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Gardener News

Proudly Serving the Agricultural, Gardening, Landscaping & Nursery Communities

July 2019


TAKE ONE No. 195

Gardener News Writer Becomes President of the Garden Club of New Jersey By Tom Castronovo Executive Editor Gardener News is pleased to announce that Jeannie Geremia – who has been writing for this paper since 2008 and who was presented with the prestigious, Gardener News “Person of the Year” Award in 2012 – became president of the Garden Club of New Jersey on June 6. Geremia is a Jersey Girl with ancestors on both sides of her family, who arrived in New Jersey in the 1600’s settling in Monmouth County, and later moving west to Hunterdon and Somerset Counties. She is a proud farmer’s daughter, and the love of nature figured into her early childhood as she was tasked at age 7 with watching her family’s 60-plus cows in different unfenced fields and pastures. That little girl still resonates in her soul as she continues to spend countless hours frolicking among the wildflowers, birds, butterflies and bees. That really is what motivates her to this day, as she wants to share the exquisite beauty and joy she feels with future generations. The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc. (GCNJ), founded in 1925, is a federation of individual local garden clubs (120 of them) throughout the state. GCNJ has over 5,000 members, ages 6 to adult. GCNJ is the state affiliate and a charter member of the National Garden Clubs, Inc., (NGC), a non-profit educational organization. The membership of NGC is composed of nearly 200,000 members, 6,000 member garden clubs, 70 national affiliates and 300 international affiliates around the globe, making it the largest volunteer organization of its type in the world. The ceremony installing Jeannie as President took place in the (Cont. on Page 12)

Tom Castronovo/Photo

New Jersey State Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, left, congratulates Garden Club of New Jersey President Jeannie Geremia.

2 July 2019

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4 July 2019 This summer, I started a very small herb garden on my patio, using seedling plants I picked up at one of the fabulous New Jersey farm stands I visit each season. Along with the fantastic fruits, vegetables, flowers and flowering plants and shrubs, there is also offered a smattering of herbs you can buy to try your hand at growing them at home. There are, of course, the perennial favorites like thyme, parsley, rosemary, basil and sage. However, there sometimes are lesser-known herbs included that may have been cultivated by a particular farmer for years. As I travel around to farms in New Jersey, I have encountered farmers who grow specialty crops that sometimes include such rare, niche offerings that you have to know to ask the farmer for them. I added to my small herb garden the expected complement of favorites, but I also wanted to include some of the not-soprevalent herbs as well. This would give us the opportunity to taste some new herbs and to expand the ways in which we season our food. Herbs (plants with flesh NJ Dept. of Agriculture By Douglas H. Fisher Secretary of Agriculture

Lovage, American Style stems) also can provide us with lots of ancestral and practical healing remedies for what ails us. They can be the basis of your own home-grown apothecary. One of the unusual herbs I purchased was lovage (Levisticum officinale), a member of the parsley family. I must admit, I really had no idea what its uses were or much of anything else about this plant. But some quick research revealed that its seeds, leaves and even its roots are used regularly in Europe to flavor foods. Turns out lovage is an herb native to the Mediterranean, southern Europe and Asia minor. However, it has also been found growing in central Europe, Great Britain and the eastern United States. In any of these locations, lovage often can reach a height of

five to seven feet. There are two other types of lovage that grow wild, according to One, known as sea lovage, Scottish lovage or shunis, grows in northern Britain and the north Atlantic coast of the United States. The other is known as black lovage, or alexanders, and grows in Britain and the Meditarranean. Lovage’s leaves look and smell like those of celery. With its strong flavor and smell, it only takes a few leaves to add bold flavor to a dish. Think of celery but with some more herb-like nuances. It can be used in soups, stocks, flavored vinegars, stews, pickles and salads. The fresh leaves have a sharp, yeasty, and musty taste. Dried leaves have stronger flavor than fresh ones. Its seeds, which are tiny,

ridged and crescent-shaped, also can be sprinkled on mashed potatoes or crushed into the dough for breads, pastries, and biscuits. You can also find cheeses flavored with lovage. Preserving lovage can be as simple as cutting the leaves and stalks and putting them in plastic bags in the freezer. From there, it’s ready to be tossed into whatever pot you’re using to cook your main dish. Or, you can also dry lovage by tying cuttings in small bunches and hanging them upside down in a dark, well-aerated room. And, as could be expected in an age when almost every agricultural crop can find its way into an alcoholic drink, lovage can be used to create a cordial that has been popular since Old English days.

Traditional European uses for lovage as a medicine include treatments for upset stomachs, water retention, skin problems and to treat poor circulation and menstrual irregularities If lovage, also known as “sea parsley,” is in short supply, you can use fennel as a substitute. Its similar stalk structure and texture make it a good replacement for celery or fennel, and make it look very similar to those plants as well. There are so many different plants grown by New Jersey’s farmers. So, take the time to ask your local farmer about all the different plants she grows. Who knows what new favorites you’ll find? Editor’s Note: Douglas H. Fisher is New Jersey’s Secretary of Agriculture. He is the department’s executive officer, secretary to the State Board of Agriculture and a member of the Governor’s cabinet. Secretary Fisher fulfills executive, management and administrative duties prescribed by law, executive order or gubernatorial direction. He can be reached at 609.292.3976. For more info, please visit: http://

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6 July 2019


Genetic Discovery May Improve Corn Quality, Yields Researchers may be able to improve corn yields and nutritional value after discovering genetic regulators that synthesize starch and protein in the widely eaten grain, according to a Rutgers-led study. The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could benefit millions of people who rely on corn for nutrition in South America, Africa and elsewhere. The world’s corn supply depends on improving its yield and quality, which relies on the accumulation of starch and proteins in the grain’s endosperm, the study says. Endosperm, an important source of human nutrition that contains starch, oils and proteins, is the seed tissue that surrounds embryos. “We found a novel approach to discover new regulators in the synthesis of starch and protein, which determine grain yield and quality,” said study lead author Zhiyong Zhang, a post-doctoral fellow at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The scientists discovered how corn starch and protein are simultaneously synthesized in the endosperm, which could allow them to find a good balance between nutrient quality and yield, Zhang said. Corn domestication and modern breeding have gradually increased starch content but decreased protein accumulation in endosperms. The researchers looked at key proteins in corn kernels known as zeins, which are devoid of lysine, an essential amino acid (a building block of proteins), resulting in poor nutrient quality. During corn breeding over decades, people increased lysine content by cultivating corn with lower levels of zeins. Still, today’s lysine levels are too low to meet the needs of the world’s rapidly growing population. So, molecular geneticists and corn breeders are trying to dramatically reduce zein levels to improve corn nutrient quality by focusing on blocking them and so-called transcription factors. Transcription is when the information in a gene’s DNA is transferred to RNA, resulting in proteins that play key roles in the body’s tissues, organs, structure and functions. The research team found that two transcription factors play key roles in regulating the synthesis of starch and protein, paving the way for further research to fully understand the balance between nutrient quality and yield at a molecular level. Rutgers co-authors include post-doctoral fellow Jiaqiang Dong and senior author Joachim Messing, director of the Waksman Institute. Scientists at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Institute of Plant Physiology & Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences contributed to the study. This article originally appeared in Rutgers Today.

Great Tomato Tasting and Snyder Farm Open House Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Snyder Research and Extension Farm 140 Locust Grove Road, Pittstown, Hunterdon County, NJ 08867 Wednesday, August 28, 2019 (rain or shine) 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. To help us plan for the event please RSVP at: or call 908-730-9419 X-3501 Visit our website at or call 908-730-9419 for more information. Admission: $10.00 per person, payable at the event (cash or check only). Free for children 12 & under. Please, only service dogs allowed on the farm grounds.

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Mildews in Your Ornamental Garden In everyday terms, a “mildew” is thought of as a fungal growth on a flat surface. These organisms, which include species of Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys, use various organic materials in moist locations for food (giving damp basements and bathrooms that musty smell). In more scientific terms, a mildew is a thin coating of fungal growth (mycelium and spores) on the surface of infected plant parts. Two completely different types of mildew are commonly associated with garden plants: powdery mildews and downy mildews. Powdery mildews are prevalent on many plant species during the summer months. Downy mildews prefer cooler, moister weather; reports of this disease on roses, impatiens, and basil are common. Plants commonly affected by powdery mildew in New Jersey landscapes include begonia, chrysanthemum, crape myrtle, euonymus, hydrangea, lilac, London plane, oak, peony, phlox, pansy, rose, sunflower, and zinnia. These are just a few of the thousands of species affected by this disease worldwide. Most powdery mildew fungi are host-specific; development of the disease on one species will not necessarily lead to disease on other hosts nearby. Powdery mildew fungi are biotrophs: they must obtain food from living plant cells. Although the fungus does not directly kill infected tissues, the disease may reduce the growth and aesthetic value of affected plants. Leaves may be stunted, curled, or twisted, and in highly susceptible plants, new growth, flowers, and buds may be destroyed. Look for powdery mildew during the late-spring to early-fall months. The disease most commonly appears as white to tan mats of growth (spores and mycelium) on the surface of leaves and other aerial tissues. The fungus spreads by means of wind-blown spores. Disease development is most rapid during periods of warm weather (80oF day/60oF night). Spores germinate and penetrate host tissues in about six hours, and under favorable conditions, new mycelium and spores are produced within four to six days. Powdery mildew fungi survive the winter as thick-walled fruiting structures that serve as a source of inoculum the following year. To manage this disease in ornamental plantings, improve air movement around plants through proper spacing and weed control, and increase the amount of sunlight that reaches foliage. In the spring, rake old leaves and prune shoots (during dry weather) infected the previous growing season. Water plants during dry periods. Practices that promote succulent growth (such as pruning and nitrogen fertilizing) should be avoided during the summer on susceptible hosts. Purchase disease-free plants, and use disease-resistant cultivars whenever possible. Compounds available for powdery mildew management (biorational and synthetic fungicides) work as preventives: apply them at the first sign of disease and reapply at intervals and rates stated on the label. Check the label for host range, rate, application interval, and any cautions. Note: thorough coverage is essential, and some plants may be sensitive to certain products. Downy mildews are caused by fungal relatives called Oomycetes. These organisms attack tender, above-ground plant parts, dispersing rapidly in films of water. Downy mildew is especially common on roses, all of which are susceptible to varying degrees. You may also be aware of this disease on garden impatiens and basil. Other hosts include aster, buddleia, coleus, coreopsis, delphinium, gerbera, lamium, pansy, rosemary, salvia, snapdragon, and veronica. Symptoms of downy mildew most often appear on the upper leaf surface as a patchy yellow, purple, or brown discoloration bound by leaf veins. Affected leaves may defoliate prematurely, and stunting may also occur in species such as snapdragon and in seedlings and bulb crops. To see why the disease is called “downy mildew,” turn the leaf over and use a hand lens to view the characteristic downy tufts of fungal mycelium and spores. These spores are easily dislodged and disseminated by wind and splashing water. Watch closely for symptoms of downy mildew on susceptible crops during periods of cool (58 to 72 degrees F), humid (> 95% RH) conditions. Fungal development ceases for most downy mildews when weather becomes dry and warmer than 80 degrees F for 24 hours. In the absence of susceptible plant tissue, downy mildew pathogens survive in plant debris, soil, or weeds. To manage downy mildew, first “manage the moisture.” Space plants to ensure good air circulation and rapid drying of foliage after irrigation. Avoid overhead irrigation when the weather is generally cool. Practice good sanitation techniques: discard all diseased plants as well as plant debris that may harbor spores (do not compost), and control weeds that may be another source of inoculum. Purchase disease-free plants and use cultivars resistant to this disease whenever possible. Management with fungicides (as preventives) is difficult and may not be satisfactory once fungal sporulation appears. Consider planting alternatives in beds where the disease is known to occur. Editor’s Note: This month’s column is written by Dr. Ann B. Gould, Extension Specialist in Ornamental Pathology at Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

July 2019 7


A ‘Go-to’ Plant for Hummingbirds One request I am repeatedly asked at our plant sale on Mother’s Day weekend is for plants that attract butterflies and/or the Ruby Throated Hummingbird. Of course, this question is often paired with suggestions on plants with a tolerance to deer browse, those that are native to Eastern North America and, lastly, are easily grown in the home garden. There are actually several good answers to the question, but one of my “go-to” suggestions is always Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis! Cardinal Flower is a member of the Campanula family or Campanulaceae and is native throughout North America, with the exception of the Northwestern regions of the United States into Canada. Lobelia was first penned by the Swedish botanist and physician Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) in 1753. The name honors Matthias de L’Obel (1538-1616), who was a French botanist and physician.

