Gardener News June 2024

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Gardener News Gardener News

Celebrating 95 Years in the Garden State

I grew up with Espoma Holly-tone. And this year, The Espoma Company, based in Millville, Cumberland County, NJ, celebrates 95 years of producing organic gardening fertilizers. With the Espoma Company

based in the Garden State, it was a must visit during their anniversary year. In the middle of May I drove from northern Somerset County to the middle of Cumberland County.

This is why I am so familiar with Espoma.

My Uncle Bob owned a garden center and my dad had beautiful gardens around his house. My dad’s gardens

included azaleas, hemlocks, hollies, laurels, leucothoe, pine trees and rhododendrons, all acid loving plants in the landscape.

Today, Espoma fertilizers are in garden centers all over the Garden State.

I’ve been told Hollytone is a rich blend of the finest natural and organic ingredients, enhanced with humates and beneficial

Back in the 70’s, my uncle sold Espoma Holly-tone in his garden center. That red and white bag stood out on the shelf. My uncle always said it was the best organic fertilizer that you can use for feeding acid loving trees and shrubs. Needless to say, there were always bags of Hollytone in my parent’s garage. I loved how it smelled like nature.

microbes. And no sludges or fillers are ever used. Why wouldn’t you want to feed your landscape plants with a fertilizer that works in harmony with nature?

When I arrived on Espoma Road in Millville, I saw a beautifully landscaped building in the middle of an industrial area. I knew I was in the right place. The plant material

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Today’s Holly-tone bag, center, an early Espoma marketing sign, left, and early Espoma wire tie paper fertilizer bags. June 2024 3

4 June 2024

When I was a kid growing up in Burlington County, I really looked forward each summer to going to my local county fair. Sure, the rides were fun, but my favorite parts were the animal displays and the great fair food.

Those days at the fair provided memories that last forever. Last summer, I visited and toured 11 of the New Jersey County Agricultural Fairs to see their operations and learn what each county had to offer. These fairs vary greatly and range from one or two-day events to up to 10 days of activities.

I got to see 4-H fairs with displays of animals, ranging from rabbits and chickens to full-size hogs and cows. I got the chance to talk with the students who were raising these animals from a young age and to hear about their challenges and the rewards that being involved in the program brings to them.

These programs and opportunities give young people a purpose and a sense of pride that could be seen as they boasted about their animals and what it took to carefully tend to them. These are lessons that are much needed and well learned by young people who see a future for themselves in agriculture, especially animal

As the NJ Farm Service Agency (NJ FSA) State Executive Director, I recently had the pleasure of leading a unique team-building Farm Fun Day. This day wasn’t just about having fun and bonding (though there was plenty of that too). It was about immersing the NJ FSA team in the diverse agricultural landscape of New Jersey and fostering a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs faced by our state’s farmers.

Our adventure began at Readington River Buffalo Farm, where owner and NJ FSA State Committee member Erick Doyle welcomed us. Towering bison, alongside more familiar cows, pigs, and chickens, offered a chance to witness firsthand the beauty and complexity of diversified farming. Erick’s passion for sustainable agriculture was contagious, and his approach to raising bison provided valuable insights. We learned about rotational grazing techniques, a practice that benefits both the animals and the land by promoting healthy soil and pasture management.

Our next stop was Hionis Greenhouses, a family-run haven overflowing with vibrant flora. Stepping through the expansive greenhouses was like embarking on a global expedition. The temperature subtly rose with each greenhouse, transporting us from a warm spring day to a tropical Hawaiian paradise. The sheer variety of plants – from delicate orchids to towering cacti – was a testament to the incredible diversity

NJ Dept. of Agriculture

County Ag Fairs are Fun and Educational

agriculture, where any day can bring major surprises in the health and productivity of the livestock.

I had the chance to visit New Jersey FFA displays and sales of plants, and most importantly to talk to these young people about their career interests for the future and the many different options for students in the agricultural industry, ranging from farmers to food scientists to agricultural and environmental engineers. FFA used to stand for “Future Farmers of America” but now it represents not only the farmers but all the agriculture careers that support our growers and help them to grow more effectively.

Of course, the first things people think about when they think about a fair are the rides, the games, and the food. However, a couple of these county fairs focus

exclusively on agriculture and the community…and the food. After all, where does that food come from, but from our farmers and ranchers who work hard every day?

There are many events and activities including horse jumping, tractor pulls, cast iron skillet tosses, chicken BBQ dinners, cow milking, weaving, agriculture ambassador and fair queen competitions, and so much more!

The Department of Agriculture, and its policymaking arm the State Board of Agriculture, play a role in certifying which fairs in the state qualify as “agricultural fairs” and there must be a strong agricultural component to the displays and activities featured at a given fair for it to receive that imprimatur from the NJDA.

So far for 2024, there have been 18 fairs approved as agricultural fairs by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. They include: Atlantic County 4-H Fair, Egg Harbor; Bergen County Fall Festival, Ridgefield Park; Burlington County Farm Fair, Springfield Township; Cape May County 4-H Fair, Cape May; Cumberland County Cooperative Fair, Millville; LEAD Fest Fair, Hamilton Township (Mercer County); Gloucester County 4-H Fair, Mullica Hill; Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair, Ringoes; Mercer County 4-H Fair and Farmers Show, Lambertville; Middlesex County Fair, East Brunswick; Monmouth County Fair, Freehold Township; Morris County 4-H Fair, Chester; New

USDA Farm Service Agency

Fun, Fellowship, and Farming: A Day of Discovery for the NJ FSA

of plant life cultivated right here in New Jersey.

But the true marvel wasn’t just the plants themselves. It was the high-tech machinery meticulously planting cuttings at lightning speed. Witnessing this innovation sparked lively discussions among the NJ FSA team. We pondered the challenges and opportunities that New Jersey’s farmers face when it comes to adopting new technologies. How can we better assist them in navigating the everevolving landscape of agricultural technology?

By combining these educational aspects with a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, the Farm Fun Day became more than just a team-building exercise. It was a powerful learning experience for the NJ FSA team. We gained a deeper understanding of the agricultural industry’s diversity, the challenges faced by our stakeholders, and the exciting innovations shaping

the future of farming in New Jersey. This newfound knowledge undoubtedly translates into improved service delivery for our farmers. As we move forward, we are better equipped to support their needs and ensure the continued growth and prosperity of Garden State agriculture.

NJ Farm Service Agency Seeks Dedicated Loss Adjusters

The New Jersey Farm Service Agency (FSA) is on the lookout for individuals passionate about agriculture to fill crucial positions as Loss Adjusters (LAs). These roles play a vital part in supporting farmers facing crop losses due to unforeseen circumstances.

Role Overview:

Loss Adjusters are integral to the FSA’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and Tree Assistance Program (TAP). They must possess a solid understanding of field and specialty crops, coupled with

Jersey State Fair and Sussex County Farm and Horse Show, Frankford Township; Ocean County Fair, Berkeley Township; Salem County Fair, Woodstown; Somerset County 4-H Fair, Bridgewater Township; Stars and Stripes Livestock Show, Moorestown; Warren County Fair, Hackettstown.

