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Serving the Agricultural, Gardening and Landscaping Communities


ONE 20

Gardener News

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No. 180

New Jersey’s Wine & Grape Industry

Mesh netting protects Blaufränkisch wine grapes at Beneduce Vineyards in Pittstown, Hunterdon County, N.J. state in 2016, an increase of 39.9 percent from the $231 million economic impact reported in 2011, New Jersey’s wine according to a new study industry had a $323 million released by the Garden State economic impact on the Wine Growers Association

By Tom Castronovo Executive Editor

(GSWGA), funded from a Wine Industry Council Grant and completed by accounting and consulting firm Frank, Rimerman + Co. Wine production increased by 73.1 percent

from 405,954 gallons in 2011 to 702,671 in 2016. The number of wineries in the state increased from 38 to 50, and wine, grapes and related industries accounted for 1,979 jobs (up 35.4

Tom Castronovo/File Photo

percent from 1,462 in 2011) according to the study, with the majority of the jobs being in the actual wineries and vineyards with an associated payroll of $85.57 million. Grape-bearing (Cont. on Page 8)

2 April 2018

G a r d e n C e n t e r D i r e c t o r y


April 2018 3

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4 April 2018 Our planet’s amazing, confounding ecosystems develop a balance that keeps any one species from taking over completely. Over the years, of course, man has interfered with that natural order for our own survival and the care of the more than seven billion humans on the planet. That’s simply necessary to sustain ourselves. Despite our ability to control our environment, once in a while a non-native, invasive and destructive pest (plant or animal) gets introduced to our shores. It can happen in many ways, but one of the most common is a pest that originates in a foreign country hitching a ride inside packing material or on goods shipped to the United States. New Jersey’s large ports are vigilant in guarding against invasive pests, but even the most eagle-eyed inspectors sometimes miss detecting larvae inside untreated wooden packing materials, or tiny eggs laid on the underside of plants. Once here, these pests are free from their homeland’s natural predators, and can reproduce unchecked, and uneaten by what, in its home country, would be the next species up the food chain. NJ Dept. of Agriculture By Douglas H. Fisher Secretary of Agriculture That’s how portions of North Jersey became infested with the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) approximately two decades ago. The beetle, which first arrived in the United States in packing materials unloaded in Brooklyn in 1996, was detected for the first time here in Jersey City in 2002. Two years later, a much larger infestation was found across Middlesex and Union counties. Despite its white-dots-onblack-background coloring (giving it one of its nicknames, “the Starry Night Beetle”) the ALB was far from “beautiful.” Its strong, tree-munching mandibles give it a frightening appearance that’s more beast than beauty. Another hitchhiker is the prehistoric-looking brown marmorated stink bug. It’s armor-shield shape, spindly legs and ability to fly as well as crawl, turned people off from

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the first time years ago that it began seeking shelter in our homes in winter. Once it went from overwintering nuisance to crop-killing fruit eater in warmer months, agricultural operators started dealing with it to avoid losing significant income. But now a fatal beauty has arrived in surrounding states and threatens to leap into New Jersey. The Spotted Lanternfly, which is known to attack 70 different plant species including cultivated grapes, fruit trees and hardwood trees, is especially fond of “the Tree of Heaven” plant, an imported species from Asia that has deep establishment throughout New Jersey. In fact, it is suspected the insect, or more likely its eggs or larvae, entered the U.S. on a Tree of Heaven. From its gold-and-black abdomen, which looks lifted from a bee, to its multi-colored

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wings (black-and-red in some spots, black-and-white in others, and tan with black spots of various shapes in others), this insect is colorful and beautiful to look at, but deadly to plant life. It was discovered in the United State after being accidentally introduced into Pennsylvania. Currently, it’s detected in Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties in Pennsylvania, which puts it very close to New Jersey’s western border. It also has been observed in Delaware. So, New Jersey once again finds itself in the bullseye of a target for an invasive pest. If you happen to see one, you’ll likely be dazzled by its wistful beauty and fluttery grace. It’s like that in nature – flora and fauna presenting themselves as something to be gazed upon or attracted to, or

repulsed and repelled by. The Department of Agriculture has, since last summer, been conducting surveys to determine if the pest has made its way across our border with Pennsylvania. To date, none have been found in New Jersey. If you do happen to come across one in New Jersey, please immediately contact the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at 609 406 6939. Just as New Jerseyans have stepped up in the past to help find ALB and other pests, it is really important that you help in this effort as well. Don’t let this beguiling bug get established here in the Garden State! 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:

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Tom Castronovo/Photo

Warren Township Mayor Victor Sordillo looks over the March Gardener News in his office overlooking the municipal grounds. Mayor Sordillo has served on the Township Committee since 2001 and is currently serving his sixth term as mayor in 2018. Warren has a township form of government with five elected committeepersons, one of whom serves as Mayor. Terms are for a three-year period, with elections staggered two, two and one. Warren Township is a township in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. Warren Township is also home to the Wagner Farm Arboretum, several beautiful parks and nature trails.

353 East Hanover Avenue • Morris Township, New Jersey • 07960

April 2018 5

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Governor Phil Murphy Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher

6 April 2018


State Board of Ag Honors Dan Kluchinski Posthumously with Distinguished Service Award Rutgers Cooperative Extension agricultural agent Dan Kluchinski was honored posthumously on February 7 with a Distinguished Service to Agriculture Citation by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture during the New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City. New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher said, “While we are saddened by Dan’s recent passing, he leaves a legacy that will be carried on by those who knew him and those involved in New Jersey agriculture.” Kluchinski, who passed away on October 16, joined the Rutgers faculty in 1988, serving as county agricultural and resource management agent in Mercer County, achieving the rank of professor in 2004. His area of expertise included agronomy and sustainable agriculture supporting growers in Mercer County and the state. His greatest programmatic efforts were research into the use of municipal collected tree leaves as a soil amendment. Kluchinski served as department chair and associate director of extension for 2003 to 2017. As department chair, his passion was supporting county agricultural agents through mentorship, administrative support and the development of career guidance materials. He also served as chair of the north east agricultural and resource management program leaders committee. He served on numerous committees including co-chair of Rutgers Cook College and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station strategic planning committee and co-chair, Rutgers Cook College’s transforming undergraduate education committee, as well as many other school and university committees. Kluchinski was the first faculty member from Rutgers Cooperative Extension to serve as an advisor on the certification board, member of the executive committee and secretary and member of the board of directors of the Northeast Organic Farming Association-New Jersey. He was instrumental in establishing NOFA-NJ’s educational outreach efforts including the organic county fairs and winter conference educational meeting. He was a long-time member of the American Society of Agronomy and served in numerous leadership capacities with the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, including extension development council chair, board of directors, chair of NACAA futuring committee and national chair, and twice on the early career development committee. Kluchinski was instrumental in the formation of the Northeast Association of County Agricultural Agents and served as its first president. Source: New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Get ready to Celebrate Rutgers Day on April 28! The 10th annual Rutgers Day will continue to have a statewide presence in 2018 with programming in Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark. There is something for everyone at each location! Experience hands-on learning activities, see exhibitions and demonstrations, enjoy entertaining stage performances, and more! We’ll also celebrate Alumni Weekend with Rutgers graduates and their families. Rutgers Day is the annual spring event to attend. This spring, we’re rolling out the scarlet carpet and inviting New Jersey residents and beyond to experience hands-on learning activities in the sciences, arts, and humanities; enjoy performances by musicians and dancers; see exhibitions and demonstrations hosted by accomplished professors and students! And the excitement doesn’t end there—Alumni Weekend takes place the last weekend in April to coincide with Rutgers Day. Everyone is invited…especially you: • Students of all ages – the life-long learners, kindergartners, prospective students and their parents • Our neighbors far and wide • All alumni with their families and friends All are welcome and admission is free! Explore our proud history as a colonial college and our bright future as a comprehensive research institution. Whether you’re a first time guest or a frequent visitor, we invite you to get reacquainted with our great university and have some fun along the way! See you at Rutgers Day!

From the Director’s Desk

Rutgers Outreach Provided by Larry S. Katz, Ph.D. Director

Are You Soaking Up The Rain This Spring? The arrival of spring is a good time to think about how you can make your landscape as environmentally-friendly as possible. One action often overlooked is to reduce rainwater runoff from your property. Historically, rainwater runoff (also called stormwater runoff) was thought of as a nuisance. Communities managed their runoff by moving it away through a series of gutters, pipes, and basins directly to our sensitive rivers and lakes, causing flooding and pollution. This idea that rainwater should be directed away from the land is unnatural. In a natural system, for example a forest, rainwater is captured by the tree canopy, while also soaking slowly into the soil, recharging streams and underground aquifers. Very little rainwater runs off. All of us learned this in middle school earth science when we were taught about the water cycle, but we seemed to have forgotten it. Much of our land is now covered with hard, impervious surfaces, like roads, parking lots, and roofs that do not allow rainwater to soak into the ground. Rutgers Cooperative Extension has been helping communities soak rainwater into the ground as a necessary part of the water cycle, and a sustainable, environmentally-friendly way to manage rainwater runoff and protect our rivers and lakes. One method used to soak up the rain is to build rain gardens. A rain garden looks just like a regular garden. It’s what’s going on underneath that makes the difference. The soil in a rain garden is about 80-percent sand, which helps these super sponges soak up rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces. They are shaped like very shallow bowls to capture the rainwater that is directed into them. Believe it or not, rain gardens are dry most of the time! This is one reason that native plants (plants that have evolved in our region) are typically used in these gardens. Native plants can tolerate long dry spells, with periods of inundation. Another difference between a regular garden and a rain garden is that their size is calculated based on how much area drains to it, as well as the soil type at the site. The size and depth varies depending on whether the soil at the site has more clay or more sand. Rain gardens are beautiful, provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds, and filter out pollutants from runoff, all while soaking up rainwater from impervious surfaces. Rain gardens can add curb appeal to a front yard, but can also be built in parking lot islands, next to roadways, at schools, libraries, churches, and any place that has impervious surfaces. They can be installed by a homeowner or a landscaper. New Jersey’s stormwater rules mandate that developers offset negative impacts associated with stormwater runoff if there is one acre of disturbance and/ or an increase in impervious cover by a quarter acre on a site. Rain gardens, and other green infrastructure practices, can help offset the impact of new construction, and meet the requirements of the stormwater rules. Town planning and zoning boards, when reviewing site plans for development, should be discussing rain garden opportunities as a method for meeting the stormwater rules. Here are some common questions we are asked about rain gardens: Can a rain garden be put anywhere? No. A rain garden cannot be placed within 10 feet of a building’s foundation, under a tree to avoid impacting tree roots, on a septic field, or in a place where water already ponds. Can a rain garden be built if there is clay soil? Absolutely! Adding soil amendments like sand or using a perforated underdrain will ensure the rain garden will function properly. After a rain event, how long does it take a rain garden to drain? A rain garden must drain within 24-36 hours. After 72 hours, there is a risk of mosquitoes breeding. Rain gardens are not the only option for reducing rainwater runoff. Redirect or disconnect your roof downspouts so the rainwater can soak into the lawn, garden, or mulched area. Install a rain barrel to capture roof runoff which can be used to water plants on your property. Use mulch or gravel on walkways and consider using permeable pavements, like porous asphalt, as part of larger projects like parking lots. Homeowners, municipalities, landscapers, or developers who want to install rain gardens and other green infrastructure projects can search online for the “The Rain Garden Manual of New Jersey” and “The Green Infrastructure Guidance Manual for New Jersey” which were developed by Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s Water Resources Program. Call your local Rutgers Cooperative Extension office and County Extension agents can advise you on reducing rainwater runoff from your property. Visit our website at for your local Extension office. Editor’s Note: This month’s column is written by Michele Bakacs, Environmental and Resource Management Agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex and Union Counties.