The genus Lobelia contains 414 species of herbaceous and woody species, many of which are native to tropical locations throughout the world. Lobelia cardinalis was also described by Linnaeus in 1753. The species epithet refers not to the bird, but rather to the red robes worn by the Roman Catholic Cardinals. As the species name implies, the flowers are typically red in color, although purple and on rare occasions, white flowers appear. The flowers consist of a smaller upper lip, containing two petals or lobs while the larger lower “lip” contains three petals or lobes. The petals fuse to form a tubular, cup-like base wherein the nectaries are located. Stretching up from the base of the flower and overarching the lower lip are five male stamens that surround the central female style and stigma. The flower stems emerge from a basal rosette of foliage, with the flowers appearing sequentially from bottom to top along unbranched stems called racemes. The racemes can reach to one to four feet in height, depending

upon the location. The lower one-third of the flower stem is clothed in deep green, lanceshaped foliage with a serrate margin, ranging from one to four inches in length. The remainder of the stem display the radially arranged red flowers that are one to one-and-a-half inches in diameter. As mentioned above, the flowers are much beloved by Ruby Throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris), but are also visited by the Black Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio polyxenes asterius) and the Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus). As the pollinators collect the nectar, the overarching anthers deposit pollen on the top of the pollinator head or body, which is transferred to the stigma of the next visited flower. An ingenious way to ensure pollination while also providing a lot of movement and animation for the gardener to enjoy. Another interesting Lobelia to add to the garden is Lobelia siphilitica, the Great Blue Lobelia. Once again, it was

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named by Linnaeus in 1753, and the rather interesting species epithet refers to the original, yet untrue notion that the plant was able to treat venereal disease. Often blooming a week or two later than its cousin, this plant is native to the eastern two-thirds of North America and typically reaches heights of one to three feet. Both species of Lobelia prefer soils that are damp to wet with ample amounts of organic matter. Lobelia cardinalis will typically last three to five years in a garden setting, but its short life should not be considered a liability, as it produces ample seedlings to ensure the original plant will never be missed. The blue form typically last a little longer and naturally occurring crosses do occur, with the flowers assuming a more maroon color. Due to the presence of toxic white alkaloids in the milky latex sap, the plants have proven to be deer resistant and the hungry gardener should resist any thought of foraging a snack. If your garden has a suitably

moist location and you are in need of a shot of bright red or a more subtle blue flower for your garden, both of these plants are delightful additions. Not only is the color a great asset, but watching hummingbirds hovering or butterflies flittering about the garden makes the two species a “go-to” plant for gardeners who enjoy feeding and watching our native pollinators. 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 past-president 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: 856-224-8040 Hudson County Phone: 201-915-1399 Hunterdon County Phone: 908-788-1339 Mercer County Phone: 609-989-6830

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Belchim USA Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label for Beloukha® Garden Herbicide

Belchim Crop Protection USA (Belchim USA), part of Belchim Crop Protection NV (Belchim), announces that it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label. The product, Beloukha® Garden Herbicide, is now able to display a unique USDA label that highlights its percentage of biobased content, effective May 29, 2019. Third-party verification for a product’s biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, an initiative created by the 2002 Farm Bill (and most recently expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill). One of the goals of the BioPreferred Program is to increase the development, purchase and use of biobased products. The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product’s biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine or forestry feedstocks. Utilizing renewable, biobased materials displaces the need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals. Biobased products, through petroleum displacement, have played an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate global climate change. Biobased products are cost-comparative, readily available, and perform as well as or better than their conventional counterparts. “With the increasing demands from our distributors, as well as growers and landscapers for products that are both eco-friendly and effective, we’re thrilled to earn a USDA Certified Biobased Product label for Beloukha® Garden Herbicide, which contains pelargonic acid sourced from

sunflowers,” said Tom Wood, GM for Belchim USA. “With Beloukha® already registered and available in 46 states, this distinction clearly shows Belchim USA’s commitment to provide effective products with a lower chemical footprint for our customers.” “We applaud Belchim Crop Protection N.V./S.A. for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product label,” said Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program. “Products from Belchim Crop Protection N.V./S.A. are contributing to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities, and decreases our reliance on petroleum.” According to a report that the USDA released in 2016, biobased products contributed $393 billion to the U.S. economy in 2014 and support, directly and indirectly, 4.2 million jobs. In the same report, the research team estimated petroleum displacement of up to 6.8 million barrels in 2014. The increased production of renewable chemicals and biobased products contributes to the development and expansion of the U.S. bioeconomy where society looks to agriculture for sustainable sources of fuel, energy, chemicals, and products. About Belchim Crop Protection NV Belchim empowers farmers through innovative crop protection products and high-end technical support. Founded in Belgium in 1987, it is a global company who expanded its presence into the USA, in 2017. With innovative products, a high level of technical support and a focus on development, registration and commercialization, Belchim offers unique agrochemical











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solutions for today and tomorrow. To learn more about Belchim Crop Protection USA, please visit www. About the USDA BioPreferred Program and Certified Biobased Product label The BioPreferred Program is a USDA-led initiative that assists the development and expansion of markets for biobased products. The BioPreferred Program is transforming the marketplace for biobased products through two initiatives: mandatory purchasing requirements for Federal Agencies and Federal contractors and voluntary product certification and labeling. Biobased products span a diverse range of applications, such as lubricants, cleaning products, chemicals and bioplastics. The USDA Certified Biobased Product label communicates a product’s biobased content. Expressed as a percentage, biobased content is the ratio of non-fossil organic carbon (new organic carbon) to total organic carbon in a product. New organic carbon is derived from recently-created materials. The total organic carbon in a product consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon that originates from fossil carbon materials, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas. More than 3,000 products have earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product label. To learn more about the USDA Certified Biobased Product label please visit, and follow on Twitter at http://

July 2019 9

Around The Garden By Tom Castronovo Gardener News

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Past, Present and Future

Let me start out with the past. Or, should I say, the recent past. First, congratulations to Gardener News Contributing Writer Bruce Crawford, Director of the Rutgers Gardens, for receiving the 2019 Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum Annual Award, on June 9. He was selected based on his service as an educator, writer, landscape architect, and speaker. Bruce has introduced master gardeners, garden club members, students, and the general public to the joy of creating gardens. As Director of Rutgers Gardens, he continues to inspire each new generation with his extensive knowledge of plants and public gardens. I was honored with the same award on June 12, 2017. The Friends of Frelinghuysen Arboretum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1972. Their mission is to promote public awareness of horticulture, cultural landscapes, and the natural world through stewardship, sponsorship of projects, and educational opportunities; and to further development of horticulture and research facilities at the Morris County Park Commission’s horticultural sites. Now for the present. Be on the lookout for chinch bugs. Chinch bugs are tiny bugs that can cause severe damage to your lawn by sucking your grass blades dry and injecting them with poison. Lawns affected by chinch bugs are often confused with lawns suffering from drought. Chinch bugs use their piercing mouthparts to suck moisture from grass blades, then inject a poison into the blades that interrupts water movement within the grass, causing the grass to die. In the early stages of chinch bug damage, grass will begin to yellow. Next, grass will turn brown and die. As the grass dies, chinch bugs will move to the perimeter of the dead grass, causing dead patches of grass to spread outward. What may begin as a small patch of dead grass will quickly grow into a large area of dead grass, constantly expanding outward. One way to tell if you have chinch bugs and not drought is if the grass does not green up after it has been watered. If your grass remains dead, you might have chinch bugs. An adult chinch bug is around one-sixth of an inch long, has a gray-black body with fine hairs, white wings, and reddish legs. The outer margin of each forewing has a small, black, triangular spot. The wings of the adult are folded flat over their backs. Chinch bugs prefer feeding on red fescues, perennial ryegrass, bentgrass, and Kentucky bluegrass. Chinch bug infestations frequently occur in turfgrass with thick thatch that is exposed to full sunlight during periods of hot, dry weather. Visual inspection of healthy turfgrass bordering

the dead turfgrass is one sampling method for chinch bugs. The fast-moving adults and nymphs can be seen scurrying about at the base of grass stems and aggregating in groups. However, these insects frequently blend in with the thatch and go unnoticed. On a sunny day, you will notice adults crawling across driveways, sidewalks, and/or over foundation block walls. A can with both ends cut out can be used to determine the level of infestation in another method. Force one end of the can into the soil, fill with water, then watch as pests float to the top. A nonchemical control alternative is using endophyte-enhanced turfgrass seed as part of your management program. (Endophytes are usually beneficial fungi that live between the cell walls of grass plants.) In most instances, fungal endophytes produce alkaloids, which give enhanced resistance to insects and disease. Conventional insecticides can suppress nymphs and adults throughout the summer when they are actively feeding on turfgrass. Remember, pesticides are poisonous. Please read and follow the directions and safety precautions on labels. Handle carefully and store in the original labeled container or bag, out of the reach of children, pets, and livestock. Commercially available insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, are an effective method of biological combat as well. As I look into my gazing garden ball toward the future, I’m seeing the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) Lycorma delicatula. The late nymph to adult stages will be visible soon for all to see. There is one generation of SLF per year. The eggs are laid in the fall and hatch in the spring. Egg masses are laid on hard surfaces (trees, decks, houses, outdoor equipment, rocks, etc.) and protected with a mud-like covering. Each egg mass contains 30 to 50 eggs. After hatching and before reaching adulthood, SLF goes through four nymph stages. Nymphs are small (⅛ to ½ inch) and can be hard to find. The first three stages (instars) are all black with white spots, and the last instar is red with white dots and black stripes. SLF adults emerge in July and are active until winter. This is the most obvious and easily detectable stage because they are large (one inch) and highly mobile. Adults have black bodies with brightly colored wings. Only the adults can fly. Because SLF adults jump more than fly, their wings often remain closed. SLF wings are gray with black spots, and the tips of the wings are black with gray veins. If you happen to see any of the SLF life stages, kill them and contact your local department of agriculture. Please also see page 21 for more information. My gazing garden ball now says that I will see you again in August.