If you’ve never been to a county agricultural fair in New Jersey, this would be a great year to check out one, two, even three or more of them. One thing about these fairs is that no two are ever exactly the same, and you can learn new things about modernday agriculture, as well as the history of the industry, in the Garden State.

Let’s all head out to a fair or two this season and enjoy fun, food, friends, family, and AGRICULTURE!

Editor’s Note: Joe Atchison III is the New Jersey Assistant Secretary of Agriculture. Atchison is also the Director of the Division of Marketing and Development for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. He can be reached at (609) 292-3976.

Additionally, annual update training is mandatory to maintain certification. Ethical Standards:

Maintaining high ethical standards is paramount for Loss Adjusters. They must adhere to federal laws, avoid conflicts of interest, and uphold principles of fairness and nondiscrimination in their dealings with producers.

expertise in executing crop adjusting guidelines and program provisions.

Qualifications and Responsibilities:

Prospective candidates should have at least two years of college education or relevant agriculture-related experience. Key responsibilities include conducting field inspections, measuring fields, discussing findings with farmers, and thoroughly documenting crop damage investigations.

Essential Skills: Loss Adjusters must exhibit strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and excellent interpersonal communication abilities. They should be adept at maintaining confidentiality and possess reliable transportation for travel within assigned areas, which may span several counties or even statewide.

Training and Certification:

To become certified, individuals undergo specialized training, including classroom sessions and field exercises.

Eligibility and Contact Information: Prospective Loss Adjusters must meet specific eligibility criteria outlined by the USDA. For inquiries or to express interest in these positions, individuals can contact Aly Dyson, NJ FSA Farm Program Disaster Specialist, at or 609.438.3147.

Joining as a Loss Adjuster offers a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact within the agricultural community while upholding the values of integrity and service.

Editor’s Note: Bob Andrzejczak is the State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in New Jersey. He can also be reached at 609587-0104 during regular business hours. For more information, please visit state-offices/New-Jersey/ sed-biography/index

USDA Farm Service Agency Tours North Jersey

The USDA’s New Jersey Farm Service Agency (FSA) traveled to north Jersey on April 17 to the Readington River Buffalo Farm in Flemington, Hunterdon County, NJ, to see how the Doyle family grows, and sustains the only commercial bison farm in the state.

The group then traveled to Hionis Greenhouses in Clinton and Whitehouse Station, Hunterdon County, NJ, to tour their extensive plant growning facilities to see finished plants and to see how automated production works.

New Jersey, known as the Garden State, has a vast diversity of landscapes and is a unique combination of densely populated urban centers and open agricultural areas. For a small state, agriculture in New Jersey is quite significant with hundreds of crops being produced.

Members of the FSA state committee were appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and are responsible for the oversight of farm programs and county committee operations, resolving program delivery appeals from the agriculture community, maintaining cooperative relations with industry stakeholders, keeping producers informed about FSA programs and operating in a manner consistent with USDA equal opportunity and civil rights policies.

The FSA traces its beginnings to 1933. Today, FSA’s responsibilities are organized into five areas: Farm Programs, Farm Loans, Commodity Operations, Management and State Operations. The agency continues to provide America’s farmers with a strong safety net through the administration of farm commodity programs. FSA also implements ad hoc disaster programs. FSA’s long-standing tradition of conserving the nation’s natural resources continues through the Conservation Reserve Program. The agency provides credit to agricultural producers who are unable to receive private, commercial credit. FSA places special emphasis on providing loans to beginning, minority and women farmers and ranchers. Its Commodity Operations division purchases and delivers commodities for use in humanitarian programs at home and abroad. FSA programs help feed America’s school children and hungry people around the globe. Additionally, the agency supports the nation’s disabled citizens by purchasing products made by these persons.

Bob Andrzejczak, second from left, State Executive Director for the USDA New Jersey FSA; presented a certificate of recognition to Laura LaFevre, center, for 15 Years of Service in the Government of the United States of America at Hionis Greenhouses and Garden Center in Whitehouse Station, Hunterdon County, NJ. Andrzejczak and LaLaFevre were joined by New Jersey State FSA committee members Al Murray, left, Anna Trapani, second from right, and Rajesh Sinha for the ceremony. June 2024 5
Tom Castronovo/Photo USDA New Jersey FSA toured the Hionis Greenhouses production greenhouses in Clinton, Hunterdon County, NJ.


The Northeastern Association of State Departments of Agriculture convenes the following 10 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


Start of the 2024 RI Grown Farmer’s Market Season

The 2024 RI Grown Farmer’s Market Season is underway, running through early autumn. Consumers can shop the RI Grown Farmers Market at Goddard Memorial State Park, held every Friday from 9 AM – 1 PM, or the RI Grown Farmers Market at Fishermen’s Memorial State Park, held every Sunday from 8:30 AM to 12 PM, for locally grown and fresh food. The hours for Fishermen’s Memorial have changed, so consumers and vendors should plan accordingly. Markets at Goddard Park remain the same as previous years. For the first few weeks, the RI Grown Farmer’s Markets will primarily offer bedding plants, hanging plants, cut flowers, RI Seafood, early vegetable crops, honey, and maple syrup. As traditional local summer crops become available, additional vendors will be attending. Consumers should keep a lookout for the RI Grown label, which certifies that a product was grown right here in the Ocean State.

“Attending an RI Grown farmer’s market is a great opportunity for consumers to buy fresh, delicious food directly from local farmers and food businesses,” said Governor Dan McKee. “I encourage all Rhode Islanders and visitors alike to support our state’s vibrant agriculture and food sector by enjoying Rhode Island’s abundance of sustainable, colorful, and locally grown produce.”

“Farmer’s markets are critical in supporting healthy food access and resilient local food systems, today and in the long term,” said DEM Director Terry Gray. “Each farmers market season, DEM is thrilled to offer consumers opportunities to purchase fresh and delicious RI Grown foods and support local farmers and food businesses at some of our beautiful state park locations.”

Learn more at


Agency Receives Record Demand for Maple Grants

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) has awarded over $540,000 in grants to maple producers and processors through the Maple Agriculture Development Grants program. Eleven producers, ranging in size from 500 to 30,000 taps, received funds for operational efficiency, food safety, and climate resilience improvement projects.

“Maple is critical to Vermont and these grants will make it more affordable for producers in our state,” said Governor Phil Scott. “Making long term investments like this will allow maple producers to expand and thrive. Vermont is number one in quality and quantity in maple production and it’s important we continue to support our maple producers however we can.”

The award represented the largest ever state investment in maple producers. Acting on the recommendation of Governor Scott’s Future of Agriculture Commission, this first-time program will help grow, develop, and sustain maple, produce, and meat businesses throughout the state.

“These investments are important to the maple industry. We are fortunate to have these dollars for maple producers so they can continue to grow their operations,” said Anson Tebbetts, Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture. “We are grateful the Governor included these grants in his budget.” Tebbetts announced the grant awards today at the Vermont Maple Festival in St. Albans. The annual event celebrates all things Vermont Maple, bringing together maple vendors, producers, food and more, all recognizing the importance of the Vermont maple industry.

