Gardens

What is a Jumping Worm?

Jumping worms. Crazy worms. Snake worms. These nicknames apply to invasive earthworms of the genus Amynthas found in the United States. These Asian worms have been in the U.S. for years but have recently been in the spotlight due to the damage they can cause. Globalization, commerce, and development have contributed to their spread.
There are extremely few native earthworm species in the northeastern United States. Worm populations were eliminated during the last Ice Age. Our local ecosystems developed since the last Ice Age without worm activity. In addition to Asian earthworms, night crawlers and other non-native earthworms have been introduced to northeastern North America.
Jumping worms take their earthmoving abilities to the extreme. In unmanaged, natural environments, their activities homogenize the leaf litter and other materials on the forest floor. Many plant species require a natural layer of leaf litter for successful germination and to obtain the nutrients in forest floor materials. In managed areas, such as lawns and gardens, these earthworms can destroy areas due to their voracious appetites, leaving only their castings and nullifying soil benefits.
Adult jumping worms die with the New England frost. However, they reproduce asexually, with no need for a mate, very often. Their cocoons, holding their eggs, survive our winters, hatch, and begin their destruction anew.
If you suspect you find jumping worms, the identification can be confirmed on adult worms by the clitellum, or reproductive organ, which is white and smooth and extends fully around the worm’s body, just under the head area.
diagram that shows how to identify a jumping worm
Image: University of Illinois
Unfortunately, there is not much to control these worms.  Adults can be killed but the populations are so vast that this will not accomplish much.  You can purposefully NOT buy Amynthas worms for any activity (composting, vermicomposting, bait, etc.).  For composting, specifically ask for Eiseniafoetida, the red wiggler worm.   Do NOT discard live worms into the wild.  Kill the worms, if possible, and put in the trash.  Be careful when purchasing, moving, or sharing plantings, as the adult Amynthas worms and their cocoons might be in the soil.

This is a difficult premise as we all learned that worms are good and helpful for our soils.
By Gail K. Reynolds, M.F.S

Part-time Jobs: Master Gardener County Coordinator Positions

Master Gardener logo

We have two part-time jobs open for Master Gardener County Coordinators, one in Tolland County (Vernon office) and one in New London County (Norwich office). Position descriptions and application information are below.

Position Description: Master Gardener County Coordinator – Tolland County 

(We also have a position open in New London County – see below for more information)

The UConn Extension Master Gardener Program is seeking applications for the position of Master Gardener Tolland County Program Coordinator. This is a 16‐hour‐per‐week position and is a temporary, six‐month appointment. Renewal is optional pending coordinator review and availability of program funding. 

Responsibilities include but are not limited to: provide leadership for the base county Master Gardener program. Successful candidate will coordinate development, staffing, and recognition of program mentors, volunteers and interns; coordinate and assist with annual classroom portion of the program; work with UConn Extension center/county‐based faculty and staff, as well as university‐based faculty and staff as needed. Will also work with allied community groups and Extension partners such as the CT Master Gardener Association and Extension Councils; train and supervise interns in the Extension center when classroom teaching is completed; arrange and conduct Advanced Master Gardener classes each year; create, develop and coordinate outreach programs and projects in the county. They will prepare annual reports on program activities, impacts, incomes, outcomes (number of clientele contacts); and communicate effectively with the state coordinator, other county coordinators, center coordinators and support staff. 

Preference will be given to candidates who are Certified Master Gardeners, or with a degree in horticulture, botany, biology or equivalent experience. Interested applicants should possess strong organizational, communication and interpersonal skills and be able to show initiative. They should be able to demonstrate experience in working collaboratively as well as independently, and be willing to work flexible hours including some evenings and weekends. Must be familiar with Microsoft Office. Volunteer experience is desired. Monthly reports shall be communicated to the state coordinator and topical information may be shared with others as requested. 

Submit letter of application, resume and names of three references to: 

Sarah Bailey, State Extension Master Gardener Coordinator at sarah.bailey@uconn.edu Please put Master Gardener Coordinator Position in the subject line. 

Electronic submissions only. 

Screening will begin immediately. 


Position Description: Master Gardener County Coordinator – New London County 

The UConn Extension Master Gardener Program is seeking applications for the position of Master Gardener New London County Program Coordinator. This is a 16‐hour‐per‐week position and is a temporary, six‐month appointment. Renewal is optional pending coordinator review and availability of program funding. 

