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TAKE ONE

Gardener News

Proudly Serving the Agricultural, Gardening, Landscaping & Nursery Communities

January 2021

GARDENERNEWS.COM

TAKE ONE No. 213

o n f o t s h r e e P Y e 0 ar 2 0 2

N.J. Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher communities in the Garden State. During the onset of the pandemic in early February 2020, Secretary Fisher credited the state’s residents for doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, with a great many staying in their homes Gardener News proudly bestows our 2020 and practicing social distancing. As the pandemic “Person of the Year” to New Jersey’s Secretary of continued, it became increasingly important for Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher, for his dedication New Jerseyans to have the opportunities to engage to the agricultural, farming, and horticultural in positive and constructive activities that also

By Tom Castronovo Executive Editor/Publisher Gardener News

provide fresh air, sunlight, and a sense of purpose. He realized being outdoors is therapeutic. Early on in the pandemic, spring had sprung, and gardening could not be canceled, making our home and garden centers, and the nurseries that supply plant material to them, essential parts of helping residents deal with this new home-based reality in the way that we all live. Secretary Fisher adapted to (Cont. on Page 3)


2 January 2021

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January 2021 3

2020 Person of the Year (Continued from page 1)

uncertain circumstances, a skill set that seems to have become the new norm. He knew deep down inside that gardeners have an innate ability to adapt and improvise. The industry is perishable and is always subject to the mercy of Mother Nature. Secretary Fisher is always urging folks to visit their local garden center, supermarket, or farm stand to buy the Garden State’s bounty. He constantly reminds folks that “local” means New Jersey. He also realizes that growing fresh food offers another reward. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are concerned about their health, safety and nutrition: One way to know where your fruits and vegetables come from is to grow them yourself. When Secretary Fisher tends to his owns gardens, he knows personally about the love and respect that are professed with the daintiest of greenery. Secretary Fisher takes that

appreciation for horticulture and agriculture into his professional position as well. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that functions critical to the Department of Agriculture and industry needs are met and carried out in the interest of public safety and public health. He is constantly in contact with producers and agricultural organizations across the great Garden State to find effective ways to minimize negative impacts on growers and to address concerns and issues. The State Board of Agriculture’s appointment of Douglas Fisher as Secretary of Agriculture was approved by then-Governor Jon S. Corzine on Feb. 10, 2009. At the time, Fisher was serving as a member of the General Assembly. Governor Chris Christie issued a statement in January 2010 supporting Mr. Fisher’s continued service and Governor Philip Murphy accepted the State Board of Agriculture’s

recommendation for Fisher to continue as Secretary in January 2018. Fisher received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bryant College in Rhode Island in 1969. He served in the New Jersey National Guard from 1969 to 1975. In 1971, he began a 30-year career as a supermarket owner and operator. Fisher was elected to the Assembly from the 3rd Legislative District in 2001 and was re-elected three times, serving as Deputy Majority Whip and Chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. He also served on the Budget, Commerce and Regulated Professions committees. He was a Cumberland County Freeholder from 1992 to 2001 and was a Freeholder Director from 1996-2000. He also served as a Bridgeton City Councilman from 1990-92. Secretary Fisher has been the treasurer of the

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), President of Food Export-Northeast, and President of the Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NEASDA). The Secretary of Agriculture fulf ills executive, management and administrative duties prescribed by law, executive order or gubernatorial direction. The Secretary oversees the development and implementation of specific programs required to meet State Board policy directives. He is also an active member of a number of international, national, federal, state, county and local organizations with an interest in agriculture and related areas. The Office of the Secretary supports programs relating to the economic development of production agriculture; the marketing of agricultural products through the Jersey Fresh program; conservation

and development of natural and renewable resources; distribution of surplus federal commodities to soup kitchens, food pantries, schools, state hospitals and institutions; and the health and well-being of the state’s greenhouse/nursery and livestock industries as well as other programs related to these areas. In addition, the Office of the Secretary directs and coordinates the development and analysis of agricultural policy and department budget for the Secretary and the State Board of Agriculture. The Office coordinates the department’s legal and legislative services and rulemaking functions, serves as the state’s liaison for USDA agricultural disaster matters, and directs departmental efforts to support of the Governor’s statewide policy initiatives. The Office of the Secretary also oversees relations with agricultural and other organizations, (Cont. on Page 4)

Congratulates New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture, Douglas H. Fisher, on being selected as the Gardener News 2020 Person of the Year Thank you for all you do for our industry!

GNFisherAd.indd 1

www.NJLCA.org 11/30/2020 11:28:40 AM


4 January 2021 It is fair to say, I think, that circumstances and events are swirling at a frantic pace in so many arenas of life that at times it can seem overwhelming. We have to stay grounded, though, and it certainly has been the case for millions that outdoor gardening (we can talk about indoor at another time) has provided an escape, an oasis for the mind and body to filter out all the negativity that can find its way through endless channels to each of us. Gardening is personal. It can be a display of sheer beauty, as you define it, or a place to supply your table with fruits and vegetables of your particular liking. A garden can be your place of supreme peace, where you reconnect to nature and the ethos. Simply put, a garden is a manifestation of what only you alone have envisioned. Some of these spaces are so precise they appear to be engineering miracles, while others are more random plantings whose order only the one who planted it all understands its non -patterned arrangement. This actually is the cathartic power of creating whatever

GardenerNews.com NJ Dept. of Agriculture By Douglas H. Fisher Secretary of Agriculture

Winter’s Thoughts Turn to the Gardens We Will Pursue patch of grass, flowering beds, groves of fruit, or rows of vegetables you want. Plain and simple or complex and complicated, this is your own creation. More than those you alone will see, though, are the beneficiaries of this labor of love and many may not realize it as profoundly as is the actual case. Properly enriching the bed tilth helps to preserve precious soil that is so randomly spoiled by practices from another time that are still happening today. Beneficial insects can be nurtured, like the oftoverlooked earthworm. These natural “friends of the garden” can help the growing process of whatever you plant, as their mere existence can help your soil’s health.

If created with real thought, your garden can be a respite for other creatures we share our time with here on Earth (and in the earth). The birds can find refuge picking the seeds off our spent sunflowers and cone flowers. Bees can dance happily on the flora, gathering nectar and doing their job, pollinating our plants. It’s a very symbiotic relationship where the benefits far outweigh the occasional tussles we might have with fitting ourselves within the much more balanced natural environment. There are so many ways to garden – in total solitude, or with friends and family in community settings. A garden is a lab for learning about nature and all its mysterious complexities, and about

ourselves, as we ply the earth and peer into the sky, bathed in sunlight and rain. A few years back, I had the extreme pleasure to meet an icon in the plant world, Douglas W. Tallamy, who gave me even more inspiration than I already had about plants. In his book Bringing Nature Home he stated that “plants are not optional on this planet. With few exceptions, neither we, nor anything else, can live without them.” He inscribed that book to me by writing, “Garden as if life depended on it.” His focus was on native plants in back yards and their ability to restore habitat. It really does not matter how you approach the task. Gardening will take you on a lifelong journey of discovery

and passionate emotions once you touch the earth in earnest. Let me close with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “When I go into the garden with a spade and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all the time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands.” As the cold winds begin to blow now, think about the balmier days ahead and the gardens you will start, or tender, and begin to take on their glow as spring arrives. Editor’s Note: Douglas H. Fisher is New Jersey’s Secretary of Agriculture. He is the department’s executive officer, secretary to the State Board of Agriculture and a member of the Governor’s cabinet. Secretary Fisher fulfills executive, management and administrative duties prescribed by law, executive order or gubernatorial direction. He can be reached at 609.292.3976. For more info, please visit: http:// www.state.nj.us/agriculture

2020 Person of the Year (Continued from page 3)

outreach to news media and the public, liaison to the State Legislature and United States Congress, the Ag in the Classroom Program, and other state and national agricultural organizations. N.J.’s Diverse Agriculture The job of New Jersey’s Secretary of Agriculture is made challenging by the wide array and diversity of the crops, livestock, and other agricultural products the industry creates in this state. There are 215 soil types found in New Jersey that have been rated and categorized into five clearly defined soil groups by the Soils Department at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. According to the most recent Census of Horticulture conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, New

Jersey producers reaped $505 million in sales in 2019. New Jersey growers were seventh nationally in sales. New Jersey sales for principal vegetables totaled $229 million. New Jersey blueberry growers harvested just over 46 million utilized pounds from 9,300 acres. The value of utilized production was over $85 million. Cranberry growers produced 490,390 utilized barrels from 2,700 acres. Value of production was $14.5 million, and the average price was $29.60 per barrel. New Jersey peach growers harvested 17,980 utilized tons from 3,900 bearing acres. New Jersey ranked second nationally in price. Value of utilized production was almost $25.7million. New Jersey Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, Chairman of the Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources

Committee, credited Secretary Fisher with “extraordinary stewardship during our difficult times.” “Doug lobbied to keep garden centers open last spring, ensuring New Jersey residents could enjoy the therapeutic benefits of gardening while confined to their homes,” Houghtaling said. “He visited farms and distribution operations at the height of summer harvest to see first-hand how farmers and nursery growers were doing and to promote their Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables and their Jersey Grown plant material. “Whether visiting local farms and growing operations or joining local officials in his home county to unveil the Jersey Fresh logo on the water tank overlooking the Vineland Produce Auction, Doug is Garden State agriculture’s biggest promoter. He has made the

Jersey Fresh and the Jersey Grown program the envy of many states. His sincerity and dedication to public service have had a calming effect on the farming and gardening communities over the past year. Thank you, Doug.” Senator Robert Smith also had high praise for his former legislative colleague, “I had the pleasure of working with Doug in the Assembly and vividly recall his keen interest in agriculture and New Jersey outdoors,” Senator Smith said. “He has done a magnificent job in the agricultural community keeping our state clean and green” Brian Schilling, Director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension added: “In a year where the agricultural industry faced daunting challenges, Secretary Fisher’s leadership and foresight on important issues -- working to facilitate farm market operations and

fall agritourism during the pandemic, to name only a few – have been essential. He was a strong voice for the industry in a time of uncertainty and represented the needs of the farming community well. I applaud Gardener News for recognizing him as its person of the year, a well-earned distinction.” The New Jersey Farm Bureau (NJFB) offered congratulations to Secretary Doug Fisher for being named the 2020 Gardner News Person of the Year. “Secretary Fisher has always worked for all of us in agriculture with great energy and perseverance, especially in this past year of great struggles for our industry,” said NJFB President Ryck Suydam. “He works hard and does his homework, working through some exhausting meetings, leading the way and working to get us through this pa nde m ic. (Cont. on Page 12)


GardenerNews.com SupportSupport NJ Agriculture Support NJ Agriculture NJ Agriculture

January 2021 5

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6 January 2021

R U T G ER S N J AE S / R C E Office of Continuing Professional Education

Protect Your Most Expensive Plants! If brown spots appear on your flowering dogwood, you may be facing Anthracnose disease. If the leaves of your Japanese maple droop, the tree may be suffering from Verticillum wilt. Learn plant disease basics, including identification, prevention, and control strategies in our one-day online course. Our expert instructor will discuss the specific biology, spread, and management of the most common ornamental diseases.