The response to these grants was overwhelming. In November of 2023, the Agency received over 350 applications exceeding $18 million in requested funds—the single highest number of applications for a grant program in Agency history. The Agency followed a thorough and in-depth review process leveraging expertise from 60+ maple experts, technical assistance providers, and agricultural business professionals from Vermont, New York, and Maine.

VAAFM received a wide array of eligible applications from producers in all 14 Vermont counties, from small home operations to large commercial processors. Learn more from the Agricultural Development Division’s webpage at


$500,000 in

PA Farm Bill Grants to Strengthen

Agriculture Education, Healthy Foods in Schools

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that Pennsylvania’s Farmto-School Grant program is offering schools and childhood centers to apply for up to $15,000 for eligible projects. This program, funded by Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget, support healthy eating habits and future careers in agriculture. To date, more than $2.6 million has been awarded to 237 projects across 50 counties.

“These grants are an investment in our children’s health and their future,” said Secretary Redding. “Introducing kids to fresh, local food enriches the connection between families and local producers and imparts meaningful changes in the lives of our youth while strengthening their bond with their communities. Funded Farm-to School Grant programs enable students to learn about local farmers, make healthy choices, and explore exciting career


Eligible applicants include school districts, charter schools, private schools, or centers with pre-kindergarten through 8th grade that participates in the Federal Child Nutrition Program. Funded projects can involve partnering with local farmers to source fresh produce or building and improving school gardens, with the goal of incorporating hands-on educational activities about agriculture and encouraging healthy eating.

Grant applications must be submitted online through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development Electronic Single Application. Applications are due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 7, 2024.

Learn more at secure/pabulletin/data/vol53/53-13/430.html 6 June 2024



38 Participating Farm Wineries and More Than 100 Prizes

The 2024 Passport to Connecticut Wine Country, a program of the Connecticut Farm Wine Development Council (CFWDC) administered by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, is underway. The Passport program offers visitors an opportunity to engage with the state’s award-winning farm wineries, collect stamps to be entered into prize drawings, create lasting memories, and explore all Connecticut offers.

As part of the Passport journey this year, two new stops have been added – Independence Vineyard in Lebanon and Tranquillity Vineyard & Winery in Middlebury. They will join well-established farm wineries located in every county of the state. Find a full list of participating farm wineries at ctwinecountry. com.

“We welcome these new additions to the Passport to Connecticut Wine Country and encourage travelers to visit them along with perennial favorites. This program has a history of supporting farm wineries as they gain a foothold by driving new consumers through their door and we look forward to watching them grow,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “As visitors map their destinations, this is a chance to discover hidden treasures throughout our

state. Consider stopping at nearby farm stands to pick up items for your charcuterie board or tomorrow’s meal, patronize a local eatery, or visit a nearby attraction.”

Participants can pick up a printed book at participating farm wineries, or download the digital app on the Apple App Store or Google Play. Both the printed book and app can be obtained free of charge.

At each participating farm winery, users can collect a digital or physical stamp which equals one point towards a reward level. Upon reaching a prize level, those points will enter them into a prize drawing. More than 100 prizes will be available, valued at more than $10,000 total, divided among three award categories. The three tiers are Taster (12 or more stamps), Sommelier (18 or more stamps), and Winemaker (35 or more stamps). Participants who visit all 38 participating farm wineries will also be eligible for a commemorative gift, with up to 50 names drawn at random to recognize their support of Connecticut’s farm wineries.

The 2024 Passport program concludes on December 31, 2024, and the prize drawing will be held no later than January 31, 2025.


Composting Webinar and Field Day Planned

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) and the New Jersey Composting Council (NJCC) are collaborating on two free events in July to inform composters and farmers about NJ ManureLink and the benefits of sharing resources and information at The site is designed to help farmers, composters, and users connect with local manure or compost.

The first event is a composting webinar from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on July 10 that will teach composting basics, manure handling and stockpiling, nutrient management, and provide introduction to local technical and financial resources.

The second event is a composting field day from 5 to 8 p.m. on July 17 at Copper Creek Landscape Management and Nursery in Kingwood, Hunterdon County. The event will provide handson demonstrations of composting techniques, and discussion of recipes for horse stall waste, and how to incorporate compost into pasture, crop, and nursery operations. The NJDA, NJCC, USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and other local resource providers will be assisting with demonstration stations and available to

answer questions.

The field day demonstration stations will include sighting a composting or storage location, developing a compost recipe, taking measurements of important criteria including moisture content, temperature and bulk density, review curing time and how to know when your compost is finished, and an overview of nutrient management and soil and compost sampling.

Livestock farmers and composters, as well as producers across all agricultural sectors, including urban farming, are invited to attend the webinar and field day. While Webinar Registration is unlimited, Field Day Registration is limited to 45 attendees.

The NJ ManureLink website launched earlier this year and lists manure and compost availability by geographic location within New Jersey. It also allows users to sign up for notifications when the resource they are looking for becomes available. The project provides an opportunity for farms with limited land capacity a way to distribute their manure to composters and farmers who can use it to benefit their operations.

Funding for NJ ManureLink is made possible through a USDA-NRCS, Conservation Innovation Grant.


Taste NY Grand Central Celebrates Grand Opening

The Taste NY program joined Slate Point Meadery for an official ribbon cutting celebrating the grand opening of their new market, Taste NY Grand Central. The Poughkeepsie-based business opened their satellite location in Grand Central Terminal earlier this year. The market sells products made by dozens of New York farms and producers and joins nearly 70 other Taste NY locations across the state in highlighting the quality, diversity, and economic impact of New York made food and beverages.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Here in New York, we’re not only home to some of the best farmers and producers in the world, but we also have access to one of the largest markets in the world. As not only a cornerstone of transit but also a beloved, historical landmark for visitors and residents alike, there’s no better place to showcase all that New York producers have to offer than at New York’s Grand Central Terminal. The Taste NY program has had a huge impact on our farmers and producers across the state, and this partnership with MTA and Slate Point Meadery will help expand that reach even further.”

About Taste NY

Taste NY highlights the quality, diversity, and economic impact of food and beverages grown, produced, or processed in New York State. Taste NY aims to create new opportunities for producers through events, retail locations, and partnerships, such as at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse. Taste NY has grown significantly since its launch, bringing over $100 million in economic impact to New York State producers over 10 years of the program, and has supported nearly 2,000 food and beverage producers participating in the program. In 2023, over 275 producers were onboarded to new markets through New York’s Welcome Centers. Taste NY’s food and beverage businesses also support the state’s farmers by using New York grown and produced ingredients in their products. June 2024 7

Pete Melick, left, a featured columnist for Gardener News and a 10th generation farmer, and co-owner of Melick’s Town Farm, officially welcomes his son, Chef Andrew Melick, who graduated from Johnson & Wales University on May 4 with a degree in Food and Beverage Industry Management, and joins his brother Will as the 11th generation in the family business. 8 June 2024
Tom Castronovo/Photo
To Find A Licensed Retailer Near You Must Be 21 Years of Age or Older

I’m sure that everyone has seen many of the recent articles concerning the rising prices of food. And even if you have not seen the articles, you have surely experienced these rising prices firsthand at the store or in restaurants.

