Are you looking for a Garden Center that has it all in New Jersey?

With all of the extra time spent closer to home these days, backyard and community gardens have never looked more vibrant. And, since all landscapes require continuing love and attention, it’s important to develop a relationship with a garden center in New Jersey that has everything you need. Continue Reading Are you looking for a Garden Center that has it all in New Jersey?

Seasonal Home Gardening: Fall and Winter Vegetable Growth Guide

There are some definite advantages to growing fall and winter vegetables apart from the fact that they can provide you with a year-round supply of healthy, nutritional foods. During the off-season, pests are not nearly as prevalent as they are during spring and summer. Continue Reading Seasonal Home Gardening: Fall and Winter Vegetable Growth Guide

Spotted Lanternfly in New Jersey: What you need to know

Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly originally came to the U.S. from their native China, although it is not known exactly how they accomplished this. In any case, they first appeared in Pennsylvania in the year 2014, and have since made their way to six other states, including New York and New Jersey. They are considered to be a serious pest, because they feed on the sap of trees, often weakening them, and in some cases causing them to die completely.

There is cause for concern now that the spotted lanternfly has become established in this country because after being introduced in Korea in 2006, the spotted lanternfly became an extremely invasive species which caused extensive damage in that country. They can impact a number of cash crops, such as fruit orchards, grape vineyards, and nut trees, so they can potentially cause damage which could soar into the billions of dollars.

The information below will help you to identify the spotted lanternfly, so you can take the proper steps to eliminate them from your area, and protect your trees and vegetables from them.

What SLF damage looks like

Spotted lantern Damage

Here are some of the most common results which are easily observable after spotted lanternflies have been feeding on your trees or other plants:

  • leaves wilting or curling up
  • sap spilling out of wounds made in the tree
  • individual branches dying off
  • the unusual presence of ants or wasps around your tree, which are attracted by the honeydew excreted by the spotted lanternflies
  • growth of a sooty, mold fungus on tree trunks and branches, which is encouraged by the presence of the excreted honeydew

How to identify the spotted lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly Stages

Credit: PSU.edu

It’s fairly easy to identify the spotted lanternfly, as it goes through some distinctive changes in accordance with seasonal changes. In the springtime, these pests will appear all black in color, with white spots on their exterior. As spring gives way to summer, their color modifies into a bright red with black stripes and white spots. By the time autumn rolls around, the spotted lanternfly will have evolved into a mature, flying insect equipped with brown wings and black dots, one set of bright red wings having black dots, and a body which is striped in yellow and black.

You may also notice the eggs of the spotted lanternfly appearing on your tree trunks, on lawn furniture, or on patio tiles and other hard surfaces. The eggs themselves are coated with a protective covering by the flies, and this coating has the appearance of a blob of white-brown mud. Soon after they hatch, these insects will use their piercing and sucking mechanisms to begin extracting sap and nutrients from the trees where they hatched from.

Which trees are affected by spotted lanternflies

The tree which is most preferred by the spotted lanternfly is known as the tree-of-heaven, which is a species native to China and Taiwan. The tree has also established a presence in Europe and North America and is considered to be an invasive species and a highly undesirable weed. Part of its negative reputation stems from the fact that it is capable of replicating itself extremely rapidly, and can quickly take over an environment once it establishes a foothold.

All other trees which are impacted by the spotted lanternfly are deciduous in nature, and they include apple trees, oaks, maples, nut trees, and willows. Since all of these trees are highly esteemed, the presence of the spotted lanternfly is never appreciated by tree owners, and immediate steps are generally taken to eradicate the spotted lanternfly when their presence is detected. The pest will also victimize a number of different vegetables, herbs, and vines, as long as they can provide the sap it needs for feeding.

How to eliminate spotted lanternflies

First of all, if you happen to have a tree-of-heaven in your yard, it would be wise to remove it completely, because it will serve as a powerful attractor to these insects. You should be on the lookout for clusters of their eggs, and these should be destroyed when you find them, so they don’t have a chance to hatch.

As soon as you spot an infestation of the spotted lanternfly in your yard, you should contact the Department of Agriculture (DOA) in New Jersey to let them know. They will send a representative to investigate, and if the infestation is confirmed, they will take all steps necessary to remove the insects and any eggs which may be present.

Generally, the New Jersey DOA will require some kind of information or documentation which makes it likely that these flies are present. A quick phone call to New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture will tell you what kind of information they require so that a trip to your house isn’t wasted.

Another common and safe alternative to killing the spotted lanternfly is to mix water with common house-hold dawn dish soap. Spraying this solution will kill the lanternflies and won’t damage your plants or harm domesticated animals. Using dish soap and water is one of the safest and most effective ways to combat spotted lanternflies in their various stages.

