Be alert for the bugs. Last year we got to witness the spotted lanternfly in its adult stage. This year we have a chance to kill them at a younger, smaller, and more vulnerable age. It’s larger than an aphid and looks a little like an aardvark from outer space, first black with white spots, then red with white spots. People are wrapping sticky belts around maple trees so that the babies can’t crawl from the bottom of the trunks -- where most of the eggs have been laid -- up into the trees. At this size, though, it’s very easy to brush them off, wherever we see them, into a cup of soapy water. Disposal becomes a point of personal choice, but make sure they’re dead before you pour them out. Nobody wants them crawling back up the trees after you’ve gone to so much trouble to get them out of the trees.
Get in touch with all your new allergies. Climate change is making trees and shrubs pump out pollen by the ton, and our sinuses are not appreciating it one bit. If your usual spring allergy meds and nose washes don’t have any impact, visit a shopping mall or casino (or somewhere with air-conditioning and a no-smoking policy). Another option: Sit at home and breathe through a wet washcloth until you start to feel normal again.
Thin out the fruit on your apples, peaches, and nectarines trees. Fewer baby fruit means the plant can put more energy into the remaining fruit and make them bigger and juicier.