Gardens

The New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide Now Available!

2021-2022 New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide Now Available!

New England greenhouse growers have long relied on the New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide, for its unbiased, detailed information about insect and mite management, disease prevention and management, weed control, and plant growth regulation. The Guide is updated every two years to ensure that it provides up-to-date information about crop management
methods and products.

The New England Floriculture, Inc., sponsor of the Northeast Greenhouse Conference, in collaboration with University Cooperative Extension from New England States is proud to introduce the free online version of the New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide: A Management Guide for Insects, Diseases, Weeds, and Growth Regulators.

We invite you to test this version of the Guide and provide us feedback about
how you use the guide. Find the guide at: http://negfg.uconn.edu/

The Guide is also available via a Print-on-Demand service. The printed guide
costs $35 (plus tax & shipping). https://www.negreenhouse.org/pest-guides.html

What is Extension – New Video Released

UConn Extension connects thousands of people across Connecticut and beyond each year, with the research and resources of the University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. We are comprised of more than 100 educators and a vast network of volunteers. UConn Extension works collaboratively to build more resilient communities through educational initiatives aimed to cultivate a sustainable future and develop tomorrow’s leaders. The work of UConn Extension connects communities and individuals to help make Connecticut a better place to live, and a better place for future generations.

Ornamentals & Turf Course

plant diseaseThis year has been unique for everyone. All of us have been impacted in one way or another. We sincerely hope that you and your family are doing well and the pandemic has not touched you or your family. We at UConn Extension have been striving to put this course online for your convenience. While we understand that an online course is simply not the same as in person, this is where we are in the world today. We will certainly miss the interaction we have with all of you in the classroom as well.

There are some advantages to having an online course though, first you can work when it’s most convenient for you. You can also take the course in small chunks rather than sitting through a 3-hour lecture. You don’t have to leave your job or business to take the course either.

This Short Course is an in depth review of the information necessary for studying and fulfilling the requirements of the Ornamental and Turf/Golf Course Superintendents State of Connecticut Supervisory Pesticide Applicator Certification exam. A student completing all the modules, working through the quizzes, and studying resources materials independently should be able to successfully pass the examination, both written and oral state exam. Expect to spend at least 8 hours on each module.

Class topics are: Pesticide Laws and Regulations, Pesticide Safety, Botany and Ornamental Identification, Plant Pathology and Ornamental Plant Diseases, Entomology and Insect Pests of Woody Ornamentals, Area and Dosage Calculations, Turf Management and Weed Management. Each class begins with a basic overview of the science then takes an in-depth look at specific pests, their biology and control.

We have developed the course into 8 modules. Each module is broken down into Parts. Each part begins with learning objectives followed by slides with a narrative. PDFs of the slides are available for printing. Each Part will close with a summary and quiz on the contents of the part just viewed. Please take the quizzes seriously and take the time to write out your answers, as this will help you retain the important points from each Part and be useful for studying for the final exam as well as the state exam.

Each week on Tuesday evenings at 5:30, we plan to introduce a new module for you to work through during the week. The following Tuesday we will do a short debrief of the module you just completed and introduce the next module, again followed with a debrief the next Tuesday and so on for 8 weeks.

This does not include the required Pesticide Applicator Training Manual, (aka “The Core Manual”), which can ordered from UConn MarketPlace under the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources Extension at:
https://secure.touchnet.com/C21646_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=29
Click on Department of Extension box.

The core Manual can also be found and downloaded from the “National Association
of State Departments of Agriculture” at the following link:
https://www.nasda.org/foundation/pesticide-applicator-certification-and-training

An additional resource which is very highly recommend by CT DEEP, and is free from the website below it is called, “Turfgrass Nutrient and Integrated Pest Management Manual”, edited by Tim Abbey. This is really is a must read and necessary resource: http://cag.uconn.edu/documents/Turfgrass-IPM-manual-s.pdf

There is also an optional manual called “Ornamental and Turf, Category 3 manual” available from Cornell, it cost $41.00 plus shipping and handling. https://www.cornellstore.com/3.-Ornamental-And-Turf
Check for used copies of these books with your colleagues or online, yes, even check Amazon.

