Print

Help control stink bugs, fill out this survey

Written by Doug Oster on .

oster stink bug photoStink bugs eat just about everything in the garden. They are an invasive pest which researchers are trying to discover how to control. Photo by Doug Oster

Mother Earth News is a great magazine with a storied history of spreading the word about sustainable growing.

They need your help in trying to figure out stink bugs. They are gathering data to find the most effective control methods for the pest.

Please take 10 minutes to fill out the survey below.

Stink bug survey.

Here's the complete news release-

MOTHER EARTH NEWS STINK BUG SURVEY SEEKS CITIZEN PARTICIPATION

Publication aims to understand insect’s behavior and find effective control methods

 

TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 25, 2013) – The brown marmorated stink bug is on the move, now wreaking havoc in gardens and homes from the mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest. With temperatures dropping, the bugs invade homes and buildings to bed down for the winter.

 

Mother Earth News, the leading publication dedicated to sustainable living, today launches an online survey to better understand the insect’s behavior and track effective control measures.

 

The Mother Earth News Stink Bug Survey covers factors such as house size and color, and characteristics of surrounding land.

 

Most Mother Earth News readers garden organically, so a better understanding of brown marmorated stink bug behavior is essential to helping them manage this pest. In heavily infested areas such as Maryland and northern Virginia, the bugs threaten a long list of vegetables, including beans, tomatoes and cabbage family crops. Ripening blackberries or peaches can be invaded overnight.

 

“Millions of gardeners and homeowners face aggravation from brown marmorated stink bugs, and thousands of those folks have tried innovative techniques for dealing with them. We wanted to set up a way for people to compare the results of their efforts,” says Cheryl Long, editor in chief of Mother Earth News.

 

Property damage caused by brown marmorated stink bugs is also covered in the Mother Earth News Stink Bug Survey.

 

“We’ve heard reports of damaged office equipment and vehicles with air filters clogged by stink bugs. The survey will help reveal where to look for problems before the bugs cause costly repairs,” Long says.

 

Noting that consumer reviews of purchased stink bug traps are consistently poor, the survey also asks questions about how the traps were used.

 

“The updated pheromone lures used in commercial stink bug traps should be quite effective, so we hope to help figure out why they’re not giving better results. The devil could be in the details of where and when you set them out,” Long says. “Or, they could be a waste of money.”

The survey will remain open so participants can see what others have said about different control methods they have tried.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Phipps free admission on Monday!

Written by Doug Oster on .

Phipps Offers Free Admission Day through Generosity of Jack Buncher Foundation

Pittsburgh’s premier public garden waives entrance fees for one special day of flowers and fun.

Pittsburgh, Pa.  Thanks to a generous grant from the Jack Buncher Foundation, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will open its doors free of charge on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. Community members of all ages are encouraged to come out between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on this special day to experience the beauty of one of Pittsburgh’s most beloved cultural attractions.
   Guests who attend this year’s free admission day will enjoy the colorful booms and festive scenes of Fall Flower Show, featuring thousands of chrysanthemums in hues of harvest-inspired deep purples, bright greens, brilliant yellows, bold reds and warm oranges. The Conservatory’s popular Garden Railroad — for which model G trains chug through an elaborate living landscape with a Phipps Prehistoric Park theme — will also be on the move, delighting kids and adults alike.
   “We express our sincere gratitude to the Jack Buncher Foundation for making this wonderful gift to our community possible through their great generosity,” says Phipps Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini. “Every year, this free day gives many people the opportunity to pass through our doors and explore the wonders of nature. That kind of experience is truly priceless.”
    Additionally, Café Phipps will be open for lunch and healthy snacks throughout the day. Showcasing food that is good for people and the planet, and a fun kids’ menu, this 3-star Green Restaurant Certified® eatery is a great place to begin or end a family excursion through the gardens. Visitors will have the chance to see the new Center for Sustainable Landscapes too, and discover one of the greenest buildings in the world. More details can be found at phipps.conservatory.org or by calling 412/622-6914.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Tough perennials to plant now (on sale too!)

Written by Doug Oster on .

I took my all time favorite tough perennials on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live. There's still time to plant them and the nurseries are blowing them out. They don't want to keep them all winter. If you hang in there, you'll also get quite a surprise at the end of the video.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Low fall light reveals beauty of what's left in the garden

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog hydrangea fallI wish I knew the name of this lacecap hydrangea, it offers four season of interest. I love the subtle purple the flowers show at the end of the season. Photos by Doug Oster

The mornings are cold, the angle of the sun is low as winter looms in the distance.

The light plays with the colors of plants which brave the frigid nights hoping for a an Indian Summer.

This is the time to enjoy the final show of tender plants, perennials and shrubs. Once a few hard frosts coat the garden, they will be gone.

Walk the garden and enjoy what's left, dreaming of all the possibilities next season might hold.

blog mystic fall'Mystic Illusion' has become one of my favorite dahlias. I got it to use in my new book The Steel City Garden, but I have to save these tubers for next season. It's filled with yellow blooms held over black foliage.

blog doublicious late'Doublicous' hydrangea has an unusual flower form which I love. There's nothing subtle about the stunning dark red/purple blooms in fall.

blog coleus lightMy radio partner Jessica Walliser is taking cuttings from her coleas and growing them in water over the winter. Hmmm, that's a good idea.

blog mums in the lightSunrise over the mums. One problem in selecting the plants when they are budding, you might pick one which doesn't look like the other two!

blog salvia wedny stillSalvia 'Wendy's Wish' is a perennial plant hardy to zone 7. It blooms like an annual and I'll over winter it in my unheated greenhouse.

blog tithonia lateTithonia 'Torch' is a monster in the garden. This 1951 AAS winner can get 14 feet tall out in the sun. In my garden it flopped over and made this shrub of orange flowers nearly six feet high. Check out the planter on the left.

blog flopping hydrangeasMophead hydrangeas and texture and beauty to the fall garden. I'll probably remove the spent blooms and use them for dried arrangements.

 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Late blooming bugbane is a perennial favorite

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog buggy 3Bugbane blooms late in the season and lights up the shade garden. Photos by Doug Oster

In a shady corner of a forgotten woodland garden, the white, candle like flowers of bugbane light up the bed.

blog buggy 1Bugbane is a native plant which is tough and beautiful.Cimicifuga is also known as bugbane or cohash and blooms in late summer to fall.

For some reason I'm always surprised by the flowers. I always forget the bugbane is there until it blooms. When it does, it's a star.

Since this plant is in an abandoned woodland bed I created years ago, it sits alone, is never watered but flowers reliably at the end of the season.

The plant is indestructible and thrives in dry shade, but can take sun too and will bloom even more prolifically with some morning sun. Some gardeners even plant it in full sun. It's going to need water if sited out in the daylight.

I love perennial plants like this. They come back year after year and aren't fussy.

There are many different varieties, some with flowers reaching seven feet tall.

This native plant is a great addition to the back of a perennial bed.

 

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.