Mid-Spring Home Gardening News

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What’s That Buzzing Sound? Carpenter Bees

carpenter bee

Carpenter bees are large, black and yellow bees frequently seen in spring hovering around the eaves of a house or the underside of a deck or porch rail. They are often mistaken for bumble bees, but differ in that they have a black shiny tail section.The carpenter bee is so-called because of its habit of excavating tunnels in wood with its strong jaws.


Lace Bugs: Azalea Pests!

The azalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides, is the most frequently reported insect pest in the landscape. They are called “lace” bugs because the wings resemble lace. The wings are mostly transparent with some dark markings. These bugs are about 1/8 inch long. This insect usually spends the winter in the egg stage inside the leaf covered with a drop of excrement that hardens into a varnish-like shield.


Choosing a Landscape Contractor

landscaped lawn and flower garden borderss

Picking “the right” landscape company can be a challenge so it is important that you begin with what you want for your yard and determine your expectations. If you only want general yard work and maintenance, many residential lawn care services are available for hire.

Other companies offer more comprehensive services and will do everything from basic landscaping, to turf and irrigation installation, to complete property renovations, while some may offer “organic” lawn care alternatives.


Strawberry Season Arrives Early

strawberries in the foreground, strawberry field in the background

Strawberry season in North Carolina has arrived earlier than usual this year, and COVID-19 has farmers taking precautions to ensure that consumers have safe access to what promises to be a bountiful harvest. NC State Extension Specialist Mark Hoffmann says the strawberry harvest will peak in about two weeks and continue into late May or early June, depending on the weather. Right now, he expects the state’s farmers to pick more strawberries this year than they usually do, thanks to a warm winter.


Eating  Berries Not Cause for Concern: COVID-19 

NC State Extension food safety specialist and associate professor, Dr. Ben Chapman, spoke with N.C. Farm Bureau recently about the bumper crop of berries in North Carolina, and the food safety implications related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“I don’t have any hesitation in consuming berries at all, from a COVID-19 standpoint,” says Chapman. “Right now, we don’t have any information, any evidence, any indication that food or food packaging is the source of transmission for getting sick and getting COVID-19.”