Monday, February 28, 2011

Boxelder Bugs

This past weekend as I was pulling into my driveway I noticed a large mass of insects crawling on my neighbors foundation. Closer inspection confirmed that what I was seeing was actually Box Elder Bugs. This time of year, these insects are very active, especially on warmer days.
Boxelder bugs are elliptical and about 0.5 inch long. The thorax has 3 red stripes; the leathery parts of the wings are outlined in red; and the eyes are red. The remainder of the insect is dark gray or black.
Adult boxelder bugs emerge from their overwintering shelters in March and early April and feed for about 2 weeks before mating. These insects prefer sunny areas and, therefore, are found most abundantly on trees in a southern exposure and on sides of buildings facing south. Eggs are deposited in masses of 10 or 11 eggs usually in bark crevices.

These insects are more of a nusience than anything and control is not normally needed. However, if you would like more information on how to control these insects see:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rain Garden Design - March 16th, 2011

RG 101: Residential Rain Garden Design for Homeowners (NEW!)

This is a new workshop developed just for homeowners, master gardeners and other non-professionals and does NOT include a certification.

Training Date/Location:
Asheville, NC - March 16, 2011

About the workshop: As homeowners and property managers become more aware of the issues of stormwater management many of them are choosing to manage the runoff from their homes and businesses with rain gardens. Rain gardens are shallow depressions and serve as landscape features that can effectively collect and treat stormater and reduce localized flooding. Rain gardens can be integrated into the existing landscape as a retrofit or be included in the initial landscaping plan. To effectively manage stormwater, rain gardens must be accurately sized and properly constructed. This 1-day workshop will present a method for sizing and designing rain gardens and detail proper construction techniques. Workshop participants will also be installing a rain garden. As a result of this training participants will:

* Understand why stormwater needs to be managed,
* Understand the principles of rain garden location, design, construction
and maintenance,
* Be able to select appropriate vegetation, and
* Design, build and plant a small rain garden.

These workshops are sponsored by NC State University Dept. of Biological & Agricultural Engineering and NC Cooperative Extension. For more information and to REGISTER ONLINE, please go to this website.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Composting Bonanza - March 19th - 10:00am

Presentations on Backyard & Business Composting.
Plus, Vermicomposting Workshop - Take home your own worm bin!

Saturday, March 19th 10:00-3:00. NC Cooperative Extension, Jackson Park

Guest Speakers:
Brian Rosa, NCDENR Composting Specialist
Chandler Cummins, Advanced Composting Technologies
Janice Sitton, Good Green Graces
Katie Breckheimer, Blue Ridge BBQ Festival

Cost: $35 for entire Bonanza or $15 for presentations only
Compost Bins will be available for purchase through Henderson County

Pre-registration is required by calling ECO office at (828)692-0385. Space is limited!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Henderson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are offering a series of lectures for a small fee of $5.00 per participant for each program. Money raised is used to support future educational efforts by the Volunteers. All lectures will be held on at 3:00pm in the classroom at the Bullington Center.

Spring 2011 Schedule

February 28 – A Walk in the Woods: Getting t0 know wildflowers of the Southern Appalachians – Alan Mizeras

March 21 – Divide and Multiply: Vegetative Plant Propagation – Pierre Hart

March 28 – Herb Gardening - Betty Lockwood

April 4 - Grow a Great WNC Lawn - Dave Zorich

To register for these or other upcoming Mastering Your Garden Lectures, call the Extension office at 697-4891. Keep checking our county website for more information on upcoming lectures.