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

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10 July 2019 Now that we are moving into the month of July and some of the warmest days of the year, we all know that Jersey Fresh peaches are right around the corner. Sure, we can get just about any type of fruit at any time of year nowadays, but at least in my opinion, there is nothing that compares to eating a nice, ripe peach right off of the tree. Here in New Jersey, peaches have historically been a very important part of the agricultural industry, as well as the economy as a whole. I am not sure when the first peaches were grown here in the Garden State, but they really rose to prominence in the latter half of the 19th century. Some reports state that there were over four million peach trees in New Jersey, with as many as one million trees in Hunterdon County alone. The peach industry was able to serve many needs here in New Jersey with growers as well as consumers. For consumers, there were very limited options in terms of fresh fruit. There were strawberries to start the season in June. These were then followed by cherries and other berries throughout the summer. Some folks love to mow their lawn. They take such pride in a great-looking, deep-green lawn. Gazing at your lawn can have the same blood pressure-lowering effect as staring at a fish talk, filled with fish of course! Others hate to mow their lawn. It becomes a weekly chore or perhaps, when needed, to be mowed twice a week when it rains. It is no fun. Keeping ahead of the mowing this year has been tough, with so much rainfall. The excessive rain makes the lawn grow extra fast and, when it rains, you can’t mow the lawn. It’s a catch22 situation. Mowing your lawn properly is an important part of making your lawn look its best. Do not scalp your lawn; mow often, only cutting off one-third of the blade height in order to avoid shocking the plant. Keeping a sharp mower blade is important, too. When is the last time you sharpened your mower blade? Never? A sharp blade gives a much better The Town Farmer By Peter Melick Agricultural Producer

It’s Peach Season!

There were also apples that started ripening during the summer months and then other varieties that ripened during the months of September, October and November. That left peaches to be the go-to fruit during the summer months. There was very little citrus coming up from Florida during the winter months. There was also very little fruit making its way east from California. And there was absolutely no fruit being imported from South America. These are some of the reasons that peaches were so sought after. The other main reason that peaches were so sought after was that they were able to be preserved fairly easily. Once people learned the science and technology of canning peaches, their consumption and then production really took off.

Basically, as long as people were close enough so that they could obtain the peaches within a couple days of harvest, they could successfully can these peaches and then be able to enjoy them for the remainder of the year. New Jersey’s proximity to major cities such as New York and Philadelphia gave them an excellent advantage when it came to marketing these peaches. Remember that during the late-1800s, railroads were also gaining in popularity. This provided an excellent new way for peaches to be transported to these cities. Because rail transportation was so much more efficient than the horse and wagon and even the canals that had been prevalent in the earlier part of the century, this greatly aided the growth in popularity of

peaches. Peaches were also a boon to the growers. During the 1800s, many farms had been little more than subsistence farms, meaning that they basically produced what they needed to survive on for the year. Now, with this newfound opportunity, growers started planting peaches above and beyond what they needed. They were then able to utilize this extra cash to make improvements on their farms. Some of the better growers and marketers were able to expand their operations and employ others to care for harvest the peaches. This influx of money in the agricultural community was spread around to others as well. In areas where peaches were produced, basket factories also sprang up to provide packaging to transport the fruit into the

Turf ‘s Up By Todd Pretz Professional Turf Consultant

Mow, mow, mow your lawn….

looking cut and reduces the chance of “shredding” the blade tips. This shredding effect can weaken the grass plant and make it susceptible to disease infestation. Go to a professional mower repair shop if you are not comfortable doing this yourself. Be careful! Be sure to mow your lawn when it is dry (as best you can!) Mowing the lawn when the blades are wet can clog the mower housing, making the engine work too hard and leaving clumps of grass on the lawn. If these clumps are not raked up and removed, they can create a dead spot in your lawn. Mow often without gathering up the clippings; ideally allow the clippings

to work their way back in to the soil. These clippings are mostly water and fertilizer, and this can help reduce your annual need for water and fertilizer, saving you money and reducing environmental impact. Remember to blow all clippings off of your driveway, sidewalks and the street curb like Tom Castronovo pointed out in the May edition of Gardener News. Keep these clippings out of our waterways! Mow your lawn if you can at three inches or higher. This helps reduce weed competition and establishment. It also creates a more drought-tolerant lawn, again reducing watering requirements during hot summer months.

During the summer, if you are mowing under three inches in height, raise the cutting height to three inches or higher in order to conserve moisture in the blades. Mowing high also creates longer root systems for added drought tolerance. If you ever hit a stump or rock that shuts your mower down and bends the blade, do no reuse the blade, take it to a professional mower shop for repairs. Weed whacking also is part of “mowing” your lawn. Be sure to not whack the grass blades too low, creating stress points. When weed whacking along driveway and sidewalk edges, be aware that you may bring some weed seeds to the surface that may

cities. There were also people involved with transporting and selling these peaches. All in all, peaches added quite a bit to these local economies. But, as transportation improved during the 20th century, locally grown peaches started to receive more and more competition from elsewhere. With refrigeration, and higher speed rail lines, soon the whole country was opened up to itself and New Jersey peaches had to compete with fruit from all over the country. But as far as I am concerned, there is still nothing that compares with eating a nice, ripe juicy Jersey peach! 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 a Tewksbury Township Committee Member. 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.

germinate. Kids, pets and mowers do not mix. Never mow your lawn with anyone on the property. Wear gloves and long pants in case you hit an object to avoid injury. Never allow kids to ride on your mower for fun; it can be dangerous. What about automatic rechargeable electric mowers? Wow, what an invention! Whoever thought this would happen? It sounds like a good idea, particularly with so many families having to work hard, or perhaps one to two jobs and weekends involving baseball and soccer games too. Maybe someday I’ll get an auto-mower. I hope you can enjoy your summer and not spend too much time mowing. 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: The number-one skill any legislator needs to learn is the ability to listen - to constituents, to stakeholders, and to any person whom your actions help or harm. It’s not hard to stick to the status quo - but it’s a challenge to listen for something new. Conversely, it’s easy to come up with a good idea - but difficult to implement it correctly without the input of others. That’s why, when I joined my colleague in the Assembly, Assemblywoman Joann Downey, to expand tick control programs in New Jersey, I kept my ears open. Our goal was simple: to fight back against invasive ticks in our open spaces and to defend outdoorsmen and animals from the diseases they carry. As we all know, though, goals rarely match up perfectly with implementation. County Mosquito Control departments - the divisions that would be tasked with tick control - swiftly reached out for comment. How would it be executed? Where would the resources come from? So, we listened, returned to the drawing board, and

July 2019 11 Agriculture and Natural Resources By Eric Houghtaling New Jersey Assemblyman

Listening creates better lawmaking came back. The new plan now establishes grants for counties to develop tick control programs. This spring, that bill (A-5160) was approved by the Assembly Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee and reported to the Speaker to await a full vote. To do this job properly, you need to keep one ear open for constructive criticism. To do it well, you need to keep the other open for ideas - initiatives that can open new areas for folks to succeed. That was the goal behind last year’s pilot program allowing certain New Jersey farmers to grow hemp for commercial use. Hemp, also known as cannabis’ “sober sister,” contains low levels of THC and is not psychoactive. That’s why the

Smith, Bateman Bill to Classify Neonicotinoid Pesticides for Restricted Use Clears Committee A bill sponsored by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee Chair Senator Bob Smith and Senator Christopher Bateman, which would direct the Department of Environmental Protection to classify neonicotinoid pesticides as restricted use pesticides, cleared the Senate Environment and Energy committee today. “The use of neonicotinoid pesticides must be restricted to protect New Jersey’s citizens and environment,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “These insecticides should only be used by those who know the ramifications of excessive use and those who will use them appropriately to protect New Jersey’s agriculture and economy.” The bill, S-2288, would direct the Department of Environmental Protection to classify neonicotinoid pesticides as restricted use pesticides. This classification would mean that neonicotinoids could only be purchased and used by certified and licensed pesticide applicators or by those under the direct supervision of these applicators Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. The neonicotinoid family includes acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam. Neonicotinoids have been linked to adverse ecological effects such as honey-bee colony collapse disorder. This bill follows similar bills that have been passed in other states and the European Union to curb the negative ecological effects of neonicotinoid pesticides. The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 4-0-1.

2018 federal Farm Act removed it from the federal controlled substances list - you can’t get high off of it. But you can make many, many products from it. The Hemp Farming Act (A-5322), which I’ve joined Assemblyman John Burzichelli in sponsoring, throws global hemp markets wide open to Garden State farmers. There are more than 25,000 reported uses for industrial hemp products globally, including cosmetics, food, cloth, fuel, paint, paper, and plastics - and the list just goes on from there. That’s a lot of potential business. Because hemp is an emerging agricultural product, data is limited. But the potential seems great. Total U.S. sales of hemp products nearly hit $800

million in 2017, and the global industrial hemp market is expected to reach $10.6 billion by 2025. By making hemp into a legal and viable agricultural crop and growing it on an industrial scale - we can help Garden State farmers invest in this lucrative cash crop. If we play our cards right, I believe that we can place New Jersey at the forefront of this fast-growing industry. When farms do well, that success can spread through entire communities. Nowhere is that more evident than in the practice of gleaning - the gathering of leftover crops after harvest, which can then be used to feed the hungry. Many farmers do their best to make their crops accessible for gleaning - but many others

aren’t aware of the opportunity. And we can do more to help the 1.5 million New Jersey residents - 375,000 of whom are children - who are food insecure. That’s why I signed onto Assemblyman Matthew Milam’s bill (AR-224) urging the Department of Agriculture to promote gleaning online, and why I was glad to see that bill pass our Committee this spring. As the FY2020 budget approaches and the Assembly prepares for summer recess, we’re sure to see a flurry of activity in Trenton. I want you to know that, should you have any thoughts or concerns on any item that comes up in the State House, I’m always here to listen. I look forward to speaking with you soon. EDITOR’S NOTE: Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling is Chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the New Jersey State Assembly. He can be reached at 732-695-3371 or AsmHoughtaling@njleg. org, or by mail at 802 W Park Ave, Ste 221, Ocean Township 07712.

Sweeney Attends Grand Opening of Inclusive Vaseful Flower Shop Senate President Steve Sweeney was in attendance today for the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the grand opening of the Vaseful Flower shop in Princeton. Vaseful is a unique business owned by Community Options which hires individuals with developmental disabilities. The company packages floral arrangements and gifts, backed by a 24 hour guarantee. “Our communities are continuing to become more inclusive for people with disabilities,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “In many ways, this has been my life’s work. But that doesn’t merely mean putting a ramp alongside a stairwell, or greater educational opportunities, it also means a greater breadth of employment options for everyone. “Community Options has done incredible work over the years to help the developmentally disabled realize their value as hard-working members of our society. Their steadfast commitment and advocacy has helped educate and train countless individuals with developmental disabilities, providing them support and opportunities they would not have received without this organization. Everyone deserves to live the fullest lives they can, socially and professionally, and businesses like the Vaseful Flower Shop make this possible.” For 30 years, Community Options has developed residential and employment support for people with severe disabilities. Community Options believes in the dignity of every person, and in the freedom of all people to experience the highest degree of self-determination. “I’m incredibly proud of everyone’s work that made opening another location in New Jersey possible,” said Robert Stack, President and CEO. “We could not have done this without the support and advocacy of our community leaders, particularly Senate President Sweeney. I look forward to working together in the years ahead as we strive to make everywhere in the state, but particularly the business community, even more inclusive to persons with physical and developmental disabilities.” Vaseful is a national company, which already has one location in Edison and delivers flowers anywhere within the lower 48 states.