Responsibilities include but are not limited to: provide leadership for the base county Master Gardener program. Successful candidate will coordinate development, staffing, and recognition of program mentors, volunteers and interns; coordinate and assist with annual classroom portion of the program; work with UConn Extension center/county‐based faculty and staff, as well as university‐based faculty and staff as needed. Will also work with allied community groups and Extension partners such as the CT Master Gardener Association and Extension Councils; train and supervise interns in the Extension center when classroom teaching is completed; arrange and conduct Advanced Master Gardener classes each year; create, develop and coordinate outreach programs and projects in the county. They will prepare annual reports on program activities, impacts, incomes, outcomes (number of clientele contacts); and communicate effectively with the state coordinator, other county coordinators, center coordinators and support staff. 

Preference will be given to candidates who are Certified Master Gardeners, or with a degree in horticulture, botany, biology or equivalent experience. Interested applicants should possess strong organizational, communication and interpersonal skills and be able to show initiative. They should be able to demonstrate experience in working collaboratively as well as independently, and be willing to work flexible hours including some evenings and weekends. Must be familiar with Microsoft Office. Volunteer experience is desired. Monthly reports shall be communicated to the state coordinator and topical information may be shared with others as requested. 

Submit letter of application, resume and names of three references to: 

Sarah Bailey, State Extension Master Gardener Coordinator at sarah.bailey@uconn.edu Please put Master Gardener Coordinator Position in the subject line. 

Electronic submissions only. 

Screening will begin immediately. 

Job Openings in Farmington and Bethel

woman raising her hand in a classroom surrounded by other people
We’re hiring! Extension has two positions open:
  • Assistant/Associate Cooperative Extension Educator (UConn 4-H educator based in our Bethel office)
  • Educational Program Assistant 1, Hartford County Extension (75% part-time position located in Hartford).
 

Educational Program Assistant (75% Position)

JOB SUMMARY

The UConn Extension Center located in Farmington, CT is seeking applications for one Educational Program Assistant 1, part-time position (75%).  The position is responsible for supporting and helping implement high-quality, comprehensive, Extension programming at different program sites throughout the region, with specific support to Forest Resources, EFNEP, Master Gardener, and 4-H programs.  The Educational Program Assistant will report to the Center Coordinator to prioritize programmatic work assignments.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

Include but are not limited to:

  • Assists and provides support to Extension Educators working with programs that may include but not be limited to Forest Resources, EFNEP, Master Gardener, and 4-H programs.
  • Assists in developing educational programs, recruiting, explaining, and providing program information and processes to Extension volunteers and participants.
  • Works with and helps develop and refine program databases using programs such as Excel and Access, to extrapolate relevant data sets, maintain program enrollments, membership, and volunteer records, and provide program reports to the Extension educators as required.
  • Maintains accurate records on each program and assembles databases and prepares statistical and/or historical reports for Extension educators/Program Coordinators based on program outcomes.
  • Performs office support functions in support of educational programs; processes paperwork, records, and files that may be computerized.
  • Supports Extension Educators/Program Coordinators in implementing and providing off-site educational activities in the community to improve practical understanding and accomplish program goals.
  • Provides assistance in assembling, arranging, organizing, and dismantling program event and activity set-ups and arrangements at various locations and venues, i.e. classrooms, fairgrounds, community centers, etc.
  • Supports media relations activities for various programs; works with others to write and edit program and promotional materials for hard and soft copy publications and social media platforms.
  • Assists Extension Educators/Program Coordinators in assessing clients’ capacity to participate in programs and helping to incorporate related knowledge into program activities for greatest learning opportunities.
  • Assists Extension Educators/Program Coordinators in developing and implementing programs to enhance learning and provide appropriate content-based experiences to accomplish program goals.
  • Under supervision, provides educational training and conducts related support services on an ongoing basis, and assists in resolving problems in assigned area of responsibility.
  • Assists with increasing community collaborations with partner groups.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS   

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field and up to one year of related experience; or an Associate’s degree and two to three years of related experience; or three to four years of profession-based experience in agriculture, food systems, education, 4-H, or related fields.
  • Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills and the ability to work effectively with communication technologies and the media.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite including Excel and Access and other database activities.
  • Demonstrated sensitivity towards diverse youth, families, and volunteer clientele to be served.
  • Demonstrated experience providing organizational support in a team environment.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with the Cooperative Extension System.
  • Must be able to regularly lift, carry, load, unload, and transport equipment, supplies, and/or program materials for educational events and workshops such as laptops, projectors, tables, chairs, displays, paper media, etc.
  • Must be willing and able to work flexible and irregular hours, including occasional nights and weekends to help conduct programs at off-site locations.
  • Must have reliable transportation to meet in-state travel requirements (mileage allowance provided).