Then there is the phenomenon known as “shrinkflation.” This is where food processors or restaurants keep the price of their products the same but decrease the size of the portion that is available for purchase. With all of these rising prices, one might think that farmers are getting more for their products and are making more money, right? Not so fast. In fact, the growers of our food are feeling the effects of inflation just as much as consumers.

Today, a box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes costs roughly $6.99 for a 24 oz. box. To make that box of cereal, according to various sources, it requires about $.20 worth of corn, based on today’s corn markets, to fill that box of corn flakes. Sure, there are other components that go into manufacturing, marketing, and selling this product, but the bulk of what the consumer is purchasing and consuming is still corn. One third of the total price goes toward

First and foremost, please be on the lookout for spotted lanternflies (SLF).

There are four nymphal instars. The first three instars are black with white spots. They grow from a few millimeters to approx. ¼ inch and have no wings. They are strong jumpers to avoid capture or predators. During this stage, the spotted lanternfly feeds on a variety of plants. Currently, there are no known natural enemies of SLF that are expected to significantly reduce SLF populations in the United States. Property owners should consider hiring a certified pesticide applicator to make insecticide applications. Professional applicators have specialized training and equipment to treat plants. Hiring a professional may reduce your risk of pesticide exposure and save time, but it may cost more than doing the application yourself.

This past Arbor Day, the NJAISA participated in the official New Jersey Arbor Day event hosted at Farnham Park in Camden, New Jersey. Here we partnered with the NJ Tree Foundation, the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, the N.J. Forest Service, the City of Camden, several local volunteer groups, and other associations to plant 16 trees. This effort was in large part led by the NJ Tree Foundation, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to planting

The Town Farmer

Food Inflation

advertising, with another chunk going towards the retail markup. Then manufacturing, labor, transportation, and of course, profits make up the balance of expenses.

So, if the price of corn doubles, does the price of Corn Flakes have to double as well? Of course not. Perhaps a small increase might be in order, but that would be about it. Unless there are other factors to consider. Now, if fuel prices go up, and labor is in short supply, which leads to an increase in wages, and then you throw in another small factor such as a global pandemic, then you can start to see why portions are decreasing and prices are rising.

Agricultural product prices always fluctuate. With perishable products such as fruits and

vegetables, prices go up and down throughout the year based on various supply and demand and weather factors. Take asparagus for example. When we first start harvesting asparagus in the spring, wholesale prices are generally higher due to short supply and some pent-up demand. As the supply increases, prices will generally decrease accordingly. In fact, wholesale prices could drop as much as 200 percent throughout the season! But while there can be wild fluctuations with the wholesale price, the retail price does not usually fluctuate as much. These prices do not take into account the expenses that are borne by the grower. Nobody cares if the prices of fuel, fertilizer, packaging materials and labor have all increased. The consumers will simply see the retail price

for asparagus, and then determine whether or not it is in their best interest to purchase it. If the price is too high, then there are plenty of other vegetables they can purchase.

With commodity crops such as corn, wheat and soybeans, their prices are affected more by macroeconomic factors such as global trade and currency fluctuations, political turmoil, and transportation issues as well as with the weather conditions in the various growing regions around the world. These factors all contribute to the cost of these commodities.

One advantage that commodity growers have over the growers of perishable products is that there are futures markets for commodities. It is possible for agricultural producers to sell their products before they are grown, thereby

Tree Notes

Protect, Plant and Climb

trees in New Jersey’s most urban neighborhoods, where the need is the greatest. Through tree planting, volunteerism and partnerships, the NJ Tree Foundation assists communities in improving their environment and quality of life.

Although a substantial planting, this event is a symbolic celebration of recognizing the huge asset trees provide in our communities.

“Trees help cool and beautify our communities, filter air pollutants, mitigate the effects of flooding, and capture and store greenhouse gases.

As we celebrate Arbor Day and conclude our celebration of Earth Week, we commit to continuing the work of making all of our communities more livable and healthier through the planting and stewardship of trees and forests,”

a quote from DEP commissioner Shawn M LaTourette. He proceeded to announce the Leafing Out grants going to ten communities

each receiving $850,000 for tree management programs, while another 12 received a combined total of $150,000 for municipal employees and engaged community volunteers to attend the Urban and community forestry-related training events.

“This significant infusion of funding presents an amazing opportunity to assist communities most in need of conserving, restoring and enhancing their urban tree canopy,” said John Cecil, Assistant Commissioner for State Parks, Forests, and Historic Sites.

We applaud these federal funds being allocated to provide long lasting benefits to our communities. Let’s all be motivated to continue to propel this focus on planting trees!

Our annual Tree Climbing Championship (TCC) is coming up on June 7-8th at Cadwalader Park in Trenton. Typically, this event is held at the site of our prior Work Day event, which holds true this

locking in a certain price for their products ahead of time. While not foolproof, this system does allow a grower to remove a certain amount of risk from the equation. So, what are consumers supposed to do? Are they at the mercy of big corporations who seem to have the pricing power to charge whatever they want? There are still plenty of other options available in the marketplace. You can choose broccoli over asparagus, or you can eat out less and at home more, or if you really want to be frugal, go buy twenty cents worth of corn and make your own cornflakes!

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

challenge event, the competitors’ overall poise, techniques and mastery of the combined skills tested in the preliminary events. The winner of the Masters Challenge is crowned the chapter champion.

year. This NJAISA official event will determine and crown our climbing champions, male and female. All chapter champions are then eligible to compete in Atlanta from October 24 through the 27th at the International Tree Climbing Championship (ITCC).

The formats for all International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) TCC’s are the same. The climbers compete in five preliminary qualifying events; Open Ascent, Arial Rescue, Work Climb, Throwline, and Speed Climb. Upon completing these five preliminary individual events, their scores are tallied with the top preliminary point winners advancing to a Masters Challenge. The Masters Challenge is the championship round of the competition in which the top scoring men and women finishers in the preliminary round compete for the title. The Masters Challenge is designed to judge, in a single

New Jersey has a rich heritage of champions such as Craig Cutler who won the national title in 1986, which was then the National Arborist Association. Mark Chisholm, from Jackson, New Jersey, won the International Tree Climbing championship in 1997, 2001, and 2010. Our last year’s champ, Brick Reilly from Millburn, New Jersey, placed fifth overall at the North American Tree Climbing Championship held in Washington, DC last fall. Our good friends from the Mack, Maryland Atlantic chapter of the ISA, James Earhart, Jeff Inman, and Stefanie Lenbar dominated here. We are very proud of active regional networking which continues to expand upon the mission of “keeping the stoke alive!”

