Join us for an exciting day of presentations featuring current science-based research and information on supporting landscape management in Connecticut schools.
This program is designed for municipal grounds managers, facilities managers, sports turf managers and landscape professionals who contract with school districts. Learn skills and strategies to support turf and landscape health throughout the year!
Alternative Management Strategies for Safe Playing Fields Wetting Agents, Ben Polimer, Field & Grounds Coordinator at Town of Weston, MA
Fertilizer, Cultivation, and Overseeding Considerations for Fall and Early Spring, Jason Henderson, Associate Professor of Soil Science, University of Connecticut
Invasive Plant ID & Management Tactics, Dave Laiuppa, Environmental Planner, Manchester, CT and Todd Mervosh, TM Agricultural and Ecological Services, LLC
Time with Diane – Current Topics of Interest, Diane Jorsey, Supervising Environmental Analyst, CT DEEP, Pesticide Management Division
Panel: Review of the Day and Ask the Experts, Jason Henderson, Diane Jorsey, Ben Polimer, Dave Laiuppa, Todd Mervosh, Vickie Wallace; John Caldwell and Dave Turkington (South Windsor Parks)
Registration: $50.00 by noon on Friday, September 8
Last minute registration (after Sept. 8) and day of/walk in registration: $65
Registration fee includes:
– Information packet, including printed copies of UConn Best Management Practice Guides – Light Breakfast, Refreshments and Lunch – Parking – Pesticide recertification credits (pending state approval) – Opportunity to network with UConn turf faculty and fellow grounds managers
Pesticide recertification credits – pending
Please note that registration is nonrefundable.
If you require an accommodation to participate fully in this event (e.g., a sign language interpreter, handicap accessible seating, etc.), please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests must be received at least 5 business days in advance.
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 cribraria, Achatina 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
We’re offering a Vegetable Production Certificate Course, beginning on January 20th 2021. It is a fully online course for new and beginning farmers who have 0-3 years of vegetable growing experience or no formal training in agriculture. The participants will learn answers to the basic questions about farm business planning, planning and preparing for vegetable farm, warm and cool-season vegetable production techniques, season extension, identification of biotic and abiotic issues, and marketing. The price of the course is $149. See the course description here.
Please contact the course coordinator, Shuresh Ghimire (Shuresh.Ghimire@uconn.edu, 860-870-6933) with any questions about this course.
High technology greenhouses across Connecticut provide cover for many types of plants. Bedding plants, edibles (vegetable and herb transplants, greenhouse vegetables grown for production), ornamental herbaceous perennials, hemp and poinsettias all grow in greenhouses.
UConn Extension supports the Connecticut greenhouse industry with information and educational programming on sustainable production methods. In Connecticut, the greenhouse industry is a significant part of agriculture. Greenhouse and nursery products are Connecticut’s leading source of agricultural income.
Approximately 300 commercial greenhouse businesses have eight million square feet of production space under cover. In addition, many Connecticut farmers have added greenhouse crops to their businesses to increase income.
UConn Extension offered 111 training sessions to Connecticut wholesale and retail greenhouses with 1,566,088 square feet of intensive greenhouse production and 1,021,000 square feet of outdoor container production in 2019. Diagnostic trouble shooting, grower visits, phone calls, emails and text messages helped growers not participating in the intensive program offered by our UConn Integrated Pest Management (IPM) educators.
One grower stated, “I would like thank you for all the guidance and information that you provided the interns and me this year. I always receive a new piece of information that helps me keep the crops on track for that excellent product.”
Greenhouse production continues to be one of the largest segments of Connecticut agriculture, and the success of the industry helps build the infrastructure that other operations depend on.
Check out this handy pruning guide and refresher from our Sustainable Landscaping and Nursery IPM Educators. This was written for professionals, and is also applicable to home gardeners just getting started with the basics of pruning. It includes links to other resources for continued learning as well!
– Identify the purpose of each pruning job. (Table 2)
– The amount of living plant material that can be re-moved at one time depends on the age and level of establishment of the plant (Table 3).