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS 

  • Demonstrated success in public relations utilizing electronic, social, and print media and platforms such as Cushy/Aurora.
  • Experience working with large databases, and generating reports including 4-H online registration.
  • Experience participating with collaborative community partnerships.
  • Experience working with UConn administrative processes.
  • Experience with STEM (Science, Technology. Engineering, and Mathematics) technology.
  • Bilingual Spanish and English

Physical Requirements

Incumbents must possess the ability to perform the required duties set forth above.

APPOINTMENT TERMS

The position is located at the Hartford County Extension Center in Farmington, CT, however, regular travel within the region will be required. Occasional in-state travel to other UConn campuses, including Storrs, may be required in support of program needs. This part-time position includes an outstanding full benefits package. Salary will be commensurate with successful candidate’s backgrounds and experiences.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Employment at the University of Connecticut is contingent upon the successful candidate’s compliance with the University’s Mandatory Workforce COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.  This Policy states that all workforce members are required to have or obtain a Covid-19 vaccination as a term and condition of employment at UConn, unless an exemption or deferral has been approved.

Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.

TO APPLY

Please apply online at https://hr.uconn.edu/jobs, Staff Positions, Search #495676 to upload a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references.

This job posting is scheduled to be removed at 11:55 p.m. Eastern time on October 30, 2021.

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.

Advertised: Sep 30 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Oct 30 2021 Eastern Daylight Time


Assistant/Associate Extension Educator

INTRODUCTION

The Department of Extension is seeking applicants for a full-time (11-month), non-tenure track Assistant/Associate Extension Educator, primarily based at the Fairfield County Extension Office in Bethel, CT.  Extension Educators are community-based faculty who make a difference in communities by connecting community needs with university resources. Position level/rank will be commensurate with experience working with Extension.  The anticipated start date is January 2022.

The successful candidate shall create an active 4-H youth development program with a focus on STEM, food, and agricultural literacy.  The program of work shall meet critical needs in the heavily urban southwest region of the state and build the community knowledge base through a multidisciplinary, collaborative program especially in diverse, underserved communities. State and multi-state programming are also expected.  Work will be accomplished by utilizing innovative approaches to deliver timely, evidence-based solutions for participants to significantly increase youth and adult volunteers’ understanding of how food, agriculture, and STEM activities improve their communities. This position may work closely with Agri-Science programs to transition K-8 youth into high school agriculture/aquaculture science programs and other related workforce and career development programming such as MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences).  In addition to community-based learning, this position will extend the reach of UConn Extension by integrating distance-learning technology into program delivery through computer applications, web pages, electronic mailings, multimedia, and emerging technologies.  This 4-H Extension educator is a vital member of the UConn 4-H Youth Development Team and reports to the Head, Department of Extension.  For more information about the University of Connecticut 4-H Extension Program, see http://www.4-h.uconn.edu/

The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) at the University of Connecticut contributes to a sustainable future through scientific discovery, innovation, and community engagement. CAHNR’s accomplishments result in safe, sustainable, and secure plant and animal production systems, healthier individuals and communities, greater protection and conservation of our environment and natural resources, balanced growth of the economy, and resilient local and global communities. We epitomize the role of a land-grant university to develop knowledge and disseminate it through the three academic functions of teaching, research, and outreach. In so doing, we improve the lives of citizens of our state, region, and country.

Founded in 1881, UConn is a Land Grant and Sea Grant institution and member of the Space Grant Consortium. It is the state’s flagship institution of higher education and includes a main campus in Storrs, CT, four regional campuses throughout the state, and 13 Schools and Colleges, including a Law School in Hartford, and Medical and Dental Schools at the UConn Health campus in Farmington. The University has approximately 10,000 faculty and staff and 32,000 students, including nearly 24,000 undergraduates and over 8,000 graduate and professional students. UConn is a Carnegie Foundation R1 (highest research activity) institution, among the top 25 public universities in the nation. Through research, teaching, service, and outreach, UConn embraces diversity and cultivates leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. UConn promotes the health and well-being of citizens by enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and natural environments of the state and beyond. The University serves as a beacon of academic and research excellence as well as a center for innovation and social service to communities. UConn is a leader in many scholarly, research, and innovation areas. Today, the path forward includes exciting opportunities and notable challenges. Record numbers of undergraduate applications and support for student success have enabled the University to become extraordinarily selective.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