Register for the online course here.

Click on the Orn & Turf Class box. Make sure to check out as guest.

For questions or more information, please contact Diane, diane.labonia@uconn.edu

 

Plant Evergreens for Holiday Decorating

Article By Dawn Pettinelli

With the holiday season upon us, many choose to decorate their homes, both inside and out, with fresh cut greens. Making holiday decorations can be simple, satisfying, and a great way to spend some time outdoors and maybe, do some much needed pruning. Over the years, I have planted a good number of broad and needle-leaved evergreens both for their landscape value and as fodder for holiday decorating. Even a few branches from 2 or 3 evergreens can be used to create table arrangements, a decorative swag or container for the front door or to fill a window box or two. 

Turkey centerpiece made from boxwood. Photo by dmp 2019.

 

Ever wonder how this custom of cutting and displaying evergreen branches came to be? Bringing in branches of evergreens during the short, dark days of December was practiced in pre-Christian days by inhabitants of northern European countries. This was done to ward off evil spirits. Trees that held their needles throughout the cold winters symbolized the earth’s fertility and eternal life. They served as a reminder that the earth would become green again.

Evergreens are pretty much a staple in foundation plantings. You may even have an evergreen hedge, mixed shrub border, or a few specimen shrubs or trees. Of course, if you want to have greens for the holidays it makes sense to wait until December before pruning them. While this may not be the optimal time of year, my plants seem to do quite well if a few branches are judiciously removed for decorative purposes. The majority of the pruning; however, is done in summer after new growth is fully expanded.

Make cuts under a stem extending outwards. Photo by dmp 2020.

Whether planning a new planting, renovating an old one, or deciding on a shade tree or specimen shrub, consider varieties suitable for holiday use. If it is scent you are after, balsam fir is hard to beat but most evergreens emit a fresh, woodsy aroma. Balsam fir will grow into a good sized tree unless you decide to use it for your Christmas tree.  Fraser and white firs are also excellent candidates for a tree or greens.

Balsam fir, left and Fraser fir, right are quite fragrant. Photo by dmp 2019

Almost any species of pine is suitable for decorative use especially if you choose the young growth. Hemlock is very attractive but loses its needles quite rapidly if placed in warm temperatures. Spruces are lovely but prickly to work with. A recent speaker at our garden club suggested that putting on a pair of those disposable gloves will enable you to handle the spruce without getting stuck by the needles. A good number of yards are homes to yews, junipers and arborvitae. Some varieties are better for decorative purposes than others. Leave the ground-hugging junipers alone though.

Blue spruce has attractive foliage and cones. Photo by dmp 2020.

For gold tipped foliage, quite attractive indoors or out, consider adding a false-cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera) or related plant to the landscape next year. These fine-textured plants can get somewhat open with age attaining a height of 4 to 20 feet.

Use other evergreen plants in mixed arrangements. Look for wayward branches of boxwoods, hollies, andromeda, mountain laurel, euonymus (especially the variegated types) and evergreen azaleas. Staghorn sumac berries, rosehips (not from multiflora roses) and winterberry fruits as well as pinecones and other seed pods can be used to accent your decorations.

Long-stemmed leucothoe with variegated foliage works well for swags. Photo by dmp 2020.

When cutting for decorations, choose well formed branches with thick foliage. For small indoor arrangements, one might want to rinse the branches to remove dirt and insects. Stems can be recut and placed in water for several hours before arranging to keep them fresh. When creating outdoor swags, window boxes or other containers, generally these steps are skipped and the freshly cut greens are just used as needed.

A swag is probably the easiest and simplest of holiday decorations. It is basically a grouping of evergreen branches tied together in a pleasing manner. Branches can simply be wired together but beginners might benefit from using a wire coat hanger stretched vertically so that the hook can be used as a hanger.

For a swag, cut at least 3 pieces of greenery 18 to 24 inches long and 6 to 12 shorter pieces. Attach the 3 longer pieces to the coat hanger with the longest branch forming the center. The shorter branches can be wired on each side to increase the fullness of the swag. Fill in as needed with more branches of greenery and finish with a bow, a few springs of holly, cones or ornaments using thin green florist wire to attach.