Editor’s Note: Bert Kuhn is President of the New Jersey Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture and CO/Owner of Action Tree Service (# NJTC768009), based out of Watchung, NJ. He can be reached at 908756-4100 June 2024 9


Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Phone Directory

Atlantic County

Phone: 609-625-0056

Bergen County Phone: 201-336-6780

Burlington County Phone: 609-265-5050

Camden County Phone: 856 216 7130

Cape May County Phone: 609-465-5115

Cumberland County Phone: 856-451-2800

Essex County Phone: 973-228-2210

Gloucester County Phone: 856-224-8040

Hudson County Phone: 201-915-1399

Hunterdon County Phone: 908-788-1339

Mercer County Phone: 609-989-6830

Middlesex County Phone: 732-398-5260

Monmouth County Phone: 732-431-7260

Morris County Phone: 973-285-8300

Ocean County Phone:732-349-1246

Passaic County Phone: 973-305-5740

Salem County Phone: 856-769-0090

Somerset County Phone: 908-526-6293

Sussex County Phone: 973-948-3040

Union County Phone: 908-654-9854

Warren County Phone: 908-475-6505

From the Director’s Desk

Rutgers Outreach

4-H 2024

A little dirt and a lot of green can make a world of difference in a child’s life. Young people across New Jersey are learning about gardening, and agriculture in general, through 4-H clubs and programs.

Elementary school students in urban areas, like Newark and Jersey City, are transplanting the vegetable plants they started indoors into their 4-H learning gardens. High school students across the state are researching sustainable food production solutions for developing countries with the help of 4-H mentors. Programs like these promote interest in science, healthy eating habits, and appreciation of nature while teaching young people important life skills like responsibility, teamwork, and patience.

There is no better way to understand how 4-H impacts the lives of young people than to hear from young people themselves. I asked my intern, Clara Lappert, to share her 4-H experience and how it has impacted her future plans. This is what Clara had to say about her 4-H experience:

through 8th grade, my mom heavily emphasized trying all sorts of extracurriculars. When I expressed the classic stubborn kid line of “I don’t wannaaa!” she always said, “Just try it a few times!” With my close friend by my side, I nervously tried out the Sussex County 4-H Summer Blossoms club as a 1st grader. Before long, I was hooked! I actively participated in the club through 12th grade.

multitude of career paths for a child’s future. My experience in 4-H began as a fun way to socialize with other kids while getting my hands dirty but ended up as the beginning of my career path.”





“When I was little, I thought 4-H was all about animal programs - programs that span from horses to cows, rabbits to chickens. As a kid who grew up without animals at home, those things were very much not in my wheelhouse. While exploring the 4-H club booths at my county fair, I learned there were so many interesting and diverse clubs! Did you know 4-H has a little bit of something for everyone? There’s sewing, crafting, baking, cooking, computer science, and in my case, gardening clubs!

As a kid who was homeschooled from 1st

My 4-H leader, Deb Brodhecker, spent her Thursday nights pouring the love of agriculture into us kids. The main part of my 4-H experience was spent in our allotted raised garden bed space at the Sussex County Fairgrounds. There we shared small, raised beds, and planted all sorts of plants. Every meeting was a wonderfilled learning experience. Every August during the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show we would spend a cool morning harvesting dewcovered vegetables, herbs, and flowers to submit for judging. Beyond the traditional classes like ‘Tomatoes – 3 specimens,’ there were even some fun themed submissions like ‘Funkiest Carrot’ and ‘Giant Squash’!

I never thought that simply joining a 4-H club with my friend would lead me down a winding path (with tons of detours) where I eventually found myself being a student at Rutgers University majoring in Agriculture & Food Systems, interning at the 4-H state office, and then accepting a position to work for 4-H in Passaic County.

4-H is an amazing organization that not only teaches valuable life lessons and soft skills like hard-work, responsibility, leadership, and confidence, but can open up a

By the time this article goes to print, Clara will have graduated from Rutgers and will be working with RCE to share her knowledge and passion about gardening and agriculture. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and I have no doubt that she will help the young people with whom she works blossom into healthy, well-rounded individuals.

There are so many young people like Clara who have found a way to cultivate their spark through 4-H. In the next few months, these young people will be showcasing their 4-H projects at county fairs. I personally invite you to attend your local fair this summer. You can find a list of fairs at https://nj4h.rutgers. edu/fairs

While you are looking for the giant squash or the funkiest carrot at the fair, I encourage you to stop and talk to some 4-H youth. Learn about what sparks them. Ask them what they have been working on and what they plan to do next. I bet you’ll be impressed and maybe even a little bit inspired.

If you are interested in sharing your passion for gardening with young people, like Clara’s 4-H leader did, don’t hesitate to reach out to your county Extension office. Your local 4-H staff can help you get started inspiring the next generation of youth as a 4-H volunteer.

New Jersey 4-H is a program of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension. 10 June 2024
Editor’s Note: This month’s contribution was co-written by Clara Lappert, Rutgers student & 4-H Intern and Rachel Lyons, Chair of the Department of 4-H Youth Development.
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Rutgers Tests Renewable Energy System for Agrivoltaics Project on Cook Campus

Rutgers University has selected Sunzaun, a vertical solar system for farms developed by solar installer Sunstall Inc., for an agrivoltaics project at its farm on Cook campus.

The farm at Rutgers University–New Brunswick operates as a hybrid of production farm, research facility and teaching operation in support of the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station related activities. The farm, students, faculty and staff care for a variety of animals, including sheep, goats and cattle.

Agrivoltaics refers to the use of land for both agriculture and solar energy generation. Placement of an agrivoltaics system in this environment creates a unique opportunity for researching livestock interaction with solar installations. Results from the project will contribute to the Dual-Use Solar Energy Pilot Program that is administered by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU).

The project was constructed by the New Jersey-based solar energy developer Advanced Solar Products using Sunzaun’s vertical racking system. It is one of the first agrivoltaics systems utilizing vertical racking in the northeastern U.S.

The aim of the project is to investigate the potential benefits of agrivoltaics in a densely populated state with an important agricultural and livestock sector, a large energy demand and limited space to construct renewable energy systems.

Key features of the Sunzaun vertical racking system include its space saving design, which allows energy production in limited spaces, making it an ideal solution for the generation of solar power on agricultural land, in urban environments and in areas with restricted land availability. The vertical orientation of the panels combines a grid-serving production curve, avoiding the midday peak, with other dual-use benefits such as wind protection, suitability for integrating livestock, and providing shade to crops possibly resulting in less water consumption and more optimal growing conditions. With the Animal Farm Agrivoltaics Project, Rutgers is leading the way in sustainable agriculture, renewable energy research, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

About the Rutgers Agrivoltaics Program

The Rutgers Agrivoltaics Program (RAP) is a multidisciplinary group of Rutgers faculty and staff committed to designing and conducting the applied agrivoltaics research and outreach necessary for New Jersey farmers to make informed decisions about adopting this technology, as well as its potential role in contributing to the State’s renewable energy goals. RAP is part of the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service which provide research, outreach and education resources to residents, communities, and business in New Jersey and beyond. Please visit https://ecocomplex. for more information.

A New Era Begins: SEBS Launches Redesigned Website

On May 1, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences launched its website rebrand, continuing a campaign dedicated to highlighting the school’s excellence, resources, facilities, access to research, and significant innovation through scientific exploration. The redesigned website simultaneously emphasizes the existing esteem of SEBS’ academic merit and research while embracing a new digital chapter.