The Bells of Spring

The April garden is typically awash with color, with each plant seemingly offering brighter and ever showier flowers. This is especially true of the Rhododendron clan; the plants evolve from bare stems or quiet masses of green foliage into a blazing spectacle within a few days. Yet, sometimes the garden is in need of a far more subtle touch that requests closer inspection to appreciate the detail and finesse of the flowers or form. For those seeking such an April “Bell,” I would suggest the genus Enkianthus. Like Rhododendrons, Enkianthus is a member of the Ericaceae or Heath Family, with between 12 and 15 species located throughout Asia. It is also considered to be a basal member of the family, meaning it was one of the first genera within the family to evolve. The genus was named in 1790 by the Portuguese Jesuit missionary and botanist João

de Loureiro (1717-1791). The genus name comes from the Greek Enkyos, meaning pregnant and Anthos for flower. The species Enkianthus quinqueflorus, which João de Loureiro also described, has a distinct enlargement or swelling at the top of the flower, providing a pregnant appearance and inspiration for the name. The most common species found in the trade is Enkianthus campanulatus, commonly called Redvein Enkianthus. In 1863, it was first described, yet incorrectly named by the Dutch botanist Fredrich Anton Wilhelm Miquel (1811-1917) as Andromeda campanulatus. In 1885, it was correctly named by the English botanist George Nicholson (1847-1908). The species epithet is Latin for bell-shaped and very aptly describes the attractive, three-eighths to half-inch long flowers that consist of five overlapping petals with a rounded tip. The flowers are arranged in clusters of dangling racemes. The petals are typically creamy white with distinctive

red stripes running the length of the petals, as the common name suggests. However, the degree of coloration can vary from nearly all white petals, to those whose tips are red, to selections, such as “Princeton Red Bells,” where the flowers are nearly all red with offwhite shoulders. The plants are long-lived and slow growing, gradually reaching 12 to 20 feet tall over 70 years. The one- to threeinch long leaves are elliptic and vary from dark green to blue-green during the summer, to vivid yellows, oranges and reds come autumn. The overall habit of the plant is upright, with the branches growing outward in shallow yet distinctive arcs, creating an attractive layered appearance. Flowers are produced most abundantly and the fall color is the most vivid in sunnier locations, although the plants look very respectable in light shade and make nice compliments to their Rhododendron kin. Typical of their ericaceous cousins, a well-drained and acidic soil is preferred and they

Grad Student Blake-Mahmud Discovers Male Maple Species Can Sometimes Become Female

A few years ago, Rutgers researcher Jennifer Blake-Mahmud was working on a botany project in Virginia when colleagues pointed out a striped maple, a common tree in the understory of mountain forests from Nova Scotia to Georgia. “They told me, ‘We think it switches sex from year to year, but we don’t know why,’ and I said, ‘How can that be?’ Blake-Mahmud said. “And that was when I decided I needed to find out what was going on.” In research published in the journal Trees: Structure and Function, Blake-Mahmud reports that striped maples not only change their sex periodically, but that they can wait until the last minute – three weeks before flowering – to do it. The switch appears to be triggered by physical damage, which can prompt a branch to flower female if it’s cut off a male tree. Blake-Mahmud, a doctoral student in the School of Graduate Studies Plant Biology Program at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, cut branches from healthy, mature striped maples from state forests in northern New Jersey. She took the samples to her lab, where she let them flower. She expected that striped maples, like most trees, would prepare themselves for reproduction by fashioning the tiny flower sex parts many months before they flowered. Apple trees, for instance, have already made their buds for the next year just six-weeks after flowering finishes for this year. Surprisingly, the cuttings from her striped maples waited to finish developing. Even three weeks before natural blooming time, the buds were still flexible and could bloom female if cut off the tree or male if left untouched. This means that the tree can wait until very late to make up its mind about which kind of flowers – male or female – to have. “These trees were the arboreal equivalent of last-minute Christmas shoppers,” Blake-Mahmud said. The trigger turned out to be the act of cutting a branch off the tree, which amounts to physical damage. And most of the branches taken from male trees expressed themselves as female when they bloomed in the greenhouse. Blake-Mahmud said this suggests that physical damage plays a role in sex expression, although she isn’t certain yet what sort of damage. She noted that even without people cutting off branches, striped maples lead a perilous life. “There are deer rubbing their antlers against them, bears scratching against them, taller trees that die and fall on them,” she said. Blake-Mahmud’s co-author and adviser is Lena Struwe, a professor of plant biology, ecology, evolution and natural resources in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Blake-Mahmud noted that arboreal sex isn’t a field that many people are familiar with. When she explains that she’s a botanist who studies how plants express sex, she often gets two reactions. “People say, ‘Whoa, plants have sex?’” Assured that plants do, people then often ask why she doesn’t study sex in animals. “I tell them that sex in plants is much more complex, much more interesting, than sex in animals,” she said. “If you’re interested in reproduction, plants are definitely the way to go.” This article originally appeared in Rutgers Today.

are hardy from zone 4-7. Enkianthus perulatus, or White Enkianthus, is similar to its cousin, but is much slower growing and, as the common name implies, is white flowered. Native to Japan, it was also described and named by Miquel in 1863 as Andromeda perulata and was not properly classified until 1911 by the German botanist and landscape architect Camillo Karl Schneider (1876-1951). The species epithet comes from the Latin Perula, meaning scales, and refers to the distinctive scales covering the buds. This species has far more numerous and thinner stems than its cousin, providing a much finer texture, yet denser appearance for the garden. Over a 70-year period, it grows to nine feet tall and close to 15 feet wide, indicating its need for space to sprawl if it is to be considered as a long-term addition to the garden. The flowers are roughly one-third of an inch long and appear in hanging clusters of three to 10, followed by a delicate bright green foliage for summer and bright yellow or red foliage

April 2018 7 come autumn. Both of these plants provide a very refined and amazingly long-lived touch to the garden. With their attractive form, flower and foliage throughout the season, they certainly deserve to be recognized as the “Bells” of the garden. The choice between the two is difficult and really comes down to whether the plant needed is more upright in form or spreading. Perhaps your garden will need both! Editor’s Note: Bruce Crawford is a lover of plants since birth; is the managing director of the Rutgers Gardens, a 180-acre outdoor teaching classroom, horticultural research facility and arboretum; an adjunct professor in Landscape Architecture at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences; regularly participates in the Rutgers – Continuing Education Program; and the immediate pastpresident of the Garden State Gardens Consortium. He can be reached at (732) 932-8451. For more information, please visit

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: 856-307-6450 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

8 April 2018

New Jersey’s Wine & Grape Industry acres also grew 23.3 percent from 1,283 to 1,582 acres. The New Jersey wine and grape industry also generates significant tax dollars, benefiting federal, state and local governments. New Jersey’s wine, grape and allied industries paid $23.24 million in federal taxes and $17.73 million in state and local taxes in 2016, including roughly $2.35 million in total excise taxes. The study estimates the retail value of New Jersey wine sold at about $29.53 million in 2016, up from $21.46 million in 2011. The majority of New Jersey wineries are small, producing less than 5,000 cases a year, and a majority of them sell their wine directly to consumers through winery tasting rooms. “This economic impact study clearly shows the positive role our wineries and wine-related industries are having on the state’s economy, not only from jobs and tax revenue, but also from helping to boost tourism in the state,” said Valerie Tishuk, Chair of the Garden State Wine Growers Association. Wine is certainly making an impact not only in New Jersey but across the country as well. In September of

2017, WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries, unveiled a national impact study that pegged the wine industry’s total benefit to the U.S. economy at $219.9 billion in 2017. According to the GSWGA study, tourism continues to be a material factor in the New Jersey wine and grape industry’s overall impact on the broader state economy. A survey of New Jersey wineries estimates that 108,813 tourists visited New Jersey wineries in 2016. Supporting these winery visitors is a diverse labor force of approximately 357 employees, with total wages of approximately $12.9 million. The continued increase of tourist visits over the past several years can be attributed to the increased number of New Jersey wineries and continued improvement in wine quality, providing more destinations and opportunities for visitors to experience New Jersey wine country. “While these figures are encouraging, they also show that there is a lot more work to be done in making our wine industry a focal point of beverage tourism in New Jersey,” noted Tom Cosentino, Executive