1-Day Online Course Managing Diseases of Ornamental Plants January 11, 2021 | 9am-3:15pm | $195 per person

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Rutgers Cooperative Extension Phone Directory Atlantic County Phone: 609-625-0056 Bergen County Phone: 201-336-6780 Burlington County Phone: 609-265-5050 Camden County Phone: 856 216 7130 Cape May County Phone: 609-465-5115 Cumberland County Phone: 856-451-2800 Essex County Phone: 973-228-2210 Gloucester County Phone: 856-224-8040 Hudson County Phone: 201-915-1399 Hunterdon County Phone: 908-788-1339 Mercer County Phone: 609-989-6830

Middlesex County Phone: 732-398-5260 Monmouth County Phone: 732-431-7260 Morris County Phone: 973-285-8300 Ocean County Phone:732-349-1246 Passaic County Phone: 973-305-5740 Salem County Phone: 856-769-0090 Somerset County Phone: 908-526-6293 Sussex County Phone: 973-948-3040 Union County Phone: 908-654-9854 Warren County Phone: 908-475-6505

GardenerNews.com

From the Director’s Desk

Rutgers Outreach Provided by Brian Schilling Director

A Healthy You in 2021! Educational outreach and engagement are the core of Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE). Extension is in all 21 New Jersey counties, with the RCE Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) department in 14 of those counties. Like every other university or company, we are always looking for that opportunity to do something new, something different. Our FCHS Strategic Plan guides our work for the planning and implementation of our educational programs in food, nutrition, health, and wellness, including chronic disease prevention. Each FCHS Educator is responsible for planning and implementing programs that will meet the needs of their specific county. You can imagine that the needs of Passaic County and Cape May County would be somewhat different. When COVID-19 struck, no one knew what to expect and we soon found ourselves working remotely. If out of crisis comes opportunity, little did we know then that the “opportunity” would open a whole new world of virtual teaching for us, including gaining new audiences. When we made the pivot to virtual teaching, some of our RCE departments had little experience in this area – it truly was a learn-by-doing experience. Our Rutgers NJAES Information Technology department was outstanding in getting all RCE departments up and running. If someone said, “Here is a week to think of new ways of teaching,” I am not sure we would have had the same outcome as the virtual push out the door. Was there chaos at times? Yes, but I could not be prouder of the FCHS department as they rose to the occasion. Virtual teaching presented new opportunities for FCHS. The rapid shift to online educational delivery engaged the entire department and required the establishment of focused teams to get programs up and running. Due to the many challenges COVID-19 presented to families, and the increased number of people working remotely from home, we experienced incredible interest in wellness programs. Many of our online programs had registrations of 100 to 200 people, while one program peaked at more than 500 registered people. Many of the FCHS Educators found unique ways to increase access to our signature “Wellness Wednesdays” program through their county Facebook pages. This series focuses on topics related to food, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles, providing easy steps to add positive health behaviors into your day. Topics range from reducing the amount of food waste you produce in your home to understanding how to read the new nutrition facts label.

We soon realized that we could incorporate additional social media venues to expand our teaching capacity to include cooking demonstrations. Somerset County FCHS was the first to adopt this method of learning and now other counties are doing it as well and posting on their Facebook pages. During this time, two FCHS Educators also converted what used to be an in-person eightweek Food Preservation Program to online instruction. Although the conversion presented initial challenges, it adapted successfully to the new format with the educators conducting demonstrations remotely from home. Our focus now shifts to having virtual programs that we feel people will need most as the New Year begins. When each New Year comes around, most people think of a few things – their weight gain over the past year, not engaging in enough physical activity, and often their financial situation. In January 2021, Dr. Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Professor Emeritus and Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management, will start off our New Year with a finance program. Dr. O’Neill and Union County Educator Dr. Karen Ensle will teach “Small Steps to Health and Wealth.” We will also be offering programs like, “Living Stress Free,” “A Strong Immune System to Start 2021,” “What Fitness Strategy Works Best for You,” and “Best Strategies for Weight Loss.” Another timely program will be “Lessons for Long Life–Blue Zones.” Blue Zones refer to geographic areas in the world where residents have low rates of chronic disease and live longer than anywhere else, like Okinawa, Japan and Sardinia, Italy. We are also excited at the opportunity to partner with the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – Department of Preventive Medicine. Medical school residents cannot fulfill community training during COVID. The director of the program and I spoke about the opportunity to have the residents team teach with our faculty in areas of chronic disease, extending the health and wellness resources of the university to families across the state. The Family and Community Health Sciences department is looking forward to the new year. If it is anything like 2020, we are ready for new and engaging virtual learning experiences. Wishing you all, a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year. Wellness Wednesday Programs are available at: njaes.rutgers.edu/online-event-series/wellnesswednesdays.php. Other FCHS events and resources are available at: https://njaes.rutgers. edu/food-nutrition-health.

Editor’s note: This month’s contribution was written by Kathleen T. Morgan, Dr. M.H, NDTR, Chair, Department of Family & Community Health Sciences.


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R U T G ER S N J AE S / R C E

January 2021 7

An Evergreen Shrub that Speaks to You! I often look at a plant and contemplate what it is trying to tell me. Plants may be unable to speak, but they are often able to convey issues of drought, exposure to sunlight and temperature extremes. During January’s chill, the leaves of Rhododendron will curl and droop while the stems of Prickly Pear wrinkle and compress, all plant chatter. Prickly Pear is especially conversant! Botanically known as Opuntia, they are fascinating evergreen shrubs and the species Opuntia humifusa is native to New Jersey. Opuntia humifusa is a member of the Cactus Family or Cactaceae and is amazingly hardy for a cactus. Of the 150plus species, it has the largest native range, stretching from Montana to New Mexico, east to Florida and Ontario. The genus name was penned in 1754 by the English botanist Philip Miller (1691-1771) after the Ancient Greek harbor city This Lifelong Learning column is dedicated to amplifying innovations in teaching and learning - spotlighting educational and professional development courses and webinars available at Rutgers throughout the year. Please visit the website at the bottom to obtain the full list of classes available. We R Here When You Need Us. Happy New Year to all garden enthusiasts – local and afar! As a result of continued online digital distribution, the Gardener News is now a global resource for novice, avid, and professional gardeners/ landscapers alike. So too are the educational resources here at the Office of Continuing Professional Education and Rutgers Cooperative Extension. This month I share with you three very important horticultural domains – Beekeeping, Tree Planting, and Pruning. January Trivia Question(s): What is the official state bug of New Jersey? If you already know the answer, can you state three reasons why it is vital to protect these little creatures? Spotlight Programs: One of my favorites - this month’s first spotlight program is designed to strengthen the environmental benefits of pollination, help develop new honey-related products, and expand the network of New Jersey

of Opus. Evidently, the Greek Philosopher Theophrastus (371287 BC) noted how a plant grew near Opus that could easily be rooted from its leaves, a trait that is shared by all Opuntia stems. This particular species was described in 1830 by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque (1783-1840), a self-taught botanist who settled in Ohio from France and described a number of North American plants. The species epithet comes from the Latin Humus for soil and Fusus for spreading out, describing how the plant spreads to create substantial colonies over time. Typical of the Cactus Family, Opuntia does not have any leaves. What resemble paddleshaped leaves are actually broad stem segments called cladodes, making Opuntia an evergreen shrub. These stems range from two to seven inches long and up to five inches wide by one inch thick. They become constricted at the base where it is attached to another stem segment. The stems are green to dark green in color due to the presence of

chloroplasts, allowing them to assume the photosynthetic function of leaves. The leaves are reduced to clusters of small, hair-like bristles, nearly three millimeters long called glochids that are specific only to species of Opuntia. The apical tips of the glochids contain numerous microscopic barbs. When touched, the barbs readily penetrate the skin and detach from the stem, allowing one accidental touch to result in a cluster of 20 to 30 spines. Ouch! A gardener might wonder why a plant with such “angry conversation” to be desirable in the garden. One garden-worthy attribute is the attractive coarse texture provided by the stems, which looks great paired with finer textured plants such as Sedum sexangulare. Its evergreen stems also look very attractive in the winter garden. Granted, on extremely cold days, the stems shrivel and collapse to the ground, but just like the Rhododendrons, the plant is merely telling you that it is cold without the need for a thermometer. Come the approach of June,

the plant offers further interest as the two- to three-inch-diameter, bright yellow flowers begin to appear along the upper edges of the cladodes. Within the flower, over 200 pollen releasing anthers provide wonderful ornament as they spiral around the large central stigma. Interestingly, the anthers are capable of a “Jeopardy”-worthy process termed thigmotactic movement, whereby the taller anthers will curl inwards when brushed by an insect. The lower stigmas bear 80-percent of the pollen and the curling action of the taller members is thought to protect the shorter stigmas from pollen theft. The true pollinators understand how to squeeze past the protective anthers and the central stigma, effectively pollinating the flower in the process. Amazing! The flower is followed by a 1½ to two inch edible red fruit. Typical to plants in the Cactaceae, Prickly Pear requires full sun and soils that are gritty and welldrained in nature. A mulch of fine gravel is ideal for keeping the base of the plants dry and free

Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education By Kenneth M. Karamichael Continuing Education Professional

Lifelong Learning

beekeepers - professionals and hobbyists. Bee-ginner’s Beekeeping: The Basics of Apiculture (Starts February 1, 2021; Online Class: Self-Paced – approx. 15 hours to complete). This introductory apiculture course provides training on key topics related to beekeeping, including bee biology, bees in an urban setting, disease and mite prevention, hive assembly and management, honey production and extraction, queen bee purchasing, and much more. This class will cover everything you need to know to further your hobby or get your new business buzz’n. Instructor: Mike Haberland is an associate professor and Camden County Extension Agent. He uses applied research and collaborates with organizations to develop programs that assist in the creation, promotion, and education,

of innovative environmental, sustainable community, and natural resource management practices. The second program area is equally vital across the Garden State – Tree Care. Proper planting and pruning are far more than digging holes or trimming branches; it can literally determine life or death for a tree, and prevent catastrophic damage to property or self. Here are two classes to help prepare you for the 2021 season. Both sessions are led by one of OCPE’s most sought-after educators – Ted Szczawinski. Tree Planting and Installation (February 6th; 9:00-3:30p.m.) In this online class, you’ll learn to manage the critical details that keep your trees alive, including site evaluation, excavation analysis, creating optimum soil structure, planting at the proper height and depth, and probing containers for

roots to judge the depth of the root flare. Understanding and adhering to the Call Before You Dig–Dial 811 statute (N.J.S.A. 48:2-73 et seq) will also be discussed. Introduction to Pruning (February 7th; 9:00-3:30p.m.) In this online class, Ted will teach you where to prune, when to prune, the best equipment to use - and more importantly, how to stay safe. For those more complex projects, Ted will demonstrate proper methods of cabling and bracing. You’ll also learn the best positioning techniques for cuts against the collar, and how to use false crotch and rope when working in trees with no bucket access. Instructor: Ted Szczawinski, a Licensed Tree Expert and Dean of Students at Bergen County Technical Schools, is one of the most highly rated instructors at OCPE. Ted’s experience in tree-

from decay. Certainly not a shrub that many gardeners might have initially considered, Opuntia humifusa has much to offer and looks great combined with other drought tolerant plants such as the Donkey Tailed Spurge. In fact, this North American native might just speak to you and provide the perfect accent for year-round interest in your garden.

Editor’s Note: Bruce Crawford is a lover of plants since birth, is the Rutgers State Program Leader for Home and Public Horticulture, a part time lecturer in Landscape Architecture at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, regularly participates in the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education Program, and Past President of the Garden State Gardens Consortium. He can be reached at crawford@njaes. rutgers.edu. care education spans nearly four decades –in our professional series, and the ever-popular Rutgers Home Gardeners School. Ted brings his extensive plant and tree science knowledge to class and shares it in a way that is down-to-earth, fun, interactive, and easy-to-understand. Trivia Answer: The Honeybee (apis mellifera) - designated in 1974, following a convincing presentation (including a song and a poem) given by students from the Sunnybrae School in Hamilton Township. The honeybee is a $7 million industry helping pollinate nearly $200 million worth of fruits and vegetables annually throughout New Jersey - $15 billion nationwide. Visit CPE.RUTGERS.EDU to learn more about the hundreds of programs available at OCPE, Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station all year long!

Editor’s Note: Kenneth M. Karamichael, Ed.M., is an internationally recognized continuing education professional with Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education within Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Ken can be reached at kenneth@ rutgers.edu.


