Aphids and Fruit Trees

Aphids are a common pest an a wide variety of fruit trees, shrubs, vines, vegetables, and more! Leaves curled end to end are the most common sign of aphid damage.  Ants in your tree are another sure sign of aphid infestation, as their only interest in climbing trees is to harvest honeydew (sweet aphid droppings).  … Continue reading Aphids and Fruit Trees

Fig winter die-back and spring pruning

After a rough winter with some single digit temperatures, we’re very pleased to see most of the figs in the city sprouting new growth!  The amount of winter damage has been very variable from site to site and even one tree to another.  Some are sprouting high on the tree: ​ Some are only sprouting from … Continue reading Fig winter die-back and spring pruning

Beetle Invasion! Coping with Japanese Beetles

What green, Japanese terror costs more than 200 million dollars in damage each year? No, it’s not Godzilla…it’s Popillia japonica a.k.a, the Japanese beetle (JB)! This tiny import has entrenched itself as one of the most notorious garden and orchard pests in the United States, devouring acres of fields, trees, and shrubs each year. Grower … Continue reading Beetle Invasion! Coping with Japanese Beetles

The Spotted Lanternfly: New Orchard Superpest?

Have you heard about the Spotted Lanternfly yet? If you haven’t, you’ll probably hear about them a lot more in the near future! First seen in Southeastern PA in 2014, this pest insect’s population has exploded and since moved into New York, Delaware, and Virginia. The Spotted Lanternfly is a threat to many orchard crops … Continue reading The Spotted Lanternfly: New Orchard Superpest?

Stink Bugs: A Widespread Orchard Pest

Most of us have seen a stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), whether it’s crawling in your house or on your crops. These mottled grayish-brown bugs are ¾’’ in length, six-legged, and have a triangular or shield-shaped body and are probably most perceptibly known for the nauseating stench they release from their thorax when disturbed or crushed. … Continue reading Stink Bugs: A Widespread Orchard Pest

Unusual Fruits for Philly Orchards: The Benefits of Being Different

On February 10th 2018, more than 20 people gathered at Awbury Agricultural Village to learn about some of the “unusual” fruits that POP plants and why. There were some great takeaways from this workshop including learning more in depth about some of the less common options available to Philadelphia-based orchards. The most important piece from … Continue reading Unusual Fruits for Philly Orchards: The Benefits of Being Different

Why Pollinator Gardens Matter

Why do we garden? Access to whole foods, exercise, fresh air and sunlight, community, a sense of purpose, beautifying underutilized environments — the list goes on. What about gardens as habitat for non-human neighbors? As an environmental scientist and gardener, I am fascinated by the potential of green spaces to promote the wellbeing of our … Continue reading Why Pollinator Gardens Matter

Does your tree look like it’s bleeding sap? It might be Bacterial or Fungal Canker!

We recently received an update from Penn State Extension about bacterial canker on stone fruits (cherry, plum, peach, etc.) which provides one upside to hot midsummer temperatures. According to their recommendations, “summer is the best time to prune your [effected] trees, particularly during dry weather. The bacteria do not like hot, dry conditions and the … Continue reading Does your tree look like it’s bleeding sap? It might be Bacterial or Fungal Canker!

Bramble On: It’s Blackberry Time!

Q: What makes blackberries special? A: So many things! In order to properly research this blog post, a memory refresher of the taste of blackberries was in order! While the organic vegetable farm I work on does have blackberries growing, (mostly as a side enterprise) they are not yet ripe, and so I trekked to … Continue reading Bramble On: It’s Blackberry Time!

‘Lean On Me’: An Overview of Orchard Trellis Systems

By now, we’ve all heard Bill Withers’ classic swooning lyric “we all need somebody to lean on.” As I was working on building a trellis for the tomatoes in my home garden last weekend, I couldn’t help but think of this lyric’s many meanings – it’s a simple adage and it’s so true! As a … Continue reading ‘Lean On Me’: An Overview of Orchard Trellis Systems