(Continued from page 1) Director of the GSWGA. As outlined in the study, despite the increase in winery-related visitors from 2011, total tourism revenue industry-wide declined from $20.10 million in 2011 to $19.99 million in 2016. This is directly attributable to lower average spending per visitor statewide across all tourism sectors as well as fewer numbers of wineries visited per visit. Specifically, tourism spending per visitor has decreased from $209.66 in 2011 to $183.67 in 2016, a drop of approximately 12.4 percent. Legislation sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew and Senator Vin Gopal that would provide financial assistance to wineries and vineyards in New Jersey was recently approved by the Senate. “New Jersey wineries and vineyards are an important part of our local economies. The (state) Economic Development Authority provides assistance to small businesses that cannot receive loans from banks, and this will be a major benefit to vineyards and wineries that have a difficult time attaining those loans,” said Senator Van Drew (D-Atlantic/ Cape May/Cumberland). “Expanding the operations of vineyards and wineries

will not only be good for local economies, it will also be good for the prospects of job growth.” “The wine industry in New Jersey has the opportunity to become well-known around the country,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Not only will this help to spur economic development in these counties, it will also allow us to increase tourism to the Jersey Shore as well. The Jersey Shore is arguably one of New Jersey’s most striking features, and tourists will want to come to our state to enjoy both.” S-1057 requires the EDA, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, to establish a loan program for certain vineyard and winery capital expenses. Its purpose is to increase the size and output of both wineries and vineyards. Under the bill, the EDA would provide loans to eligible vineyards and wineries to pay for expenditures for land acquisition or improvement, infrastructure acquisition or modernization, and the purchase or modernization of machinery and equipment. The loan amounts would be between $10,000 and $100,000, with interest rates between 3 and 5 percent, and terms up to 10 years. The

Warren County Teen Named 2018 Equestrian of the Year Maddie Crisp, a 17-year-old Hackettstown High School senior from Great Meadows in Warren County, was named the 2018 New Jersey Equestrian of the Year by the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board on January 28 at the annual New Jersey Breeders’ Luncheon in Eastampton. She represented 4-H of New Jersey. As Equestrian of the Year Crisp will attend functions hosted by the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board and represent the Board at functions. “The Equestrian of the Year is a wonderful way to highlight the equine industry in New Jersey and encourage young people to remain or become involved with horses in our state,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “Maddie will represent the Garden State proudly and be a model for children interested in equine activities.” Maddie began riding competitively in 2008. She was the New Jersey 4-H Equestrian of the Year in 2017 and also was the Appaloosa Horse Club World Champion in the Youth Ranch Horse Trail Class in 2017 at competition held in Texas. She has also been a member of the New Jersey National 4-H Round-Up Horse judging team, a member of the Warren County Equine Science team since 2015, a member of the Stablemates 4-H Club since 2008, where she served as president. Maddie was the Appaloosa Youth Worlds Speech Contest winner in the prepared and impromptu categories in 2017 as well. “Being involved with horses and the competitions has meant so much to me,” Crisp said. “I have been able to meet people from all over and while that has helped me learn and understand others better, it has also allowed me to learn more about myself. I just love working with horses. Along with learning life lessons like the responsibility of taking care of others, they are just beautiful animals to work with.”  Maddie has also been involved in her school and community. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Math National Honor Society and is the Student Council Vice-President. She is also a member of the Warren County Teen Council and has regularly helped with 4-H roadside cleanups in Warren County since 2008. Also, Maddie traveled to the Foroige Leadership for Life Conference in Ireland in 2017, has participated in the Afghan School Project with her church, where she became pen pals with girls from a school in Afghanistan, and helped organize a benefit basketball game with proceeds going to help a local youth with a terminal illness.

EDA would be authorized to conduct annual financial audits of its lenders to ensure the viability of their operations. The bill was approved in the Senate by a vote of 38-0, and will next head to the Assembly for further consideration. The bill number in the Assembly is A-3439. It was introduced by Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer on March 5, 2018, and referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. The GSWGA is a coalition of over 50 wineries, grape growers and vineyard owners across New Jersey, dedicated to raising the quality and awareness of the New Jersey wine industry. 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 and landscaping communities through this newspaper and

2019 Philadelphia Flower Show Announces Theme

Plans are already underway for the 2019 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, to be held March 2 to 10, 2019, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The 2019 Flower Show theme, Flower Power, will celebrate the contribution of flowers to our lives and will play host to the FTD World Cup, the world’s most prestigious floral design competition. The renowned competition will kick off during the Philadelphia Flower Show’s preview day on Friday, March 1, 2019 and conclude with the announcement of the new FTD World Cup floral design champion on Sunday, March 3, 2019. The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation's largest and longestrunning horticultural event and features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers.



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April 2018 9 Around The Garden By Tom Castronovo Gardener News

We’ve reached a milestone!

Please join me this month in celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Gardener News. First and foremost, I thank you, the readers, for supporting the paper, and I thank all of the advertisers who have supported the paper, and continue to support the paper. When you are shopping for a product or a service, please support the folks who make the free distribution of this paper possible, both online and in print. I am also deeply honored and thankful to have some of the best columnists and contributing writers in the world sharing their educational knowledge with you. While working as a landscape professional for over 20 years, I found local information on gardening and landscaping in print difficult to locate. After successfully completing a Master Gardener course, I recognized the need to assemble, publish and disseminate information of interest to the gardening public in a print-friendly format. Gardener News germinated in April 2003 and continues to bloom today. Gardener News has become the leading gardening newspaper in the New Jersey metropolitan area, delivering in-depth, comprehensive coverage of local gardening news and events. Over the past 15 years, I have been honored as the “Volunteer of the Year” at the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture in 2004, and “Volunteer of the Year” for the Professional Landscape Alliance of New Jersey in 2005. In 2006, I was recognized with a “Media Specialist Award” in “sincere appreciation for the time and talents so freely contributed for the benefits of the Rutgers Gardens.” Also in 2006, at the 30th Anniversary of the Rutgers Home Gardener’s School, I received the Rutgers-Cook College Continuing Professional Education’s “Community Outreach Award.” In 2007, I was honored by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, for my “sincere appreciation and my outstanding contributions and dedication” to the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. In 2013, I was honored by the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association as the “Person of the Decade,” and I received a letter from Governor Chris Christie thanking me for my “advocacy and support of New Jersey’s agricultural industry.” The letter also thanked me for the “years this publication has provided invaluable information to the thousands of New Jersey home gardeners, enthusiasts, landscaping professionals and nursery operators.” Also in 2013, I received a Joint Resolution from the New Jersey Senate and Assembly, sponsored by Senator Codey, Assemblyman McKeon and Assemblywoman Jasey, “honoring and saluting (me) for being a highly esteemed member of my community and for (my) remarkable record of community leadership and professional achievement.”  I was also was saluted for “establishing a model to emulate and set a standard of excellence toward which others might strive, and for (being) an individual of outstanding character and exceptional determination.” The Legislature also paid tribute to my profound and positive impact on the Garden State community. My parents also presented me with a plaque in 2013 on the paper’s 10th Anniversary for “helping to keep the ‘Garden’ in the Garden State.” In 2017, I received a “Certificate of Recognition” from the Mayor and Township Committee of the Township of Warren for my “accomplishments and the services I provide for the gardeners of New Jersey.” Also in 2017, I received a “Media Recognition Award” from the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association in “recognition and sincere appreciation and continued support of the Green Industry.” And, I received The Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum’s “Annual Award.” For six years I was featured on News 12 New Jersey every Sunday night and Monday as the “Backyard Gardener.” My three-minute segments featured eco-friendly gardening, landscape do’s-and-don’ts, lawnmower and equipment safety, tree, shrub and turf tips, picking and choosing fruits, vegetables and flowers, pavers and hardscape information, and other gardening-related topics. News 12 New Jersey is an American cable news television channel that provides 24-hour rolling news coverage focused primarily on the state of New Jersey. I made guest appearances on GardenSMART by providing the gardening tips on shows 412, 413, 501, and 1305, filmed in New Jersey. GardenSMART is a unique, exciting, informative television gardening program broadcast on local Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) throughout the United States.  I was also a featured guest on Daily Connections, an informative and entertaining one-hour talk show that airs on Ebru Television. Daily Connections covers topics on health, family and relationships, as well as home, gardening, beauty and fashion. Ebru Television airs on satellite. I have also been active in my community for many years and was involved in a number of organizations such as the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association, New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, the Professional Landscape Alliance of New Jersey, the Liberty Corner and Washington Valley Fire Companies, the Garden Writers Association, a founding member of the Garden State Gardens Consortium, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Pesticide Task Force, a member of the Garden Conservancy and a founding trustee for the Wagner Farm Arboretum Foundation. I currently serve on the advisory committee for the Somerset County Vocational - Technical High School’s Horticulture and Landscape Technology program.  A lot has happened since I planted the seed that germinated the Gardener News in 2003. I would have never imagined it. I hope I can continue bringing you the most up-to-date information while covering the agricultural, gardening and landscaping communities going forward. It you would like to receive an electronic version of the paper by email, please visit To each and every one of you, thank you again for believing in me, and this paper! 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 and landscaping communities through this newspaper and

10 April 2018

Pace Yourselves

By Jeannie Geremia Contributing Writer

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62 B Mountain Blvd. Warren, NJ (Next to Kings Food Markets) 908-754-4400 Scholarship Offered to New Jersey College Students A $500 scholarship will be awarded this summer to a New Jersey student majoring in natural resource conservation, environmental science or a related field of study, announced the Firman E. Bear Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). The Edward R. Hall/Robert R. Hanna Scholarship is awarded annually to acknowledge NJ college students for their academic and personal accomplishments in the field of conservation and/or natural resources. APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 30, 2018 postmark To qualify for the scholarship, an applicant must be: • a full-time student in good standing at any New Jersey accredited university/college, or a New Jersey resident attending any accredited out-of-state university/college; and • an undergraduate enrolled in a curriculum related to natural resources, including but not limited to: agriculture, agronomy, conservation, ecology, environmental science, fisheries, forestry, geography, journalism, plant science, soil science, and/or wildlife. Other areas related to conservation may also qualify; and • have successfully completed at least two semesters of study. TO APPLY: Go to to download application form, complete and postmark by April 30, 2018 and mail to: Firman E. Bear Chapter, SWCS C/O USDA-NRCS 220 Davidson Ave, 4th floor Somerset, NJ 08873 The scholarship winner will be announced by June 15, 2018. Firman E. Bear is the New Jersey Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS).  Mission: The Soil and Water Conservation Society fosters the development and application of science- based policies and practices for managing soil, water, and related natural resources in order to achieve sustainability.