Include but are not limited to

  • Develops and implements an active outreach and applied-research program on cutting-edge 4-H STEM, food, and agricultural literacy-related activities that foster state, regional, and national recognition.
  • Works with other faculty and staff and partner organizations in a multidisciplinary team environment to create and deliver age-appropriate program materials. Sets up program sites and meeting rooms for the presentation of programs that involve transporting, lifting, and moving boxes of educational and/or program materials as well as tables, chairs, etc., as needed.
  • Create partnerships with other agencies and organizations and actively seek out grants and funding sources to support innovative community programs and outreach efforts.
  • Advances CAHNR’s commitment to equity and inclusion by 1) considering sources of bias and structural inequity based on race, ethnicity, disability, gender, and sexual orientation, and when appropriate, 2) implementing programs that address the burden these injustices impose on members of the community and residents of the state.
  • Evaluate county and designated state 4-H youth development program accomplishments, outcomes, impacts, and create scholarly materials from findings through Cooperative Extension publications and high-impact professional journals.
  • Develop a diverse portfolio of educational materials for Extension stakeholders, clients, and professional peers.
  • Uses assessment techniques to identify local needs and ensure cultural relevancy and appropriateness of 4-H programs and initiatives.
  • Develop and implement adult and youth volunteer programs including recruitment, training, management, evaluation, and recognition.
  • Increase program visibility via face-to-face and electronic communication – including websites and social media.
  • Design training opportunities and expand contact with adult volunteers and teens to help them assume leadership, management, education, and information delivery roles in support of the 4-H program through a variety of digital platforms and avenues of communication.
  • Advise and guide the work of county-based 4-H youth and volunteer committees, including but not limited to evaluation events such as 4-H fairs, food, STEM, and others.
  • Manages and executes multiple tasks with little supervision, meeting strict deadlines.
  • Works with sensitive information and maintains confidentiality.
  • Participate in regular 4-H team and Department of Extension meetings.
  • Compile data and prepare required reports.
  • Supervise program staff, students, and others as assigned to further program activities, which includes program site locations throughout the southwest region of the state.
  • Perform related duties as assigned and/or required.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • An earned Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in food or agricultural sciences, education, or related field.
  • At least three years of professional experience working with youth development programs including the areas of food and/or agricultural literacy.
  • For the Associate position level, candidates must have at least five years of experience as an Assistant Extension Educator or the academic equivalent and provide evidence of appropriate outreach and applied research.
  • Experience in grantsmanship and publication of Extension reports, peer-reviewed articles, or electronic media that communicate program results.
  • At least three years of experience in managing or working with volunteers.
  • Experience in program coordination and facilitation, including organization, delivery, and evaluation.
  • Demonstrated use of the latest research-based and experiential learning-based information and tools to demonstrate creativity, ability to think systematically, willingness, and ability to incorporate innovative solutions.
  • Demonstrated ability to work cohesively with diverse audiences including youth, adults, volunteers, and other groups.
  • Demonstrated skills in collaboration and developing partnerships with other professionals and organizations to accomplish team goals.
  • Excellent communications skills, including writing, listening, public speaking, and presentation skills.
  • Computer literacy, including working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Must be willing and able to work occasional evening and weekend hours.
  • Must have reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license.
  • Must possess the adequate physical strength, stamina, agility, and fitness to perform the required duties.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Earned Ph.D. in the field of food or agricultural sciences, education, or closely related field.
  • Experience with integrated Extension programs and the land-grant university system.
  • Demonstrated applied research interests associated with STEM programming.
  • Demonstrated experience with enhancing diversity and inclusion in educational program development and implementation.
  • Experience in leading a large multi-disciplinary, multi-functional grant-funded project.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

Must possess the adequate physical strength, stamina, agility, and fitness to perform the required duties.

APPOINTMENT TERMS  

This is a full-time 11-month, non-tenure track faculty position with a generous benefits package. For more information on benefits, go to:  https://hr.uconn.edu/employee-benefits-overview/.  Starting salary and position rank for this position will be commensurate with training and experience.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Employment at the University of Connecticut is contingent upon the successful candidate’s compliance with the University’s Mandatory Workforce COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.  This Policy states that all workforce members are required to have or obtain a Covid-19 vaccination as a term and condition of employment at UConn, unless an exemption or deferral has been approved.

Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.

TO APPLY

Please apply online to Academic Jobs Online https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/18891 and submit the following application materials:

  • A cover letter that addresses qualifications identified in the advertisement,
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Commitment to diversity statement (including broadening participation, integrating multicultural experiences in instruction and research and pedagogical techniques to meet the needs of diverse learning styles, etc.);
  • Writing sample to reflect an initiative you would implement in Extension Programming;
  • Contact information for three (3) letters of reference.

