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Ladybugs are very beneficial to gardens and farms, but the most prevalent species is invasive and has crowded out its cousins

Who doesn’t love lady beetles (aka ladybugs)? They are bright and cheery with that cute, round shape, plus they help gardeners by gobbling up plant-sucking aphids. There appear to be plenty of them; they’re not hard to find outside from spring through fall, and at the end of the growing season, they often make themselves

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2 mins read
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Sponsored Content: Community volunteers, with the help of nonprofit and private sector, create urban pollinator habitat in Point Breeze park

There’s a buzz around the new native plant habitats at Wharton Square Park in Point Breeze, and it’s spread all the way to Harrisburg. On April 30, the Friends of Wharton Square Park, in partnership with the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards of Philadelphia County, received the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for the

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2 mins read
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What are you gardening for?

Maybe it’s to grow fresh fruits and veggies that taste better than what you can buy at the grocery store. Maybe it’s for the satisfaction of seeing seeds you plant grow into something magnificent over months or even years of care. Maybe it’s to lay out a verdant and beautiful welcome mat to your neighbors.

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1 min read
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Where to see native plants growing in Philadelphia and beyond

We’ve sung the praises of native plants numerous times in these pages. Because truly, what’s not to love? Native plants — or “regionally-appropriate” plants, as Ryan Drake, McCausland Natural Areas manager at Morris Arboretum, urges us to call them — have abundant ecological benefits. They attract pollinators, sequester carbon, promote biodiversity, prevent erosion and require

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5 mins read
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Invasive earthworms threaten forests and gardens, and mitigation has proven difficult

Earthworms can be a gardener’s friend. They can transport nutrients from the soil surface to layers deep underground where roots can access them. Their burrows are passageways for water and air. By aerating soil and mixing nutrients, most species of earthworms support cultivated plants. In forests, however, where lingering leaf litter is critical to forest

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4 mins read
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School district farm brings hands-on agricultural lessons to thousands of city students

Amani Lee, a senior at The U School, hadn’t given gardening much thought until this year. As part of her school’s horticultural program, she’s now researching crops in Ukraine, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. She is learning what the people in these countries grow and eat, and the stories behind their famous dishes. Under

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4 mins read
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Author and entomologist Doug Tallamy talks about what we can all do to make our yards more welcoming to wildlife

So you want to save the world? Start small: save your backyard. That’s the message University of Delaware professor Doug Tallamy has been trumpeting for decades. His work in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology fuses scientific scholarship with rhetorical flair, packaged into practical advice for everyone who owes their life to an ecosystem

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5 mins read
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