8 January 2021

GardenerNews.com


GardenerNews.com

January 2021 9

Around The Garden By Tom Castronovo Gardener News

Funding Preservation in the Garden State This month I’m going to share with you some pretty good news concerning farmland preservation in the great Garden State. On December 10, the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee passed a series of bills that would appropriate money for various farmland preservation purposes from constitutionally dedicated Corporate Business Tax (CBT) revenue. Senator Bob Smith, chairman of the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee, says what makes this great is that the voters of the State of New Jersey are brilliant because years ago they voted to constitutionally dedicate CBT revenues for the State’s open space, farmland, and historic preservation programs creating a stable source of funding to preserve our resources here in the Garden State. Here they are. S-3225: Sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, would appropriate $11.5 million to the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) for municipal planning incentive grants. Under the Municipal Planning Incentive Grants program, 10 municipalities would be eligible to receive a base grant of either $500,000 or $1,000,000. Additionally, these municipalities and 35 additional municipalities will be eligible to compete to receive an additional grant up to $500,000 from the Competitive Grant Fund. “These grants will go a long way towards helping municipalities preserve their farmlands,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Camden). “Being known as the ‘Garden State’ means we have a lot of farmland throughout our state and these funds will help keep it green for many years to come.” In the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee, there is an identical bill, A-5081. S-3226: Sponsored by Senator Dawn Addiego, would appropriate $29,886,172 to the SADC for farmland preservation purposes. These funds would go toward helping the committee, counties, municipalities and nonprofits acquire farmland for preservation. “Our hope is that this bill will make it easier for us to save and maintain our farmlands, and to preserve open space,” said Senator Addiego (D-Atlantic/ Burlington/Camden). “These grants will make this process easier for all involved, creating a smoother, more efficient process.” In the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee, there is an identical bill, A-5077. Senator Bateman’s bill, S-3227, would appropriate $3.7 million from constitutionally dedicates CBT revenue to the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) for farmland preservation. “New Jersey is the Garden State, and the voters have placed a value on preserving our agriculture

lands and heritage,” said Bateman (R-16). “The appropriation will fund significant projects on a dozen farms in the state, ensuring that future generations will have the chance to enjoy and appreciate the contributions of agriculture to New Jersey.” Grants provided by the bill fund up to 50 percent of the cost of development easements on farmland for preservation purposes, or up to 50 percent of the cost of acquiring fee-simple titles to farmland for resale or lease with agricultural deed restrictions approved by the SADC. In the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee, there is an identical bill, A-5080. S-3228: Sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal, would appropriate $12 million to the SADC for county planning incentive grants for eligible farmland preservation projects. Under the bill, seven counties are currently eligible for the planning incentive grants, which award up to 80 percent of the cost of acquisition of development easements. “New Jersey farmlands are a staple of the state, and we want to do all that we can to ensure we can enjoy them for generations to come,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Through this bill, we will be able to help these seven counties with the planning needed to protect these lands.” In the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee, there is an identical bill, A-5079. S-3229: Sponsored by Senator Richard Codey, would appropriate $37.16 million to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for state capital and park development projects. “New Jersey has many parks that highlight the beauty of the state, however, over time, many of these parks have entered a state of disarray,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex/Morris). “These funds will be crucial in carrying out the necessary repairs to ensure that our parks can be around for many more years.” In the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee, there is an identical bill, A-5144. S-3230: Sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein, would appropriate $30.387 million to the DEP for state acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, including the Blue Acres projects. “The Blue Acres project is imperative to help prevent the mass flooding that the state experienced in 2012 after Superstorm Sandy,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “These funds will help the state purchase flood-prone properties so that residents have the best options available when purchasing a new home.” In the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee, there is an identical bill, A-5115. I hope 2021 is way better than 2020. May the new year bless you all with happiness, peacefulness and most of all, good health.

Editor’s Note: Tom Castronovo is executive editor and publisher of Gardener News. Tom’s lifelong interest in gardening and passion for agriculture, environmental stewardship, gardening and landscaping, led to the founding of the Gardener News, which germinated in April 2003 and continues to bloom today. He is also dedicated to providing inspiration, and education to the agricultural, gardening, landscaping and nursery communities through this newspaper and GardenerNews.com.

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10 January 2021

GardenerNews.com

Red Maple the Lesser

By Hubert Ling Red maple, Acer rubrum, often has to take a back seat to its more respected relative, sugar maple, Acer saccharum. Although the fall foliage of red maple may be a brilliant scarlet, sugar maples generally blaze in scarlet, orange, and yellow simultaneously. When you think of maple syrup, you rarely think of red maple, although red maple syrup is of good quality if collected only at the start of the season. In addition, red maple generally comes in as a distant second when considered as a lumber tree, even though red maple more commonly shows the prized curly grain pattern. Also, in many Northeastern forests, red maple is gradually eliminated by sugar maples, which are taller and more shade tolerant. If sugar maples did not exist, red maple would be respected much more. One of the most common, durable, rugged, native trees, often used in parking lot islands and along sidewalks, is common Honeylocust, Gleditsia triacanthos. A long-lived, deciduous tree, Honeylocust is a leguminous plant (Fabaceae family), and capable of growing 100 feet. Gleditsia triacanthoshas pinnately or bipinnately compound leaves that are alternate, dark green and, in my opinion, fabulous. Large red thorns are often found on the branches of these trees growing in the wild. However, thornless and fruitless varieties have been developed. Used extensively today, particularly cultivars, this tree is not without its share of problems. Now you may be asking yourself, why am I writing about a tree and disclosing its potential problems? The remarkable thing about trees, I find, is that they can justify their importance in many different ways. Some may appreciate a tree’s flowers, others its foliage, some admire the bark and still others may see beauty in a tree’s overall architecture or silhouette. However, how many of us have ever looked through the eyes of cattle and thought, “Oh my, look at those amazing bean pods?”

From an ecological standpoint, red maple appears to be much more important than sugar maples. Red maple is perhaps the most common tree and its dominance is increasing in Eastern North America. It ranges from Canada to Florida and west to Oklahoma and Texas. These trees thrive in a range of habitats in almost all types of soil, pH 6-8, sun to shade, wet to dry, and sea level to 3,000 feet. Although red maple is out-competed by oaks and sugar maples in northern mesic forests, in some damp areas, red maple can out-compete almost all other trees. Fast-growing red maples also frequently fill in spaces after storm damage such as from Superstorm Sandy and tree die-off, such as from diseased American chestnut, American elm, and now the ashes. Red maples are a mediumsized tree generally growing 50 to 70 feet, with a one- to

two-foot diameter. However, the tallest red maple in the Great Smokies is 141 feet tall; the current champion red maple resides in Salem, N.J., and has a trunk circumference of 264 inches, is 75 feet tall with a crown 80 feet wide. Most red maples live less than 100 years, with about 150 years the maximum age. Several species of butterfly and moth larvae utilize red maple leaves. And deer, moose, and elk browse on young leaves and twigs in spring and on this year’s twigs in winter. However, wilted or dead leaves of red maple are extremely toxic to horses and other livestock. Native Americans used a topical bark infusion for muscle aches and hives and early European colonists used the bark for brown and black dyes and with added iron sulfate as ink. Red maple are early, showy bloomers; only a few native tree species such as silver maple bloom earlier.

Male and female flowers are generally found on different trees in red maple, although hermaphroditic flowers are also known. The flowers are sought for by native bees and honey bees and the fruits are used for food by animals including squirrels. Even though the flowers are frequently insect pollinated, wind pollination can take place and red maple can thus cause allergies. This problem can be averted by planting female-only cultivars, which are readily available. Red maple wood is generally referred to as soft maple. Under the right conditions, red maple can produce high-quality lumber, although some foresters consider it a weed tree since given enough space and sun, it frequently forms several diverging large branches or trunks which are susceptible to damage and subsequent heart rot. However, quality red maple lumber is used for furniture, which stains well

Unique Plants By Bob LaHoff Nursery Specialist

Bon Appétit… for Cattle?

A tree “hardy” in zones 4-9, common Honeylocust typically has a short trunk and an open-spreading crown. Considered a fast grower, exceeding two feet of growth in a year, the bark is something I have always admired. Grayishbrown markings, broken into long, narrow ridges, separated by deep furrows, this bark has always held my attention, particularly while waiting for my wife and daughter while they are shopping. Anyone who has ever visited a shopping mall and parked their car under a tree in the summer, only to protect it from summer’s scalding heat, has probably done so under a Honeylocust. Tolerant of drought, high pH, salt, full sun and highly adaptive, this tree’s versatility seems only outdone by its overuse. Honeylocust trees, as stated previously, are not without their fair share of problems. Leaf spot,

cankers, powdery mildew, rust, Honeylocust borer, gall, webworm, spider mites and root rot will “put the trees in a precarious way.” However, polygamo-dioecious, fragrant flowers in May and June, gorgeous yellow-green fall color and advanced cultivars, with stronger attributes, have helped to recapture this tree’s popularity as a solid choice for difficult sites. More now on Honeylocust’s irresistible reddish-brown to black, strap-shaped, leathery seed pods that simply cannot be overlooked, especially by cattle. Seed Pods that are as “hard as a bullet”, twisted, flattened and persist well into winter. Cattle apparently have an affinity for such a look and taste. Here, the common name, Honeylocust, refers to sweet, sticky pulp that surrounds the seeds. Used extensively by wildlife; white-tailed deer, squirrels, rabbits,

opossums, sheep, and cattle forage on its tasty bean pods. Gleditsia triacanthos additionally seems to play an important role as a plant for agroforestry. Edible pods that can be used as a vegetable, have a sweet pulpy tissue quality, are routinely engulfed by wildlife. And it is here where my story begins. Years ago, one of our premier Pennsylvania growers had a surplus of larger caliper Honeylocust trees with a named cultivar. So much so that decisions to “thin the herd” was being contemplated. Thankfully a property for sale locally was purchased by an astute cattle farmer who noticed the large Honeylocusts dripping with fruit in the fall. Eager to purchase advanced trees with substantial fruit already, negotiations were made that not only saved all the trees, but gave more than a decade head start to help bolster his impending cattle.

and is dimensionally stable. Red maple is frequently used as a shade or street tree. In early spring, it is covered in bright red or sometimes yellow flowers; these, alas, are relatively short lived. Almost everything about red maple is red: such as the bud scales, twigs, and flowers. Even the paired fruits (samaras) are sometimes a vivid scarlet. In addition, the vivid fall foliage is perhaps only challenged by its strongest competitor, sugar maple. The roots of red maple tend to be shallow, so it is advisable not to plant it too close to your sidewalk. Consider the red maple if you need a shade tree to replace underutilized lawn space. Editor’s Note: Hubert Ling is President of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. He can be reached at milhubling@verizon.net. The owner’s “keen eye” for appreciating the trees’ nutritional benefits and the grower’s adroit ability to grow such lovely trees was a match. The genus name, Gleditsia, honors Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch (1714-1786), director of the Botanical Garden in Berlin. The specific Greek epithet speaks of the tree’s thorns, specifically the threebranched thorns of this plant. Today there are many cultivars to consider for the landscape that are stronger and healthier. So, the next time someone tells you that a tree has no redeeming qualities in a landscape, they may not be looking through the eyes of cattle.

Editor’s Note: Bob LaHoff is co-owner of Hall’s Garden Center and Florist in Union County, a member of the Union County Board of Agriculture, the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, past member of Reeves-Reed Arboretum Buildings and Grounds Committee, a lifetime member of the Conifer Society and past member of the retail council for Monrovia Growers. He can be reached at (908) 665-0331.


GardenerNews.com When I walk or drive through our state’s woodlands, I’m always struck by their serene beauty. But in truth, our 2 million acres of forest are working very hard for us; providing much of the water we drink, cleaning carbon dioxide from the air we breathe, and creating the wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities we enjoy. That’s why the Assembly Agriculture Committee will start the year examining ways in which we can work harder for New Jersey’s forests through better stewardship. One of the bills we will be discussing, A-4843, requires the DEP to produce a forest stewardship plan for parcels of 25 acres or more within two years of acquiring them and for all state-owned forest lands for recreation and conservation within five years. It’s not enough to just preserve these forests, we need to look ahead at protecting them over time and set long-term goals. Under the bill, the DEP would produce and implement a forest stewardship plan for all lands that contain 25 acres or more of forest. It also would require local government units and qualifying tax-exempt nonprofit organizations to prepare and implement forest stewardship plans when they acquire 25 acres or more for recreation and I write this while sitting in my favorite chair by a warm fire. The house is quiet, save for the crackling logs. My little Irish friend sits in a nearby glass. I like him neat this time of year. The Christmas tree, having faithfully done its duty a couple of days ago, sits in the corner of the room looking a little worse for wear. In another day or two, the ornaments will head back up to the attic and the tree will head to the curbside where the town will chip it up along with the other discarded Christmas trees and they will continue their service as mulch. Metaphorically, I would like to think of the year 2020 also being kicked to the curb and ground up as mulch. With “annus horribilis” thankfully over, like everyone else on the planet, I look forward to 2021 and the optimism that comes with a new beginning. History tells us January was named for the Roman god Janus, who was depicted as having two faces. One face looked back into the past, and the other peered forward to the future. With that in mind, I think about the upcoming growing year, and how each month uniquely contributes to the regular rhythm and pattern of a typical agricultural year.

