Welcomed rain has blanketed the area the past few weeks and while this is great news for crops, the standing water caused by the torrential downpours does bring on everyone's most hated summer pest: mosquitos. There are more than 50 different species of mosquitos and while they are primarily just a nuisance due to their biting and the ensuing itch it causes, some species are considered a threat to public health due to their carrying of viruses. Thus, their presence should never be taken too ligh
Parts of the area have been hammered recently with thunderstorms that produced winds significant enough to damage crops, trees and homes. Healthy trees are made to withstand many extreme weather events; however, they all have their limits when it comes to things such as wind and ice, and unfortunately the winds that hit Brookston and the surrounding area last week were so great that even perfectly healthy trees could not sustain the impact. Weather events such as these are rare however, and home
If you are just now thinking about joining the trend in our communities to can food this summer, start by checking your equipment and supplies. Proper equipment in good condition is required for safe, high quality home canned food.
A pressure canner is essential for canning low-acid vegetables, meats, fish and poultry. Two basic types are available. One has a dial gauge to indicate the pressure inside the canner; the other has a metal weighted gauge. Dial gauges must be test for accur
There are several reasons why a spruce trees needles might turn brown and drop. Before action is taken on saving the tree, it is important to find out why the needles are dropping as this will determine the necessary course of action, if any. The most common cause for needle drop is simply natural causes. Needles will stay on a spruce tree for 2-3 years before dropping, typically from the inside of the tree and on older branches. Environmental factors can influence this cycle as well; for exampl
We often take for granted the natural cycles of life that are taking place around us every day. Processes such as the nitrogen cycle, photosynthesis and the water cycle are all fascinating and essential parts of life. One naturally occurring cycle that is often overlooked, but no less important, is the process of decomposition, which returns valuable organic material back to the earth for plant use. Controlling the decomposition process for our own benefit is known as composting, and it can be a
Last week I discussed just a few of the excellent websites that Purdue Extension offers to keep farmers up to date on the latest and greatest information available. This week, I thought I would point out that Purdue Extension does more than just cater to farmers, and offers a wide range of web resources that can benefit homeowners and more diversified farmers as well.
As an Extension Educator writing weekly articles, I can't imagine a much bigger compliment than having someone cut my article out of the paper and clip it on to their fridge for future reference. I hope to accomplish a few of those this winter, starting today with a summary of year round lawn maintenance. We all have different goals with our lawns, ranging from having the most pristine yard in the neighborhood, to doing just enough to not upset the neighbors. For the purposes of this article, I