The statement “All Things in Moderation” resonates in my psyche as well as my physical body as I’ve begun the gardening year by uncovering my garden beds laden with an overabundance of oak leaves and spent Helleborus leaves. Since I’m an “over-thetop” gardener, I naturally have Hellebores growing throughout my half-acre of property, and they have dramatically multiplied over the years, so it is no easy task to liberate the new buds, blooms and leaves from their spent leaves. Meaning, my gardening friends, I have to “pace” myself. That truly hit home as my initial foray into the gardening beds lasted all of an hour and a half. I took a respite, and went back outdoors to do another hour stint. There was a time that I could be out there for several hours, have lunch, and resume the tasks at hand. As I reflect on years past when I was able to do so much more, I may have overdone it and am dealing with a body that was somewhat abused. I did some things right and some things wrong, so I want to caution younger gardeners and commiserate with the rest of you. Pace yourselves as we begin this new gardening season! The BEST advice that I’ve followed is wearing mason quality knee pads. Get a few pairs, and wear them religiously, as I’ve done so for the past dozen years, and have spared my knees from grievous harm. You may find kneeling pads do the trick for you, but I find them inconvenient as I want to keep moving in my beds. Raised beds and gardening stools also help, but I find knee pads work the best, plus you can use them

in the house, too. I wish I had brought them to the flower show as the concrete floor was tough, and I could have saved stress on my back by kneeling instead of bending. Ouch! Please treat your eyes with the best care you can give them as it’s too late after permanent damage is done. That means wearing sunglasses that give you ultimate protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Just wearing a hat with visor won’t do it, nor will transitional lenses. I found out many years ago when I was “sold” on wearing glasses with transitional lenses that I was experiencing glare inside my car that was damaging my vision. I was taking the easier way of just dealing with one pair of glasses for indoor/ outdoor use when I had a jolt of reality with macular degeneration appearing menacingly in my future. No more, as I heeded the realization that I needed as much protection as I could get and have been wearing prescription sun glasses outdoors and regular prescription glasses indoors. Many of you have no need for glasses with perfect vision, or have had cataract surgery eliminating the need for glasses or you wear contact lenses, but please revisit your own methods of protection and if you garden outdoors, make sure you have the necessary sunblock protection for your eyes no matter what your age. Now onto my waterloo! Yes, my back, as I join many of you with serious back issues. For you younger gardeners, just realize that you may feel you can lift, pull, tug, dig with no adverse effects, but trust me, it will catch up to you. Do learn the proper methods of lifting and consider using convenient tools to help you lift, move and carry heavy containers,

plants, mulch and soil. The great thing we have at our finger tips is the internet and YouTube videos that we can use to explore and determine the best methods for any facet of gardening we want to undertake. Lastly, take a break from gardening chores by sitting on a bench and just taking in the beauty of nature. Also, ease up on your spring cleanup by leaving some leaf litter and spent stalks or relegate them to your “wild” section so that over-wintering chrysalises, cocoons, and nests aren’t disturbed with their occupants able to hatch out in April, May and June and the cycle of life will continue as they work their magic in pollinating our yards and gardens. Spring is such an exciting time as we head to our local garden centers and nurseries to see the latest cultivars and encounter our old favorites. I was struck by one ad in a horticulture magazine that touted a tomato species by stating how abundant the crop was and how disease free, never mentioning the taste which, to me, is the most important thing – hence heirlooms come into play. Taste should be the overriding factor in any vegetable as our palates become ever more accustomed to the delights of fresh, organic local Jersey Fresh and Jersey Grown products. Lucky us! Editor’s Note: Jeannie Geremia is The Garden Club of New Jersey First Vice President, GCNJ Wildlife Habitat Chair, and is a National Garden Clubs, Inc. Accredited Life Flower Show Judge for the GCNJ. Jeannie is a member of Neshanic Garden Club, The Raritan Township Historic Committee and the Raritan Township Board of Health. Jeannie’s email address is:

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April 2018 11

What’s “Ticking” In Our NJ Gardens This Time of Year? By William A. Kolbe B.C.E. Why Ticks of course, because it’s that time of year! Ticks, as well as most other arthropods, survived the winter diapause and will come out en masse once warm weather hits. As I write this in lateFebruary, this week’s temperatures were in the upper 50s. We already had termite swarms reported. Most of us gardeners remember our first experience with “bugs” when we were growing up. If not, our parents shared stories with us of how we reacted to situations involving our arthropod friends. One of my first recollections was with ticks. We lived on a farm near Milton Delaware for quite a few years and next to the farmhouse was a field of blackberries. When Mom needed some quiet time, we could hear her saying; “Kids take these baskets and go and get a lot of blackberries!” Not having much to do on

the farm during the summer months, we relished picking blackberries for our family and friends. One summer the ticks in the blackberry field were so bad, Mom did not let us in the house until we had been tick checked and picked tick-free by her. Looking back on my elementary and middle school photos, I now realize why my hair was kept so short! The ticks were so hungry and plentiful that our waistbands around our pants were loaded with ticks that were actively feeding. After Mom had pulled out the ticks, we got a nice dose of alcohol on the bites, but we did not complain at all. It was just a part of farm life. Fast forward to 2018, and one tick found on someone today and they are at the doctor’s asking for antibiotics for Lyme disease. A lot of information regarding ticks in New Jersey is available and many articles have been written here on Gardener News, so I’m not going to go over biology, habits etc., but I’m going to go over some new and pertinent

information on ticks in New Jersey. Did you know that New Jersey recently experienced an invasive tick? The longhorned tick, Haemophysalis longiconis, (aka Bush tick) was discovered on a farm in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Prior to November 7, 2017, this tick was not known to be present in the U.S. Collections of tick specimens have been found on animal and materials presented for entry at U.S. ports of call where imported plants and animals are inspected by U.S.D.A inspectors. This tick is a serious pest to livestock in countries where it has been established and spreads Theileriosis to cattle. No know transmission to humans is reported. This tick also has the potential to spread other bacterial and viral diseases to humans and other animals. This tick can be found on deer, so the assumption is that this tick will spread. The Rutgers Center for Vector Biology will be involved with this report

and further developments. A detailed report on this tick is at: research/global-health-thetick-that-binds-us-all/ The black-legged tick has a new disease associated with it. These ticks that carry Powassan virus (POW) has been reported in New Jersey. Powassan (Poh-whas-sin) virus is a rare disease that is spread by the bite of an infected tick. The virus is named after Powassan, Ontario, where it was first discovered in 1958. Approximately 75 cases of POW virus were reported in the United States over the past 10 years. According to the CDC, three cases of Powassan have been reported in New Jersey. ( health/cd/topics/powassan. shtml) And finally, some good news. In a recent article in the Journal of Medical Entomology, authors reported that The Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum) are not vectors of the Lyme Disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi. This review of

extensive surveillance and vector competency studies of B. burgdorferi in A. americanum studies supports the conclusion that A. americanum is not a consequential factor in Lyme Disease ecology and epidemiology. Information pertaining to the geographical distribution of infected ticks is quite important so that practicing physicians adopt the appropriate level of concern in a given patient population. Editor’s Note: William A. Kolbe, BCE is Director of Technical and Training for Viking® Pest Control based out of Warren, NJ. He is a Board Certified Entomologist and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Entomology with a minor in Ecology from the University of Delaware. Bill is a member of The Denville NJ Community Gardens. His career in Professional Pest Control started in June 1974. He can be reached at 732-356-3100 or visit

12 April 2018

April 2018 13

Trillium grandiflorum

By Hubert Ling There are hundreds of trillium species around the world. New Jersey has four native species: nodding, painted, red, and white. Of these, the white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) is so rare in New Jersey that it is absent from most surveys and two lists which do include white trillium have no distribution data. Although white trillium grows from Canada to Georgia and west to Minnesota, the plant is rare throughout much of its range, which has been reduced to a fraction of the original due to standard farming practices and urban development. Many trillium are generally solitary, but white trillium, if undisturbed for dozens or hundreds of years, forms large, closely packed colonies which can cover acres. Fortunately, we can still see these spectacular “snow drifts” of white The rain slapped against the window as my train pulled into Union Station. The clouds were ominous as they spelled the beginning of a Nor’easter that was soon to pummel the Northeast. As I walked out of the station, the rain pounded the sidewalk and puddled up in the street. “I guess they’re right”, I thought to myself, “This place really is a swamp”. My mission that day was to scout locations in anticipation of the New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program’s (NJALDP) Washington, D.C. visit that was to be held a couple of weeks later. The NJALDP, sponsored by the New Jersey Agricultural Society, is a two-year program wherein members of New Jersey’s agricultural industry receive educational programming to become informed, articulate leaders. NJALDP provides leadership development opportunities designed specifically for farmers and others in New Jersey ag-related businesses. The program provides participants with a curriculum that teaches: business management skills, how to establish an agricultural network, enhances writing,

trillium each spring in isolated areas of Michigan, Western Pennsylvania and New York. However, sadly, these wild flower displays, the most stunning in Eastern North America, are becoming less common each year. An interesting fact about trilliums is that they don’t have green leaves. The true leaves are small whitish growths on the underground stems (rhizomes). Above ground, we find three large, green, leafy bracts which whorl around the flower stalk, and another whorl of three small sepals just below the three snowy-white petals; thus the name Trillium from the Latin “tres,” which means three. The species name grandiflorum means big flowers. The flowers are about three-and-a-half inches wide, but exceptional flowers can max out at about five inches. Since trilliums grow slowly in full shade or semishade, flowering may take 10 years. For this reason, propagated mature plants

generally cost $25 to $30. Plants that sell for $4 to $9 have been ripped out of the wild and I can’t recommend their purchase since that is contributing to the plant’s extinction. The only grower of white trillium I can recommend is White Flower Farm of Morris, Conn., which raises the double form “Flore Pleno” at the expected price. White trillium is found in rich, slightly acidic, moist soil. The plants spread out their leafy bracts early in spring before the forest canopy closes in, and complete flowering in early-spring. White trillium flowers generally start out pure white, but the petals age to an interesting pink. One form of white trillium, T. grandiflorum f. roseum, starts off with lightpink petals. Fruit and seed production are completed before summer, and then the plants go dormant. Seed distribution is generally carried out by ants, which is called myrmecochory. Ants do this

because trillium seeds have oil rich projections (elaiosomes) on the outside which the ants love to chew. After feeding on the eliasomes, the seeds are dumped on the ant colonies’ garbage dump, which is just the right place for the seeds to germinate. Ant garbage heaps are multi-storied (from the ant’s prospective) and trillium seedlings develop better if buried a few stories down in the heap. Trillium seeds are also occasionally scattered by yellowjackets, other insects, and deer, which graze on the ripened fruits that are about the size of a red raspberry. Deer also browse on white trillium flowers and bracts and naturally forage on the tallest plants first. This information can be used to estimate the number of deer per square mile and assess the ecological health of a forest. Based on an acceptable rate of browsing which results in trillium five and a half feet tall, one square mile should support no more than 14 deer. Since my

NJ Agricultural Society By Al Murray Executive Director

Mr. Murray Goes to Washington

communication, marketing and public speaking skills, and provides understanding of New Jersey’s agricultural infrastructure, state and federal government, agricultural economics, and New Jersey agriculture’s role in the economy. The program culminates with a trip to Washington, D.C., where the students learn about the federal government, as well as call on their congressional representatives at a visit to our nation’s capital. My first visit was to the United States Department of Agriculture to visit with representatives of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), as well as the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). I met with Troy Joshua, NASS Chief of Staff. Readers might remember Troy from his stint as the USDA’s New Jersey State Statistician several years ago. It was good seeing

an old friend. Troy informed me that the USDA is currently in the middle of conducting the USDA Census of Agriculture. Held every five years, this census is probably one of the most important tools used in the agricultural industry. All farmers receive a questionnaire, and the information gathered is used to create a database of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation. Farmers in general loathe paperwork, and it can be quite a chore for the USDA to gather all the data. I asked Troy why this census is so important. During our discussions, I learned that the data is used by farmers to help make informed decisions about the future of their own operations. Companies and cooperatives use the facts and figures to determine the locations of facilities that will serve agricultural producers.