Tree Band Spotted Lanternfly

Image Credit: psu.edu

Another commonly used tactic to rid your trees of spotted lanternflies is to use fly-tape.  Fly-tape is a sticky tape commonly used to trap and kill house-flies.  Should you decide to use this method of spotted lanternfly control, know that the spotted lanternfly is not the only insect or animal that can get caught in the sticky fly-tape. Fly-tape can be detrimental to birds and other essential insects in our ecosystem.  Importantly, you must fence off and protect the section of the tree that the tape is applied.

If you have any more questions on how to deal with these invasive pests, please contact us today! Our experienced staff is happy to assist you.

Getting Your Lawnmower Ready For Spring!

Get your mower ready for spring sharpen blades

With spring in full-swing around the country, the grass in your yard is going through its annual growth surge, and becoming taller every day. That’s a good sign that you will need to get your lawn mower ready for the season. A ready lawnmower will help you keep up with weekly growth, and make sure your lawn stays neat and trim.

If you already did some of these tasks before putting your lawnmower away last fall, you’re ahead of the game. If not, now’s the time to start preparing for the lawn mowing season. Those who may be considering purchasing a new mower will discover everything you need at Mendham Garden Centers, where we carry the latest line of Toro Mowers and STIHL lawn equipment.

Continue Reading Getting Your Lawnmower Ready For Spring!

woman watering indoor plants

How to Move Your Indoor Plants Outside

Are you tired of being kept indoors by cold weather? So are your plants.

As we move from winter into spring, you might want to consider moving your indoor plants outdoors to give them some sunlight and fresh air.

But moving plants outside can be tricky. Exposing them to the elements too quickly can cause your plants to become stressed, which can hurt their growth.

Read this blog post for some advice from a Hunterdon NJ gardeners’ supply store on the best ways to bring indoor plants outside.

Continue Reading How to Move Your Indoor Plants Outside

Birds hanging out a feeder in winter

Which Winter Bird Seed Works Best?

Birdwatching is one of life’s simpler pleasures and one that becomes easier to do when you have the right food on hand to attract our feathered friends.

And it doesn’t even have to be warm-weather activity. Even in the dead of winter, you can put out some bird seed and watch birds explore your yard from the comfort of your living room.

Here are a few bird seeds you can find at our Mendham NJ garden center that will bring birds to your backyard this winter.

Continue Reading Which Winter Bird Seed Works Best?

Picking Perfect Perennials & Supplies for Your Jersey Garden: A Hunterdon Perspective

Perennial Flower Bed

As we often tell people who visit our Mendham Garden Centers, it’s important to plant perennials in their proper zone.

What grows in, say, Cape May might not do well in Hunterdon, Chester or Mendham. As you move up and down the growing map for New Jersey, you’ll see different microclimates that dictate your garden from year to year.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at that map and how it can determine what will grow – or not grow – in your garden. Continue Reading Picking Perfect Perennials & Supplies for Your Jersey Garden: A Hunterdon Perspective

Home Orcharding in Suburban Somerset New Jersey? Really?

apple trees in a row, before harvest

When you hear the term “orchard,” you might think of acre upon acre of trees laden with fresh, ripe apples or peaches.

But you don’t need a vast expanse of land to grow your own fruit. When you visit our Somerset, NJ garden center, you’ll find heirloom fruits and berries designed for home growing. They come to us courtesy of our suppliers at Hollybrook Orchards, a longtime proponent of home orcharding. Continue Reading Home Orcharding in Suburban Somerset New Jersey? Really?

Cool as a Not A Cucumber: Plant these Nine Fall Veggies

Woman in her autumn garden

Summer may be at an end, but that doesn’t mean the gardening season has to end with it. The ground is still warm, the weather is still mild and there aren’t as many insects to deal with.

Here at our Mendham, NJ gardener’s supply store, we’re getting plenty of questions from customers on how to tackle the autumn growing season.

It’s a good time to prepare for winter and plant spring-blooming bulbs, but there’s also an opportunity for gardeners who want to boost their vegetable crops. Continue Reading Cool as a Not A Cucumber: Plant these Nine Fall Veggies

The Downside: Components of Healthy Topsoil

Someone gardening with topsoil

By, the old guy with a pony tail at Mendham Garden Center

You can call it dirt, soil, root zone or a host of other terms. It’s the downside to the establishment and management of your lawn.

A turf manager once told me, “You can grow grass on a rock, just give it what it needs”. Although this is true, deep healthy topsoil works a whole lot better.

Continue Reading The Downside: Components of Healthy Topsoil