Visit the new site at

Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science Hosts 33rd Annual Turfgrass Symposium

Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science hosted the 33rd Annual Turfgrass Symposium on March 14, drawing close to 90 attendees to the hybrid event, including participants via Zoom from France, Finland, United Kingdom, and several U.S. states, like Oregon, Virginia, Texas, Maryland, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Keynote speaker was John Sorochan, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Institute of Agriculture. He presented his research and testing program for field consistency and uniformity at World Cup 2026, which will be the largest ever World Cup hosted at 16 venues across North America.

Eight Rutgers faculty, staff, and graduate students provided 12 oral and 16 poster presentations on modern approaches to research in turfgrass science and funded by the Center for Turfgrass Science. Abstracts of all presentations can be viewed at the Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science website.

Three invited speakers included Dr. David McCall, Virginia Tech, Turfgrass Pathology, who described his research on targeted precision turfgrass management systems to reduce pesticide use; Dr. Cole Thompson, USGA, Turfgrass and Environmental Research, updated attendees on the USGA priorities for turfgrass and environmental research; and Dr. Glen Groben, USGA ARS, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit, who summarized his research on quantifying pathogen population changes in response to fungicide inputs.

James Murphy, extension specialist in turfgrass management and director of the Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science, thanked those who helped to organize and coordinate the event. He also thanked the presenters for taking the time to share their research with the faculty, staff, and students of the Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science.

“Their willingness to share and discuss their research among colleagues and attendees ensures that the center is maximizing opportunities for collaboration and strengthening our ability to reach mission relevant goals,” said Murphy.

Stacy Bonos, professor of turfgrass breeding and associate director the center, who directs the turfgrass breeding program at Rutgers NJAES, also expressed the center’s gratitude at the feedback on the symposium.

“We received numerous compliments throughout the day about the quality of the symposium program and the turfgrass research being done at Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science. Those compliments are a direct result of the Center’s faculty, staff, and graduate student commitment and passion for their research,” said Bonos. June 2024 11 RECYCLE THE Gardener News SHARE IT WITH A FRIEND

Celebrating 95 Years in the Garden State

(Continued from page 1)

almost looked fake. The plants were healthy, magnificently manicured, and naturally shaped. Each plant looked like a specimen.

When I walked through the front door, I was greeted by a stunning, oxygenproducing living wall of potted plants. It was truly a breadth of fresh air. The lobby was filled with natural light from giant windows. Nature was inside the building. This lobby was sustainably designed.

After signing in, I was greeted by Marketing Officer John Harrison. Mr. Harrison then introduced me to Serge Brunner and his son, Jeremy Brunner. Jeremy Brunner is president of Espoma.

The Brunner’s toured me around the newly constructed corporate office building. Even though the building was fairly new, history dotted the walls. There were pictures, old metal signs, fertilizer bags and memorabilia. I now have a really cool Espoma hat. Thank you! As I looked out the windows, I noticed quite a few solar panels in a field.

We then walked across the street to the manufacturing, distribution, and warehouse buildings; I noticed more solar panels on the roof. I had to ask. I learned that the Brunner family has taken a commitment to the environment 12 June 2024
Tom Castronovo/Photo Serge Brunner, left, and his son Jeremy Brunner in front of the Espoma fertilizer display inside their corporate office building. Tom Castronovo/Photo Oxygen-producing living wall of potted plants in the lobby of The Espoma Company’s corporate office building.

to a higher level with a solar energy installation covering nearly 43,000 sq. ft. of warehouse rooftops and 24,000 sq. ft. of office grounds. I thought to myself that this company is really committed to the environment. I was told the solar panels provide clean, renewable energy for Espoma’s entire plant and office facilities.

As we walked around, I must say, I could not believe how clean the buildings were. All of their fertilizers were stacked up from the floor to the ceiling in perfectly neat rows. As the old saying goes, “you could eat off the floor.” I was impressed.

(Cont. on Page 20)

During the tour, the Brunners told me it all began when founder Herbert Sanders started the company in 1929 with one all-purpose organic fertilizer (today called Plant-tone). June 2024 13
Tom Castronovo/Photo Garden Center Managers Dave Cassellie, left, and Carl Scherzer proudly display Espoma fertilizers in their Morristown Agway store on Ridgedale Avenue in Morristown, Morris County, NJ. Solar panels on The Espoma Company’s manufacturing, distribution, and warehouse buildings. 14 June 2024


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Condursos Garden Center and Farm Market Celebrates 95 Years

Condursos Garden Center is a sixth generation 30-acre farm, started in 1929 by Bartholomew and Rose Condurso, as a vegetable and annual plant grower. The first greenhouse was opened in 1950 and the garden center opened in 1980.

This Garden State family operation is located at 96 River Road in Montville, Morris County, NJ, nestled between the Rockaway River and the Crooked Brook.

The farm still consist its original and historic structures, including an 1860’s

farmhouse with its outdoor summer-kitchen, a carriage house, the stone “river front” barn constructed in 1934, along with five original greenhouses that date back to the early 1950’s.

Anthony, Jr., was Mary Condursos grandson. Mary was one of the original eight children from Bartholomew and Rose Condurso, immigrants of Avellino, Italy.

USDA to Conduct Maple Syrup Inquiry

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct the 2024 Maple Syrup Inquiry in the Northeastern Region. The survey will collect information from approximately 1,900 Northeastern producers. Maple syrup producers, processors and commodity markets rely on the data from this survey to make informed business decisions and help promote the industry.

“The Northeastern Region produced 3.58 million gallons of maple syrup in 2023. Vermont was the top Maple Syrup state with 49 percent of the United States’ maple syrup,” according

to Charles Butler, acting director of the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office. In 2023, NASS estimated the total number of taps across the nation at 13.4 million and total production was 4.18 million gallons of maple syrup.

Survey recipients are encouraged to respond securely online at or by mail or fax. To ensure all participants have an opportunity to respond, NASS interviewers may contact producers who do not respond to arrange an interview to complete the survey.


New Jersey Cranberry Production Increases

Cranberry growers produced over 579 thousand utilized barrels from 2,900 harvested acres for a 200 barrel per acre yield, according to Bruce Eklund, state statistician of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New Jersey Field Office. Value of utilized production was just over $20 million. Total production is up 3% from last year.

New Jersey blueberry growers harvested 50.2 million utilized pounds from 10,800 acres in 2023. The value of utilized production was $92.1 million for 2023. Average price was $1.84 per pound, fourth highest nationally.

New Jersey peach growers harvested 14,200 utilized tons from 3,300 bearing acres. Value of utilized production was over $29.1 million. June 2024 17
Tom Castronovo/Photo From left to right: Anthony Luciano III, Beau Luciano, Anthony Luciano, Jr., Kimberlee Luciano, and Matthew Luciano.

18 June 2024

A gardening friend said to me the other day, “I never met a fern I didn’t like”. I thought about that comment and would generally agree. While there are some that are too aggressive for my garden, they almost all can play a niche in someone’s garden. Many are native and some are not. And most of them are truly deer resistant. There are entire encyclopedias written on ferns, Encyclopaedia of Ferns, David Jones. This article will feature some of my favorites that I love for the beautiful fronds, adaptability in the garden whether it is growing in deep dark shade or wet and poorly drained conditions, or the fact that some are native.

