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Carpenter Bees

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Have you seen or been bothered by large “bumble bees” flying around your house or getting rather up close and personal lately?  The correct identity of these bees is the carpenter bee, the largest bee native to the U.S.  It looks very much like a bumble bee but the carpenter bee has a bare abdomen…

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Bagworms

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Bagworms are an insect pest that can be reasonably well controlled with simple handpicking. Now is the time to look for and remove these insects, while they are still in the bag. Use hand pruners or scissors to snip off the bags as they are held quite tightly to branches and stems and pulling or…

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Henbit and Purple Deadnettle

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Henbit and Purple Deadnettle You may be starting to see plants with small pink/purple flowers beginning to blossom in lawns and flower beds.  Henbit, Lamium amplexicaule, is a winter annual from Eurasia and North Africa. As a member of the Mint Family, it has squares stems – a good identification characteristic along with it early…

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Ornamental Grasses

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Cut Back Ornamental Grasses If you have ornamental grasses in your landscape they should be cut back as soon as possible. This is the process of removing all the dead foliage down to 6”-8” above the ground. The grasses will green up earlier if the foliage is removed and the appearance will also be more attractive if the…

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Wet Soils

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It is very important not to get in the garden too early in the spring when soils are quite wet. If you do, you can cause the soil structure to be destroyed. As an example, think of a garden soil with good texture as being similar to a nicely textured chocolate cake. If you take the chocolate cake…

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Garden Peas

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Garden Peas Are you just itching to get out into the garden, feel the new spring soil and begin with growing plants? Consider peas. Pisum sativum, the common pea, is a cool season crop that does best in temperatures below 70 degrees. There are two main varieties: sweet pea with an inedible pod, and snow…

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Conifer Garden – Video Blog

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Learn more about the beautiful Conifer Garden at Norfolk Botanical Garden in southeast Virginia. Les Parks shows you how Conifers are a great addition to your own landscape as they look stunning in all seasons! This Garden was designated by the American Conifer Society as a Reference Garden for the Southeast.


Scale Insects

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Now, during the dormant season, is a good time to check woody plants for scale insect infestations. Scale insects are not the easiest to recognize because they are not only immobile, but are usually small and do not look like most other insects. Many of them resemble small, oval or circular sea shells. One is even called oyster…

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Fungus Gnats

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Do you occasionally observe small flying insects that appear to be tiny (1/10 to 1/8 inch long) mosquitos on your houseplants? Fungus gnats are common in houseplant soils with high organic matter that are kept quite moist. They do not pose any problem for humans or pets, other than being annoying, but can harm plants….

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