Community planners and local governments use the information to target needed programs and services to rural residents, and legislators use the numbers from the Census when shaping farm policies and programs. By NOT filling out the census, farmers are jeopardizing the allocation of their fair share of programs, grants and other opportunities designed to help keep their operation’s viable. Troy could not stress enough how important it is for New Jersey farmers to complete the survey questionnaire. Later, I paid a visit to JonAnn Flemings, Chief of the Office the Deputy Administrator of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). USDA FAS links U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security. FAS has a global network of 93 offices covering 171 countries. These offices are staffed by

hometown of Bridgewater has 70 deer per square mile, we are way overpopulated with deer, as everyone here knows. The Chippewa Indians used white trillium mash worked into the body with small needles on a wooden paddle for headaches and rheumatism. The inner root bark was boiled and placed in the ear for earaches. The roots are toxic and contain diosenin and trillarine. However, no trillium is common enough today to use as medicine when much more effective remedies are available. Take a spring safari around Mother’s Day and visit captive white trillium at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown; wild nodding trillium can be found gracing Hacklebarney State park in Long Valley. Editor’s Note: Hubert Ling is the Horticulture Chairman for the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. He can be reached at agricultural attachés who serve as the eyes, ears, and voice for U.S. agriculture around the world. FAS staff work to advance opportunities for U.S. agriculture and support U.S. foreign policy around the globe. If a New Jersey farmer was interested in entering the export market, I was amazed at the number of programs and opportunities waiting to be had. Much later in the day, after I conducted all my other visits, I began the trek back to catch my train. I strolled along the Mall, walking past the Washington Monument, the majestic Capital brightly shone ahead. I thought of all the division and rancor that currently fills its halls; but also, I thought of the dedicated people I met that day, who do so much for our farmers. 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

14 April 2018

April 2018 15

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16 April 2018

We had a lot of rain in February and March, so what about April? It’s lovely for ducks but not so good for lawns. Cool, wet weather keeps us from getting outside to work in our yards, including feeding and greening our lawn in the spring. What other effects does too much water have on your lawn? Walking and moving objects such as trash cans across a wet lawn can compact the soil and leave long-term marks or tracks on your lawn. To reduce compaction, try to limit foot traffic, including mowing, when the lawn is too wet. Another concern is, when your soil is saturated, the water filling the soil’s air paths drowns your roots and may kill your lawn. A root system that cannot breathe will die, causing dead, brown grass patches in your lawn. These dead patches will have to be reseeded. If seeding is required, choose a quality grass seed mixture appropriate for your area and site conditions. Remove debris and loosen Every year around this time, farms here in New Jersey start to gear up for the coming growing season. And along with ordering supplies and preparing equipment, one of the multitude of tasks that growers must contend with is securing enough labor. While many non-farm businesses are able to operate with more or less the same staff throughout the year, the large majority of farms have at least some type of a seasonal component to them and are forced to ramp up their labor force significantly during the growing season. While this can be good in that growers do not have the expense of a full-time yearround work force, it does present some serious issues that have to be contended with. If a grower has a relatively small, very seasonal business that is not able to support yearround employees, it is very difficult to start over every year at the start of the growing season. Most farm tasks that need to be performed require at least a basic level of aptitude and ability and it is very difficult to start over from scratch every year.

needed. Calcium will help to build strong grass plant cell walls and controls the plant’s ability to utilize water and nutrients while improving soil structure. Time to get out the mower! Clean the mower from top to bottom. Go to your local mower repair shop and have your mower tuned up: fresh spark plugs, fresh oil, new filter and fresh gasoline help a mower perform at its best. Have your blades sharpened to prevent shredding of the grass blades. Begin mowing as soon as your lawn needs it. Grass blades do best when you cut no more than a third of the blade’s length at a time. Keep the grass blade length at 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches to help crowd out weeds and thrive. Here’s to an April filled with sunshine!

Turf ‘s Up By Todd Pretz Professional Turf Consultant

Rain, rain go away! the soil with a rake or mechanical aeration. If you need to seed bare spots and want to prevent crabgrass at the same time, make sure you use a product which contains Tupersan (siduron) on the label. This will allow the grass seed to grow, but will prevent the crabgrass from germinating if timed correctly. This product is a pre-emergent only. If your lawn gets too much water, important nutrients are washed away that cannot be absorbed into the root system. The focus of spring lawn care should be to strengthen the grass plants to survive summer weather. Proper feeding of the grass plants will help you have a thick, healthy lawn. Apply a higher nitrogen, slow

release fertilizer early in the spring to return nutrients to the grass plants. Also, now may be a good time to do some grading to improve drainage. Rain can also delay crabgrass germination by keeping the soil temperature below 55 degrees. Delay your application of preemergent crabgrass prevention if this happens. Dimension is a “pre” and “post” emergent for crabgrass control up to the three leaf stage. Dimension can be applied up to 4 weeks later than other available pre-emergents, so it is somewhat forgiving if rain dominates the spring weather forecast. Heavy rain can also cause broadleaf weeds to thrive in latespring, weeds that are often

more difficult to control. Let’s worry about broadleaf weeds next month. Your soil pH may need to be adjusted due to heavy rainfall washing away calcium and other important lawn nutrients. This area of the country often has soil pH levels which are more acidic or below a neutral level of 7. Your local garden center or hardware store may have a soil pH test kit. It may also be a good idea to get a soil test on your nutrient levels from your local Cooperative Extension Service or the Rutgers University Soil Testing Laboratory. The website is: njaes.rutgers. edu/soil-testing-lab. Apply a calcium carbonate-based product designed to raise soil pH if

The Town Farmer By Peter Melick Agricultural Producer

Farm Labor Outlook

Also, when there is a tight labor market, like there is currently, it might be difficult to find anyone willing to work, let alone someone with experience and excellent credentials. I have heard some farm owner’s remark that they “even have a hard time finding bad help, let alone good employees!” Plus, farmers are forced to compete with all of the other seasonal businesses who are looking for labor at this time of the year. These include but are certainly not limited to landscapers, golf courses, construction companies, painters and many other occupations that get busier as the weather gets warmer. One way in which farms try to combat this potential loss of employees is by extending their own

seasons. For example, a farm that specializes in warm season vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers might be harvesting in only the months of July, August and September. But if they were to add asparagus to their crop mix, they would have something to pick in April, May and June as well. Throw in some pumpkins and Christmas trees and they are harvesting something in nine months of the year. Still other growers might look outside the realm of New Jersey agriculture for ways to better utilize their labor. I know that in the southern part of New Jersey, some of the larger growers use their labor and facilities to re-pack produce from South America in the winter months. This produce comes into the ports

of Camden and Philadelphia by ship, is then trucked to the farm’s packing facility, and then graded and packed for sale here in the United States. Some growers who use tractor trailers to transport their crops during the growing season might keep their drivers busy hauling other products during the off-season. Other growers might utilize their labor and equipment by obtaining snow removal contracts. I even know one grower who prepares income taxes for people. On our farm, we are fortunate in that we have an excellent core group of employees who we are able to employ for almost the entire year. One of our seasonextending crops, so to speak, has always been firewood. We start selling it in November

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: after we get the majority of our fruits and vegetables picked and then stop selling it in late-winter when the weather warms up. But because firewood has to season for a year so it will burn well, we cut it and split it during the winter so that it is ready for sale in November. But because we are so much busier in the summer and fall months than we are during the remainder of the year, we do have to hire many more parttime and seasonal employees. Hopefully, we will be able to find some great people to get us through this season. And on the bright side, my three sons are all a year older! Editor’s Note: Peter Melick is co-owner of Melick’s Town Farm in Oldwick and a 10th-generation New Jersey farmer. Peter is currently the Mayor of Tewksbury Township. 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.

April 2018 17





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18 April 2018

Landscape New Jersey 41st Annual

Thousands of landscape professionals hit the jackpot with a casino-themed New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association Trade Show and Educational Event held on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J. The Exposition Center was decorated with hundreds of fun casino party decorations and party items. Many of the exhibitors in the marketplace were dressed up as dealers, as were the association’s staff. Landscape New Jersey featured over 150 companies showcasing their newest products, equipment, machinery and services to the professionals. The event was a great place to meet up with old friends, learn from the best, and make new business contacts. For the first time in a long while, the Landscape New Jersey Trade Show booths were completely sold out, and they had a waiting list. The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association leadership welcomed New Jersey Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney to the show this year. Assemblyman Rooney spent over three hours listening to the needs and the problems that the industry faces on a daily basis from the association leadership, attendees and the exhibitors. Before becoming a legislator in the Garden State, Assemblyman Rooney had career in Arboriculture that spanned over 30 years. During the educational sessions, two troopers from the New Jersey State Police presented a lecture on commercial motor vehicle safety, and state, and federal commercial regulations, and requirements. According to the most recent (May 2016) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Division of Occupational Employment Statistics, section 37-3011 Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers, there are 29,210 people in New Jersey who work in the industry, performing a variety of tasks, which may include any combination of the following: sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, raking, sprinkler installation, and installation of mortarless segmental concrete masonry wall units. The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association is a proven resource to the landscape contractor, green industry service provider and supplier, as well as the consumer. They are a community of greenindustry professionals who are dedicated to advancing the integrity, proficiency and continued growth of the landscape industry. They do this through education, training and legislative advocacy.