12 July 2019

Gardener News Writer Becomes President of the Garden Club of New Jersey (Continued from p. 1)

Tom Castronovo/Photo

Garden Club of New Jersey President Jeannie Geremia, right, gets a big congratulatory hug from Bruce Crawford, Director of the Rutgers Gardens and a Contributing Writer for the Gardener News, right after being sworn in as the club’s newest president. heart of the Garden State at the Bridgewater Marriott Hotel in Bridgewater, Somerset County, in front of nearly 300 GCNJ members and guests. As executive editor, publisher and a writer for Gardener News, I was extremely honored to be one of those guests along with New Jersey State Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Bruce Crawford, director of the Rutgers Gardens and a long-time contributing writer for this paper. The GCNJ’s mission is: to coordinate the interests of the garden clubs within the state and to bring them into closer relationship by association, conference, and correspondence; aid in the protection and conservation of our natural resources; cooperate with other groups furthering the interests of conservation and horticulture; encourage civic beauty and roadside development; study and teach the arts of flower arranging and horticulture; and raising funds to support educational, charitable, and scientific causes. Please now allow me to share with you some of Jeannie Geremia’s accomplishments. First and foremost, Geremia has been a member of the Neshanic Garden Club since 2004, where she was president from 2005 to 2007. She’s held several other club positions during her membership, as well. Geremia also chaired the Neshanic Garden Club’s Standard Flower Show in 2015 and wrote the flower show schedule, which won the top GCNJ Flower Show Schedule Award. In order to be a member of the GCNJ, one needs to be a member of a local garden club first.

As a member of the GCNJ, she’s held the following positions. She was the Horticulture Chair from 2007 to 2013; District IV Director from 2008 to 2010; Chaired a District IV Flower Show in 2009; served on the club’s Nominating Committee from 2011 to 2013; Community Gardens Chair from 2010 to 2017; Butterflies & BeeGAP Chair from 2013 to 2017; Backyard Wildlife Habitat Chair from 2015 to 2017;

Master Flower Show Judge from 2010 to date; Wildlife Habitat Chair from 2017 to date; 1st Vice President 2017-2019; GCNJ President Elect 20182019. Her term as president is from 2019 to 2021. Geremia has several special accomplishments as well. She wrote and was awarded a $500 grant from GCNJ to Neshanic Garden Club’s Old York School Native Plant Project, overseeing the establishment of a native plant garden by fourth graders in their study of Leni Lenape Indians. As District IV Director & Flower Show Chair for a District Flower Show, “We’re a Little Bit Country,” received on behalf of District IV Garden Clubs, National Garden Clubs, Inc. FS Ribbon, Award 30-A & GCNJ’s Mrs. David L. George Silver Cup for the finest judged Standard Flower Show of the Year, held in June, 2009. She chaired a Victory Garden Symposium at Holly House in the Rutgers Gardens in 2009. By the way, the Holly House in the Rutgers Gardens, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is the home of the GCNJ. She received the GCNJ District Four Award. Chaired the Neshanic Garden Club’s Square Foot Garden Therapy in 2010, working with the New Jersey Association of The Deaf-Blind, Inc. by introducing their charges to the joys of gardening by erecting raised beds and conducting planting and growing sessions at their residence in Franklin Twp. Chaired Committee to do all table designs for the Central Atlantic Region Garden Clubs Convention held in October 2010 in Long Branch, N.J. (seven states including the District of Columbia had members in attendance) in 2010 (two dinners and one lunch). GCNJ State Flower Show Vice Chair, 2012, “Movie Magic.” GCNJ State Flower Show Chair 2013, “Mardi Gras Madness,” 2015, “A Garden of Authors,” 2016, “Celebrate! – A Party for the Senses.” Geremia also applied for and received grants as Community Gardens Chair. In 2012, she received a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant for $9,300 to educate the public on the importance of New Jersey’s Jersey Fresh and Jersey Grown campaign as a win/ win in eating healthy with locally grown produce and showcasing New Jersey growers, (Cont. on Page 18)

Tom Castronovo/Photo

Nearly 300 Garden Club of New Jersey members and guests packed the Grand Ballroom at the Bridgewater Marriott for the Garden Club of New Jersey’s annual luncheon. Nothing heralds SUMMER like the arrival of blueberries. For me, their arrival means long, lazy, hot and humid days, nights filled with lightning bugs and the sounds of cicadas, weekend trips to the shore, and life’s pace seeming to slow a bit. For about eight weeks, these blue wonders are picked on farms throughout our state. The uses for this berry are limitless. Found in muffins, pies, ice cream, jellies, juices, sprinkled on cereal, or just eaten out of hand, blueberries aren’t just good, but good for you. Blueberries are proof that when it comes to health benefits, good things really do come in small packages. Recognized as one of the most nutrient-dense fruits, blueberries are loaded with fiber, vitamin C and manganese. They are low in fat and sodium, having just 80 calories per cup. Ongoing research indicates that blueberries are high in antioxidants and have been touted to offer potential protection against cancer, a boost to the immune system, and help the liver and brain. As you might imagine, blueberries play an important role in New Jersey agriculture. Each year, New Jersey farmers harvest

I love my work! One of the things I sometimes do on my day off is visit other Independent Garden Centers. Always trying to be better at my craft, I gain perspective, get inspired, sometimes steal ideas and look and listen at what others do in my industry. I marvel at how smaller garden centers utilize their space and scratch my head at how larger garden centers, sometimes, waste theirs. This past April, I had a rare Sunday off and visited a garden center in North Jersey. Listening intently to a customer’s complaint, about how a plant they purchased had perished, they put the blame solely on the merchant. The customer said, “How could it be my fault?” The garden center’s representative did their absolute best to address the complaint, understanding the customer’s frustration and trying to offer solutions, but the customer would not have any of it. Everyone in retail has been in this situation, at one time or another, and it’s never easy. However, as an outsider looking in, I can tell you with absolute confidence that this garden center represents the “green industry” quite well. With quality plant material that is well maintained and knowledgeable employees, this is a destination garden center for

July 2019 13 NJ Agricultural Society By Al Murray Executive Director

My Kind of Blues

approximately 57 million pounds of blueberries on over 9,300 acres. Depending on the growing season, the value of this crop can range from $59 million to $79 million. Approximately 85 percent of the crop goes to the “fresh market” (pint containers you buy in the store or farm market). For the longest time, New Jersey was the second-largest state in the production of blueberries. But, as this fruit exploded in popularity, so did the number of states that grow them. Today, we are ranked fifth in production, preceded by (in order) Washington, Michigan, Georgia, and Oregon. New Jersey has a unique history regarding blueberries. Blueberries are native to our state. The first blueberries were “wild” or low bush blueberries and were an important food source long before the Europeans arrived.

Today, low bush varieties are used primarily for processing. Their larger cousins, the “cultivated” or high bush blueberries that our New Jersey farmers produce, weren’t introduced until the 1920s. So, what makes New Jersey so special in growing blueberries? The answer lies in our unique soil, weather and geographic location. New Jersey’s Outer Coastal Plain makes up nearly all southern New Jersey. Its soils are sandy and acidic, which allow both blueberries and cranberries to thrive. It was here that the “cultivated” blueberry was first bred. The story begins in the early 1900s with Elizabeth Coleman White. Her father owned J.J. White Inc., a prosperous 3,000acre cranberry farm located in Whitesbog, deep in the Pine Barrens. Elizabeth took an interest the native species of blueberries

growing wild. Many locals living in the area would pick these wild blueberries and sell them to markets in Philadelphia. Elizabeth sensed an opportunity for the farm. While several farmers tried to grow them commercially, all attempts were unsuccessful and the common belief at the time was that it was impossible. In 1910, Elizabeth found a USDA publication that struck her interest. Titled “Experiments in Blueberry Culture” it was written by Dr. Frederick V. Colville, USDA’s Chief Botanist. White contacted Dr Colville and together they embarked on a quest to commercially produce the world’s first cultivated blueberry crop. While working mainly in his lab in Washington, D.C., Colville researched blueberry cultivation. Back in Whitesbog, Elizabeth provided land for research and

Unique Plants By Bob LaHoff Nursery Specialist

“How Could It Be My Fault?”

sure. And while this particular incident seemed to fall on “deaf ears,” I can tell you this… a plant purchased, at full retail, had to have had some net worth to begin with. That is to say, the customer thought well enough of it to buy it based on its visual merits. So, to answer the question, “How could it be their fault” let me point out a few possibilities. Perhaps it was all the rain last year, a wet winter and extremely wet spring again this year that has many plants drowning? Nearly every other day last year was met with rain and New Jersey set a record with precipitation averaging over 64 inches. Many people believe that desiccation, the removal of moisture from something, was the culprit this winter. However, it really has more to do with a lack of oxygen in the soil and many plants succumbing to that. Perhaps the homeowner or

their landscaper wasn’t aware of what a root flare is? The root flare is the area around the base of the trunk where support roots emerge. Burying a tree or shrub too deep or elevating it like a volcano are wrong on both counts and sure to put a plant out of its misery far before its time. Perhaps there was too much mulch around the collar of the tree and the irrigation system was never adjusted? Running the irrigation system, every day for 30 minutes, would be just as bad as watering a tree once every couple of weeks. Perhaps their landscaper was weed-whacking the grass around their plant and stripped the bark off the new plant? Having a properly mulched area around your plant material not only regulates and helps control moisture, it serves as a weed control too. Perhaps the customer didn’t ask any questions and sited the

plant improperly? Too much sun or too much shade, not wet site tolerant or capable of handling arid conditions? Maybe the plant was a broadleaf evergreen and didn’t want to be on the west side of the property, in harm’s way, facing desiccating winds in the winter? Or maybe what the customer bought was an annual, not a perennial, deciduous shrub or broadleaf evergreen capable of surviving our climate zone? Perhaps the customer bought a tree or shrub and placed it in the back of a truck, not tarped and protected from wind, and drove home over 30 miles an hour and wind burned the plant? Perhaps the customer had their new plant in a container over the winter and the plant dried out as it was not below the soil line where there would be a consistent temperature? Perhaps there were no soil amendments added and the size

recruited local woodsmen to search the forest for bushes bearing big, juicy berries measuring at least 5/8 of an inch. For their efforts, White paid them between $1 and $3 per bush – which was a generous sum at the time. Each bush was tagged and at the end of the season, the bushes were uprooted so Dr. Colville could attempt to hybridize and propagate them. Over a period of five years, countless bushes were identified, and cut into grafts that eventually produced hundreds of other plants. By 1916, White and Colville had successfully cultivated and brought to market a blueberry crop, and in the process sparked what is now a worldwide industry. Fittingly, in 2004, New Jersey named the blueberry the state’s official fruit. Editor’s Note: Al Murray is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Society. Established in 1781, the Society is New Jersey's oldest organization whose purpose is to advocate, educate and promote on behalf of New Jersey's agricultural industry. Mr. Murray previously spent his entire career at the NJ Department of Agriculture, serving as the Assistant Secretary. He can be reached at njagriculturalsociety@

of the hole was not appropriate for their new plant? Perhaps the customer had a deer problem and the deer simply ate the plant? Or maybe, because it was a mild winter, chipmunks bedded down for the winter and chewed the roots of the plant? There are many reasons why a plant may not perform as well as expected. In the end, gardening is not a spectator sport. Gardening demands attention, discipline and participation. Monitoring a plant’s needs is not unlike the attention you pay to your children. You get what you put into it and simply saying, “How could it be my fault?” deflects the very essence of what gardening is all about. Gardening is life and tending to yours only helps ensure an outcome that will meet your expectations. 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, ReevesReed 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.