Please demonstrate through your written application materials how you meet the minimum qualifications and any of the preferred/desirable qualifications.

At the University of Connecticut, our commitment to excellence is complemented by our commitment to building a culturally diverse community.

This job will be filled subject to budgetary approval.

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics, which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.

September Checklist for Connecticut Gardeners

Written by Colleen Amster and Arianna Ege, UConn Extension Master Gardener Volunteers

mums on a bench
Photo: Michelle Winkler

September is a good time for Connecticut gardeners to begin the fall cleanup and assessment process. It is also a good time to shop for trees, shrubs, and bulbs, and prepare for next year’s growing season. Here is a helpful list to get you started:

Annual and herbaceous perennials

  • Take note of which annuals did well in your garden this year and decide what plants you would like to add to your beds next spring, and where. It is helpful to take photos of the bare spots that you would like to fill.
  • Remove and compost spent annuals. Some annuals like geraniums can be dug up and placed in a cool place to overwinter in containers.
  • Some annuals are cold hardy, like pansies, calendula, sweet pea and ornamental kale, and can be planted now.
  • Begin to harvest and dry (in paper bags) seeds for herbaceous perennial plants that are ready to be collected by late September like hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon), echinacea (coneflower), rudbeckias (black-eyed susans), baptisia (false indigo) and some helianthus (sunflowers), just to name a few. Store seeds, once they are dry, in containers or bags in a cool dry location. Some coneflower seed heads, like echinacea, will need to be shaken in a container to separate the seeds from the chaff. Seeds can be started outdoors later in the fall or, for better results, inside in potting medium in the spring. Some will need to be refrigerated and stratified.
  • As herbaceous perennials turn brown, begin cutting back plants from 4-8” from the ground, depending on the plant. Some fibrous herbaceous perennials do best when they are divided every few years, including echinacea, hostas, and peonies.
  • Take note of any perennials that have been impacted by powdery mildew or fungal diseases. Look for fungal problems on leaves and remove and dispose of any diseased plant parts. This is a good time to research and implement treatments for plants that have been impacted by botrytis, or root rot, or other diseases over the last growing season.
  • It is also a great time to buy discounted plants that transplant well in fall. Many local plant trusts have sales in September and some will sell grouping of pollinator plants. Planting in fall allows root systems extra time to develop.

Bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, and corms

  • Decide what bulbs you would like to add to your garden beds and buy from a reputable source.
  • Before purchasing bulbs, check for disease or damage, such as rot, cuts, or bruises and do not buy bulbs that are soft or moldy. Make sure bulbs are firm and have a protective papery skin. Purchase hardy bulbs in August-September and plant the bulbs as soon as possible. Plant from mid-September to mid-October so the bulbs can grow roots before the ground freezes.
  • Store bulbs in a dry place away from direct sunlight until you are ready to plant them.
  • A special note about garlic: Garlic is especially beneficial in the garden. It is nutritious, easy to grow, repels pests and wildlife, and is a good pollinator plant if some is allowed to bloom. It comes in three varieties, hardenck, softneck, and elephant. If you are planting garlic next month, cloves should be purchased from a reputable supplier or local garden center. Garlic bulbs sold in the grocery store are mainly grown in China and California and may have diseases, nematodes, or viruses that can impact your soil.

Vegetable and herbs

turnips growing in a garden
Photo: Michelle Winkler
  • Maintain good sanitation in your vegetable gardens, pruning and removing diseased leaves, weeds, and any plants that are no longer producing viable fruit to reduce insect and disease issues, and staking plants like tomatoes to keep them off the ground.
  • Make room for cool weather greens like spinach, lettuces, radishes, collard greens, swiss chard, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, and mustard. Brussel sprouts can still be started now, as well as carrots and rutabagas. Check out this planting calendar for best dates to plant in your zip code: https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar/zipcode/06070/date.
  • Harvest veggies as they ripen. Harvest and dry herbs that are beginning to get leggy or that have begun to flower or bolt.
  • It is a good time to save heirloom seeds for next season, including tomatoes. Fun fact: any tomatoes that haven’t ripened on the vine by the first forecasted frost can be harvested green and stored indoors until they begin to ripen! See this article for details: https://news.extension.uconn.edu/2014/10/27/is-your-garden-bursting-with-fall-tomatoes/.
  • You can take herb cuttings at this time to start herbs like mint and oregano indoors in a sunny window.
  • Protecting your fall vegetables and flowers with row covers will give you extra growing time in the season and protect tender plants from sudden temperature changes.

