begins with the laying of eggs by the female in plant stems where the emerging nymph lives on the plant xylem (fluid). Soon they drop to the ground and burrow into the soil, feeding on roots using a beak called a rostrum.  Some species remaining as a nymph for 13 and some species 17 years. The majority of the species we see and hear emerge annuall

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WHEN YOU HAVE TOO MANY VEGETABLES

Barbara Porsch, Master Gardener

There often is a time about now when the garden has been producing like crazy.   Your poor counter top hasn’t seen the light of day for weeks because it is covered up with squash, cucumbers and now maybe okra, or whatever is going crazy out in the back yard garden.   WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH ALL THIS?

I feel you can never have too many tomatoes because they are so easy to handle.  Of course, you can make sauce or relish to can, but if you really have too many tomatoes, the easiest thing to do is freeze them.  Rinse them off and put them on a rimmed jelly roll pan (Or they will roll of on the floor. I speak from experience.) and plac

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MOON FLOWER

by Roger Corzine

Datura wrightii is the scientific name for the plant in the picture but locally most of us know it as Moon Flower. I am guessing that the name, Moon Flower, was inspired by this plant’s large, white, moon-shaped flowers that are 4 to 6 inches in diameter that bloom at night and wilt and fade away not long after daylight.

Moonflower or Moon Flower is only one of many common names for this plant. Common names typically vary by locality and some of the names I found for this plant are: Jimson Weed (a contraction of Jamestown Weed), Devil’s Weed, Hell’s Bells, Thor

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DAHLIA–A SOMETIMES FORGOTTEN FLOWER

Carol Siddall, Master Gardener

The dahlia, in my book, is one of the prettiest and showiest flower in the family garden.  My mother could grow beautiful dahlias that would have taken prizes if she had ever entered them.  Me, I am not so fortunate, but that doesn't keep me from trying!  Dahlias are gorgeous heat lovers that provide color summer through frost. The dahlia was named in the late 1700s for Swedish botanist Andreas Dahl.  The dahlia began to be popular in American gardens around 100 years ago with good reason.  They are easy to grow in full sun and thrive in any soil type.  Their blooms can last up to a week, and they make wonderful cut flowers

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ASSASSIN BUG

 by Carl White

   

Learning to recognize the insects of the garden is so helpful in order that we don’t destroy the beneficial predators which aid us. Now who, among us, would love to see this monster on our flowers? But actually, they do us no harm if left alone and effectively help us. This effective predator hunter uses the large rostrum, snout, to puncture and secrete tissue dissolving saliva in its prey, thusly killing in this manner. Too numerous to picture here, browse this insect on your computer to see the brown, black, grey and bright colors in which it comes.

These are the predatory monsters of the insect world, often wearing the exoskeletons

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CILANTRO

 by Barbara Porsch

Today, we will look at Cilantro.  I love cilantro.  Have I not said the same thing about other herbs?    For many, the taste of cilantro is an acquired taste.  You either adore it or abhor it!

The fresh green leaves are called cilantro or chinese parsley.  The seeds are called coriander.  Go figure!   So if you find a recipe that calls for fresh coriander or Chinese parsley, you know it is actually wanting cilantro.  Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is one of the oldest seasonings known to man.  In the Old Testament, coriander seed was compared to manna.  It appeared in colonists gardens in America in the 17th centu

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GOING ON VACATION?  OH NO!!!

Carol Siddall, Master Gardener

There are probably very few people that love to travel  more than I do.  In fact my family says my middle name should be "Go".  I do love to travel, but I love my yard and garden also.  You might have to bury me if I came home to a brown and dying yard!  But, I am blessed to have a neighbor and former Master Gardener that takes care of my yard while we are gone.  I do not worry when we go away as I know Don is taking care of things.  It wasn't always like that for me as it isn't that way for many people.  A week or two without the usual TLC can leave your plants feeling dry and wilted, vulnerable to all sorts of critters and ailments.  But your ti

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PRAYING MANTIS-THE MOST REVERENT INSECT

Carl White, Master Gardener

To observe this most beneficial insect, the preying stance in which the powerful forelegs are folded into a praying posture gives the appearance of prayer. While being quite gentle, some people actually keep the insect as a pet and feed it regularly with an array of bugs. But gentle may be misleading, as the Praying Mantis can be goaded into a self-defense mode in which it will bite. Though harmless and non-toxic, the larger female sometimes will eat the male that breeds with her.

They are hunted in nature, being a tasty meal for frogs, lizards, birds and spiders. Amazingly, they have sound detection, an ear located on the underside of the

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EASY BLOOMS FOR SUMMER – BULBS!

Carol Siddall, Master Gardener

When most of us think of planting bulbs in our garden, we usually think of spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, or crocus. These early bloomers do provide us with much needed garden color after a long winter but many gardeners overlook the large number of summer blooming bulbs that add interest to our gardens. Summer blooming bulbs can help fill the gaps in your garden when early flowering perennials have finished blooming. Just like the spring blooming bulbs, summer bulbs are incredibly easy to grow and incorporate into garden schemes. Some are suited for shade and others really like the hot summer sun. Some are cold-hardy, while o

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