Let’s clear up confusion on using bark as mulch, plus tips for May and news on spotted lantern fly

April 26, 2016
holly raguza, Bugwood.org

Spotted lanternfly can cause damage to grapevines and trees. Photo courtesy holly raguza, Bugwood.org

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Articles are now available in the May edition of the new online publication called WNY Gardening Matters produced by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners in Erie County.

These articles are free. The Master Gardeners tell me when the newest articles are available and I share them with you.

In this issue are:

Woof! No, Bark!

You may have heard that using bark as mulch is good because it provides nutrition for your plants, or that it’s bad because it eats up nitrogen making the nitrogen unavailable to your plants. This article clears up the confusion on using bark as mulch.

This Month in the Garden

As the weather gets warmer, gardeners often want to jump ahead and plant tomatoes and other tender crops earlier than they should. You have to think not only about frosts, but about soil temperature, too. Planting too early in cold soil can lead to poor growth and disease. Get the scoop on soil temperature as well as more timely information for May in this article.

Invasives: Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly is pretty, but its feeding activities do a lot of damage to grapevines, trees grown for fruit and trees grown for wood. It has been identified in Pennsylvania. Learn more in this article.

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4 Responses to Let’s clear up confusion on using bark as mulch, plus tips for May and news on spotted lantern fly

  1. Gary Tebo on April 26, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Could there be a follow-up to the article ‘This Month in the Garden’? More information on cutting back perennials & when for more bushy growth & flowers.
    Love your newsletter.

  2. Donna on April 26, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    I never saw a spotted lanternfly. You are right, it is pretty. Too bad it is harmful though.

  3. Linda on April 26, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Thank you for making these articles available to your readers. There is always more to learn about our surroundings and general gardening.

  4. Connie on April 27, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Gary, see this Cornell fact sheet, especially page 8, general routine maintenance in summer. Donna Brok also recently had an interesting post on her blog Garden Walk, Garden Talk about cutting back perennials to have them bloom at different times. I hope that helps.

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