– Dead, broken, or diseased plant material can be pruned at any time of the year.
– To rejuvenate multi-stemmed shrubs, remove one or more of the oldest stems at the base each year to stimulate new shoots to arise from the base of the plant. Many flowering shrubs bloom more prolifically on younger, 2 to 3-year-old wood. Shrubs that respond well to having some of the 3+ year-old stems removed include forsythia, weigela, deutzia, mock orange and beauty bush.
– Newly established hedges should be pruned early in the growing season to promote the desired growth and density. More established hedges may be kept vigorous and dense by thinning out older branches, which will encourage new growth.”
Farmers of all experience are encouraged to join the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, University of Connecticut, and the American Farmland Trust on Thursday, January 9, 2020 from 9 AM to 1 PM at the Tolland Agricultural Center in Vernon, Connecticut to hear the latest in IPM/biocontrol, soil management, and water programs.
Aaron Ristow of the American Farmland Trust will discuss his findings on the economic and environmental impacts of soil health practices. This is a free program and pesticide credits will be offered.
It is Christmas in July for the greenhouse producers who grow poinsettias. In order to have plants that are blooming for December sales, greenhouses start the process early. Poinsettias require months in the greenhouse before they are ready to be purchased and taken home.
Leanne Pundt, one of our Extension educators was scouting the plants for whitefly immatures at one the Connecticut growers last week and took these photos.
Evan Lentz and Casey Lambert spent the summer of 2018 as undergraduate interns scouting for diseases and insects at vineyards and small fruit farms throughout the state with the iPiPE grant through the National Institute for Food and Agriculture.
iPIPE is the Integrated Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education. It’s a weather and pest-tracking tool for growers to use. The program uses technology to categorize endemic pests, users, and data. Extension Educator Mary Concklin has a two-year iPiPe grant.
“We collected information on farms, uploaded it to iPiPE, and shared our results with the growers,” Evan says. “I got to know many of the farmers and
their day-to-day routines. Some of them really cared that we were at the farm, and we were a resource to help with their problems.”
Evan graduated in May of 2019 with a major in Sustainable Plant and Soil Systems, and a minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He starts graduate school in the fall. “I highly recommend Extension internships to anyone, in any major,” he concludes.
Casey Lambert (’19) and Evan Lentz (’19) won 2ndplace honors for their poster and presentation at the national meeting for the USDA-iPiPE project (Integrated Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education) held in Raleigh, NC February 4-6. Mary Concklin, Fruit Extension Educator, PSLA, is the grant PI. The primary focus of the project was to provide grape pest monitoring and IPM information by working closely with CT grape growers during the 2018 season, uploading the information to the iPiPE website and writing newsletter articles. In addition, they collected and tested plant tissue samples for sap nutrient analysis – a new area of fruit plant nutrition. Another part of their work involved working with blueberry and strawberry growers to validate 4 pest models for the NEWA system (Network for Environment and Weather Applications) located at Cornell. These includedstrawberry Botrytis and anthracnose models which would alert when the risk of infection during bloom and fruit ripening by the pathogen is either low (none), moderate or high; the blueberry maggot degree day model alerts when to hang traps to monitor adult emergence; and the cranberry fruitworm degree day model is used to predict the onset and end of egg laying and to time blueberry fruit protection with insecticides that are low risk to pollinators.
Each year, UConn Extension Educator Jude Boucher helps commercial vegetable growers find sustainable solutions to pest problems. The program emphasizes healthy soils, balanced plant nutrition, proper pest and beneficial identification, scouting and monitoring techniques, preventative management strategies, reduced-risk pesticide selection application, and resistance management.
Farmers apply to become part of the program, as space is limited to 12 farms per year. Those accepted into the program receive weekly, or every-other week farm visits from Jude, as he provides education and guidance for the specific challenges the farm is facing. This year’s farmers are from 9 different towns, with operations varying from 2 to 120 acres of vegetables, with over 40 different vegetable crops being grown.
“This group were all so young,” Jude says, “they gave me confidence that we do have some talented young farmers getting into the business and willing and able to take over for the next generation.”