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New Jersey Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney looks over the trade show floor from the Meadowlands Exposition Center corporate offices.

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New Jersey Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, right, with RJ Curcio from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture in the department’s Division of Plant Industry booth.

April 2018 19

Trade Show and Educational Event

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New Jersey Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, center, with Nelson Lee, left, President of the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association, and Pat Donavan, Owner of Classic Landscaping, on the trade show floor.

New Jersey Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney looks over Bobcat T770 Compact Track Loader, as Vincent Ryan, left, President of Bobcat of North Jersey, and Pat Barckett, Director of Sales and Marketing for Bobcat of North Jersey, explain the machine’s special features on the trade show floor.

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New Jersey Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, center, met up with Gail Woolcott, left, Director of Operations for the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association, New Jersey State Police Sergeant Terrance Hendricks, second from left, New Jersey State Police Sergeant Scott Dorrler, second from right, and New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association Board of Directors Member Joe Bolognese Jr., at the entrance of the show.

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New Jersey Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, left, chats with Mark Jameson, Co-owner of New Jersey Deer Control, about deer damage in New Jersey.

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New Jersey Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, right, learned how careless digging can damage underground utilities, causing disruption of vital services, property damage and even possible injury, from Matt Kopt, left, and Alonzo Bess from New Jersey One Call. He also learned at least three business days, prior to outdoor construction or digging, contractors and property owners – whoever is excavating – call New Jersey One Call at 811 or 800-272-1000.

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New Jersey Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, right, meets Kevin Gilbride, Executive Director of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association.

20 April 2018

USDA to Conduct Maple Syrup Survey The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct the 2018 Maple Syrup Survey for the Northeastern Region. The survey will collect information from more than 2,000 Northeastern producers. The Northeastern region produced 3.85 million gallons of maple syrup in 2017. Vermont was the top Maple Syrup state with 46 percent of the United States’ maple syrup, according to King Whetstone, director of the USDA’s NASS, Northeastern Regional Field Office. Taps in the Northeastern Region totaled 11.6 million and accounted for 87 percent of the Nation’s maple taps. The 2018 survey will ask about the 2017 and 2018 taps and production as well as price information on the syrup produced in 2017. Producers selected for the survey can fill out the survey online via a secure website,, or return their form by mail. Federal law (Title 7, U.S. Code) requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential. Recipients are requested to respond by May 14, 2018. NASS will publish the results on June 12th in the Crop Production Report at 12:00 pm. For more information about the Maple Syrup Survey call (800) 498-1518.

Try our E-Newspaper, where every page reads exactly as it does in print. Visit So, you have decided you want to revamp your landscaping this year? Maybe put in that pool you’ve been thinking about? Or do you just want to refresh your foundation plantings and maybe add some curb appeal? First, hopefully, you have reached out to a landscape professional by now, as the spring is super busy for any contractor. But if you haven’t, let’s talk about choosing your contractor. Many homeowners go down the road of getting three bids and choosing one of the three. But choosing a professional is not that easy. If you go with the lowest price, be aware of what you are paying for. If you choose the middle, be aware of what you are paying for. If you choose the highest, be aware of what you are paying for! See what I did there? Although we all want to pay as little as possible, the bid price is far from the only thing you should be looking at and often it is difficult to compare apples to apples. First, is the landscaper registered with the state and do they carry all the proper

The NJLCA Today By Gail Woolcott Director of Operations

insurance? The company you choose is required to have a Home Improvement Contractors Registration with the State of New Jersey. You can visit the NJ Consumer Affairs website (http://www. n j c o n s u m e r a ff a i r s . g o v / HIC/) and click on “Verify a Contractor’s Registration” to find out. In addition, make sure that he or she carries the proper insurance. If not, any accidents that may happen while they work on your property could be your liability. Make sure they have any licenses required to do the work you are contracting them for (i.e. irrigation, landscape architect, pesticide, fertilizer, etc.) or have reputable subcontractors that can do this work. Next, decide what you would like your landscape to

Price Doesn’t Matter look like. You don’t have to know the exact plants, sizes, or whether you want pea gravel or river stone, but have an idea of what appeals to you. However, also be open to what a landscape professional suggests. They have been working in the field and often know what works and does not, especially when it comes to sun and shade, types of soil you have or the grading of your property. Allow them to make suggestions and use them to help you realize your dream landscape. Whichever contractor you choose, make sure they have a legitimate contract. It should have start and end dates for a project (these can be adjusted later, if needed, in writing), the type of work being completed and by

whom, any warranties they may offer, the total price for the project, how they expect to receive payments and any details that you specifically request be included. Trust your gut. When meeting with a landscape professional, you should “click” with the person. You don’t have to be instant best friends, but you should feel like your contractor is listening to what you want, while also educating you on what might work best on your property. This person will be working with you for several weeks and you should feel comfortable discussing your likes and dislikes with them, as well as having them at your home for an extended period of time (even if it is outside). Some things that you don’t want to skimp on

include: A landscape design that gives you a good idea of what your landscape will look like when complete; landscape lighting, which can provide security and make sure you and your guests are safe traversing your property; quality materials that won’t fade, break or die quickly; and possibly most important, a great maintenance plan with your landscape professional or a recommended maintenance contractor to ensure your property stays as pristine as the day it was completed. A final note: Often during a landscape renovation or construction, your yard will look like a tornado hit it. Do not worry, this is part of the process and if you have followed the tips above, you should be very happy when the job is complete. Just breathe and look forward to the beautiful yard you will soon be enjoying. Editor’s Note: Gail Woolcott is Director of Operations for the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association. She can be reached at (201) 703-3600 or by emailing Springy spring, sprang and sprung. Thank the Gods. Winter is fine, but spring is better. Spring is life renewal. Spring reinvigorates our souls, minds and bodies. Enough of that already, way too Zennish. Probably not a word but you get my drift. Let’s talk about one of my favorite vegetables, one which is very popular in the Garden State. Asparagus, or grass as it is known by many of our suppliers. I always seek out local stuff this time of year whenever possible. It always comes in super fresh and amazing looking. I use it in many different dishes here over the years. It can be steamed, grilled, roasted and sautéed to name just a few. I like wrapping it in prosciutto and grilling it with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Asparagus has been around for centuries, it is a spring vegetable as well as a perennial, which means it comes back every year. It is popular worldwide and arrived to the “New World” around 1850. The top producers

By Brian Bosenberg Throughout history, art has played an important role in spatial design, whether it is a public space or a private garden. Historically, public displays of art were intended to emulate religious figures, to celebrate battle victories, or for those in power to spread their likeness across their domain. Affluent members of society would also use art to adorn their lavish estate gardens during this time. Today, art is still incorporated within public and private spaces and is used for many different reasons, sometimes installed for a limited time period. Within private gardens, art can express one’s personal taste, add a splash of year-round color, or create a hidden surprise or sense of whimsy. Through the use of art, the owner or designer can create a truly unique and personal space. The most predominant

April 2018 21 From the Deep By Craig Korb Executive Chef

Yummy Garden Asparagus worldwide are China, Peru, Mexico and the United States. California leads the way for the U.S., followed by Michigan, and Washington state. Sorry guys, N.J. does not make the cut for volume, although ours is still some of the best. It is also good for you, being a vegetable, and contains fiber, vitamin A, C, E, and K. As well as folate, chromium, B vitamins, iron, protein, copper, selenium, manganese, potassium, and phosphorus. I have visited a few local farms that produce asparagus and it’s pretty cool to see. It kind of starts off their growing season. Well, as I said earlier in the article, I love asparagus, as does the rest of my family. Whether it’s grilled

or roasted, usually with minced garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end. However, I’m feeling that a nice cream of asparagus soup is in order for this month, being that there are still plenty of cool days to come. Well, once again, good luck and have fun. This is a pretty easy recipe and one you should have fun with. Enjoy! And Happy spring! P.S- get those gardens going! *Hint- hold asparagus by both ends and bend until it snaps, this will show you where the woody stalk begins and the edible part starts. Cream of asparagus soup (serves 4) 2 bunches of asparagus,

chopped into 1-inch pieces 1 lg onion, diced medium 1 lg. can of chicken stock, preferably College Inn salt and white pepper to taste 1 pint of heavy cream 1 Tbsp. whole butter *1/4 cup of crème fraiche or sour cream for a garnish method-in a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat until foam disappears and sauté onion until soft -add asparagus and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes -add chicken and bring to a simmer -simmer until asparagus is just soft, only a few

use of art in private gardens is to place the art along a strong central vista, creating an inviting focal point to entice visitors deeper into the garden, to explore and wander through other garden spaces. Public art can be utilized in much the same way as in private gardens, however at a larger scale; communal gardens can have a positive effect on an entire community. Communities have used art installations to increase tourism and serve as a catalyst for revitalization, improving the perception of less desirable parts of the community. In 1994, Providence, R.I. collaborated with an artist to install temporary floating fire orbs on the river. The installation was designed to attract visitors into these spaces and reconnect the city with its riverfront, which had been disjointed by an abandoned industrial site. The installation was so successful, it continues today with events several times a

year coinciding with other civic events and celebrations. Temporary art installations occur throughout the country to bring tourism and social benefits to communities. Some of the most notable temporary art installations include “The Gates” in New York’s Central Park in 2005 and “Cows on Parade” in Chicago in 1999 - both were extremely successful in increasing tourism and generating economic benefits. Traditionally, art is perceived to be a more permanent element within civic spaces. A permanent installation can produce much of the same benefits, but can also create a “sense of place,” a place people are attracted to gather and socialize with the art acting as the landmark. “Cloud Gate” in Chicago, also known as “The Bean” is one of the more popular attractions in the city which is already full of amazing sights and attractions. The appreciation of art is very personal and subjective. For this reason, the success of

art in a public space can be challenging. The selection of art must satisfy a wide range of personal tastes. Some may disapprove of a piece of art; feel funding of public art is a misappropriation of public funds, or that the subject matter is insensitive or distasteful. There are many examples of public art which has been met with great criticism. One infamous example is the Eiffel Tower in Paris France. The Eiffel Tower initially generated large opposition during its 1889 World’s Fair debut and was heavily criticized. Today, it is the unmistakable symbol of Paris. The art itself can generate a wide range of emotions and criticism. One way to create a successful public art installation is to begin the design selection process with community involvement. Public participation can create other benefits, such as a sense of ownership and community pride. It can also have the side effects of bringing community members together to reach a

Art in the Landscape

minutes (think al dente) -transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth -put back in sauce pan, season with the salt and white pepper to taste -bring back to a simmer and whisk in heavy cream -let simmer for a few more minutes and garnish with the crème fraiche or sour cream Editor’s Note: Craig Korb is executive chef at The Crab’s Claw Inn, Lavallette, New Jersey. He has an Associates degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelors degree in Food Service Management from Johnson and Wales University. For more information visit or phone (732) 793-4447.