A true native to Pennsylvania and New Jersey is the Christmas fern, Polystichum acrostichoides It is called the Christmas fern because it is evergreen and the fronds are still ornamental at Christmas. It has upward facing 8-12” long fronds. One of its greatest attributes is that it will grow in extreme shade, as well as dry shade. Over time the Christmas fern will make large masses which are important ornamentally for the winter landscape. The fronds can be cut back in midMarch and then new fronds will emerge and refresh the appearance of the plant. An

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

My Best Fronds, Favorite Ferns in the Garden

Asian counterpart which has stunning evergreen leaves is the Japanese tassle fern, Polystichum polyblepharum, the intricately textured leaves form a rosette about 12” across. The scientific epithet “polyblepharum” refers to the wooly “fuzz” on the leaves, “poly” in Latin means many and “blepharum” means eyelashes.

Another great evergreen fern is the autumn fern, Dryopteris erythrosora. It is most likely called the autumn fern because the newly emerging leaves are bronze and have autumnal hues. It has evergreen leaves forming a dense clump that provides excellent winter interest.

One of my favorites of all the ferns is the Japanese painted fern, Athyrium nipponicum ‘Pictum’ and related hybrids. This spreading fern can grow in deep shade and has delicate silvery-white fronds that often

have purple to red tints. This fern can colonize and form a dense matt in the garden. Spores from this fern will also result in young plants and the proliferation and spreading of the painted fern. ‘Godzilla’ has large silvery fronds with an attractive purple center. Athyrium ‘Ghost’ will brighten a shady spot with whitish-grey upward facing leaves. This is a hybrid of the Japanese painted fern with the lady fern, Athyrium filixfemina. ‘Lady in Red’ is a selection of the lady fern with very erect lacy fronds with a red mid-rib to the leaf. It will tolerate shade and a fair amount of sun.

For parts of your yard with poor drainage, the cinnamon fern, Osmundastrum cinnamomeum is an excellent choice. The upright facing fronds are light green and form spreading vaselike clumps. In spring the emerging fertile fronds have

a rich brown color, hence the name “cinnamon”. If you are looking for a quick to cover and aggressive fern for moist conditions then consider the ostrich fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris, but be mindful that it is quick to spread. A great larger stature fern with fronds up to five feet, all which can also tolerate moist soils or even standing water, is the royal fern, Osmunda regalis

And, the fine texture of the deciduous maiden hair fern, Adiantum pedatum is unequalled. It combines well with bold foliages.

And, if you want to try some fun ferns, try Arachniodes standishii, the upside down fern. This evergreen fern will need a little protection in our climate. The fronds are incredibly intricate and almost appear to be plastic in their constitution. It is a great fern for a small shady nook in the garden where

you keep your most treasured plants.

The world of ferns is diverse. There are tiny little ferns that grow in the deepest and darkest parts of the forests to the tree ferns of New Zealand that tower almost 100 feet tall. On the East Coast, we are fortunate to have an amazing array of great ferns to choose from for our gardens.

Editor’s Note: Andrew Bunting is Vice President of Horticulture for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He is one of the most recognized horticulturists in the Philadelphia, Pa., region and a highly regarded colleague in the world of professional horticulture. Bunting has amassed a plethora of awards, including the American Public Gardens Association Professional Citation, Chanticleer Scholarship in Professional Development, Delaware Center for Horticulture’s Marion Marsh Award, and the Certificate of Merit from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. In addition, Bunting has lectured extensively throughout North America and Europe, and participated in plant expeditions throughout Asia and Africa. Learn more at andrew-bunting

Over 1,100 Trees to be Planted as Part of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Volunteer Tree Planting Events

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) will celebrate Earth Day by planting trees throughout the Greater Philadelphia area from April 19 - 21, 2024, with assistance from more than 75 of its PHS Tree Tenders groups, neighborhood volunteers, and community organizations. Over 1,100 trees are to be distributed and planted over one week.

PHS is on a mission to build the Philadelphia region’s tree canopy and promote healthier, greener communities through this semi-annual initiative.

Tree canopy, or the amount of land shaded by trees, has been scientifically proven to improve health and well-being outcomes in communities, including leading to a decline in heat-related illnesses and lower rates of violence. A healthy tree canopy coverage is thought to be 30% of the total land area. The city of Philadelphia only has 20% coverage overall, and in certain neighborhoods, tree canopy is as low as 2.5%. These startlingly low figures have prompted PHS to commit to increasing tree canopy throughout the region, especially in areas with few trees and higher than average temperatures.

More Trees Please Donations Campaign

By contributing to the PHS More Trees Please donations effort, you can

join PHS in its effort to plant trees in the Greater Philadelphia area. PHS collaborates with volunteers from across the Greater Philadelphia region each spring and fall to plant trees at little or no cost to local residents. Contributions to “More Trees Please” are essential for supplying the financing for the trees, equipment, and supplies required to make these plantings feasible. Find out more at

About Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

PHS, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization founded in 1827, uses horticulture to advance the health and well-being of the Greater Philadelphia Region. PHS programs create healthier living environments, increase access to fresh food, expand access to jobs and economic opportunity, and strengthen deeper social connections between people. PHS’s work spans 250 neighborhoods; an expansive network of public gardens and landscapes; year-round learning experiences; and the nation’s signature gardening event, the Philadelphia Flower Show. PHS provides everyone with opportunities to garden for the greater good as a participant, member, donor, or volunteer. For information and to support this impactful work, please visit

Purple flowering raspberry, Rubus odoratus, with brilliant magenta flowers and soft, large, yellow-green leaves will grace your yard for years to come. It has been one of my favorites since I first saw it at Alice Rich Northrop Nature Camp, Mt. Washington, MA in 1954; I find it hard to believe I have not written about it before in Gardener News.

The spectacular ‘luminescent’ flowers are 1.2-2 inches in diameter and range in color from a breathtaking magenta to bright rose, to a less than spectacular pale pink. They are sweet smelling and are borne singly or in small clusters on new growth. The blooming season is June to August, which is unusually long for a native plant.

The large, soft, fuzzy, mapleshaped leaves are 5-8 inches in diameter and are licorice scented. They turn yellowgold in fall. Purple flowering raspberry shoots also start out fuzzy but soon are transformed into cinnamon brown, perennial, woody stalks with peeling bark. These stalks are also fragrant and smell like cedar; thankfully, the stems lack thorns which is

Imagine if plants could talk! We would certainly gather a much better appreciation for why plants developed certain floral or seed structures, attract specific pollinators or have a preference for various environments. Penstemon digitalis, commonly called Beardtongue comes to mind as a promising candidate for striking up a conversation. Its tubular white flowers open to bear a mysterious tongue-like appendage that for years proved baffling to botanists!

Penstemon is currently the largest genus endemic to North America, containing between 240 to upwards of 270 species. It is presently found within the Plantaginaceae or Plantain Family with Penstemon digitalis found throughout a broad range of North America, stretching from Maine to Georgia, west to South Dakota and Texas.