Trees and shrubs

  • Focus on removing deadwood and deadheading flowers after they bloom. Don’t prune too heavily, because new growth will not have time to harden off before winter and will be more susceptible to frost damage.
  • It is a good time to plant trees and shrubs, many of which are on sale this time of year!
  • Continue harvesting seasonal fruits.
  • Sanitize the area around each plant by removing fallen fruit and plant debris to prevent the spread of disease and pests.
  • Never add a heavy application of fertilizer to perennials or trees in the late fall as it will encourage new growth and plants can be injured by an early frost.

Lawns

  • Mow grass below 3” now that temperatures are dropping to reduce matting and fungal issues.
  • If your lawn is compacted, consider de-thatching and aerating.
  • Remove weeds and dead grass to expose soil and apply fertilizer. Now is the best time of year to plant grass seed and fill those bare patches in your lawn!

Soil and pests

  • Make plans to add mulch around plants that will need extra protection during the winter months and order a delivery of mulch if that is more economical than buying it in bags. Evergreens and other perennials will need a protective layer of mulch before the first frost. Remember to ask your supplier if they sell certified compost and mulch–and heat their products to at least 104 degrees to kill invasive earthworm cocoons and other pests.
  • All plants should be quarantined and observed before planting and some invasive pest research groups are recommending that all new plants be thoroughly rinsed and planted with bare roots.
  • Prepare your leaf collection bin and compost bin for cool weather.
  • Check for insect pests including the spotted lanternfly and invasive earthworms.
  • Apply deer repellent or plan for netting trees and perennials that deer tend to browse, including arborvitaes and yews.
  • Continue to weed garden beds and maintain good sanitation.
  • Many Connecticut gardeners are reporting infestations of the invasive Asian jumping or snake worm. Wood ash is always a beneficial fall amendment but has the added benefit of repelling these worms; diatomaceous earth or biochar may also be used to combat them.
  • Last, collect soil samples to be tested while the soil is still easily workable so you can plan soil amendments accordingly: https://soiltest.uconn.edu/sampling.php

References and further reading

Perennials: http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/FactSheets/perennials.php
Bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, corms: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/bulbs/planting.cfm
Seed saving: http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/FactSheets/seed-starting.php
Flowering sequence of different types of bulbs: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/bulbs/selection.cfm

Garlic: http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/index_306_3102396391.pdf http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/Articles_28_731441880.pdf
Tomatoes: http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/FactSheets/tomatoes.php
Saving seeds: http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/Articles_25_1925738656.pdf
Invasive earthworms: https://ag.umass.edu/sites/ag.umass.edu/files/pdf-doc-ppt/kostromytska_invasive_earthworms_ppt.pdf

https://extension.psu.edu/look-out-for-jumping-earthworms
September gardening: http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/FactSheets/gardening-tips-september_15_1424196800.pdf
Fall gardening: https://news.extension.uconn.edu/tag/fall-gardening/
Tree, shrub, and perennial planting and aftercare: https://clear.uconn.edu/projects/crlg/documents/f3.pdf
Fall lawn care: http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/Articles_69_3249872767.pdf

UConn Native Plants and Pollinators conference

The third biennial Native Plants and Pollinators conference will be held Friday,
November 5, 2021, beginning at 9 a.m., virtually via Zoom. 

Register at s.uconn.edu/NPPC2021Register!
Early Registration $30.00, by Thursday, September 30, 2021

$35.00, after September 30, 2021
Students, $15.00 with valid school ID

Join us for 4 hours of presentations featuring current science-based research and information
on supporting pollinators in managed landscapes. This program is designed for growers and
other green industry professionals, landscape service providers, landscape architects and
designers, town commissions, municipalities, schools, and homeowners. Learn how native
plants support pollinator health throughout the year!

Session topics: 

  • The Language of Flowers: An Introduction to Pollination Ecology 
    Rebecca McMackin, Director of Horticulture, Brooklyn Bridge Park 

The vast majority of plants rely on pollinators to reproduce. From bees, to butterflies, to birds
and bats, these pollinator partners shaped the evolution of flowers, giving us so much of the
beauty we appreciate today. However, these exciting dynamics, in which a flower’s pollen is
carried to a stigma, are fraught with trickery, bribery, thievery, and of course, salacious plant sex. This lecture will cover the basics of pollination ecology. Why do plants have flowers? How did they evolve? And specifically, what are flowers doing? Why are they so pretty and smell so good to us, non-pollinating primates? By the end of the presentation, you will be able to “read” flowers and come to know the true desires of the organisms you cultivate.