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common goal when they may not normally interact on a daily basis. Although it may be impossible to achieve 100-percent agreement on a design, the majority support will prove a great endorsement for the project and a better opportunity for its success. The benefits of art in landscape far outweigh any negatives. So, go out and add a piece of whimsy to your own garden. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, organize a communal focus group to find ways to bring more art into your own community. Editor’s Note: Brian W. Bosenberg is a practicing landscape architect licensed in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maine and Vermont, and a principal in the firm of Bosenberg & Company Landscape Architects, Far Hills, N.J. He can be reached at 908-234-0557, or

22 April 2018

New Jersey FFA Horticultural Exposition The New Jersey Floral Design Career Development Event, which stimulates the study of and interest in the retailing and arranging of flowers, plants, and foliage through the agricultural education curriculum, took place at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor on Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10, for prizes in three divisions – Horticulture, Arrangement and Permanent. Students enrolled in agricultural education programs at high schools and middle schools from across New Jersey competed in the creation of an assigned arrangement and the creation of a design of choice arrangement. In addition, an itemized bill for the design of choice arrangement was created. FFA activities are an integral part of the instructional program in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Education. Through Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Education, FFA helps students meet the Common Core Standards and the 21st Century Life & Career Core Curriculum Content Standards. The Floral Design Career Development Event teaches students about English Language Arts and 21st Century Life and Career Skills.  More than 600 entries were registered and floral industry experts determined the winners of each class, as well as choosing a Best of Division for each. The New Jersey FFA Association program within the New Jersey Department of Agriculture has more than 2,600 members statewide, who are preparing for careers and leadership in the agriculture industry.

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Nancy Trivette, right, the State FFA Advisor, congratulates Isabella Pericoloso, from North Burlington Middle School, for taking first place in the “Mid-Summers Nights Dream” Class No. 304.

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Nancy Trivette, left, the State FFA Advisor, compliments Julia Schmidt, from the Monmouth County Carrer Center in Freehold on her Marti Gras-themed floral arrangement.

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Nancy Trivette, left, the State FFA Advisor, congratulates Bonnie Baldasare, the Union County FFA Chapter Advisor for winning first place in the “Advisor’s Folly” Class No. 432.

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FFA floral arrangements line the hallways in the John P. Hanley Student Center at Mercer County Community College. Pesticide Storage Inventory Due May 1 to Fire Department Licensed pesticide applicators and dealers in New Jersey who store pesticides are required by law to send a copy of their inventory along with a cover letter to their local fire company by May 1st each year. Applicators and dealers must maintain a list of the pesticides stored or likely to be stored during the year. The inventory should be kept separate from the storage area. Applicators and dealers must keep the letter on file for three years and should have it available for NJDEP upon request. This does not apply to pesticides for personal use, or to storage of pesticides at loading or application areas for less than 7 days. Pesticide Storage Inventory Form – The purpose of the inventory is to provide local fire departments with a description of materials stored in case of fire or emergency. Cover Letter – Licensed pesticide applicators and dealers who store pesticides are required by law to send a cover letter with a copy of the inventory to the local fire company. NJDEP regulations require that, “The cover letter will state that this list has been sent pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:30-9.5(b).4.” New Jersey regulations require a description or diagram depicting the specific location on the property where the pesticides are stored.

April 2018 23 APHIS Publishes Final Rule to Restructure its Plants for Planting Import Regulations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is restructuring its regulations for importing plants for planting. Specifically, APHIS will consolidate general requirements for importing plants for planting in one place in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). In addition, APHIS will post import restrictions for specific types of plants for planting in the Plants for Planting Manual, instead of codifying them in the CFR, and notify the public of changes through the Federal Register. APHIS believes these changes will make it easier for all stakeholders to find and understand plants for planting import requirements and restrictions. Other changes include: adding most of the currently prohibited plants to the Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis list; moving lists of approved growing media, packing materials, and ports of entry, and other approved items to the Plants for Planting Manual; adopting a notice-based process for making changes to the plants for planting import restrictions that will be listed in the Plants for Planting Manual; establishing a framework for using integrated pest risk management measures; and, adding post-entry quarantine requirements to the Plants for Planting Manual. The rule becomes effective on April 18, 2018, thirty days after publication in the Federal Register. APHIS will post the updated Plants for Planting Manual on its web site on April 18, 2018 to coincide with the effective date of the rule.

New Jersey’s 2018 Outstanding Young Farmer Jeff Bowlby, a Flemington hay and grain producer, has been chosen as New Jersey’s 2018 Outstanding Young Farmer by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. Bowlby was presented with the award at the 2018 New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City. “Jeff Bowlby is a hard-working, creative farmer who always has had a passion for farming since his introduction to agriculture at a young age,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “He is setting an example of what it takes to build a successful agricultural career with his own ingenuity and determination. It is farmers with this type of vision and dedication that will help keep New Jersey agriculture alive well into the future.” Bowlby has been involved in agriculture since helping on a farm at age 13, when he started milking cows for his neighbor. When in high school, he worked for Terraceland Farms and owner Greg Manners as part of a work study program in his high school agriculture class. It was there that he learned about the hay and grain industry including growing hay, hay marketing, crop production, soil conservation and fertilization. In 2009, he grew a few acres of soybeans in partnership with his brother and uncle that served as the beginning of realizing his dream of farming for himself. In 2011, Bowlby began renting 55 acres of land that were coming out of a Conservation Resource Program (CRP) and started growing corn on it. By 2014, he had expanded his rented land to 155 acres, while continuing to farm 30-plus acres of soybeans with his uncle and brother while still assisting at Terraceland Farm, helping with 800 acres there. In September of 2015, Manners approached Bowlby and told him he was going to downsize his operation and that after 25 years, it was Bowlby’s turn. Today, Bowlby manages 550 acres of land, much of it rented from the Terraceland Farm, growing corn, soybeans, wheat, rye, oats and other hay and grain crops. “I go to work to every day, but it’s not really work because I love what I do,” Bowlby said. “Growing up on our family farm, I ate, slept and breathed the farm life, as I still do. In high school, I found a deeper love of agriculture through my local FFA chapter which in turn led to scholarships for college where I studied crop science. I have never even considered another career path as the everyday challenges that this occupation provides are exciting and invigorating. No two days are ever the same. My goal was always to farm on my own.” While Bowlby has made his dream of farming on his own come true, he also knows he could not have started realizing that dream without the help of others. “The knowledge and experience I was given by Mr. Manners is an invaluable gift,” Bowlby said. “In a way, it was also a gift when he decided to downsize, that he considered me first when thinking of renting the land. That removed a number of variables. I also was fortunate enough to have some farming neighbors who would allow me to borrow their equipment until I could find what I was looking for and secure funding for it.” Water and soil conservation have also played an important role in Bowlby’s farming success. Soil conservation practices allow him to build up organic matter, which creates environmentally rich soil so plants can thrive. “Conserving soil and water is the number one priority for a successful crop,” Bowlby said. “Several years ago, I changed my farming practices completely over to no-till or minimal tillage with a vertical tillage machine as I found it to be a great way of conserving soil and water. It was a big change for me. However, it didn’t take me long to realize the benefits of using this method and see overall improvements in soil health. The organic matter levels in my soil have increased and help the water movement in the clay-based soils that are prevalent in this area.” The support from his wife Robin, who also has a passion for farming, is vital to the family business. She works on a horse boarding facility and on her days off, helps with paperwork and other necessary tasks. In the spring, she runs the vertical tillage machine and helps move equipment. In the summer months, she rakes hay and helps unload the wagons. They have two young children, Justin, 6, and Samantha, 3. Jeff Bowlby also serves the community. He has been on the Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture for the last 10 years, including serving as the first vice-president, and has been on the Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair Board of Directors the last nine years. The OYF program is the oldest farmer recognition program in the United States, with the first group of national winners selected in 1955.  The goals of the OYF program are to foster better urban-rural relations through the understanding of farmers’ challenges, as well as the appreciation of their contributions and achievements; to bring about a greater interest in farmers/ranchers; and to help build an urban awareness of the farmers’ importance and impact on America’s economy.  The OYF program encourages a greater interest in agriculture and recognizes local citizens’ contributions. The National OYF program is sponsored by Deere & Company, administered by the Outstanding Farmers of America Fraternity, and supported by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents and the US Junior Chamber of Commerce. For more information on the state’s Outstanding Young Farmer program, visit:

24 April 2018 This past winter punished many plants. Brutal and lengthy cold temperatures in early-January, coupled with our water deficit from last fall, was the recipe for many broadleaf evergreens to succumb to nature’s wrath. Plants simply couldn’t pull in enough moisture to protect themselves from wind and temperature. As your garden awakens and your deciduous trees and shrubs “open their eyes” this April, don’t be surprised if your broadleaf evergreens i.e. rhododendron, azaleas and particularly Skip laurels, don’t bounce back as you would like. Particularly those sited on the west side of your property, where the prevailing winds come from at the end of the day, drying plants out more quickly. Should you have an opportunity to replace a plant or two, consider one of the hottest trees on the market this spring with outstanding bracts. Every year I attend numerous continuing education classes, trade shows, seminars, lectures and meetings with industry leaders. To my recollection, not since “Endless Summer” Hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla “Endless Summer’’® has there been such a “buzz” in the industry touting the next “hot” plant. This past winter at the MANTS Show (Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade

For me, there are few natural sights that evoke as much emotion as spring along the rich floodplains of the Mississippi River Valley. I grew up along the Great River in Illinois, just north of Mark Twain Country, Hannibal, Missouri. When spring arrives in April, it can be magical, as the woods are rich with an amazingly diverse inventory of herbaceous wildflowers, shrubs, and trees. Now, I had not been “home” in spring for almost 30 years, but last year I made it home in early- April. Flying into St. Louis, the drive up north along the Mississippi to my hometown took me back to my younger days, and reminded me why I became a botanist. Earlyspring was at full speed. The woodland borders were ablaze with one of my favorite small trees, Cercis canadensis, or redbud. We don’t see redbud much in the wild here; different soils and climate. But in the Midwest, it is spectacular. Under the emerging canopy of oak and hickory and red maple, for 100 miles the road was edged in pink. Redbud is a small tree, or sometimes multi-stemmed shrub, in the Pea family. Leaves are heart-shaped, green