January 2021 11 Agriculture and Natural Resources By Eric Houghtaling New Jersey Assemblyman

Promoting Strong Forest Stewardship

conservation purposes. To ensure that a landowner, whether the state or private, implementing a stewardship plan isn’t burdened by duplication review processes and added costs, another bill on the Agriculture Committee’s agenda, A-4844, provides that landowners do not have to gain municipal approval for stewardship plans. The bill would remove the current requirement under the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan for municipal approval of stewardship plans in the Pinelands. It would prohibit local governments from enacting ordinances or rules that require landowners to obtain local government approval. Most towns don’t have the time, resources or expertise to comprehensively review a forest stewardship plan, which in the Pinelands must

pass review by the Pinelands Commission anyway. We also will be taking up a bill to help address one of a forest’s greatest enemies – fire. The bill, A-4845, sets minimum acreage goals and schedules for prescribed burns in the Pinelands and throughout the state to remove undergrowth that is kindling for forest fires. The bill calls for the DEP to have a yearly goal of ensuring that prescribed burns are conducted on a minimum of 50,000 acres in Pinelands areas and on an additional 10,000 acres statewide, whether by the state, the federal government, or by landowners or lessees. The DEP would produce a schedule for prescribed burns and require they be done between November and March to reduce the amount of smoke produced and because weather conditions tend

to be more predictable for safer controlled fires. To bring the goals of these bills together, we will be considering A-4846, which would establish a working group to evaluate coordination and cooperation between various government agencies and private landowners and make recommendations. The working group would have 14 members, representing government agencies, nonprofit organizations, private landowners, and foresters, and would have to submit a report to the Governor and to the Legislature on its findings and recommendations. We also will begin the year by looking at the progress of the State Hemp Program. Hemp, also known as cannabis’ “sober sister,” which contains low levels of THC and is not psychoactive, can be used commercially in many products.

NJ Agricultural Society By Al Murray Executive Director

Agriculture Through the Months

January. Snow blankets many farm fields. While not much appears to be happening, farmers remain busy maintaining and repairing their equipment. As days begin to grow longer, thoughts turn to crop plans for the coming season. February. Despite the sight of cold and barren fields, farm storage sheds are stacked with bags upon bags of seeds, which will become corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash and all the other wonderful Jersey Fresh products we enjoy. March. For farmers, it is the equivalent to baseball’s spring training. Excitement is in the air, and when the fields are sufficiently dry, let the planting begin! Also, some over-wintered spinach and leeks start making their way to market, reminding us the season is beginning. April. Anticipating Easter, nurseries and garden centers will

be chock full of flowers. Home gardeners will start planting earlyspring annuals and perennials. All varieties of greens flood the market. May. More Jersey Grown flowers for Mother’s Day, and gardening will be in full swing. Community farmers markets will begin their season, and the bounty of Jersey Fresh items will move from a trickle to a steady flow. Time to start thinking about steamed clams for Memorial Day picnics. June. Blueberries, corn, tomatoes, oh my! The season is entering its prime and it is time to celebrate the countless varieties of farm products now available. July and August. Farms across New Jersey are in full harvest. The “Queen of Fruit,” Jersey Fresh peaches, have made their grand appearance. A typical farm day now starts a couple hours before dawn

and ends long after dusk. Down the shore, beaches are packed, and many vacationers are enjoying the harvest from our commercial fishing industry. Many county fairs are held, and the public gets to appreciate agriculture in a fun setting. There are many 4-H youths nervously waiting for the chance to have their livestock animal named best in show. September. The sun might be setting sooner, but there is still plenty of Jersey Fresh farm products available. Mums are making an appearance. Sod projects, trees and shrubs move into peak planting time. October. Halloween is now America’s second-largest holiday, and the public is flocking to pickyour-own apple orchards and pumpkin fields. Many farmers have accommodated the demand by offering hayrides, haunted

The Hemp Farming Act, A-5322, that became law last year allowed farmers to grow and sell hemp. The first plants went in the ground last spring in New Jersey, as the state licensed 59 farmers to grow it. This fast-growing, environmentally safe crop offers great potential, including significant job creation. The Agriculture Committee will be looking at the demand and applications for the program so far to learn about the experiences of farmers growing and selling hemp. We want to help Garden State farmers take advantage of a global market expected to exceed $10.6 billion a year by 2025, because when our farmers succeed, their contribution to our state’s economy grows. Until next time, stay safe and keep enjoying Jersey Fresh.

Editor’s Note: Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling is Chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the New Jersey State Assembly. He can be reached at 732-6953371 or AsmHoughtaling@ njleg.org, or by mail at 802 W Park Ave, Ste 302, Ocean Township 07712. attractions, cider donuts and more. By the end of October, most of the summer items will be gone. November. Farm markets make one last push before Thanksgiving, and community markets are ending their seasons. Grain growers are racing against the clock to get the harvest in. The state’s turkey farmers now take center stage. December. Time to visit one of the many Christmas tree farms that dot our state. While out, don’t forget to pick up a poinsettia and other Christmas plants. Before we know it, we will be welcoming 2022!

Editor’s Note: Al Murray is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Society. Established in 1781, the Society is New Jersey's oldest organization whose purpose is to advocate, educate and promote on behalf of New Jersey's agricultural industry. Mr. Murray previously spent his entire career at the NJ Department of Agriculture, serving as the Assistant Secretary. He can be reached at njagriculturalsociety@ gmail.com


12 January 2021 Now that we have reached the new year, it is time to start planning for next year’s planting season. One of the main areas of concern is what type of tillage to use in preparing the soil for planting. First, let’s go over the types of tillage that can be used. The one that people are probably the most familiar with is moldboard plowing. This is where the top few inches of soil or sod is completely turned over. Then, after plowing, the soil usually has to be disked or rototilled to further break up the soil and make it suitable for planting. This method of tillage is useful only in certain situations and not nearly as popular as it used to be. It is an excellent way to incorporate nutrients and especially bulky soil amendments uniformly throughout the top layer of dirt. The downside to this, however, is that it does disturb the existing organic matter and soil structure that is already present and can make the ground more susceptible to erosion. On our farm, we might use this method of tillage right before planting a new block of fruit trees. Because once the trees are

GardenerNews.com The Town Farmer By Peter Melick Agricultural Producer

Tillage Options

planted, the ground will not be disturbed again, it is important to evenly work into the soil the proper nutrients so that they are available to be taken up by the roots throughout the life of the trees. Another popular method of tillage is done by using a chisel plow. Just as its name implies, a chisel plow is simply an implement with chiselshaped shanks that rip through the soil and break it up. While this method does loosen the soil up quite a bit, it does not turn it over the way a moldboard plow would. The advantage to this is you are left with a nice and loose soil that still retains a great deal of the organic matter on the top of the soil. This residual debris can

help with conserving available moisture as well as helping to protect it from erosion. This is an excellent method of tillage to use if there is some soil compaction already present and the ground needs to be loosened up. It is also much faster to chisel plow than it is to moldboard plow and will require a lot less fuel on a per-acre basis. And once a field is chisel plowed, it usually only requires a limited amount of additional tillage to make it suitable for planting. No-till planting has become very popular over the past 20 years or so. With the advent of new and improved planting equipment, as well as seeds that are resistant to certain herbicides, no-till planting has become the tillage system of choice for

many row crop growers. How this works is rather simple. A farmer will make only one pass over a field pulling just a planter. As long as it does what it is supposed to do, the planter will uniformly place the seeds at the optimal depth at the required population per acre. In order for this to work properly, the ground must not be too wet or to dry, and the weeds must be adequately controlled going forward. The obvious advantages to this method are that it conserves the moisture available in the soil while preserving the existing soil structure. This will help with the growth of the plant and also greatly control, if not eliminate, any erosion while saving considerable amounts of

time and fuel in the process. We commonly use a no-till system when planting pumpkins. We will plant a cover crop of rye grass in the fall and then harvest the straw from that in late May. Then, we no-till plant the pumpkin seeds into the remaining rye stubble. While saving time and energy, this method also creates a much cleaner environment for the pumpkins to rest on, as a conventionally tilled field could make for some very muddy pumpkins when it is time to harvest them. Happy New Year!

Editor’s Note: Peter Melick is co-owner of Melick’s Town Farm in Oldwick and a 10th-generation New Jersey farmer. Peter is Mayor of Tewksbury Township, Hunterdon County, NJ. He also served as a director for the New Jersey Farm Bureau and is a past president of the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. Peter has also been featured on NJN, News 12 New Jersey and on the Fox Business Network.

2020 Person of the Year He has our back when working with the Governor and his administration, having gained great respect with 12 years as Secretary and long legislative experience. Thank you, Secretary Fisher, and congratulations!” Jeannie Geremia, Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc. President and the 2012 Gardener News Person of the Year, said Fisher “has been an ongoing presence in my life in the New Jersey gardening world ever since our paths first crossed in June, 2008 at the Seeds for Salad Day at Branchburg Township’s Old York School.” “Little did I know,” Geremia added, “it was just the beginning of numerous occasions to get the full measure of this devoted spokesperson for agriculture and gardening as he passionately promoted the Garden State in events far and wide in the state of New Jersey and nationally. “No one in the field of

agriculture and gardening deserves to be the ‘2020 Gardener News Person of the Year’ more than Doug Fisher,” Geremia added. “New Jersey is so fortunate to have this dedicated public servant who has been in every village, hamlet, town, city, highway, and byway, from the Highlands in Sussex to Cape May, north, west, south, and east, and always with a personal, genuine, kind and caring way. “Doug Fisher was an essential part of the partnership The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc. has had with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Jersey Fresh and Jersey Grown campaigns and subsequent grants for funding garden education, community gardens, and inspiring the public to eat local and support our hard working nurserymen, garden center owners and growers as we strive to stay healthy eating Jersey Fresh, Jersey Grown! Congratulations to

(Continued from page 4) a New Jersey hero, Doug Fisher!” Richard Goldstein, president of the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA), said he was pleased to hear that Secretary Fisher was chosen for this prestigious award as the 2020 Gardener News Person of the Year. “Doug Fisher has been a great ally to the NJLCA and the horticulture and landscape industry for many years,” Goldstein said. “Recently, he helped us to keep the industry in operation during the early days of the pandemic, when most everything else was shut down. Doug Fisher understands the importance of landscape and horticulture to the mental health of those quarantined at home during lockdowns and helped us bring color and light to those dark days.” The New Jersey Agricultural Society congratulated Secretary Fisher “on this wonderful

honor,” said Richard Norz, President of the Society and a past-president of the State Board of Agriculture. “I have had the privilege to work with the Secretary in different capacities during his tenure. Secretary Fisher is a tireless advocate for New Jersey farmers. He has always supported our Society’s mission to promote and educate the public about New Jersey’s agricultural industry, and remains engaged in the advancement of the NJ Agricultural Society’s three programs: Farmers Against Hunger, Learning Through Gardening, and the NJ Agricultural Leadership Development Program.” Chris Nicholson, president of the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association, said his association is thrilled with Secretary Fisher being selected as the Gardener News Person of the Year for 2020. “For as long as he has served as the Secretary of

Agriculture for the Garden State,” Nicholson said, “he has been a true advocate and voice for the real Christmas tree industry in New Jersey. Both he the department which he oversees have helped tremendously through the years to raise consumer awareness for the real Christmas tree industry in New Jersey.” Hubert Ling, president of the Native Plant Society of NJ, extended his congratulations to Secretary Fisher for earning the title of 2020 Gardener News Person of the Year, saying, “I sincerely appreciate his accomplishments in keeping New Jersey agriculture and horticulture open for business during the pandemic. “This has been a banner year for the increased use of native plants in home gardens,” Ling added. “A record number of New Jersey residents have turned to their home gardens for meaningful a c t i v i t y (Cont. on Page 13)