Rebecca McMackin is an ecologically obsessed horticulturist and garden designer. By day, she is the Director of Horticulture for Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she manages 85 acres of diverse parkland organically and with an eye towards habitat creation for birds, butterflies, and soil microorganisms. In her imaginary free time, Rebecca writes about landscape management and pollination ecology, as well as designs the occasional garden. Her writing has been published by the New York Times, the Ecological Landscape Alliance, and the Landscape Institute.

  • Pollinator Plants for Small Spaces and Containers 
    Mark Dwyer, Landscape Prescriptions by MD 

The challenges of limited gardening space shouldn’t preclude you from considering beautiful and effective pollinator-friendly plantings. Even small spaces in the garden and containers can feature effective plant combinations that will become an oasis for visiting pollinators. We’ll discuss a wide range of plants (emphasis on natives!) and design ideas that will feature potent pollinator plants for containers and the garden spaces of limited size.

Mark Dwyer owns and operates Landscape Prescriptions by MD, a landscape design and
consultation firm, in Janesville, WI. He also manages the Edgerton Hospital (WI) Healing
Garden which he designed over 10 years ago. Prior to these endeavors, Mark was Director of
Horticulture at Rotary Botanical Gardens (Janesville, WI) where he managed the maintenance and improvement of that 20-acre botanical garden with talented staff and dedicated volunteers. Mark’s true passion is obtaining, growing, observing and photographing all types of plants.

  •  Beyond the Traditional Butterfly Garden: Supporting Lepidoptera with Native Plants 
    Andrew Brand, Interim Director of Horticulture, Coastal Maine Botanical Garden  

The popularity of native plants has grown leaps and bounds recently and rightfully so. They’re
tough and durable, demonstrate good resistance to drought, insects, and disease, provide food
and habitat for wildlife, and they’re beautiful. Most landscapes today may be aesthetically
pleasing, but they typically do not support the diversity of Lepidoptera that is found in properties made up mostly of native species. Andy will present a selection of native plants describing their attributes, habitat needs and highlight the important roles they each play in supporting a wide variety of Lepidoptera in our yards. Hostplants, those species on which eggs are laid and caterpillars eat, will be emphasized.

For 27 years, Andy Brand was employed at Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT, where he
was the nursery manager. In March, 2018 Andy joined the staff at the Coastal Maine Botanical
Garden as Curator of Living Collections. His responsibilities include plant selection and
introducing new plants to the Garden’s collection and maintaining plant records and labels. In
March, 2021 he was made Interim Director of Horticulture. Andy is past President of the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association and is an avid naturalist. He is a cofounder and past President of the Connecticut Butterfly Association. He has put his interest in native plants to use as a volunteer for the New England Plant Conservation Program where he has helped monitor historical sites of endangered native plants. He has spoken to groups throughout the east on a range of topics including native plants, new and unusual ornamentals, butterfly gardening, and Maine butterflies and their life histories. Andy
also contributes articles to national magazines including Fine Gardening. Andy, along with his
wife, Michelle lives in Bristol, Maine. Checkout his Facebook page, Seeing Nature:
Observations from New England, a page dedicated to native flora and fauna.

  • Bees, Pesticides and Politics: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Urban
    Landscapes, Daniel Potter, Ph.D., Professor, University of Kentucky 
    Pesticide Recertification Credits – 4 (PA and all supervisory categories)

This talk will help attendees better understand why bees and other pollinators are in peril, the
role of insecticides and other factors in pollinator decline, and how land care professionals and gardeners can safeguard pollinators when managing lawn and landscape pests. Pollinator
conservation initiatives that can be implemented by homeowners, garden centers, and land care professionals will be discussed, as well as best woody landscape plants for supporting bees and other pollinators.

Dr. Daniel Potter is Professor of Entomology at the University of Kentucky, where for 43 years
his research has informed strategies for sustainable management of pests and beneficial insects in urban landscapes nation-wide. Dan is an award-winning teacher and a frequent invited speaker at conferences around the world. He has received national leadership awards from the Entomological Society of America, Professional Land Care Network, American Nursery and Landscape Association, U.S. Golf Association, and other scientific and industry organizations.

 

TO PAY BY CHECK: download the registration form or email Alyssa.Siegel-Miles@uconn.edu
Questions about registration?