14 July 2019

July 2019 15

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16 July 2019

The Top-10 Family Forestry Issues for 2019 Each year since 1986, the National Woodland Owners Association (NWOA) asks its state affiliate members to vote on the top-10 family forestry issues. This allows the national organization, as well as the state affiliates (including New Jersey Forestry Association), to set their annual objectives based on the results of the ranking. Half of all the productive woodlands in America are owned by family woodland owners. It is important to provide these stewards of the land understandable, reliable and consistent information about managing their woodlands. How many of these issues can you relate to as you look around your woodland or the woodlands in your town? 1 Markets: Timber, Biomass & Industry Viability – For the third year in a row, Markets remain the number-one issue with woodland owners. For many states, this issue is Do you keep a diary? Not the kind with a tiny key, but a garden diary? My garden diary is one of my most valuable garden tools. You can use a blank notebook, a monthly calendar, or download your choice from a plethora of online templates. Ready-made garden diaries often contain graphs for sketching and planning, calendars without dates so it can be used any year, charts for recording information and monthly gardening hints. Using a computer is another way to record what’s going on in your garden. This way, you can add digital photographs right into the document, then delete and replace them. Include photos of any flower arrangements or bouquets you made from your garden. I use this method and keep the printed pages in a three-ring binder. Tabs in the binder mark the years and binder pockets are great for plant tags, seed packets, images of plants that I like, and articles from newspapers and magazines. What will you want to record in your diary? I record: names of all plants and seeds and their source; significant weather and phenological events; planting and harvest dates; soil test results, application dates for feeding,

critical to the economy of the state and includes logging, wood pellet mills, softwood lumber and biomass. As the numberone concern, state and national organizations need to focus on recognizing and supporting new markets for wood products and protecting the existing markets. Think about all of the products that we enjoy every day that are made from wood – your home, furniture, paper, books…the list is staggering! 2 Extension Education & Service Forestry – Woodland owners are looking for help on topics like wildfires, marketing, forest inventory, and water quality, and extension education is a great resource to them. The New Jersey Forestry Association will continue to partner with Rutgers Cooperative Extension to provide the educational resources that woodland owners are seeking. 3 Invasive Species and Forest Health – According to NWOA, the trend of global warming and weather extremes intensified in 2018. A slow northern migration of plant and forest species has

been documented along with longterm trends. This is evident in the decline of forest health along with the appearance of new invasive species, such as the Spotted Lanternfly and the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Research efforts to develop effective controls have had very limited success on EAB but continue. Providing information and resources to woodland owners to help educate and control invasive species must continue. 4 Income, Estate & Property Taxes – As the fourth concern of woodland owners, the issue of federal and state tax proposals needs to be monitored for their effect on woodland owners. On a state level, we need to monitor state and local tax proposals, especially those that target current favorable land-use property tax rates (farmland assessment). 5 The Right to Practice Forestry and Regulatory Creep – As always, we need to be watchful of federal or state legislation that might impact property rights and management regulations (what you are allowed to do on your woodlands).

6 Stewardship Incentives: Cost Sharing & Tax Credits – Both national and state associations need to support costsharing when available. It provides public benefits including water quality, forestry employment and the control of invasive species. More information on cost-share opportunities are provided at NJFA meetings and in publications. 7 Keeping Forests as Forests – There are many benefits to society when forests remain as forests: clean water, timber supply, jobs, habitat for wildlife, and natural beauty and recreation. Using professional foresters and planning for the management of woodlands will ensure this valuable resource remains available. 8 Water Quality & Quantity – Good watershed management should be incentivized by federal and state agencies, best management practices should be followed during forest management, and emerging markets and incentives to produce clean water need to be identified.

The Garden Historian By Lesley Parness Garden Educator

Keeping a diary to keep track of gardening composting, top-dressing, and organic control of pests and diseases (and if they were effective). I make rough sketches of the “zones” in my garden to help me keep track of where everything is planted - this is especially useful for crop rotation and for bulbs. I list flower colors, plant heights and plant divisions. There might be a space in your diary for a budget, there should always be a space for ideas for next year. Inevitably, there will be a place for failure. I have a section called RIP for these. Garden diaries make for great reading. In Thomas Jefferson’s “Garden Book,” we learn that our nation’s third President carefully documented planting procedures, spacings of rows, when blossoms appeared, and when the food should come to the table. From Monticello, his Virginia

hilltop garden, this obsessive recordkeeper documented his many trials and errors. His entries from 1809 show the carrots, beets, sorrel and okra, the cauliflower, tarragon and Chinese melons missed the mark. Jefferson wrote that if he failed 99 times out of 100, that one success was worth the 99 failures. Right here in Morristown, N.J., you can read the Macculloch Hall garden diary. Kept by George Macculloch from 1829-1856, it documents the first recorded growth of the now famous Jersey Tomato. You could include recipes featuring bounty from your garden. Artist Claude Monet did this at his garden in Giverny, France. Visitors enjoyed first a visit to Monet’s gardens and then lunch in his charming pink farmhouse with emerald-green shutters.

Here’s the recipe for Monet’s Cherry Clafouti from his garden journal: Ingredients: 1 cup flour; ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar; 2 eggs; 1/8 teaspoon salt; 1¼ cups milk; 2 tablespoons unsalted butter; 5 cups pitted cherries. Technique: Preheat oven to 375. Mix flour, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, eggs, salt, and milk, beating until smooth. Place cherries into a greased pie pan (they should be tightly packed.) Pour batter over them and sprinkle with remainder of sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden. Finally, consider including visits to other’s gardens. Danish professor of botany Ole Borch (1626–1690), recorded his descriptions of gardens in England, France and Brussels. His descriptions of Hampton Court Palace, Fontainebleau, and Versailles are a fascinating window into the constantly

9 Wildfire Management, Funding & Climate – The continued events of extreme weather are likely to result in continued wildfire threats. Woodland owners need to be informed on the principles of wildfire management including defensible space. 10 Wildlife Management – This issue is new to the top-10 family forestry issues. Concern over this issue has been growing and include damage to hardwood reproduction from overpopulation of deer and endangered species. The positive effects of forest management by the woodland owner, and the support of the remaining population that benefits from the forests, is critical to the future of our forests.

Editor’s Note: Lori Jenssen has been the Executive Director of the New Jersey Forestry Association since 2005 and holds a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Administration from Rutgers University. She can be reached at or by calling 908-832-2400. evolving cultural aesthetic that is garden design. Garden diaries can be a legacy for our children, tracing the growth of your garden and your family. When did your daughter first pick peas, your son his first fistful of flowers? On a therapeutic level, garden diaries encourage and inspire. They evolve, much like gardeners. Nothing beats the late-winter blues like taking out your garden diary and starting to plan your new garden. Marked with muddy fingerprints and the outlines of countless iced coffees, my 17-year-old garden diary has made me a better gardener and also a better person. Editor’s Note: Lesley Parness offers a variety of presentations and workshops for garden clubs, plant societies, and horticultural gatherings. Recently retired from her position as Superintendent of Horticultural Education at the Morris County Park Commission, and with four decades of teaching environmental science and garden education, her focus now is garden history. A complete listing of her talks can be seen at lesleyparness. com and she can be reached at This column will appear in the paper every other month.

July 2019 17


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Gardener News Writer Becomes President of the Garden Club of New Jersey (Continued from p. 12) nurserymen and farmers. In 2013, she received another USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant for $40,000. She continued her support of New Jersey’s Jersey Fresh and Jersey Grown campaigns. She launched the campaign to designate the Black Swallowtail Butterfly as New Jersey’s Official State Butterfly by initially reaching out to then-GCNJ President Barbara Mullin and New Jersey State Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman. As Butterflies & BeeGAP (Gardeners Adding Pollinators) Chair, along with the Butterflies & BeeGAP Committee members and GCNJ garden clubs, she distributed thousands of pamphlets and Pollinator Partnership Posters to schools, libraries, garden centers, garden club members & the public and promoted The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge for National Garden Clubs, Inc., as a founding partner of the National Pollinator Garden Network. She created and launched “Creating Pollinator Centers” as a win/win strategy to partner garden clubs, garden/centers, nurseries, non-profits, schools, etc. with a series of six pollinator signs listing best plants for pollinators in a collaborative approach to educate the public, garden center staff, and garden club members, and youth in the summer of 2016. They were initially showcased at the New Jersey Sussex State Farm & Horse Show, and have since found permanent homes at garden centers, nurseries, and public/private gardens including Leonard J. Buck

Gardens, Cape May Parks & Zoo, Monmouth Museum, Karen Nash Memorial Butterfly Garden, Wellsweep Herb Farm, Hionis Greenhouses and Garden Center, Four Seasons Greenery, J and J Landscaping and Garden Center, Donaldson Garden Center, Ambleside Gardens, Williams Nursery, Westfield, Great Swamp Greenhouses, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia and numerous nurseries, garden centers, libraries, public and private gardens throughout New Jersey. Geremia received the NGC Award of Excellence, the top award offered by NGC, at the Richmond National Garden Club Convention in May 2017 for “The Pollinator Center” signage project, presented to The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc. Geremia has also received a few Special Awards. State of New Jersey Senate and General Assembly Citation by the citizenry of the 15th New Jersey Legislative District “for steadfast dedication to gaining recognition for the Black Swallowtail Butterfly as New Jersey’s official state butterfly.” State of New Jersey Senate and General Assembly Joint Legislative Resolution in honor of the work done to obtain a state butterfly and raise public awareness to the plight of our pollinators. Geremia received the 2017 Women & Wildlife Award for Service and was only the second volunteer (Edith Wallace being the first) to have this honor bestowed along with three other “outstanding women for their achievements in protecting New

Jersey’s endangered and threatened wildlife.” The four categories included Leadership, Inspiration, Education, and Service. Senator Bateman presented the 12th Annual Women in Wildlife Service honor to Jeannie, at the awards ceremony held on November 1, 2017, at Duke Farms, with keynote speaker former Governor Thomas Kean giving a rousing speech. She also received the New Jersey Nursery & Landscape Association’s Distinguished Service Award in December 2018. Geremia has been a member of the Raritan Township Historic Committee since 2006, a member of the Raritan Township Board of Health since 2015, and she was a member of the Raritan Township Open Space Committee from 2005 to 2015. She also founded the Raritan Township Community Garden in 2011 and provided grants, including a grant from Monarch Watch of 64 milkweed plugs, and worked to have the Raritan Township Community Garden designated as a Monarch Waystation and a National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat. Geremia’s President’s Theme is “Paths to Discovery Through Outdoor Learning Centers.” Everyone who knows Jeannie Geremia loves her. Her enthusiasm for gardening and the environment is infectious. From all of us at the Gardener News, a heartfelt congratulations goes out to Jeannie Geremia on her new leadership position as the 49th Garden Club of New Jersey President. The Garden State is lucky to have you!