GardenerNews.com This New Year, perhaps we need to offer some acts of kindness to each other in these tough times. Order some take-out from your local restaurant, offer to shovel an elderly neighbor’s snow, or let a neighbor use your snow blower if you have one. Drop a few extra dollars in the Salvation Army collection bucket. Volunteer your time at the food bank in your town or mow your neighbor’s lawn while they are away. How about sharing your lawn success secrets with your neighbors? What did you do to your lawn? It looks great! Can you help me out? What grass seed did you use? You can begin at home with acts of kindness, too. Spending time with your loved ones, I hope that much of that time is spent outside enjoying your lawn. Even your lawn appreciates acts of kindness. Both you and your lawn will appreciate a new mower. Have you loved your lawn as much as you should have? Maybe it’s time for a new lawn mower; you’re home more now than ever and perhaps you have taken on the task of mowing

January 2021 13 Turf ‘s Up By Todd Pretz Professional Turf Consultant

Acts of Kindness

your lawn yourself. Is your sprinkler or irrigation system broken? Perhaps you need to treat yourself to a new hose; your lawn will love you for it. Remember how much better your lawn looked last year with the proper watering methods? Hey neighbor, you renovated your lawn last fall and it turned out great. I tried and I wasn’t so successful? Did you first test our soil pH? Your lawn grows best with a pH value between 6.2 and 7.0. If you do not know your soil pH, how can you grow a great lawn? If your soil pH is outside of this range, you may be wasting 20 to 70 percent of your lawn food. The nutrients are not available to the grass plants outside of this proper pH range. And pH test kits are available

at most lawn and garden or hardware stores. Please make a New Year’s resolution to test your soil pH; your lawn will love you for it. Is this the year to switch to an organic lawn program? Organic lawn foods deliver a slow-steady feeding of the nutrients over time. This helps to avoid volatilization or leaching of the nutrients into groundwater supplies. Is your lawn tired of being treated with crabgrass, broadleaf weeds and insect killers? Why apply these to your whole lawn when you only have 10 to 20 weeds in the whole yard? Do you really have grubs; have you monitored your lawn for these pests? If you don’t have grubs, why treat for them? This is the ultimate act

of kindness to Mother Nature, to allow her to grow a great lawn the organic way. Being kinder to your lawn follows the premise of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a process you can use to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people, pets and the environment. IPM is an ecobased strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant pesticides. Pesticides are used after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal of

removing the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risk to human health, beneficial and non-target organisms, and the environment. That’s a lot of words, but basically you are going to monitor weeds, insects and fungus throughout the year on your lawn to use control products if all other methods of control or suppression are not doing the job. Your lawn is part of your yard family. Some of us talk to our plants; others like to get their hands dirty in the soil, and others like the smell of a freshly mowed lawn, unless you have allergies! Offer some acts of kindness. Your lawn will thank you for it. Happy New Year!

Editor’s Note: Todd Pretz is Vice President of Jonathan Green, a leading supplier of lawn and garden products in the northeast. For more information, please visit: www.jonathangreen.com

2020 Person of the Year (Continued from page 12)

and discovered the fulfillment of working with their hands and enhancing gardens in which native plants provide essential benefits to all of the state’s ecosystems. Without Secretary Fisher’s efforts, the Native Plant Society’s goals of promoting the use and appreciation of native plants would have been severely hampered.” This paper now wholeheartedly salutes New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher for his outstanding ability and passion on protecting and watching over all facets of the Garden States agricultural sector, and, for constantly promoting an understanding of the state’s diversity of agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its agricultural contributions to the state’s economy. The agricultural industry, which includes enterprises engaged in the science of cultivating plants, growing crops, preparing the soil for optimum returns, landscaping services, natural resources, raising fish and animals, and logging wood, farms, dairies, hatcheries, and ranches in the Garden State, is lucky to have New Jersey

Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher’s leadership in promoting consumer protection and healthy living. Gardener News began the annual “Person of the Year” cover story in 2008. Gardener News will annually bestow our “Person of the Year” award to a person who performs exemplary outstanding service to the agricultural, farming, gardening, landscaping and/ or Nursery communities. Editor’s Note: Tom Castronovo is executive editor and publisher of Gardener News. Tom’s lifelong interest in gardening and passion for agriculture, environmental stewardship, gardening and landscaping, led to the founding of the Gardener News, which germinated in April 2003 and continues to bloom today. He is also dedicated to providing inspiration, and education to the agricultural, gardening, landscaping and nursery communities through this newspaper and GardenerNews.com.


14 January 2021 In a world spinning out of control, window boxes provide gardeners with a place to exercise complete dominion. That’s why I love them. Their history began in ancient Rome’s early apartment houses. There, terra cotta window boxes were used to grow herbs for the treatment of first century B.C. ailments. Roman philosopher, Pliny the Elder, reminisced about the days “when the villagers’ windows were brimming with colorful window boxes.”  From then on, people throughout urban centers of Europe used window box planters to grow herbs, vegetables, and medicinal plants. Over the centuries, window boxes took on various forms, such as the wire hay baskets of England and Ireland, the wrought iron boxes of France and Spain, and the intricately carved wooden boxes of the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany.  Window boxes traveled to the New World and were an important element in early-American colonial homes. Many period architectures are well suited for window box display including Colonial Revival, Georgian and of course, Victorian. During the Victorian era, window box popularity skyrocketed when gardening became England’s number-one hobby.  Numerous books were written

GardenerNews.com The Garden Historian By Lesley Parness Garden Educator

‘Thinking Outside the Box – The Window Box, That Is” on the subject at that time, and you can enjoy “The Book of Town & Window Gardening” by F.A. Bardswell at the Hathi Trust. It’s a charming read with lots of suggestions for exuberant planting combinations.   If you want to add a window box to your home’s exterior, size and proportion are critical considerations. The box should extend several inches beyond the width of the window or group of windows. The height of the box should be 20 to 25 percent of the height of the windows. Make a cardboard cutout of the proposed box to check its size. Paint the cardboard to decide whether the box will look best in the house’s body, trim, or accent color.  When the box is prominent and will remain on the house yearround, natural materials that age well (wood, wrought iron, copper, stone,

cement) are better than plastics. Wood is the most popular material, but it does require refinishing every few years. Priming with a sealer, then using a semi-gloss paint will repel water damage. If you want an antiqued look on your terra cotta box, try liming it, per instructions at www.thisoldhouse.com. Whatever you choose, adequate drainage holes are a necessity. Planting in a plastic liner makes it easy to change plants seasonally. The copper window boxes on my garden shed are veined with a rich blue patina. A permanent planting of ivy has several strategic places in which to insert spring bulbs, seasonal annuals, and, in winter, interesting bare tree branches. The liner makes planting easier, holds moisture, and protects the box from wet soil and eventual deterioration. If there’s concern about the box shifting or falling, or it’s on an upper

story, attach the back of the box itself to the masonry or to studs in the wall under the window. Brackets, screwed into wall studs, can be used for additional support. Remember, the box should not directly contact the wall. Current self-watering boxes seem trendy, but Queen Elizabeth I had an early version invented by Sir Hugh Platt in 1594 and detailed in his book, The Jewell House of Art and Nature. When choosing plants for your window box, determine the amount of light and wind the plants will receive. And remember - plants sharing a root zone, must likewise share cultural needs in order to thrive. Here’s a recipe for a basic window box medium for flowering annuals, perennials, and foliage plants.  Mix two gallons of sphagnum peat moss, one gallon of perlite or vermiculite, one gallon of compost, two

tablespoons of ground limestone in a wheelbarrow. Blend thoroughly, sprinkling with water to hold down the dust. Add enough water to lightly moisten before using. For a peat-free mix, substitute coir, and use one tablespoon of ground limestone. For acid-loving plants, leave out the limestone. For succulents, use two gallons of perlite, one gallon of sphagnum peat moss, one gallon of compost, and one tablespoon of ground limestone.  Winter’s the perfect time to consider adding a window box to your home’s façade – have fun with it and think outside the box!

Editor’s Note: Lesley Parness offers a variety of presentations and workshops for garden clubs, plant societies, and horticultural gatherings. Recently retired from her position as Superintendent of Horticultural Education at the Morris County Park Commission, and with four decades of teaching environmental science and garden education, her focus now is garden history. A complete listing of her talks can be seen at lesleyparness. com and she can be reached at parness@verizon.net. This column will appear in the paper every other month.

Invite One of These Ladies to Your Next Online Garden Club Meeting


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January 2021 15

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NEWS RELEASE

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NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE United States Department of Agriculture • Washington, DC 20250 Ag Statistics Hotline: (800) 727-9540 • www.nass.usda.gov

NEWS RELEASE

NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE United States Department of Agriculture • Washington, DC 20250 Ag Statistics Hotline: (800) 727-9540 • www.nass.usda.gov

U.S. Horticulture Operations Report $13.8 Billion in Sales New Jersey and Pennsylvania Among Top 10 States in Total Horticulture Sales The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2019 U.S. Horticulture Report $13.8 in Sales Census of Horticultural Specialties reportOperations on December 8, 2020, theBillion only source of detailed production and Pennsylvania 10 States TotalUnited Horticulture and sales dataNew for Jersey floriculture, nursery, and Among specialtyTop crops for theinentire States. Sales The data show that horticulture operations sold a total of $13.8 billion in floriculture, nursery and specialty crops in The U.S. Department of from Agriculture’s Statistics Service (NASS) in released the 2019 2019, down fractionally the sales National in 2014. Agricultural The number of horticulture operations the United Census of Horticultural Specialties report on December 8, 2020, the only source of detailed production States decreased 11% during this time to 20,655. and sales data for floriculture, nursery, and specialty crops for the entire United States. The data show that horticulture operations sold a total of $13.8 billion in floriculture, nursery and specialty crops in “First conducted in 1889, the 2019, down fractionally from the sales in 2014. The number of horticulture operations in the United horticulture census provides data on States decreased 11% during this time to 20,655. sectors for which there are no other comprehensive data sources,” said “First conducted in 1889, the NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. horticulture census data the on “It is a valuable toolprovides to highlight sectors for which there are no other contribution horticulture growers comprehensive data sources,” said bring to our local, state, and national NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. economies as well as changes in the “It is a valuable highlight industry over thetool pasttofive years.”the contribution horticulture growers bring toHorticulture our local, state, and national production economies as well as the accounted for 66% of all U.S. horticulture sales in 2019. California occurred primarily in changes 10 states,inwhich industry over theFlorida past five years.” ($2.63 billion), ($1.93 billion) and Oregon ($1.02 billion) led the nation in sales. production TheHorticulture top commodities in U.S. horticulture sales in 2019, and compared to 2014, were: occurred primarily in 10 states, whichupaccounted for 66% of all U.S. horticulture sales in 2019. California  Nursery stock, $4.55 billion, 7% ($2.63 Florida ($1.93 billion) Oregon ($1.02  billion), Annual bedding/garden plants, and $2.24 billion, downbillion) 13% led the nation in sales.  Sod, sprigs and plugs, $1.27 billion, up 12% The top commodities in U.S.$1.2 horticulture sales in 2019, and compared to 2014, were:  Potted flowering plants, billion, up 11%  Nursery stock, $4.55 billion, up 7% million, down 2% Potted herbaceous perennials, $923  Annual bedding/garden $2.24bareroot, billion, down 13% Propagative horticulturalplants, materials, and unfinished plant materials, $720 million, up 4%  Sod, sprigs and plugs, $1.27 billion, up 12% Food crops under protection, $703 million, down 12%  Potted flowering plants, $1.2 billion, up 11%  key Potted herbaceous perennials, $923ofmillion, down 2% Other findings from the 2019 Census Horticultural Specialties report include:  Propagative horticultural materials, bareroot, andup unfinished materials, $720 million, up 4% Family- or individually-owned operations made the largestplant number of operations, accounting  Food crops protection, $703 million, down 12% for 75% of sales ($10.3 billion). for 52%, butunder corporately-owned operations accounted  Total industry expenses were up 6% since 2014, with labor being the largest cost, accounting for Other key findings the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties report include: 42% of totalfrom expenses in 2019.  Family- or individually-owned operations made up the largest number of operations, accounting for butof corporately-owned operations accounted for 75% of sales ($10.3 billion). The52%, Census Horticultural Specialties is part of the larger Census of Agriculture program. It  Total industryon expenses wereand up 6% since 2014, with labor being the largest cost, production, accounting for provides information the number types of establishments engaged in horticultural ofvarieties total expenses in 2019. value of42% sales, of products, production expenses and more. All operations that reported producing and selling $10,000 or more of horticultural crops on the 2017 Census of Agriculture were Census of Horticultural Specialties is part of the larger Census of Agriculture program. It includedThe in this special study. provides information on the number and types of establishments engaged in horticultural production, value ofFor sales, varieties of products, expenses All operations that reported more information and to production access the full report,and visitmore. www.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus.