Contact: Alyssa Siegel-Miles, Alyssa.Siegel-Miles@uconn.edu

This program is brought to you by Victoria Wallace, Dept. of Extension,

and Jessica Lubell, Dept. of PSLA.
We look forward to seeing you on November 5!

pollinator conference flyer

Apply to Become a UConn Extension Master Gardener

2022 classes will include hybrid and virtual options

vegetable gardenFall is a great time to plan for next year’s gardening activities! Apply now for the 2022 UConn Extension Master Gardener Program. Classes will be held in New Haven, Norwich, Tolland, Torrington, and Stamford. The deadline for applications is Friday, October 18, 2021.

“The program provides the opportunity for beginner, intermediate or experienced gardeners to increase their personal knowledge of the practice of gardening … The program allows you to meet with like-minded people over a common interest – growing plants,” says Advanced Master Gardener Ken Sherrick of Middletown.

UConn Extension Master Gardeners have an interest in plants, gardening, people and the environment.  Specifically, they are willing to share their knowledge, passion and enthusiasm with their communities, providing research-based information to homeowners, students, gardening communities and others. They receive horticultural training from UConn, and then share that knowledge with the public through community volunteering and educational outreach efforts. UConn Master Gardeners help with community and museum gardens, school gardens, backyard projects, houseplant questions and more.

Four of the program cohorts will be in a hybrid class format, with three to four hours of online work before each of 16 weekly in-person classes, running from 9 AM to 1 PM. There will be one entirely online evening cohort, on Thursdays from 5:30 – 9:30 PM, hosted by the New Haven office.

Classes begin the week of January 10, 2022. Subject matter includes basic botany, plant pathology, soils, entomology and other aspects of gardening such as plant categories, native plants, and pest management. After the classroom portion, students complete 60 hours of outreach experience during the summer, along with a plant identification project.

“The Master Gardener program gave me an understanding the role of plants and insects within the ecosystem, which fostered a passion for removing invasive plants,” says Advanced Master Gardener Karen Berger of Canton, who now volunteers on a project to remove invasives, replacing them with native plants that benefit the local environment.

The program fee is $450.00, and includes all needed course materials. Partial scholarships may be available, based on demonstrated financial need.

For more information, visit the UConn Extension Master Gardener website at mastergardener.uconn.edu , where both the on-line and paper application are located.

September Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips for September

landscaped lawn

  • Mid to late September is a great time to add accent plants, like vivid mums and starry asters, that will provide autumn colors in the landscape. Use them along with cool-colored ornamental cabbages and kales to replace bedraggled annuals in containers as well.
  • Lawns can be renovated or repaired between late August and mid- September for best results. New grass should started well before fall leaf drop.
  • Watch for frost warnings and cover tender plants.
  • Examine houseplants carefully for insect pests before bringing them back inside. Give them a good grooming if necessary. You may want to spray plants with insecticidal soap after hosing off the foliage. Let the plants dry before applying the soap.
  • Remove and compost spent annuals and fallen leaves.
  • Weed and mulch perennial beds using a loose organic material such as bark chips or leaves to keep down weeds, preserve moisture, and give roots a longer time to grow before the soil freezes.
  • Outwit hungry squirrels and chipmunks by planting hardy bulbs in established ground covers.
  • Lift and store tender bulbs, such as cannas, dahlias and gladiolus, after first frost.
  • Perennials like day lilies and bearded irises can still be dug up and divided.
  • Visit a local nursery or garden center and select spring flowering bulbs to add to your gardens. Plant the bulbs among perennials, under trees and shrubs, or in larger groups for a splendid spring show. Choose colors that complement other spring flowering plants as well as nearby plantings. Work a little Bulb Booster or 5-10-10 into the bottom of the planting holes.

UConn Extension Welcomes Dr. Nick Goltz

Nick Goltz was recently hired to direct the UConn Plant Diagnostic Lab. Dr. Goltz moved to Connecticut shortly after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Plant Medicine (https://dpm.ifas.ufl.edu). In addition to the plant health experience gained through his degree, Dr. Goltz prepared for this position by working at the UF Plant Diagnostic Center since 2019, and by working at state and federal regulatory laboratories since 2016, performing research to develop biological control options for the management of Megacopta cribrariaAchatina fulica, and Solenopsis invicta. Dr. Goltz has a passion for plant health and integrated pest management and is deeply excited to work with growers and homeowners to find holistic and comprehensive solutions for any plant problem they may be dealing with. He welcomes samples to the lab and notes that additional information and sample submission instructions may be found at https://plant.lab.uconn.edu

Nick Goltz