Bipartisan Resolution Supporting American Flower Industry Introduced Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Congressman Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) today introduced a resolution (S. Res 208) designating July as “American Grown Flower Month” and encouraging consumers to buy “Certified American Grown” flowers. American consumers spend $27 billion per year on floral products each year. While the majority of Americans would prefer to buy locally grown flowers, only 20 percent of the flowers sold in the United States are grown domestically. “Buying American-grown flowers is one of the best ways to support local farmers,” said Sen. Feinstein. “California grows nearly 75 percent of American-grown cut flowers. Unfortunately, only one in five flowers sold in the United States today was grown here. Our resolution will encourage consumers to look for the ‘Certified American Grown’ label when buying flowers.” “I have seen firsthand the value the grown flower industry adds to our economy and communities during my visits with our Central Coast growers,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I am committed to recognizing their contribution by designating July as American Grown Flower Month, in order to celebrate the beauty this industry brings to our homes and celebrations year-round.” Full text of the resolution follows: Expressing support for the designation of July as “American Grown Flower Month.” Whereas cut flower growers in the United States are hardworking, dedicated individuals who bring beauty, economic stimulus, and pride to their communities and the United States; Whereas the people of the United States have a long history of using flowers and greens grown in the United States to bring beauty to important events and express affection for loved ones; Whereas consumers spend almost $27,000,000,000 each

year on floral products, including cut flowers, garden plants, bedding, and indoor plants; Whereas, each year, nearly 30 percent of households in the United States purchase fresh cut flowers and greens from more than 16,000 florists and floral establishments; Whereas the people of the United States increasingly want to support domestically produced foods and agricultural products and would prefer to buy locally grown flowers whenever possible, yet a majority of domestic consumers do not know where the flowers they purchase are grown; Whereas, in response to increased demand, the “Certified American Grown Flowers” logo was created in July 2014 in order to educate and empower consumers to purchase flowers from domestic producers; Whereas, as of April 2017, millions of stems of domestically grown flowers are now “Certified American Grown”; Whereas domestic flower farmers produce thousands of varieties of flowers across the United States, such as peonies in Alaska, Gerbera daisies in California, lupines in Maine, tulips in Washington, lilies in Oregon, and larkspur in Texas; Whereas the five flower varieties produced in the largest quantities in the United States are tulips, Gerbera daisies, lilies, gladiolas, and irises; Whereas people in every State have access to domestically grown flowers, yet only one in five flowers sold in the United States is domestically grown; Whereas the domestic cut flower industry creates almost $42,000,000 in economic impact daily and supports hundreds of growers, thousands of small businesses, and tens of thousands of jobs in the United States; Whereas more people in the United States are expressing interest in growing flowers locally, which has resulted in an increase of approximately 20 percent in the number of domestic

cut flower farms between 2007 and 2012; Whereas most domestic cut flowers and greens are sold in the United States within 24 to 48 hours after harvest and last longer than flowers shipped longer distances; Whereas flowers grown domestically enhance the ability of the people of the United States to festively celebrate weddings and births and honor those who have passed; Whereas flower giving has been a holiday tradition in the United States for generations; Whereas flowers speak to the beauty of motherhood on Mother’s Day and to the spirit of love on Valentine’s Day; Whereas flowers are an essential part of other holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa; Whereas flowers help commemorate the service and sacrifice of members of the Armed Forces on Memorial Day and Veterans Day; and Whereas the Senate encourages the cultivation of flowers in the United States by domestic flower farmers: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate— Supports the designation of July as “American Grown Flower Month”; recognizes that purchasing flowers grown in the United States supports the farmers, small businesses, jobs, and economy of the United States; recognizes that growing flowers and greens in the United States is a vital part of the agricultural industry of the United States; recognizes that cultivating flowers domestically enhances the ability of the people of the United States to festively celebrate holidays and special occasions; and urges all people of the United States to proactively showcase flowers and greens grown in the United States in order to show support for the flower farmers, processors, and distributors in the United States as well as agriculture in the United States overall.

July 2019 19

Brainstorming for Monarchs & Other Pollinators By Jeannie Geremia Contributing Writer

It is heartwarming to see so many organizations working together to grow our pollinator population. Education is the key ingredient, and the number of organizations involved seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. We had just celebrated the milestone achievement of National Pollinator Garden Network’s Million Pollinator Garden Challenge successfully registering over a million (1,040,000 to be exact) new and/or expanded pollinator gardens, and were thrilled to see 20 more organizations added to the original 30 organizations, including our parent organization, National Garden Clubs, Inc. This unparalleled partnership galvanized members to spread the word resulting in the goal being achieved in a three-year period. Happily, that effort will continue when more good news is appearing on the horizon with “brainstorming” initiatives paving the way for ever more possibilities and providing hope that we can reverse our pollinator decline. New, to me, players that have the habitat desperately needed by our wildlife and pollinators to co-exist with humans in a mutually beneficial environmentally friendly scenario are utility companies’ rights-of-ways and golf courses outof-play areas. As related in the March issue of Gardener News, entitled “Weather & Monarchs,” I wrote about Matt Ceplo, Rockland Country Club Golf Course Superintendent, who devotes a large area of the golf course to a pollinator habitat, providing host plants and pollinator plants to various species of butterflies and bees. Matt put me in touch with Marcus Gray, M.S., Monarchs in the Rough Program Manager and Frank LaVardera, M.S., Director of Environmental Programs for Golf, both from Audubon International. They emailed me a series of documents designed to help golf courses become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Audubon International has partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund to create a cooperative Sanctuary Program producing a “Monarchs in the Rough Resource Guide for Golf Course Superintendents.” Marcus Gray stated Audubon International is “working to increase Monarchs in The Rough plantings in New Jersey through a partnership with the USFWS NJ Field Office,” and “interested courses should sign up via” The good news is The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc.’s headquarters is at Holly House in Rutgers Gardens. We share a classroom with Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education Golf Turf Classes at Holly House and

have put the Monarch documents from Audubon International plus other pollinator materials, native bee houses, and our Pollinator Center signage on display for the benefit of golf turf students from throughout the country and our garden club members. We also recently met with representatives from PSE&G, Rutgers, the N.J. Tree Foundation and the GCNJ at Holly House initiated by Bob Markey, Creator & Director of the Square Foot Gardening Program for YMCA Summer Campers, GCNJ Co-Youth Chair and Certified Square Foot Garden Instructor and Master Gardener. Bob is always thinking out of the box and connecting likeminded people. He entitled our meeting “Brainstorming: How PSE&G Right-of-Ways Might Also Become “Pollinator Pathways.” We were all in agreement that seeking ways to achieving mutual goals of creating a healthy environment was the order of the day, as pollinators provide one-third of the food we eat. We were taken aback by Ingro Desvousges, Project Delivery Forester & Transmission ROW Vegetation Maintenance, and Steven Letkowski, Project Delivery System Forester’s description of planting Milkweed seeds in many different PSE&G right-of-ways utilizing several different methods of seed sowing. with not one plant germinating. We were buoyed by these attempts but disappointed by their lack of success, and hope the documents from “Monarchs in the Rough” may pinpoint the problems. We thought plugs might work out better, but would be more labor intensive. It was suggested that inmates in our local prisons might provide the necessary manpower by growing plugs in a WIN/WIN program in prison. Other similar initiatives seemed to have met with success in the past, according to attendees---always thinking out of the box. Attendees also were keen to hear about PSE&G’s maintaining beehives in an area in my own backyard. I ventured there today on Opie Road in Hillsborough, situated in land abutting the Neshanic Valley Golf Course. That golf course is one of the top-50 Municipal Golf Courses in the United States. Ingro and Steven advised us that they’re challenged by an ongoing battle of weeds with the most obnoxious being mugwort and mile-aminute. PSE&G’s Emily Moran took notes for future joint initiatives such as a trial site suggested by Bruce Crawford, Director of Rutgers Gardens, along Rutgers Gardens frontage on Route 1 between two existing towers to see what the best method could be utilized in ridding mugwort at that site, and perhaps a ground blanket would smother them. Good luck!

Editor’s Note: Jeannie Geremia is The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc.’s President, GCNJ Wildlife Habitat Chair, and is a National Garden Clubs, Inc. Master 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:

New York Apple Association Earns Telly Award for TV Commercial

The New York Apple Association’s (NYAA) television commercial featuring New York apple growers has won a prestigious Telly Award. This premier honor recognizes video and television across all screens. The Telly Award was established in 1979 and regularly receives over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents. “Receiving this award is extra special to us as we had many apple growers involved in the making of it,” said NYAA President & CEO Cynthia Haskins. “The commercial aired in New York state and on social media platforms throughout the year. It will continue to air this coming apple season.” The commercial was recognized for outstanding production and earned the Bronze Telly Award in the Local-TV, Business-to-Consumer category. The commercial was created to showcase NYAA’s new Apples From New York™ brand and it was produced by Rochester-based creative agency Dixon Schwabl. A drone camera was used to capture footage of New York apple growers standing in various positions throughout a commercial apple orchard in New York. During the filming, shots of individual growers were captured and edited into the commercial. Clips from these individual interviews appeared on NYAA’s Facebook page and will be used this fall in support of the 2019 apple harvest. The commercial aired on Bravo, Food Network, HGTV, Freeform, Lifetime, TLC, USA, TBS, Spectrum News and Your Morning Albany during programs such as The Today Show, Early News, The Voice, This is Us, Chicago Fire, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Superstore, Dateline, Saturday Night Live, Meet the Press and others. Telly Award nominees are judged by The Telly Awards Judging Council—an industry body of over 200 leading experts including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks who are reflective of the multiscreen industry The Telly Awards celebrates. Partners of The Telly Awards include Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), NAB Show, StudioDaily, Stash Magazine, Storyhunter, ProductionHub, The Wrap Pro, the VR/AR Association and Digiday. About New York Apple Association, Inc. A nonprofit agricultural trade association based in Fishers, N.Y., NYAA represents the state’s commercial apple growers. The association supports profitable growing and marketing of New York apples through increasing demand for apples and apple products, representing the industry at state and federal levels and serving as the primary information source on New York apple-related matters. For more information, visit www.

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NORTHEAST DEPARTMENT NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE New York State Agriculture Department Announces Seafood Producers Join the NYS Grown & Certified Program

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that the New York State Grown & Certified program has expanded to include the State’s seafood producers, including wild caught fisheries and aquaculture. NYS Grown & Certified promotes New York’s farmers and food producers who adhere to higher food safety practices and environmental standards. Commissioner Ball said, “The New York State Grown & Certified program is continuing to grow to include a number of commodities, including our latest addition of seafood producers. The program provides our farmers and our food businesses the opportunity to brand their products with a seal that assures consumers they’re buying local and that they are buying products that are grown or sourced responsibly.” The addition of wild caught fisheries and aquaculture farms to NYS Grown & Certified expands the program’s promotion of local seafood. In January 2018, the Department announced the participation of several Long Island shellfish growers. Dock to Dish, Inc. was the first wild caught seafood producer to join the program and Hudson Valley Fisheries was the first aquaculture farm. Today, there are 22 seafood producers participating in the program.

NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Four NJ Counties Represented on 2019-2020 Officer Team Four counties from around the state are represented in the 2019-2020 State FFA officer team that was elected as part of the 90th Annual State FFA Convention, which concluded May 24 at Monmouth University. The state officers represent New Jersey FFA at several state and national functions throughout the year, including visiting FFA chapters all around the state. The new officers with the chapters they represent are Jamie Specca (Northern Burlington), State President; Owen Donnelly (Warren Hills), State Vice-President; Talia Priore, (Woodstown), State Treasurer; Ryan Jordan, (Cumberland Regional), State Parliamentarian; Kailyn Emmett, (Salem Tech), State Secretary; Karleen Wilford, (Cumberland Regional), State Reporter; Nicole Sickler, (Woodstown), State Sentinel. “Each of the members elected this year has invested significant time and energy into FFA and I know will add to the great tradition established by previous officer teams,” said New Jersey State FFA Advisor and Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Education Program Leader Erin Noble. “They have each earned the respect of their peers and I know they will embrace the high responsibility that comes with being elected. We are confident these officers will be excellent ambassadors for FFA throughout New Jersey and nationally as well.” Some of the state officer duties include assisting chapters in the execution of their program of activities; encouraging FFA members to participate in food, agriculture and natural resources education and FFA programs; maintaining positive relations with members, the agribusiness sector, the public and others interested in agricultural education; traveling to FFA chapters around the state 2-3 times per month; assisting at career development events, including fall, spring, and summer; and representing the New Jersey FFA Association at events of other state agricultural organizations. FFA is a component of a food, agriculture and natural resources program of instruction that prepares students to pursue fulfilling careers in the business, science, education and technology of agriculture. There are more than 2,300 FFA members in New Jersey and nearly 670,000 members across the nation.