April 2018 25 Unique Plants By Bob LaHoff Nursery Specialist

Show) in Baltimore, a new celebrity was largely showcased. “Scarlet Fire”® Dogwood, Cornus kousa “Scarlet Fire”® (Rutpink) PPAF blazed to the forefront and many deciduous tree growers advertised this tree in their tradeshow booths. Introduced by Rutgers University, “Scarlet Fire”® Dogwood is the first kousa type (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan Dogwood) to be brought to market after 45 years of breeding. An awesome new introduction from the efforts of Dr. Tom Molnar. “Scarlet Fire’s”® bracts, “modified, usually small, leaflike structure often positioned beneath a flower or inflorescence,” ( are what most erroneously call its flowers. These bracts appear in June, last almost eight weeks, and are a consistent dark, strong pink color, said to hold up to even our warmest summers here in New Jersey. Deep Pink to fuchsia at its peak, this new cultivar was also selected

‘Scarlet Fire’

for its unusual large bracts, about five inches across. “Floriferous and precocious, the original tree flowered heavy at only 4 years old and budded plants can set many floral buds only after two growing seasons” ( dogwood/scarlet_fire.html). These medium to large size bracts generally don’t overlap themselves. This cultivar, given time, will most likely become my new favorite pink type while Venus dogwood, Cornus “Kn30 8” Venus will firmly remain as my favorite white type. “VENUS is a hybrid dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Chinensis’ x Cornus nuttalii Goldspot’x Cornus kousa ‘Rosea’) that was developed by Elwin R. Orton, Jr. as part of the Jersey Star series of dogwoods released by Rutgers University” ( I may be a bit biased, though, as Rutgers University is my alma mater. Important to note, “Scarlet Fire’s”® bracts appear more pointed than “Venus’”.

The leaves of “Scarlet Fire’” are dark green with hints of purple in its new growth and reportedly brightred fall color. Already described as a floriferous and moderately vigorous grower, another added bonus are its edible one-inch carmine-fuchsia, knobby fruits in the fall. Tear through the outer papery shell and enjoy its inner custard consistency. Likened to that of an apple or mango flavor, remember not to harvest these too early as that would surely be unpleasant. And should you like to think “way out of the box,” I once saw a landscape architect spec Kousa dogwoods as a hedge in Far Hills, N.J. A design and effort that I continue to admire and see as quantum some 20 years later! The anticipated overall outline of this tree is 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide. So please don’t plant this deciduous tree five feet off the corner of your home. “Scarlet Fire”® will also appreciate full sun to partial shade and it’s “Hardy” from zones 5-8. Chinese dogwood

Tree Notes By Steve Schuckman NJ Certified Tree Expert

The Redbuds in summer, and fall color is usually just a fair yellow. Flowers are rosy-purple to pink, in abundance in early-spring. Being primarily a woodland plant, it performs best in welldrained, moist soils in light shade. It will adapt to full sun sites, but will require regular watering. I find it to perform best in morning sun. Stressed trees are very prone to canker disease, so keep trees wellwatered and fertilize annually. Little pruning is needed. Most trees reach 12 to 20 feet over many years, but I have seen some specimens – obviously sited well, that were over 25 feet in just 10 years! One of these is at a friend’s house, planted in honor of his son’s birth. He is now 12, and the tree is at the gutters. Impressive indeed for a redbud. There are several other species other than canadensis,

depending upon which authority you follow. C. occidentalis is Western redbud, found mostly in California. C reniformis is similar (reniformis means “kidney-shaped leaves”). I have grown the cultivar of this species called “Oklahoma,” which has darker flowers than canadensis and thick, waxy leaves. Another form of reniformis is “Texas White,” obviously with white flowers. The Asian species found in cultivation is C. chinensis, Chinese redbud. This tends to be a small, multi-stemmed shrub, but flowers extremely heavily along almost every stem and branch. It can be breathtaking. I have used canadensis as a street tree for small spaces or under wires with mixed results. The trees that have done best are those in better soils and probably being cared for and watered by the resident. My

guess is de-icing salt – which is used excessively – is the reason for poor performance. Redbud does, however, make for a wonderful small tree in yard or garden, as it blooms early and lights up the spring. A mature tree in full bloom is spectacular. Now, redbud has become popular and, of course, nurserymen and breeders have developed many, many cultivars. Most have the same colored flowers as the species, but selections have been made for foliage color and plant form. So, who else to turn to other than my friend and colleague Bob LaHoff for some of his top picks? Here we go: C. chinensis ‘Avondale’ – profuse dark-rose flowers C. chinensis ‘Don Egolf’ – pinkish-mauve flowers in abundance C. canadensis ‘Rising Sun’

types, incidentally, are also more tolerant of humidity than our native species. Perhaps “the most pink, heaviest flowering Kousa Dogwood we know” ( thus far, this “intercrossing” type is not a hybrid. Disease resistant, particularly to Anthracnose, you can now obtain “Scarlet Fire”® at your local, independent garden center. Appreciable sizes are available, rather than miniscule mail order ones, which can complement your landscape immediately. The task of developing a Kousa dogwood type, showcasing deep pink-red markings, coupled with diseaseresistant properties, seems to have been solved. Complex genetic combinations have filtered out and produced a better Japanese dogwood, one of which Dr. Tom Molnar, Rutgers University and the Garden State can all be proud. 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, 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.

– leaves of orange, gold and yellow – all at once! C canadensis ‘Alley Cat’ – marbled leaves of white and green, pink flowers C canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ – weeping type, stays small C. canadensis ‘Pink Heartbreaker’ – another weeping type, fast growth, stronger stems I like “Pauline Lily,” which has salmon-colored flowers with a white blush, and “Hearts of Gold,” which has bright-yellow leaves and is very vigorous. For purple foliage, there is “Forest Pansy” and “Merlot.” There are many other cultivars worth your exploration, something for every taste. Whichever you choose, you can be sure to find redbud a great addition to your garden.

Editor’s Note: Steve Schuckman is owner of First Mountain Aboriculture, which provides horticultural consulting and community forestry services. He is currently the consulting forester for Bloomfield, Hawthorne, Maplewood, and Montclair, in New Jersey. He is also a New Jersey Certified Tree Expert. He can be reached at

26 April 2018


Small, growing company (NJ Deer Control) is looking for a backpack spray technician. Tech is needed to spray landscapes with a natural deer repellent. Must enjoy working outdoors. Landscape/spray tech experience is a plus, but not required. Valid driver’s license is a must. Paid training period then $14-$15 hourly pay with 30-40+ hr work week available! Please send resume for possible interview to Deadline: Until filled.

90 Day Extension of Agriculture Exemption from ELD Mandate

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applauded Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for her announcement of an additional 90-day extension of the agriculture exemption from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate. Agricultural compliance with the mandate would have been problematic for the agriculture industry because the devices do not accurately account for the agricultural exemptions currently provided in the law. The ELD rule went into effect in December 2017, with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) granting the agriculture industry an initial exemption that was set to expire on March 18, 2018. With the granting of another extension, the agriculture industry will now have additional time to comply. Secretary Sonny Perdue issued the following statement: “The ELD mandate imposes restrictions upon the agriculture industry that lack flexibility necessary for the unique realities of hauling agriculture commodities. If the agriculture industry had been forced to comply by the March 18 deadline, live agricultural commodities, including plants and animals, would have been at risk of perishing before they reached their destination. The 90-day extension is critical to give DOT additional time to issue guidance on hours-ofservice and other ELD exemptions that are troubling for agriculture haulers.” “Current ELD technologies do not recognize the hours-of-service exemptions for agriculture that are in federal law. This is a classic example of a one-size-fits-all federal regulation that ignores common sense to the detriment of sectors like agriculture. “I applaud Secretary Chao for recognizing these obstacles and giving extra time for compliance while DOT issues guidance. While public safety is a critical concern for all of trucking, the safety of living agricultural commodities in transport must also be considered.” BACKGROUND: Agriculture haulers operating within 150 air miles of the source of their agriculture products or livestock do not have to comply with DOT’s hours-of-service regulation, which limits driving hours to only 11 hours after being off duty for more than 10 consecutive hours. For more information on the hours-of-service exemption for agriculture shipments, visit this U.S. DOT webpage: For more information on agriculture commodities that are transported to domestic and foreign markets, visit this USDA webpage:

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Farm Service Agency Offers Disaster Assistance for Qualifying Tree, Bush and Vine Losses

Orchardists and nursery tree growers who experience losses from natural disasters during calendar year 2018 must submit a TAP application either 90 calendar days after the disaster event or the date when the loss is apparent. TAP was authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 as a permanent disaster program. TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. Eligible tree types include trees, bushes or vines that produce an annual crop for commercial purposes. Nursery trees include ornamental, fruit, nut and Christmas trees that are produced for commercial sale. Trees used for pulp or timber are ineligible. To qualify for TAP, orchardists must suffer a qualifying tree, bush or vine loss in excess of 15 percent mortality from an eligible natural disaster, plus an adjustment for normal mortality. The eligible trees, bushes or vines must have been owned when the natural disaster occurred; however, eligible growers are not required to own the land on which the eligible trees, bushes and vines were planted. If the TAP application is approved, the eligible trees, bushes and vines must be replaced within 12 months from the date the application is approved. The cumulative total quantity of acres planted to trees, bushes or vines, for which a producer can receive TAP payments, cannot exceed 500 acres annually. For more information, contact your local FSA office at

Full Moon, April 29, 2018 Eastern Daylight


Crabgrass germination typically begins when soil temperatures reach 62 degrees Fahrenheit at a depth of one to two inches, or about two weeks after the forsythia blooms begin to drop. To be effective, preemergence herbicides must be in place before germination occurs. In general, preemergence herbicides should be applied when soil temperatures reach 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or when forsythia is in full bloom. This will allow the preemergence herbicide to form a barrier before the crabgrass seedlings emerge. Preemergence herbicides work by inhibiting the growth of young seedlings. After application, do not rake or aerate the soil, because it will disturb the soil that the crabgrass preventer is using as a barrier.

April 2018 27

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