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News stories tagged with "amy-ivy"

Spring surprise--voles at work. Photo: Martha Foley
Spring surprise--voles at work. Photo: Martha Foley

Why does my lawn look like a giant ant farm?

The spring thaw has finally reached dirt, revealing the winter damage underneath. On lawns, that could include dramatic networks of dirt-lined runways left under this winter's snow pack by voles.

Voles work the surface, tunneling through where the snow meets the lawn. They're vegetarians, and like to eat away at the roots of the grass. Horticulturist Amy Ivy says the lawn's probably too soft to walk on yet, and it's probably too soon to do too much in the way of repair just yet. When things dry out a bit, she suggests raking the damaged area lightly, to level the tunneled areas out. And have some grass seed on hand to reseed after the weather warms up.

Moles throw up bigger mounds of dirt from their underground tunnels. Rake those to spread the dirt around; those areas can be reseeded to grass later as well.

Amy says it's also time to do some remedial pruning where trees and shrubs were broken during the winter. And she talks about best practices for pruning flowering shrubs now.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/cafemama/3554624390/in/photolist-6q7nZq-9bWxWy-4FjXbD-48C15n-4B7ks-d33Bcu-4B1fJL-84PDiw-hos2oJ-kmJZQ-Po95f-9kkqg2-hovRDL-ahtbyB-ieJUqN-adLfQb-9Ak9XY-6vikT9-JVDMJ-dAKsT8-83YQcJ-6tNG25-6bCcDi-eh96Pz-6fGSZF-db5C2U-db5BxQ-db5BMC-NxEpj-a4sQ2N-8o4Pya-6f6qui-7PKvEd-4WbwDb-6KeovC-5ek7mn-4X8zQM-2kaEaN-5fgsDp-6jCjBC-7YiN6B-8sZy9F-d33BaN-d33Be9-dWehH-89JiNr-avWqyt-9LbTLM-81LwZ9-4LAwRo">Sarah Gilbert</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Sarah Gilbert, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Gardening call in gleanings: potato scab, blueberry canes, green manure

Horticulturist Amy Ivy and Martha Foley takes up some odds and ends of questions listeners had during our Spring Gardening Call-in program. Issues covered include scab on beets and potatoes, care of blueberry canes, and what you can use in place of compost if you can't get hold of it.  Go to full article
Martha Foley's husband Everett Smith illustrating how deep the snow is inside their 7-foot garden fence, last Thursday just after the last big snow. Photo: Martha Foley
Martha Foley's husband Everett Smith illustrating how deep the snow is inside their 7-foot garden fence, last Thursday just after the last big snow. Photo: Martha Foley

Your garden and the deep, deep cold

Extreme cold nights this week are adding to concerns about how this cold, snowy and icy winter will affect how the yard and garden will grow this year. How deep is the frostline? Is the snow cover protecting perennials? Or is an icy crust smothering the grass? What about flowering shrubs?

Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy says the consequences of the winter likely won't be good, especially as trees and shrubs may be beginning to "wake up" as spring approaches. That makes them more vulnerable to the cold. But she says there really isn't much you can do, except wait and see.  Go to full article
Garden crop rotation can maintian soil fertility, reduce disease and increase yields. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/57217144@N00/476016841/">Annie and John</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Garden crop rotation can maintian soil fertility, reduce disease and increase yields. Photo: Annie and John, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Why rotate crops in your backyard garden?

Just like big farms, the backyard garden can benefit from rotating vegetable crops. Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulturist Amy Ivy says small-scale crop rotation can minimize pests and disease and increase yields. Todd Moe spoke with Amy about deciding which crops to plant in the vegetable garden from one year to the next. She says a knowledge of vegetables and their botanical families is helpful.  Go to full article
Wait a little longer for the intense cold to pass before pruning. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ndrwfgg/82103133/">Andrew Fogg</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Wait a little longer for the intense cold to pass before pruning. Photo: Andrew Fogg, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Gardening: Is it too soon to prune?

Martha Foley and Cornell Cooperative Extension horticulturalist Amy Ivy talk about what it is, and isn't, safe to do in your garden this early in a very chilly year, and how to simulate spring indoors.  Go to full article
Food from the Farm: Eating Local in the North Country takes place Saturday, March 1, 2-5 pm in the Plattsburgh City Gym. Photo: Cornell Cooperative Extension
Food from the Farm: Eating Local in the North Country takes place Saturday, March 1, 2-5 pm in the Plattsburgh City Gym. Photo: Cornell Cooperative Extension

Plattsburgh event showcases local food, even in the dead of winter

Most gardens are a long way from yielding those delicious spring and summer veggies, but you could still make a meal of the food on offer from professional growers, livestock farmers, brewers and vintners. Not to mention maple syrup makers.

The annual "Food from the Farm" event in Plattsburgh on Sat., March 1, will showcase the food, and the farmers.  Go to full article
If you could actually see the little suckers, this is what a fungus gnat would look like. You're welcome. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trauerfliege.JPG">Peter Ruhr</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
If you could actually see the little suckers, this is what a fungus gnat would look like. You're welcome. Photo: Peter Ruhr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Those annoying little bugs aren't fruitflies, they're fungus gnats. Here's how to get rid of them.

The little things flying randomly around your office? They're most likely fungus gnats, an annoying pest that lives in the soil of potted plants. They eat fungus in the soil, and overwatering gives them a lovely habitat to thrive in.

Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy says fungus gnats aren't much of the threat to the plant, and there are ways to control them.  Go to full article
Martha Foley's perennials. Photo: Martha Foley
Martha Foley's perennials. Photo: Martha Foley

How to build a perennial garden

The catalog pages picturing masses of colorful perennial flowers can be exciting. But creating your own flower beds can be a daunting prospect. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy shares strategies for building a perennial garden.  Go to full article
"Day-Neutral" strawberries give a longer harvest season. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035796924@N01/3654599083/">Wayne Surber</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
"Day-Neutral" strawberries give a longer harvest season. Photo: Wayne Surber, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Thinking ahead for strawberries

Strawberries are a good fruit crop for home gardeners to try, and now's the time to be thinking ahead and placing an order for young plants.

According to Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy, there's one key choice to make first: June-bearing? or day-neutral?

She tells Martha Foley June-bearing strawberries come in a rush at the beginning of summer. Day-neutral plant bear for most of the summer and into fall, but require more attention.  Go to full article
Illustration from a 1904 Burpee seed catalog. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/burpee/167767777/">Burpee Gardens</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Illustration from a 1904 Burpee seed catalog. Photo: Burpee Gardens, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Tips for handling garden catalog-induced tempations

For most backyard gardeners it's still too early for serious seed shopping. But it doesn't hurt to look and plan. Just like weeds, those garden catalogs seem to multiply in the mail this time of year. They're fun to look at in mid-winter, but horticulturist Amy Ivy shares some advice on how to use those catalogs as tools for garden planning and landscaping ideas.  Go to full article

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