MAINE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Students Explore Outdoor Careers Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) teamed up with Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG), in partnership with Skowhegan Savings Bank and Kennebec Valley Community College, to host an Outdoor Career Exploration event at Kennebec Valley Community College in Hinckley, ME. Nearly 500 7th graders attended from Skowhegan, China, Madison, Valley, Warsaw, and Waterville participated in the Friday, May 10, 2019 event. Over 40 organizations and businesses presented hands-on learning opportunities in fields such as logging, forestry, recreation, and agriculture. Local colleges were also on hand to inform students of related training opportunities. The Concept Outdoor Career Exploration was inspired by conversations DACF Farm

Labor Link Network staff had with farmers. Yvette Meunier, Promotional Coordinator for the DACF, explained that “Over the summer I met with farmers and listened to their ideas for supporting Maine’s next generation of farmers.” From these conversations two themes became clear 1) The need to strengthen our industrial arts programming and 2) Opportunities to engage younger students with insightful agricultural and outdoor career information. The event concept was a good fit for the JMG team as well. Tracie Travers, Workforce Development Manager for JMG stated “JMG provides a continuum of support to 9,000 students a year from grade six through post-secondary education and into the workforce. Exposing students

to pathways to success is what we do and our hope is this event will inspire more young people to begin planning for promising futures.” JMG has built a strong network of Maine business partners committed to working to address the labor shortage and to provide quality employment opportunities. Results Outdoor Career Exploration is designed to introduce students to outdoor careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to inform and inspire teachers to bring agricultural literacy into the classroom. Prior to the event, Maine Agriculture in the Classroom staff and JMG specialists delivered an Ag Explorer Career Finder pre-teach curriculum created in partnership with National Farms for the Future (FFA) and

Discovery Education to several of the schools attending the event. Career Finder compares a students strengths and interests and matches them to the myriad of career paths in agriculture. Careers in agriculture are careers in STEM. From the biology of plants, soils, and animal health, to learning how to be good stewards of the environment, to using technology for precision agriculture and running efficient operations, teaching agriculture is essential to fostering an appreciation for and interest in sustaining a productive landscape, says Kelsey Fortin, Program Assistant with Maine Agriculture in the Classroom. A copy of the pre-teach curriculum can be found here: career-interactive Schools received a generous donation of a fruit tree from

ReTreeUS to start their own school orchards. ReTreeUS is a non-profit dedicated to promoting an environmentally sustainable, socially just food system by planting orchards with local schools and providing educational programs that empower young people and their families to grow their own home orchards and gardens. According to Richard Hodges, ReTreeUS Program Manager, ReTreeUS Believes that by engaging students in the process of growing their own food and caring for trees, we can create a lasting impact for both the schools and their students. ReTreeUS will also be available to the schools to teach lessons on their role in the orchard, starting with a conversation about the impact growing their own food has on their health and that of our planet.

July 2019 23

OF AGRICULTURE NEWS PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Expanded 2019 Ice Cream Trail Unveiled at Chester Springs Creamery Pennsylvania travelers can “pursue their scoops” on the newly expanded Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail. After a popular inaugural season, the Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail expanded from 12 creameries in Eastern and South Central PA, into three trails including a Western PA Trail, with a total of 32 stops in these regions for 2019. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and DCED Deputy Secretary Carrie Fischer Lepore joined local and state officials to kick off the 2019 ice cream trail season today at Chester Springs Creamery at Milky Way Farm in

Chester Springs, Chester County. The creamery is on a historic 103acre dairy farm which has been home to four generations of the Matthews family. It is one of 10 stops on the Eastern PA Trail. “The only thing better than eating delicious ice cream is knowing your purchase supports Pennsylvania farms and Pennsylvania’s economy,” Secretary Redding said. “Learning the story of how food is made and seeing that connection between the cow and the cone adds even more fun.” “The dairy industry is an

important part of Pennsylvania agriculture and our economy as a whole,” DCED Deputy Secretary Lepore said. “We’re proud to support that industry through these ice cream trails. These ice cream trails help tell the stories of Pennsylvania’s ice cream makers and how their ice cream is a truly home-grown treat for families to enjoy all summer long.” Initiated in 2018, the trail is a partnership of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s PA Preferred® program, the Department of Community and Economic Development’s PA Tourism Office, and the Center

DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Tropical Nursery Stock a Risk for Red Imported Fire Ants

The Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) is alerting local businesses and purchasers of tropical nursery stock of the recent detection of fire ants in a shipment of palm trees imported from Florida. The red imported fire ants were detected during a routine check at a Sussex County business by DDA’s Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey team. A treatment program was immediately initiated to eliminate the fire ants. “Buyers of tropical nursery stock – such as palm trees – should carefully inspect their plants for small, aggressive red stinging ants,” said Stephen Hauss, DDA Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator. “Red imported fire ants are not known to be established in Delaware. We intend to keep it that way, because they are a threat to human health and the agriculture industry. Quick and prompt reporting to the Department of Agriculture will help keep the imported fire ants from spreading or over-wintering in Delaware.” Red imported fire ants are small (3-6 mm long) red to reddish brown ants. Mounds can be 18 inches high and three feet across, and have no visible external opening, unlike ant hills. Worker ants can sting repeatedly, and will attack anything that disturbs their mounds or food sources. Stings are very painful, and venom from a fire ant attack can cause a variety of symptoms in humans and animals. Anyone finding a suspicious ant should call DDA’s Plant Industries Section at 302-698-4500 or 800-282-8685 (toll-free for Delaware only). A federal quarantine is in place for fire ants in part or all of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Puerto Rico, covering more than 367 million acres. The U.S. Department of Agriculture only allows shipments of nursery stock from quarantined states with an inspection certificate. “We are urging caution on all fronts because of the ability of fire ants to spread quickly and the danger they pose,” said Jessica Inhof, DDA Plant Industries Administrator. “We have had good luck so far keeping the red imported fire ant from becoming established in Delaware. A lot is due to the vigilance of the vendors, and their promptness in reporting and inspecting imported tropical stock.” Inhof said that anyone who travels in those states should not bring plants or plant material back into Delaware that has not been properly inspected. Plants should be accompanied by a state inspection certificate. In other states, pine straw mulch has been found to harbor red imported fire ants. Nurseries or other vendors should check each shipment received for the proper credentials and inspection certificates. Imported fire ants pose a hazard to both human and animal health and to agriculture. Young animals and young trees are both susceptible to ant stings, while nests in fields can interfere with cultivation and harvesting. When their nests are disturbed, fire ants can be very aggressive. They will crawl up vertical surfaces, biting and stinging in a swarm. In addition, if red imported fire ants become established, their aggressive habits will negatively impact a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities. More information on red imported fire ants can be found at

for Dairy Excellence (CDE) to highlight the family fun, goodness and “farm-to-cone” adventures in store at dairy destinations across Pennsylvania. The program includes a passport that visitors can have stamped to earn prizes at stops along each trail. More information about creameries on the trail, including a downloadable passport, can be found at visitPA. com/scoops. Visitors who share photos from the trail using #PursueYourScoops may be featured on visitPA’s website and social media channels. The trails will officially open statewide on

June 1, 2019. Dairy is the largest sector of Pennsylvania’s $135.7 billion agriculture industry, contributing $14.7 billion annually to the economy and supporting 52,000 jobs in the state. In 2018, PDA, PA Preferred®, and CDE joined dairy farmers and industry advocates to kick off “Choose PA Dairy: Goodness that MattersOpens In A New Window,” a campaign to support Pennsylvania’s dairy industry by educating consumers on how to find and buy locallyproduced milk, and why it matters to Pennsylvania’s economy and the health of its residents.

CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Connecticut Department of Agriculture Launches Hemp Licensing Portal

Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt today announced the launch of a new webpage and online licensing portal for hemp producers and processors in the state, available at This comes after Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 19-3, An Act Concerning a Pilot Program for Hemp, on May 9, 2019. “This is a monumental milestone for Connecticut, which would not have been reached without the cooperation and collaboration of our partners and sister agencies” said Commissioner Hurlburt. “Hemp has the potential to stabilize the agricultural economy and attract new farmers to the industry while providing consumers with a locally grown product that is in high demand. It also supports the governor’s initiative to create new market opportunities for the small business men and women in Connecticut.” The 2018 Farm Bill redefines hemp as a raw agricultural commodity that can be freely marketed, provided the THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) content is not more than 0.3% on a dry matter basis. THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. Once harvested, the raw agricultural commodity, hemp, can be transformed into a value-added product. The first hemp grower application was filed through the new licensing portal by Dylan Williams of Ledyard, CT. Williams is a board member of the Connecticut Hemp Industry Association (CHIA) and has been conducting agronomic field research related to hemp at the University of Connecticut for the past two years with Dr. Gerald Berkowitz. “This permit will enable me to conduct continued research on my farm, establishing nutrient requirements for hemp, and a plan for pest management specific to the needs of Connecticut farmers. Hemp will add diversity to my farm, and will give farmers in our state the chance to do so as well, bringing back economic viability to Connecticut family farms,” explained Williams. “The development and execution of this project is a clear demonstration of the administration’s responding to industry needs in an efficient and timely manner,” Commissioner Hurlburt remarked. “I am proud of the tireless efforts of our staff and their teamwork with our partners in this program, including the Departments of Consumer Protection and Administrative Services, among others. It is another example of what can be accomplished when we all come together around a common goal to serve the citizens of Connecticut.” For more information on the Connecticut Hemp Research Pilot Program, contact, call 860-713-2502 or visit