Front door swag. Photo by dmp2020

Be adventurous and make a holiday swag or other arrangement this year. Perhaps your evergreen decorations, inside or out will become a family tradition. The quantity of evergreen material right in your own yard may surprise you. Just remember to prune wisely and add another evergreen or two each year for fuller and more varied arrangements.

Here’s to a safe, happy, and peaceful holiday season.

Bedding Plants 2021 Webinar Series for Greenhouse Growers

UConn Extension Offers Bedding Plants 2021 Webinar Series for Greenhouse Growers

greenhouse flowers
Photo: Leanne Pundt

A three-part webinar series on plant growth regulators, pests, and diseases on ornamental plants in greenhouses. Presentations are for commercial greenhouse growers (wholesale and retail) producing ornamental spring bedding plants, specialty annuals and herbaceous perennials.

 One pesticide recertification credit has been approved for each one-hour webinar for all New England states. All webinars will take place from 12 to 1 PM EST.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, Effective Use of Plant Growth Regulators, George Grant, GGSPRO Technical Specialist
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, Research Update on Managing Greenhouse Insect and Mite Pests, Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University
  • Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, Diseases of Spring Annuals and Herbaceous Perennials, Margery Daughtrey, Cornell University

For more information and to register click here.

2021BeddingPlants webinars pdf.

 

 

UConn Extension: Committed to a Sustainable Future 

fall newsletter collage of three pictures and story titles

Connecticut has faced challenges related to sustainable landscapes, food and agriculture, health, and the climate for generations. As problems are solved, new issues arise. UConn Extension educators work in all 169 cities and towns of Connecticut to help solve the problems that our residents, communities, and state face. Connecting people with agriculture, the natural environment, and healthy lifestyles are critical components to a sustainable future. Extension works collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders to find solutions that improve our communities for the next generation.

Read the fall newsletter.

Job Opening: UConn Extension Master Gardener Coordinator-Lower Fairfield County

Master Gardener logoThe UConn Extension Master Gardener Program is seeking applications for the position of Master Gardener Program Coordinator for Lower Fairfield County, based at the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens in Stamford, CT. 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 Master Gardener Program in southern Fairfield County. Successful candidate will coordinate staffing of program mentors, volunteers and interns; work with UConn Extension center/county based faculty and staff, as well as university-based faculty and staff as needed. Will also need to work with allied community groups and Extension partners such as the CT Master Gardener Association; train and supervise interns when classroom teaching is completed; arrange for and conduct Advanced Master Gardener classes each year; develop and coordinate outreach programs and projects with community organizations in southern Fairfield County, including the Bartlett Arboretum. 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, and the Bartlett Arboretum staff. Monthly reports shall be communicated to the state coordinator and topical information may be shared with others as requested.

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 and must be comfortable with on-line communications and programming. Volunteer experience is desired.

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.

If you are unable to use email, you may send it to:
Sarah Bailey
State Extension Master Gardener Coordinator
UConn Extension
270 Farmington Avenue, Suite 262
Farmington, CT 0632

Screening will begin immediately.

Northeast Greenhouse Conference Webinar Series

greenhouse flowers
Photo: Leanne Pundt

The Northeast Greenhouse Conference and Expo has announced that they will offer a webinar series this fall, beginning Nov. 4 sponsored by New England Floriculture Inc., in order to deliver content relevant to greenhouse pests, diseases, biocontrols, PGRs, and sanitation.  Although having to postpone the Northeast Greenhouse Conference and Expo to 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic is regrettable, the hope is that these webinars will provide important education (and pesticide recertification credit) for the greenhouse community in 2020. Pesticide recertification credits will be offered for the New England States and New York.

 

Webinar Topics

  • Pests of Chrysanthemum, and an Insect Management Update
  • Biological Control: How to be successful

  • Growing Garden Mums Without Disease Losses

  • Learn the Newest Strategies to Keep Root Rots from Hurting Your Bottom Line

  • Young Plants and Plant Growth Regulators: Saving time and Improving Quality

  • Cleaning Surfaces in the Greenhouse

Visit https://www.negreenhouse.org/virtual-series-schedule.html for the dates/descriptions and registration information.