GardenerNews.com Over the years, I have attempted to be more and more mindful of adding plants to the garden that will provide winter interest. Fortunately, in this area there are many choices. There are many great broadleaved and coniferous evergreens. There are many great choices of winterberry hollies, which lose their leaves in the winter, revealing ornamental berries for the winter. The brilliant winter stems of some shrubby dogwoods provide stunning winter interest and I am especially a fan of those trees that have attractive flaking or peeling bark. If I could only choose one tree for its winter appeal, it would have to be the paperbark maple, Acer griseum. This PHS Gold Medal Recipient through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is stunning year-around with its coppery peeling bark, which has the textural quality of shaved chocolate. This ornamental bark quality looks great in all seasons. In the fall, the foliage turns brilliant shades of orange, red and yellow. The naked stems, branches and trunk in the winter are truly stunning. At my home garden, I have a 20-year-old specimen, which is about 20 feet tall and wide at the end of my patio. It has a dark evergreen backdrop of the Japanese red-cedar, Cryptomeria

January 2021 17 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society By Andrew Bunting Vice President of Public Horticulture

Winter Appeal

japonica “Yoshino.,” Acer griseum, is relatively slow growing. Acer “Cinnamon Flake” and Gingerbread™ are hybrids between Acer griseum and a related species, A. nikoense. The resulting hybrids have paperbark maple-like bark, but more vigor, resulting in plants that are fast growing. I have seen Gingerbread™ used as a small street tree in Atlanta. A close relative to Acer griseum is the three-flowered maple, Acer triflorum. The bark still peels in a similar manner but the bark is more of a tawnygolden color and the fall color is brilliant orange. The river birch, Betula nigra, has been a popular medium-sized to large ornamental tree for at least 30 years. Betula nigra Heritage™ which also is a PHS Gold Medal recipient, was the first of the cultivars to be promoted. This very fast-growing tree can grow five to six years when it is young.

The peeling bark has tones of brown, cream and even a pink tint. It is a versatile tree. As the common name would imply, it can literally grow in standing water and along streams and rivers, but it can also grow in dry and urban soils. As it grows, the lower branches should be “limbed up” to reveal the attractive bark. The small leaves turn golden yellow in the fall. It does have a couple shortcomings. It can be a little messy, in that, small branches are often shed during windstorms and the leaves can get a leaf miner, which can cause leaf drop. Therefore, it would be advisable not to plant next to a patio or deck because of these issues. However, it makes a great focal point in the garden or it is often best used in mass plantings amongst tapestries of perennials and shrubs. It can cultivated as a single-trunked tree or as a multi-stemmed tree where it is especially ornamental.

Heritage™ is a good choice for the Mid-Atlantic states, but if heat tolerance is a need in the Southern states or in urban conditions, then Dura Heat™ is recommended. A great choice of gardens with limited space is the diminutive Little King™ which at maturity only reaches 15 feet tall and wide. While most crape myrtles are first and foremost grown for their array of flower-color choices, many have exceptional bark that has mosaic-like patterns. However, the Japanese crape myrtle, Lagerstroemia fauriei is predominantly grown for its exquisite flaking cinnamon bark that reveals beautifully smooth trunks. Like other crape myrtles L. fauriei thrives in full sun and is very tolerant of urban conditions, making it a good choice for a medium-sized street tree. “Townhouse” and “Fantasy” are both great selections.

Ultimately, it becomes an upright, vase-shaped tree reaching to 30 feet tall. At a young age, branches should be regularly pruned to continue to expose the amazing coppery bark of the Japanese crape myrtle. Editor’s Note: Andrew Bunting is Vice President of Public Horticulture for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He is one of the most recognized horticulturists in the Philadelphia, Pa., region and a highly regarded colleague in the world of professional horticulture. Bunting has amassed a plethora of awards, including the American Public Gardens Association Professional Citation, Chanticleer Scholarship in Professional Development, Delaware Center for Horticulture’s Marion Marsh Award, and the Certificate of Merit from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. In addition, Bunting has lectured extensively throughout North America and Europe, and participated in plant expeditions throughout Asia and Africa. Learn more at https://phsonline.org/team/ andrew-bunting

PHS Announces Summer 2021 Move to Outdoor Venue for famed Philadelphia Flower Show The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) announced it will completely reimagine its Philadelphia Flower Show to allow for a new, safe experience in a historic Philadelphia park that will provide all of the beauty and horticultural inspiration that guests have experienced for more than 192 years and so much more. The Philadelphia Flower Show will take place June 5 13, 2021 at the historic Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park (FDR Park) in South Philadelphia, taking advantage of the park’s inspiring natural beauty and expansive central location adjacent to South Philadelphia’s Sports Complex area. The Flower Show’s move to an outdoor venue, the first time in its history, will allow for new creative expression and horticultural displays as well as social distancing and the health

benefits of being outside. This departure from the Show’s typical late winter timing is in response to the pandemic. PHS has been working closely with event experts and city officials to plan for a safe environment that will include timed and date-specific ticketing that limits attendance at any given time and allows for social distancing and other safety precautions. “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the outdoors and offer joy and beauty after a year that has been marked by so many challenges. This experience is a wonderful example of the enduring and combined power of green space, plants, and gardeners to create impact and inspiration,” said Sam Lemheney, PHS Chief of Shows & Events. The expanded Show will cover 15 acres allowing for a spectacular presentation of

the nation’s most looked-to gardening and floral attraction. This new format will introduce many exciting new features while continuing to include cherished elements of traditional Philadelphia Flower Shows. The Show raises funds to support health and wellbeing through PHS programs, such as those that bolster food security and tree canopy in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic throughout the region. The early June dates at the height of the growing season provide a multitude of opportunities for gardeners to get inspired and get growing after their Show visit. Visitors will have an entirely new themed experience that will take place within three distinct “Districts” that feature all manner of Plants, Design and Gardening and created for all skill levels. Throughout the event,

impressive landscapes and architecture abound. FDR Park, a registered historical district was built to the design of Olmsted Brothers, the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and John Charles Olmsted in the early 20th century. With walkable pathways, majestic trees and breathtaking views, FDR Park is an inspiring venue that contributes to the splendor that the Flower Show is known for while also being accessible by mass transit and car. Public safety is a critical component for the upcoming Show and adherence to recommendations from the CDC and City/State health officials is paramount to Show planning. Timed and dated entry as well as cleaning and social distancing guidelines are part of the early plans. PHS will continue to work closely with health officials leading up to the Show with updated guidance available at

PHSonline.org. The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and the world’s longest-running horticultural event and features stunning displays by some of the world’s premier floral and landscape designers. The Show has been named “Best Event” by the International Festivals and Events Association and “Best of the Best” by the American Bus Association (for the fifth consecutive year) in 2020-2021. Started in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Show introduces diverse and sustainable plant varieties and garden and design concepts. In addition to acres of garden displays, the Flower Show hosts world-renowned competitions in horticulture and artistic floral arranging, gardening presentations and demonstrations, special events, and the citywide Bloom Philly pre-Show celebration.


18 January 2021

GardenerNews.com

And The 2020 The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) announces 2020 Landscape Achievement Awards winners. The awards program is designed to acknowledge landscape professionals who execute quality landscape projects. In sponsoring the awards program, the NJLCA strives to recognize superior landscaping projects and to encourage landscape contractors’ consistent use of quality materials and workmanship. The names of entrants are kept from the panel of judges, so as not to affect the decisionmaking process. The NJLCA presents awards to individuals and companies who 2020 NJLCA Landscape Achievement Award Winners have provided outstanding service to the industry and support of were American Beauty Landscape Design, Inc. (Paramus), which won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation: the NJLCA. Lighting for the IHA Field - Lighting project, designed by Jeff Carpenter. They also won the Award of Excellence for the same project in Landscape Installation: School. In addition, they won CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR the Judges’ Choice Award for this project. Exclusive Stoneworks – Richard Andreu (Lyndhurst) ASSOCIATE OF THE YEAR Cambridge Pavers (Lyndhurst) VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR Shawn Kukol, Horizon Landscape Co. (Wyckoff) GROWING ASSOCIATE OF THE YEAR RJ Curcio of New Jersey Deer Control (Red Bank) MEDIA PARTNER OF THE YEAR Turf Magazine

Castle Point Landscape Design (Basking Ridge) won the Award of Distinction in Landscape Installation without Pool: $50,000-$100,000, for the Whispering Woods Outdoor Transformation. They also won the Award of Excellence in the same category for the Bonilla Overhaul project. Both were designed by Steve Graul. Cedarwood Landscaping, Inc. (Mendham) won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation without Pool: Over $100,000, for the Tree Tops project, designed by J. Scott Mortensen. CLC Landscape Design (Ringwood) won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation with Pool: $100,000$250,000, for the Franklin Lakes: Relax In Style project, designed by Frank Thropp.

CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD Tom Chevrier at SiteOne Landscape Supply (Mahwah)

Exclusive Stoneworks (Lyndhurst) won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation without Pool: Up to $25,000, for the DeMarco Patio project. Exclusive also won the Award of Distinction in Landscape Installation without Pool: $50,000-$100,000 for the Renna Residence project.

LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD Assemblyman Kevin Rooney (New Jersey’s 40th Legislative District)

In addition, they won the Award of Distinction in Landscape Installation with Pool: Up to $100,000, for the Verling Poolscape project. All projects were designed by Rich Andreu.

New Jersey Landscape


GardenerNews.com

January 2021 19

Winners Are... Farmside Landscape and Design (Sussex) won the Award of Merit in Landscape Maintenance: Residential, for the Elegant Villa property. They also won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation without Pool: $50,000-$100,000, for the Lakeside Retreat project, designed by Miles Kuperus II. Farmside Landscape also won the Award of Distinction in Landscape Installation without Pool: $50,000-$100,000, for the Fireside Retreat project, also designed by Miles Kuperus II. Monello Landscape Industries (Wayne) won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation: Commercial/Industrial, for the Lackawanna Station project, designed by Joe Monello and Jarret Bernard. They also won the Award of Distinction in Landscape Installation: Lighting, for the Heydt Lighting project, designed by Joe Monello and Dave Pilaar. Monello also won the Award of Distinction in Landscape Installation with Pool: $100,000-$250,000 for the Heydt Residence project, designed by Joe Monello and Jarret Bernard. In addition, they won the Award of Merit in Landscape Installation with Pool: $250,000-$500,000, for the Lui Residence, also designed by Joe Monello and Jarret Bernard.

Sponzilli Landscape Group (Fairfield) won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation without Pool: Over $100,000, for the Lieberman Residence project. They also won the Award of Merit in Landscape Installation without Pool: Over $100,000, for the Rubenstein Residence project. Sponzilli additionally won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation with Pool: Over $500,000, for the Hu Residence project. Tode The Artistry of Landscape (Midland Park) won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Maintenance: Commercial/ Industrial, for the Hackensack Meridian Health project, supervised by Mario Gomez. They also won the Award of Distinction in Landscape Installation without Pool: $25,000-$50,000, for the Glen Rock Hardscape project, designed by Michael B. Tode. Vander Sluys Landscape Development, LLC (Wyckoff) won the Award of Merit in Landscape Installation without Pool: Up to $25,000, for the Ganchi Residence - Landscape project.