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July 2019 25

Deer Proof Pink Pom-poms In Your Garden? By Hubert Ling Well, almost! Nodding onion, Allium cernuum, may not be deer proof, but it is just about the last plant to be utilized by deer or rabbits. Herds of deer pass through and often sleep in our yard, but nodding onion just keeps on nodding. My other deer “resistant” plants – spice bush, mints, ferns, and bloodroot – have been less fortunate and are severely damaged or extirpated from my unfenced front yard. Nodding onion is a wellbehaved plant which grows one to two feet and in July produces one- to two-inch pink pom-poms with up to 40 small, pink, star-shaped flowers in a cluster. However, some less common varieties have white or purple flowers. The thin grass-like leaves of this plant form a loose basal rosette about one foot in diameter. After the seeds The mulch we see most often that homeowners have spread is of the orange dyed type found in many big box home improvement stores, but there is so much more to mulch than painting your beds that funky shade of carrot orange each spring. Mulch is basically a layer of any material placed on top of soil. It can be made up of anything from leaves, compost and hardwoods to softwoods, stones, gravel, shells and even recycled rubber. However, for the purposes of this article, I am going to be talking about a basic natural, shredded hardwood mulch. As a side note, dyed mulch is not all bad, but you need to be aware of where the wood that is being used has come from, as it may be contaminated from pressure treated wood or may be from pallets used to transport toxic substances. Just be sure to know your supplier and ask where their recycled wood comes from. Mulch is a wonderful part of growing and maintaining your planting beds and gardens. Here is why… Good for the environment. You heard me right! Mulch adds

mature, an interesting tan pom-pom remains which can be used for dried plant arrangements. Allium is the Latin name for garlic and cernuum means nodding. The city of Chicago’s name is from the Algonquin name for nodding onion, chigagou. This plant has the largest range of any native Allium and grows naturally in Southern Canada, in most of the 48 states, and in Northern Mexico. In New Jersey, it is confined to the northern half of the state. Propagation of nodding onion can be done by dividing clumps of bulbs and stems in the fall. However, the seeds germinate well and the young plants are easy to raise since they survive even if you forget to regularly water them. Nodding onion also spreads slowly in your garden from seed, but if this is not desired, the flowers can easily be deadheaded. The plants grow best in cool weather and generally lose leaves during

late-summer but start new growth in the fall. Nodding onion grows best in full sun, in neutral to alkaline soil, and with moderate moisture. However, the plant is not fussy and will tolerate partial shade and moderately acid soil. Mature plants are generally drought and pest resistant and tolerate black walnut trees. The plant has received the Royal Horticulture Society Award of Garden Merit. Nodding onion flowers are quite distinctive since the flower stalks curve sharply down at the tips, which produces the pom-poms, with most flowers suspended dangling downwards. Any insect which seeks nectar or pollen must be able to cling to flowers while hanging upside down. This interesting flower positioning presumably protects the nectar and pollen from rain. Short tongued bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar. Nodding onion

is a host plant for caterpillars of hairstreak butterflies and the bulbs are used as food by bears and ground squirrels. Although I don’t understand why anyone would rip such a beautiful plant out of the ground, nodding onion is edible if taken in small amounts. Eating large amounts may cause diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting from herbivorerepelling sulfides. However, I feel that way about raw commercial onions also. All parts of nodding onion have been used as food: leaves, bulbs, and flowers. They can be used raw or boiled for pickles, salads, or for seasoning. If the flavor is too intense, you can parboil the bulbs for a few minutes and discard the water or you could go to the local store and buy a large mild onion. Throughout nodding onion’s range, Native Americans sparingly used the plant for seasoning and also medicinally. The Cherokee, other Native American

The NJLCA Today By Gail Woolcott Director of Operations

Got Mulch?

organic matter back into the soil by slowly breaking down and decomposing into the soil through the growing season. This is why adding new mulch each year is a good idea, as you have likely lost some mulch to this process. It also maintains the nutrients in the soil by preventing runoff from rain and watering and the consequential erosion caused by this. Good for your plants. Mulch protects plants from drastic temperature changes. It insulates your plants when we have a quick drop in temperature and keeps the soil cooler when it gets hot outside. It will also help your plants retain water by reducing evaporation. Mulch can deter some insects (for instance, cedar and redwood mulches contain natural resins that deter fruit and wood eating

insects like termites) but promote helpful ones. Most importantly, mulch encourages earthworms, which aerate your soil and leave behind worm castings (aka poop) that add beneficial nitrates, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus to your soil. As an aside, worm castings are an amazing organic fertilizer and can also be purchased as a soil amendment. Good for your back. Mulch is one of the greatest natural weed barriers. It keeps weeds from receiving the sunlight they need to grow. Although it certainly isn’t foolproof, you will spend much less time bent over your garden pulling weeds and more time in your lounge chair, enjoying the view. Good for your wallet. Adding mulch is a quick way to increase

the curb appeal of your home. It gives beds a polished and clean look, providing an instant facelift. No more mulch volcanoes. As great as mulch is for your property, there are some major dos and don’ts that you must follow. First and foremost, mulch volcanoes, or piling of mulch up the trunks of trees and shrubs, will strangle those plants and can cause root rot, where the roots are constantly wet and cannot breathe. For a tree or shrub, you should create a small “moat” around the trunk, where water can reach the roots but dry easily. Don’t use too much mulch or keep piling it on. You need no more than two to four inches of mulch. At the beginning of the spring, you should check the thickness of mulch before adding more. You may want to remove some of the top layer,

Nations, and colonists used the bulbs for colds, fever, kidney stones, and as a poultice applied to the chest for respiratory problems. However, I did not find any evidence that nodding onion actually is effective as a medicinal plant, although garlic is known to increase circulation to the skin (a rubefacient). Nodding onion is useful in an herb, rock, or butterfly garden. You can use it in low-maintenance, droughtresistant plantings, as a groundcover, and in perennial borders. It works well with butterfly weed, wild bergamot, Joe-Pye-Weed, and purple coneflower, since all bloom at about the same time. If you are looking for a beautiful, novel plant, give nodding onion a grow. Editor’s Note: Hubert Ling is the Horticulture Chairman for the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. He can be reached at then put new mulch on top. As a final tip, rocks, pebbles, gravel and shell mulches do not offer the plants and soil nutrients, nor help them retain water, but are used mostly for aesthetic purposes. Rubber mulch is used for a safe playing area cover, but also does not have benefits to the soil or plants. Pine needles as mulch are great for acidic plants and straw is an excellent insulator in the winter. Whatever you decide you want for your mulch, talk to your landscape professional about where to find quality mulch and installing it for you. Editor’s note: Gail Woolcott is the Director of Operations for the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association. She was presented with a community service award from the Borough of Fairview for her assistance in leading the 9-11 Memorial Park project and the Legislative Champion of the Year award from the Federation of Employers and Workers of America. She is currently the State Licensee Chair on the National Association of Landscape Professionals International Certification Council.

26 July 2019

The Premier Gardening Monthly Newspaper Number 195 Published Monthly Reserve Ad Space Phone: 908.604.4444 Website: E-Mail: Staff

Executive Editor/Publisher . . . . Tom Castronovo Art Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susan F. Kessel Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tom Castronovo Tom Castronovo Todd Pretz Gail Woolcott

July 2019 Columnists Brian Schilling Al Murray Peter Melick Bob LaHoff

Douglas H. Fisher Eric J. Houghtaling Lesley Parness

July 2019 Contributing Writers

Bruce Crawford

Jeannie Geremia

Hubert Ling

Lori Jenssen

Gardener News is published monthly by

Gardener News, Inc.

16 Mount Bethel Road #123 Warren, NJ 07059 The Gardener News invites correspondences on gardening subjects of interest. Gardener News, Inc, and its Publisher reserve the right to accept, refuse, or discontinue any editorial or copy, and shall not be liable to anyone for printing errors, misinformation or omissions in editorial or copy. The information contained in articles herein represents the opinions of the authors and, although believed to be accurate and complete, is not represented or warranted by Gardener News, Inc. to be accurate or complete. All advertising is subject to the Gardener News advertisement rates, and must be PAID IN FULL at time of submission. Publisher reserves the right at its absolute discretion, and at any time, to cancel any advertising order or reject any advertising copy whether or not the same has already been acknowledged and/or previously published. In the event of errors or omissions of any advertisement(s), the newspapers liability shall not exceed a refund of amounts paid for the advertisement. NOTE: All editorial, advertising layouts and designs and portions of the same that are produced and published by Gardener News, Inc., are the sole property of Gardener News, Inc. and may not be reproduced in any form unless written authorization is obtained from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to: Gardener News, 16 Mount Bethel Rd - #123, Warren, NJ 07059. (c) 2019 Gardener News, Inc.

Full Moon July 16, 2019

Eastern Daylight TIP OF THE MONTH Snakes are less likely to hang out and move through short grass because it increases their exposure to predators (e.g., coyotes, foxes, hawks). Short grass also makes snakes easier to spot by you and your family members. Store firewood, excess lumber, and other types of debris away from your home. Stacks of lumber and firewood, and other piles a debris are prefect places for snakes to hide. Seal cracks and crevices on the house, sidewalks, and foundations to prevent snakes from using these areas. Consider getting an energy audit. Energy audits can be a great way to identify cracks and crevices that allow air conditioning and/or heat to escape the home - these same cracks and crevices may be used by snakes and other small creatures. The pungent aroma that lemongrass creates doesn’t just ward off snakes. It can also drive away pesky mosquitoes and even disease-carrying ticks. Lemon grass is drought-resistant, easy to grow, and its foliage makes it a pleasant addition to any garden. The marigold has a deep-growing and aggressive root system that emits a smell that is said to keep snakes moving along as well, and it has the same effect on many other garden pests, such as aphids, whiteflies and rabbits. The brightly colored flowers and pungent aroma can attract beneficial insects and pollinators, like birds, butterflies, and bees, while driving away pests large and small.

Bobcat Company Introduces New Utility Vehicles with Enhanced Performance and Productivity

Meeting the most challenging work conditions is easier with the new 2019 Bobcat® UV34 and UV34XL diesel utility vehicles. With industry-leading specs and proven durability, the new UV34 and U34XL utility vehicles deliver reliable performance and productivity. Bobcat Company introduces the new UV34 and UV34XL with an all-new chassis for increased durability, an enhanced suspension system, increased towing capacity and more integrated accessories. The UV34 and UV34XL diesel utility vehicles feature highperformance, diesel engines designed to excel in harsh and challenging working conditions. In fact, it’s the same engine used in Bobcat mini track loaders. Its proven track record ensures productivity and performance every day. Improved ride quality and comfort The new UV34 and UV34XL utility vehicles are designed with an all new chassis that dramatically improves ground clearance and offroad capability while allowing more range of motion in the suspension for superior ride quality – a feature further enhanced with added seat padding for enhanced operator comfort. Bobcat UV34 utility vehicles offer seating for an operator and two passengers, while the extended UV34XL has room for an operator and five passengers. With more material added to the frame, suspension components, wheel hubs and wheel bearings, Bobcat UV34 and UV34XL utility vehicles offer heightened durability. An independent rear suspension with sway bar provides improved ride quality and handling. All new shocks and springs, plus stronger drive components push through challenging jobs, boosting operator productivity without sacrificing ride quality. Improved ride quality is also a focus of the new cab design featuring a low, wide cab opening that allows for easy entry and exit. Updated instrumentation throughout the cab makes operation more intuitive, while larger controls and gauges improve visibility and ease of use. More in-dash storage was added to the new cab design along with a flip-up seat for stowaway convenience of larger items. Work-focused hauling and towing The UV34 and UV34XL utility vehicles are designed with a rugged cargo box that leads the industry in size and payload capacity. The greater payload capacity allows operators to haul more, and in turn, maximize time on a jobsite, farm, acreage or grounds maintenance project. The large cargo box can be emptied manually or with an optional powered cargo box lift. Towing capacity is increased by an impressive 500 pounds in the standard and XL utility vehicles to accommodate hauling of light-duty trailers. The industry-leading towing rating of 2,500 pounds allows the vehicle and operator to efficiently move firewood, landscaping materials, trailered watercraft and more. Accessories The new Bobcat utility vehicles can be customized with a variety of kits and accessories, including LED working lights, radio, brush guard and in-cab heater. A complete list of approved kits and accessories is available on

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Gardener News July 2019  

Serving the Agricultural, Gardening, Nursery and Landscaping Communities

Gardener News July 2019  

Serving the Agricultural, Gardening, Nursery and Landscaping Communities