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News stories tagged with "gardening"

Early October, and time to clean out the perennials! Photo: Martha Foley
Early October, and time to clean out the perennials! Photo: Martha Foley

Fall chores to do, and not to do...yet

First: it isn't time to plant garlic yet, according to Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy. She says October 1 used to be the time-post for planting garlic, but the end of October is now the accepted date.

There are plenty of other chores to fill a gardener's time, however. Cleaning out the perennial beds, moving some things with extra care are all on the list in this week's conversation.  Go to full article
Improving clay topsoil with peat and composted manure. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28123480@N00/686991915/">Kathleen Farley</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Improving clay topsoil with peat and composted manure. Photo: Kathleen Farley, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

The lowdown on good dirt

A foundational conversation for gardeners this morning: Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy breaks down the good and not-so-good about topsoil.

Whether you're filling raised beds, raising the grade in a spot of the garden, or putting the finishing landscaping around a construction project, good topsoil will make a big difference.

Amy runs through the basic ingredients, and how to make sure the soil you buy or mix yourself will do the job.  Go to full article
With cold nights and sunny days bright fall foliage is finally here. Archive Photo of the Day: Patricia Lincourt.
With cold nights and sunny days bright fall foliage is finally here. Archive Photo of the Day: Patricia Lincourt.

How to help plants survive a frost or two

Scattered frost doesn't necessarily mean the end of the vegetable garden. Some tender leafy plants won't survive (basil, winter squash...), and fruits like tomatoes and eggplant won't ripen in such cool weather, but some things will flourish (kale, brussell sprouts...).

And it may be worth protecting others now, with more sunny, warm-ish weather to come. Cornell Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy is protecting her zinnias, and enjoying cold-friendly crops. She shares tips with Martha Foley.

And... it's happening! Time to get out and see the fall colors.  Go to full article
Gather cone flower seeds when the petals are long gone, and the seeds shake easily from the seed head. Photo: Kary Johnson
Gather cone flower seeds when the petals are long gone, and the seeds shake easily from the seed head. Photo: Kary Johnson

End of the line in the garden: saving seeds and salvaging plants

With widespread freeze and frost warnings in the forecast, Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy offers some last-ditch tips on preserving the best of the summer's flowers.

In conversation with Martha Foley, she explains how to take cuttings of your favorite plants for more good growing in the fall and winter. And she offers tips on saving flower seeds for next year.  Go to full article
Aeration helps the lawn to "breathe" and to absorb moisture and nutrients. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wheatfields/3409167540/">Christian Guthier</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Aeration helps the lawn to "breathe" and to absorb moisture and nutrients. Photo: Christian Guthier, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Tips for a timely lawn tune-up

It's a busy month for gardeners. You could be canning and/or freezing your produce. You could be cleaning out the spent plants and pulling the weeds again for the off-season. You could be building new raised beds for next year.

And according to Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy, it's also the one time of year when a little attention to the lawn will really pay off. She shares tips for a minimalist approach to lawn care in her weekly conversation with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
Leek moth pupa on a garlic leaf. The larva of this invasive pest affects onions, garlic, leeks, chives and shallots. It was first discovered in the US in 2009 in a home garden in Plattsburgh, NY. Photo: <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/08-009.htm">Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food</a>
Leek moth pupa on a garlic leaf. The larva of this invasive pest affects onions, garlic, leeks, chives and shallots. It was first discovered in the US in 2009 in a home garden in Plattsburgh, NY. Photo: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Caterpillars and moths: pests to watch for

There IS always something.

Last week, Cornell Cooperative Extension sent around a notice asking growers to keep an eye out for a new-ish pest, the leek moth, and report any sightings. Leek moths attack the onion and garlic family, and researchers are trying to track their spread across the North Country.

Then there's an old pest to worry about as tomatoes mature: the tomato hornworm.

Amy Ivy has more information on both of these in her weekly conversation with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
Chip Taylor, one of America's leading Monarch butterfly experts and activists, visited Tupper Lake over the weekend. Photo:  Brian Mann
Chip Taylor, one of America's leading Monarch butterfly experts and activists, visited Tupper Lake over the weekend. Photo: Brian Mann

Monarch butterfly population plummets

This summer, scientists and naturalists say the population of Monarch butterflies here in the North Country, Vermont and Canada is down sharply.

The great migration of Monarch butterflies from Mexico to our part of the world has faced a lot of threats over the years, everything from habitat loss to climate change.

But researchers say the latest fear is that new farm herbicides and roadside mowing techniques could be wiping out stands of milkweed -- a plant that monarchs need in order to reproduce.

Over the weekend, one of the country's top butterfly experts, Chip Taylor, visited the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. He sat down with Brian Mann.  Go to full article
Brian Mann interviewing Monarch butteflies in the mountains of central Mexico in 2002. Photo:  Susan Waters
Brian Mann interviewing Monarch butteflies in the mountains of central Mexico in 2002. Photo: Susan Waters

Story 2.0: Mexico's fragile Monarch sanctuary

Monarch butterflies that make the long journey from the North Country to Mexico face a lot of threats.

They winter over in mountain forests, taking shelter in trees that loggers also prize, taking up land coveted by poor subsistence farms.  Go to full article
Piriform tomatoes ripening on the vine. Photo: Jeanne Emery,<br />Watertown NY, from Photo of the Day archive
Piriform tomatoes ripening on the vine. Photo: Jeanne Emery,
Watertown NY, from Photo of the Day archive

Fall's in the air, but it's still summer in the garden

Yes, there's definitely a chill around the edges, but it's still August, and there's still plenty of gardening weather ahead.
Cornell Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy surveys what vegetables are still coming, what's good right now, and how to make the most of both. And she tells Martha Foley: don't wait to pick those tomatoes. Picking tomatoes before they're dead-ripe increases the chances of successful harvest, and can boost the overall yield as well.  Go to full article
A perennial bed in August at the Vermont Visitor's Center. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/29261037@N02/6067097438/">Paul Cooper</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
A perennial bed in August at the Vermont Visitor's Center. Photo: Paul Cooper, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

A facelift in the late-summer perennial garden

Getting an early start on fall clean-up in the perennial beds depends on how much of a neat-freak you are. There's still lots of showy color in the coming weeks. Todd Moe talks with horticulturist Amy Ivy about ways to make room for late-summer color in the flower garden.  Go to full article

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