Wicklow and Laurano Landscape Contractors (Flanders) won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation: Condo/ Townhouse, for the Hoboken Courtyard project. They also won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation without Pool: Over $100,000, for the Mendham Estate project. Both projects were Scenic Landscaping (Haskell) won the Award of Distinction in designed by Edward Clark, LA. Landscape Installation: Commercial/Industrial, for the Station Yellow Wagon Landscaping LLC (Ridgefield) won the Award Village at Avenel property, designed by Rick Zimmer and Mitch of Distinction in Landscape Maintenance: Condo/Townhouse, Knapp. They also won the Award of Distinction in Landscape for the Hudson Tea Building property. They also won the Award of Installation without Pool: Over $100,000, for the Garden Property Merit in the same category for the Portofino Apartments property. - Morristown project, designed by Matt Jones. Both properties are supervised by John Freitag. Siciliano Landscape Company (Red Bank) won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Maintenance: Residential, for the Buena Vista Residence, supervised by Julie Soleil. They also won the Award of Excellence in the same category for the Navesink River Road Residence property, supervised by Daniel Fleming. Siciliano also won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation with Pool: $250,000-$500,000, for the East River Road Residence project, designed by Alan Tufts. Finally, they won the Award of Excellence in Landscape Installation with Pool: Over $500,000, for the Club Way Residence project, also designed by Alan Tufts.

Yellow Wagon Landscaping also won the Award of Merit in Landscape Installation: Condo/Townhouse, for the Clermont Cove Condominiums project. They also won the Award of Distinction in Landscape Installation: Foundation Planting/Small Garden, for the Yang Residence project. They won the Award of Merit in Landscape Installation without Pool: $25,000-$50,000, for the Menegatos Residence project. Yellow Wagon won the Award of Distinction in Landscape Installation without Pool: Over $100,000, for the Gourmos Residence project. All were designed by Andrew Lala. Congratulations to all the winners!

Contractors Association


20 January 2021 It has certainly been a challenging year for all of us. Here at the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA), we hope you are all well and staying safe. Throughout 2020, we have done our best to keep our members and allied industries informed as to what is happening, how they can comply with executive orders, what they can expect in the future and how to reorganize their businesses to work within the requirements we’ve all faced. We have hosted webinars on topics such as “Business Strategies to Endure COVID-19” and “Navigating the Paycheck Protection Program.” We held pesticide certification training, along with recertification courses. NJLCA also had several Zoom calls with our members to discuss the issues they were, and are, facing throughout the pandemic. They were most valuable, as often we or another member had solutions to their issues. And sometimes it was simply great to see that we were all facing difficulties and to be able to vent our frustrations together. NJLCA also tried to continually stay connected with our members and friends, calling each one individually several

GardenerNews.com Fisher, for being named the 2020 Gardener News Person of the Year. Secretary Fischer is a kind, smart and funny individual and someone I would consider a By Gail Woolcott colleague and a friend. This honor Executive Director is well-deserved! We are wishing the NJLCA members, allies, associates, readers and their families a wonderful New Year. Let’s kick this virus in just someone to commiserate, we information about the landscape, the teeth and move on to greater at the NJLCA feel that we have nursery and green industry. We and more beautiful landscapes. been able to demonstrate our value also resolve to provide thought- Take care of yourselves and enjoy in a tangible way this year. provoking content, educational the beautiful winter landscapes The NJLCA is looking events and fun times for all our the nature surrounds us with over the next few months. cautiously and optimistically members. toward 2021 and moving on to For our readers, NOW is a a healthier and more productive great time to start researching Editor’s note: Gail Woolcott year. Our offices are still open, and and working with your landscape is the Executive Director for we are working on some exciting contractor to begin to plan your the New Jersey Landscape and, possibly, in-person events spring projects (most are already Contractors Association. over the next several months (of booking for April and May). She was presented with a course, depending on the public Make sure the contractor you community service award from health outlook and safety). choose is properly insured and the Borough of Fairview for It’s the time of year when we all has all the required registrations her assistance in leading the make our New Year Resolutions and licenses (pesticide, fertilizer, 9-11 Memorial Park project and we at the NJLCA are no home improvement contractor, and the Legislative Champion different. In 2021, we plan to make etc.). Then spend time with them of the Year award from the it a point that all our members, discussing how you visualize your Federation of Employers and near and far, feel wanted and dream landscape and how you can Workers of America. She is included in everything we do. make it come true. currently the State Licensee We resolve to continue providing I’d like to offer my heartfelt Chair on the National our members and readers of the congratulations to my fellow Association of Landscape Gardener News with the best, columnist, New Jersey Secretary Professionals International most up to date and reliable of Agriculture Douglas H. Certification Council.

The NJLCA Today

Challenges Equal Opportunity

times over the year. When we were able to, as permitted by the Governor, we even had the opportunity to host two in-person events (masks and temperature checks were required). One was a traditional member meeting where we educated our attendees on the growing deer populations and how to create landscapes less appealing to the deer. The other was a pretty cool car show and barbecue for members to mix and mingle. As we dive into the winter months, we know we won’t be able to meet in person but will most certainly keep our members informed and stay on top of any breaking news to help them continue running as smoothly as possible. Whether it be sources for personal protective equipment, assistance with filling out grant forms, business tips, how-to’s or

Newly Elected Officers, Directors and Advisors PRESIDENT: Richard Goldstein - Green Meadows Landscaping, Inc. VICE PRESIDENT: John Freitag - Yellow Wagon Landscaping, LLC. TREASURER: Wade Slover - SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc. DIRECTORS

ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS

Richard Andreu - Exclusive Stoneworks

Joe Bolognese - SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc.

Jeff Baker - R & J Land Care

David Gaynor - Middleton & Company Insurance

Greg Carpenter - American Beauty Landscape Justin Flatow - Green Meadows Landscaping

BOARD ADVISORS

George Futterknecht - Wood Landscapes

Dr. Bruce Clarke - Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Scott Hild - Scott Hild Landscaping

Dr. Jim Murphy - Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Shawn Kukol - Horizon Landscape Company

Dr. Steve Fischer - Bergen Community College


GardenerNews.com

January 2021 21

Bobcat of North Jersey Congratulations to the

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Newly Elected Executive Board, Directors, Associate Directors and Board Advisors and to the 2020 Landscape Achievement Awards Winners

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22 January 2021

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NORTHEAST DEPARTMENT DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Hemp producers in Delaware must register growing sites annually

New Jersey Department of Agriculture Announces 2021 Hemp Applications Available

The Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) is reminding hemp producers to register their growing sites using the annual Growing Site Registration form to register available online before February 1. Also, any individual who intends to grow, cultivate or distribute hemp, including transplants, seedlings, or clones, must apply to be a Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program Producer, with renewal required every three years. As described in the Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program Participant Guide online at https://de.gov/hemp, there are also requirements for processors and handlers. Under the Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program, the Delaware Department of Agriculture is responsible for regulating hemp production. The Department does not have oversight of the selling of hemp products or the businesses marketing these products, including any CBD product. In 2020, Delaware had 13 registered producers with 75 acres registered for outdoor production and 34,000 square feet of indoor production space. As producers begin the process of applying for the first time or renewing their growing sites for 2021, DDA issued the following reminders: • When purchasing seed, all seed is still subject to the Federal Seed Act and Delaware Seed Law, which regulate seed tags and labeling. • Producers can designate one person as an Authorized Representative with authority to be present at sample collection and correspond with the Department. • This person must be indicated on the Producer Application and must submit a Criminal History Report. The Department requires only one Criminal History Report if applying for more than one license type. Criminal History Reports are to be submitted at the time of application or renewal and must be dated no more than four months prior. The 2021 Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program is fee-based as outlined in the Participant Guide and applications found online at https:// de.gov/hemp. Producers, processors, and handlers who have questions about Delaware’s Domestic Hemp Production Program should email DDA_HempProgram@delaware.gov

New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher announced today that applications for potential growers and processors of hemp for the 2021 season are now available on the Department’s website. “Working together with our farmers, university partners, and other organizations, we are encouraged by the interest that is being shown and expect continued growth of hemp in New Jersey,” Secretary Fisher said. Hemp applications, rules, and regulations can be found at http://bit.ly/35dzAQW. There is no deadline to apply as applications are accepted throughout the year. There is no limit to the number hemp growers or processors for New Jersey. There are more than 25,000 reported uses for hemp products globally according to a 2018 Congressional Research Service report. Hemp is grown mainly for seed production (food products, culinary oils, soaps, lotions, cosmetics) and fiber production (fabrics, yarns, paper products, construction materials, etc.). Hemp is also grown to produce cannabidiol (CBD) oil extracted from resins produced largely in its flowers. CBD is used as a health supplement with purported health benefits including pain relief, reducing inflammation, and others. The growing time for hemp can range from 45-120 days based on the variety and intended use of the crop. Industrial hemp (cannabis sativa) was a major crop grown in America starting in the Colonial period, and is used for textiles, paper, and rope, and continues to this day to be used in fiberboard, construction materials, protein for both humans and livestock, lubricating oils, and energy-producing biomass. New Jersey hemp legislation at the state-level was signed into law by Governor Philip Murphy on August 9, 2019, after which followed the process of New Jersey filing for USDA approval. New Jersey will be entering its second year of growing hemp after being one of the first three states to have its hemp plan approved by the USDA. New Jersey had 59 licensed growers, 13 processors and 6 handlers and grew 89 varieties of hemp in 2020.  The NJDA’s Division of Plant Industry is responsible for inspecting hemp growing facilities and testing hemp varieties to ensure that the THC content is within the 0.3 percent limit set by the USDA. The manufacturing of products for human and animal consumption derived from hemp remains within the purview of the Federal Food & Drug Administration. For further information about the New Jersey Hemp Program, email NJHemp@ag.nj. gov or call 609-406-6941.

PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Department of Agriculture: 2021 Farm Show Butter Sculpture Cancelled Amid COVID-19 Resurgence The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced the cancellation of the annual butter sculpture, scheduled to among virtual features in the 2021 Farm Show. “Pennsylvania is experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases with higher daily case counts than we saw in the spring,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “While we are heartbroken to have to cancel popular features of our annual Farm Show, we simply cannot afford to compromise the health and safety of our staff, the sculptors who would have to travel to Harrisburg, and those involved in recording and broadcasting virtual events. “The 2021 virtual show will go on. Our focus will continue to be providing educational, engaging,

100 percent virtual stories, pre-recorded video tours, and lively, issue-oriented conversations that invite Pennsylvanians, wherever they are, to encounter agriculture for the first time or to see it from a whole new perspective from the safety of their homes. We will continue to adjust plans for Farm Show and release further details as the pandemic unfolds.” The annual butter sculpture, which highlights the goodness of dairy and the industry’s importance to Pennsylvania’s economy, is sponsored by the American Dairy Association North East, or ADANE. “While we are disappointed that the butter sculpture at the Pennsylvania Farm Show is cancelled, the safety of our neighbors and the community is of utmost concern of our dairy farmers,” explained

ADANE CEO Rick Naczi. “Everyone will miss viewing the butter sculpture in 2021 because it is a creative way to highlight the state’s hardworking dairy farmers. However, we will explore other opportunities to highlight the importance of dairy to the state’s economy and the real enjoyment by consumers during the Virtual PA Farm Show. We will look beyond next year and forward to working with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to bring a butter sculpture to consumers in 2022.” Find more information about the 2021 Virtual Pennsylvania Farm Show at farmshow.pa.gov. For more information about the Department of Agriculture’s COVID-19 response, visit agriculture. pa.gov/covid.


GardenerNews.com

January 2021 23

OF AGRICULTURE NEWS NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Consumers Can Continue to Support Local Farms at Indoor Markets Across the State The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets today reminded New York consumers that many of New York State’s indoor farmers’ markets are open this winter season, with markets following New York State guidance for operating safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. A list of markets operating during the winter months can be found at https://agriculture.ny.gov/farming/farmersmarkets. State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Our farmers’ markets are an easy and meaningful way for consumers to continue to support local farmers, all year long. Markets that have moved indoors for the winter are continuing to follow Department guidance to ensure both vendors and customers are safe and socially distanced. I encourage everyone to shop local and visit the farmers’ market closest to them this winter to get everything from vegetables, eggs, and dairy products to maple and honey.”

