July 2020
Having Trouble with Gypsy Moths?
If you’ve noticed it’s a boom year for gypsy moth caterpillar activity, you’re not alone. This summer, DEC has been receiving reports of higher-than-usual gypsy moth populations and leaf damage in several parts of New York State.

Gypsy moths are non-native, but are naturalized, meaning they will always be around in our forests. They tend to spike in population roughly every 10-15 years but these outbreaks are usually ended by natural causes such as predators and disease.

The caterpillars will disappear soon when they pupate and become moths. One year of defoliation is not likely to kill your trees, but 2-3 years of defoliation typically leads to some tree death. DEC will be monitoring populations to predict whether another major defoliation could be expected next year or not.

Gardening Helpline at Your Service
When plant, insect and wildlife problems happen in the garden, who can home gardeners call? A team of trained Master Gardeners are available to help answer gardening and pest questions, and solve problems using current research-based information.

By calling the helpline, you’ll find yourself in contact with someone who will help identify the cause of your problem, or give an answer to your question using Cornell’s experience and research knowledge. If the issue is addressed in one of our many factsheets, it will be sent to you for your reference.

Contact us: (585) 753-2555 or monroemg@cornell.edu

Gardening Helpline Hours:
April – October: Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 12 PM       
November – March: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9 AM - 12 PM
Our SUMMER SALE is on!
Saturday, August 8, 2020, 9 AM - 1 PM
At the CCE Monroe Office
2449 St. Paul Blvd. Rochester, NY 14617
Visit us and browse through gently used gardening, lawn care, and outdoor-related items! Examples of sale items include...


PLUS, plants will be available for sale!

Would you like to donate an item to be sold? Call (585) 753-2558 to confirm.
Summer Hazards
Wild Parsnip - Don't Touch It!
With 5-foot tall flowering stalks of umbellate yellow flowers, wild parsnip can be found growing along roadsides, field edges and ditches across the Finger Lakes and New York State. It blooms in June and July but don’t pick the flowers or leaves! Compounds in the sap can cause a serious rash in some people. The skin will blister and form a dark red or brown discoloration that can last a year or more. The sap is most irritating when the plant is in flower.

Tick Check - Do it!
Get in the habit of checking for ticks every night. If a tick is removed within 24 hours of biting, the likelihood of Lyme Disease transfer is nil.

Upcoming Zoom Events
Presented by Master Gardeners (MGs). Registration Required.
Be on the lookout for your confirmation email with the Zoom link to access the class!
Basics of Organic Composting
Tuesday, July 28, 7 PM - 8 PM
Hosted by Webster Public Library
Register Here (FREE)
A great garden starts with great soil! Composting is more than recycling garden waste or kitchen scraps – it is a way of creating a healthy environment for all creatures.

Learn good composting practices to help drive sustainability and production in their garden.

Presented by MG Sue Nolen.
Pictured Above: Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea purpurea)
Gardening with Native Plants
Wednesday, July 29, 1 PM - 2 PM
Hosted by Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County
Register Here (FREE)
Gardening with native plants helps pollinators and other native species! Learn about the many benefits of including native plants in the garden. Suggestions for native plants for sun, shade, wet and dry locations will be provided.

Presented by MG John Nelson.
Monarch Butterflies
Thursday, August 6, 7 PM - 8 PM
Hosted by Rush Public Library
Register Here (FREE)
The population of Monarch butterflies has plummeted and there are concerns that they could become extinct. This presentation will discuss the fascinating life cycle of these insects, the multiple threats to their survival, and what upstate New York gardeners can do to help their survival.

Presented by MG John Nelson.
Raised Bed Gardening
Thursday, August 6, 7 PM - 8 PM
Hosted by Seymour Library (Brockport, Clarkson, Sweden)
Register Here (FREE)
Learn the key steps to ensure a successful vegetable garden as well as cover planting and harvesting techniques, the advantages of raised bed gardening, and the top 10 vegetables for home gardening. 

Presented by MG Lauren Caruso.
Setting Up Zoom:
  1. Download and install the Zoom Application: Go to https://zoom.us/download and from the Download Center, click on the Download button under “Zoom Client For Meetings”.
  2. Once the download is complete, proceed with installing the Zoom application onto your computer.
  3. Once Zoom is installed, start your class: Find the registration confirmation email and click on the Zoom link. If Zoom is not open when you click the link, your computer will prompt you to open it.
Try This Out!
Horticultural Scavenger Hunt
Learn about plant growth patterns and take photos while exploring Highland Park. Feel free to try this out at the Webster Arboretum, Durand Arboretum, or any other wooded park as well!

July is Smart Irrigation Month
Water-wise landscaping is designed using regionally appropriate plants with growing conditions that match the site conditions and grouping them based on soil and water requirements. Follow these strategies to save water, save money and see better results:
  • Plant the right plant in the right place
  • Invest in a well-designed, efficient irrigation system
  • Water wisely
  • Maintain and upgrade your system
  • Work with an irrigation professional

Blocks in Blooms Wins Community Greening Award from the American Horticultural Society!
Established by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County, Blocks in Bloom debuted in 2015 in the City of Rochester, NY. The idea was to build community, enhance property values, and promote healthy living in the city’s low-income neighborhoods by providing free plants and gardening instruction to participating residents.

The program is led by Master Gardener volunteers, who train residents to prepare, plant, and maintain their front-yard flower gardens. In 2018, a leadership development component was added, enabling experienced residents to become mentors to new program participants.

The program’s success is indicated by its growth from serving two blocks with 15 households in 2015 to serving 15 blocks and 135 households in 2019. By design, the program has a sustainable structure—built around volunteers and donated materials—that makes it easily replicable in other communities.
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Contact Us
monroehort@cornell.edu 📞 (585) 753-2558

Gardening Helpline:
monroemg@cornell.edu 📞 (585) 753-2555
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