Diane Eggert, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Federation of New York, said, “New York’s farmers market managers have stepped up to create safe venues to shop for an amazing abundance of local foods—from fruits and vegetables to meats and beverages and everything in-between— to grace our family tables with nutritious, healthy, and tasty foods. We encourage everyone to stop in at their local farmers markets and support New York’s agricultural producers and experience the bounty and flavors of New York’s farmers.” New York’s farmers’ markets were designated as essential operations early in the pandemic. The Department issued guidance to help market managers and farmers welcome visitors safely. Requirements include: assuring that all market visitors wear masks; spacing out vendors as much as possible; minimizing the food customers may directly access; increasing the number of handwashing stations and making hand sanitizer, containing at least 60% alcohol,

available to vendors and customers; and managing customer traffic within the market to promote social distancing. There are also specific requirements for vendors, including frequently cleaning and sanitizing surfaces; limiting the number of customers at each table; and prepackaging raw agricultural products, such as apples, potatoes, and onions. The complete guidance, which applies to winter markets as well, can be found at https://agriculture.ny.gov/system/files/ documents/2020/08/interimguidancefarmersmarkets. pdf. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has issued a full slate of guidelines for the agricultural industry, in addition to the guidance for farmers’ markets, including for its farms, food and beverage producers, and animal care operations. All guidance can be found at https://agriculture.ny.gov/ coronavirus.

CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Connecticut’s FFA Chapters and Students Win National Honors Cheers erupted in Caleb Peckham’s home on October 27, opening night of the 93rd National FFA Convention & Expo, as he was named the national winner in the Dairy Production – Placement Proficiency category. A seventh-generation dairy farmer from Woodstock, CT, Caleb graduated from Killingly FFA earlier this year where his SAE, or Supervised Agricultural Experience, focused on nearly all aspects of his family’s Elm Farm, home of a 150 Holstein and Jersey milking herd. During his SAE, Caleb managed and assisted with milking cows, managing the calf barn, working with the herd nutritionist to develop balanced feed rations the herd and heifer program, selecting sires for the breeding program, and a variety of field work. In addition, he took on added responsibilities as the family began bottling their own milk and launched a retail farm store, Farm to Table Market. After winning at the state level, he applied to the national contest where he was named one of four

finalists earlier this year. Competing against finalists from Georgia, Tennessee and Ohio was daunting and not without hesitation. “I was happy to be named a finalist, but to win is such a huge accomplishment,” he says. “To be recognized nationally is such an honor – to represent Connecticut and New England. Others don’t think of Connecticut for dairy production and it’s important to highlight that we are, just doing it differently.” Now in his freshmen year at SUNY Cobleskill pursuing a degree in dairy production and management, Caleb is quick to credit his FFA advisors for their support, especially Bonnie Kegler. He shares, “Mrs. Kegler worked tirelessly with me on this – I wouldn’t be here without her.” As someone who professes to “eat, sleep and breathe” farm life, this accolade is another step towards his long-term vision of producing a quality product for the local community to enjoy while helping the farm be sustainable and successful

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alongside his family. This year’s national event was the first to be held virtually, however, it was still filled with excitement and prestige for all attendees. Twenty Connecticut FFA students received the American FFA degree, the highest achievement in the organization, demonstrating their dedication to their chapter and state organization, effort towards their SAE project, and outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement. Two chapters, Woodbury FFA and Housatonic Valley FFA, both received the 2020 National Chapter Award, achieving a one and two-star rating respectively. The mission of FFA is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education. For more information, visit www.ctffa.org or www.ffa.org.


24 January 2021

GardenerNews.com


GardenerNews.com

January 2021 25

Embracing 2021 as GCNJ Goes Wild! By Jeannie Geremia Contributing Writer

Happy New Year to all my gardening friends as we welcome this fresh, young year with exciting news to share with you, along with an invitation. The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc. is setting the stage for so many positive and unexpected results from the global pandemic that impacted us all and reset our priorities. We have gifts to share and the first gift to all is an invitation to register and attend (virtually, of course) GCNJ’s Go Wild Winter Festival. The idea was percolating over the last few months as our GCNJ Fall Conference was postponed, and an earlier date just didn’t seem feasible with the holidays, pandemic, and elections swirling around us like a mini cyclone. What better time of year to stage this event, then mid-February, as we eagerly anticipate the disappearance of the COVID19 virus and implement lessons learned and life changes we are reluctantly, at first, but now wholeheartedly embracing? Mark your calendars as The GCNJ’s Go Wild Winter Festival will be held on February 9, 10, and 11, 2021 in a virtual multi-media presentation. It will consist of a series of six programs with each program featuring one or more speakers. The schedule for each day will be two presentations per day, the first at 11 a.m., and the second at 2 p.m., allowing time for a lunch break and enabling our guests to truly enjoy and savor each program while attending to their normal routines of the day. The focus will be on protecting our wildlife for

us and future generations as this pandemic shocked us in the reality that we will not survive if we don’t listen to Mother Nature and care for our air, water, forest, land, and wildlife through conservation awareness, education, and advocacy. I hope you all saw our newly adopted Garden Club of New Jersey (GCNJ) Conservation Pledge that was featured in the November and December 2020 Gardener News. This, then, is our first step, in living up to our pledge to protect our natural resources. The GCNJ’s Go Wild Winter Festival will include a program given by Conserve Wildlife Executive Director, David Wheeler and will be an interactive Wildlife Action Plan, helping to save our rare and imperiled wildlife with actions we can take. This action plan was developed by the NJDEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, with help from the public, the state’s conservation groups and other stakeholders. David Wheeler authored ‘Wild New Jersey, Nature Adventures in the Garden State” and is a passionate promoter and defender of wildlife in our state, continually advocating for our wildlife. I’m not sure who covered more territory in New Jersey on its highways, byways, parks, paths, hamlets, towns, cities from our rugged Northwest Highlands to the Heartland in west Jersey, to the Jersey Shore, and the Pinelands and Cape May to the South, David Wheeler or Douglas H. Fisher, Secretary of Agriculture. Both gentlemen have so many stories of people and places in our great state, and it’s a pleasure to hear their tales. A program, not to be missed features two New Jersey heroes who have

fought valiantly over the last several decades to protect Liberty State Park from privatization and commercialization. If you haven’t been to Liberty State Park in many years, or never have had the opportunity, Sam Pesin, President of Friends of Liberty State Park, and Greg Remaud, CEO of NY/NJ Baykeepers, will make you want to drop everything and take a trip to see what you’ve been missing in this fabulous state park that has become a worldwide beacon as an unparalleled urban oasis gazing out to the Stature of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Manhattan skyline. Sam and Greg are looking forward to sharing the glorious history replete with the story of Sam’s father, the visionary Morris Pesin, Father of Liberty State Park, as he saw, just as John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt did in the breathtakingly beautiful Wild West, that Jersey City has its own Wild East in an urban setting. It’s a story of the impact and difference one person can make that reverberates globally. Rutgers and The Garden Club of New Jersey is fortunate to have Bruce Crawford in our midst as he has assumed a new position at Rutgers Extension Service and is our liaison to New Jersey horticulture, workshops and more. Bruce will do a program entitled “Trees & Flora for Creating Wildlife Habitat.” Bruce is a dynamic speaker and has his audience always begging for more as his passion for horticulture, past, present and future is a gift he shares continually. Lucky us! More surprises await, plus a Wildlife Photographer, so go to our website: www. gardenclubofnewjersey.org and find Festival details!

Editor’s Note: Jeannie Geremia is The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc. President, and is a National Garden Clubs, Inc. Master Flower Show Judge for the GCNJ. Jeannie is a member of Neshanic Garden Club and her email address is: jgeremia42@gmail.com, The Garden Club of New Jersey’s website is: www.gardenclubofnewjersey.org.

Fiskars Brands Recalls 16 Foot Pole Saw/Pruners Due to Laceration Hazard

Description: This recall involves Fiskars 16 foot extendable pole saw/pruners with model numbers 9463, 9440 and 9441.  These pole saw/pruners are lawn and garden tools that extend from 7 feet to 16 feet and are used to cut high tree branches with either their pruner (for smaller branches) or their 15-inch hooked wood saw blade (for larger branches).  The blade is secured to an oval-shaped fiberglass and aluminum telescoping pole set that locks into place through a double-locking system consisting of two orange c-clamps and a black and orange lock and pin mechanism in each of the upper and lower pole assemblies.  They have an orange and black pole.  “Fiskars” is printed on the pole.  The model number is printed on the UPC code on the pole. Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled pole saw/pruners and contact Fiskars Brands to receive instructions on how to destroy and dispose of the product in exchange for a full refund. Incidents/Injuries: Fiskars received two reports of the poles separating and falling.  Two laceration injuries requiring stitches have been reported. Sold At: Home improvement and hardware stores nationwide and online at fiskars.com from December 2016 through September 2020 for about $100 (Model No. 9463) and $65 (Model Nos. 9440 and 9441). Importer(s): Fiskars Brands Inc., Middleton, Wisconsin Manufactured In: Taiwan and China Recall number: 21-044 Consumer Contact: Fiskars Brands tollfree at 888-847-8716 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT, or online at https://fiskarsliveagent.secure.force.com/ FiskarsProductNotification/, or at www.fiskars.com and scroll to the bottom of the page and select Product Notifications.

EPA Proposes Registration of Trifludimoxazin, a New Herbicide Active Ingredient

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to register pesticide products containing the new active ingredient trifludimoxazin, a vital additional tool in managing resistant weeds. Trifludimoxazin is an herbicide intended for pre- and/ or post-emergent control of broadleaf and grass weeds. It can be applied by aircraft on citrus fruits, pome fruits, cereal grain (except rice), tree nuts, peanuts, and foliage of legume vegetables. Non-agricultural use sites include tree plantations, industrial landscaping, native grass openings, and conifer and hardwood plantations. EPA reviewed trifludimoxazin and determined there are no human health risk concerns. EPA is proposing specific mitigations to address potential ecological risks, including label instructions to reduce spray drift by using a medium to ultra-coarse spray nozzle, and resistance management strategies to reduce the potential for herbicide resistance. The label also includes advisory language to prevent off-site movement to non-target areas due to runoff, along with application restrictions and recommendations on what types of soils and substrates to avoid. EPA is accepting public comments on this proposal via docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0762 at www.regulations.gov for 30 days.


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The Gardener News invites correspondences on gardening subjects of interest. Gardener News, Inc, and its Publisher reserve the right to accept, refuse, or discontinue any editorial or copy, and shall not be liable to anyone for printing errors, misinformation or omissions in editorial or copy. The information contained in articles herein represents the opinions of the authors and, although believed to be accurate and complete, is not represented or warranted by Gardener News, Inc. to be accurate or complete. All advertising is subject to the Gardener News advertisement rates, and must be PAID IN FULL at time of submission. Publisher reserves the right at its absolute discretion, and at any time, to cancel any advertising order or reject any advertising copy whether or not the same has already been acknowledged and/or previously published. In the event of errors or omissions of any advertisement(s), the newspapers liability shall not exceed a refund of amounts paid for the advertisement. NOTE: All editorial, advertising layouts and designs and portions of the same that are produced and published by Gardener News, Inc., are the sole property of Gardener News, Inc. and may not be reproduced in any form unless written authorization is obtained from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to: Gardener News, 16 Mount Bethel Rd - #123, Warren, NJ 07059. (c) 2021 Gardener News, Inc.

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Houseplants should be watered sparingly during the winter. They are resting at this time and don’t appreciate the shock of ice cold water. Standing Whitehouse them in a tray of wet gravel is a good practice. Station Also, check them for insects and bathe them with soapy water if you find any. Make sure they are well rinsed after the bath. Most houseplants are comfortable in daytime Solberg temperatures between 65 Airportabove 50 degrees Fahrenheit. to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temps Try to keep them away from both cold drafts and sources of heat such as radiators, ovens, fireplaces, and electronic devices. Fluctuations in temperature can kill them just as easily as prolonged periods of heat or cold. 202 Winter months are darker and the days are shorter. You may need to relocate your houseplants to a brighter spot or even add supplemental light. A good spot would be a south- or west-facing window that remains sunny all day. Just don’t move them so close to a frosty window that they are getting a draft. And remember, houseplants rest at this time and go dormant or semidormant. They don’t need or want fertilizer. Wait until the weather warms and the days get longer. Rea

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GardenerNews.com

January 2021 27

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Serving the Agricultural, Gardening, Landscaping and Nursery Communities