The genus was first penned in 1748 by John Mitchell (17111768). Mitchell wore many diverse hats in his lifetime, varying from that of a botanist, to a physician, to even a cartographer! Working as a physician in Virginia, he continued to botanize and advance his knowledge of plants native to this region. In 1741 he sent along what he suspected to be 30 new

The Native Plant Society of New Jersey

Add a Spectacular Beauty to Your Garden!

rather unusual for a raspberry.

The plant is well named: Rubus is the Latin name for brambles and raspberries and odoratus means fragrant.

This perennial woody shrub grows to a height of 4-5 feet and a spread of 5-10 feet if given good conditions. Since it is rather large, you need to carefully consider the space requirements of this plant. Purple flowering raspberry prefers semi-shade and deep, rich, moist, well drained, slightly acid conditions generally at the edges of woods. It will tolerate full sun and sandy or gravelly neutral soil. It can easily spread, under the right conditions by suckering but is easily controlled by pruning or you can give them away. In fact, you may have the opposite problem that the plants are not

happy and sometimes die back in unfavorable conditions.

In nature, purple flowering raspberry grows from northeastern US south to Georgia and Alabama. In NJ it is generally restricted to our northern counties and should probably be considered an unusual plant; consider yourself fortunate if you see one with vivid magenta flowers in the wild.

Purple flowering raspberry is very supportive of wildlife. The flowers provide both nectar and pollen for bees, beetles, and butterflies. Some species of moth use this species as a host plant. The edible fruit looks just like a red raspberry. They are available from July to September and attract birds and small and large mammals. Humans have described the

fruit as rather dry, “so sweet”, tart, and tasty to dry, bland, and insipid; as with all wild fruit the quality varies widely. The few I have tried were fuzzy, dry, and rather flat. A purple dye can be made from the fruits. Some of our native bees use the soft, fuzzy foliage as a preferred nesting material and locals in Quebec have been known to place the soft leaves in boots as padding material. These large, dense, ground hugging shrubs provide shelter for many forms of wildlife.

The plant is moderately resistant to deer, rabbits, and drought but Japanese beetles and honey fungus can sometimes be a minor problem. In addition, the plant is susceptible to ice and wind damage in winter since the woody branches are

Morris County Park Commission

Penstemon – A Silent Sentinel of the Garden

weak and a bit brittle. Propagation is generally done by digging up well rooted offshoots. You can also use seeds, but they need vernalization and scarification. I have tried them without scarification and the results are rather poor. Scarification can be done by using 2 sheets of sandpaper or soaking in commercial bleach. Obviously the correct length of treatment is essential. I have seen seeds sell for up to $2.00 each so you might be better off buying plants.

Purple flowering raspberry is available on the internet and at some of our native plant nurseries. If you have the space, consider growing this spectacular magenta beauty. If possible, determine if you like the flower color before purchasing the plant. This is your chance to add a truly unique, uncommon plant to your yard.

Editor’s Note: Hubert Ling is Past President of The Native Plant Society of NJ and Horticulture Chair. He can be reached at

genera to the English naturalist Peter Collinson (1694-1768) who in turn shared them with the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). Included in this shipment was a plant Mitchell simply described as Penstemon. It had four fertile stamens and a fifth sterile stamen or staminode, bearing an enlarged filament without an anther. In an unusual blend of Greek and Latin, Mitchell combined the Latin Pen or Paene for ‘almost’ or ‘nearly’ with the Greek Stamon for ‘thread’, pertaining to the male stamen. Combined, the name means ‘nearly a stamen’, a reference to the mysterious fifth and sterile stamen. Linnaeus disagreed with the name and incorrectly classified it as Chelone in 1753, believing it to be in the genus for Turtleheads. Finally, in 1763 the German botanist Casimir Christoph Schmidel (1718-1792) validly published the genus as Penstemon Penstemon digitalis was described in 1825 by the English botanist and physician John Sims (749-1831). The species name comes from the Latin Digitus for finger, alluding to how the flowers loosely resemble the digits of a glove.

giving rise to the common name of Beardtongue. The inflated size combined with its location and the numerous hairs impedes the ability of pollinators to exit the flower, increasing their visit time and improving pollination. The mystery of the bearded tongue is solved!

Clearly, the focus has always centered on the flower! The tubular flower is composed of 5 fused petals that create the trumpetlike shape ranging from ¾-1½” long. The open end of the flower develops an upper and lower lip, a form termed as bilobate. The lower lip also has a number of ⅛” long hairs projecting upward at the flower’s entrance. Projecting through the center of the flower is the enlarged sterile staminode. The staminode is covered with short white and brown hairs,

Basal rosettes of the lanceshaped foliage begin to appear in April, followed in May by abundant 2-5’ tall floral panicles. The lower ½ of the floral spike is clothed with whirls of 2-3 clasping, lance-shaped leaves while the upper portion develops numerous opposite branches, with each branch displaying clusters of white or occasionally pink flowers. There are also several good selections including ‘Husker Red’, ‘Dark Towers’ and ‘Blackbeard’ with deep red foliage that extends

the seasonal interest. Combine the plants with purple foliaged shrubs or mix with herbaceous plants such as early blooming Beebalm (Monarda bradburiana) or Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). Beardtongue requires full sun and well-drained soils although it will tolerate more poorly drained soils, providing there is no standing water for extended periods. Hardy in zones 3-8, plants are tolerant of pH levels from neutral to acidic. Just think what else we could learn from Penstemon digitalis if its bearded tongue actually enabled it to talk. Of course, we would also hear the complaints about their neighbors, disputes over pollinators or our less than perfect attempts at cultivation. Perhaps it is all for the best that despite its tongue, Beardtongue remains a beautiful yet silent sentinel of our gardens!

Editor’s Note: Bruce Crawford is a lover of plants since birth, is the Manager of Horticulture for the Morris County Parks Commission, and a Past President of the Garden State Gardens Consortium. He can be reached at BCrawford@

June 2024 19

Happy June and almost-summer to all! Backyards have evolved from a mere patch of grass to an extension of our indoor living areas. With a little creativity and inspiration, and a professional landscaper by your side, your backyard can become a sanctuary for relaxation, entertainment, and connection with nature. Whether you have a sprawling garden or a cozy urban patio, here are some ideas to transform your outdoor space to one of comfort and style.

Outdoor Lounge Area: Create a comfy lounge area where you can unwind and entertain friends and family. Start with comfortable seating. Add soft cushions, throws, and outdoor rugs to make the patio inviting. Have a professional install a fire pit to add warmth and ambiance on chilly evenings. Enhance the space with soft lighting such as string lights, lanterns, or low-voltage lighting. Don’t forget to add a side table or two for drinks and snacks, as everybody loves those!

Outdoor Dining: Embrace the fun of outdoor dining by setting up a dining area in your backyard. Choose a sturdy dining table and chairs that can hold up to the elements. Consider adding a pergola for shade during sunny days. Decorate the table with vibrant tablecloths and fresh flowers from that cut flower garden you had installed, to create

The NJLCA Today

Creative Ideas for Backyard Living

a welcoming vibe. To elevate the experience, invest in an outdoor kitchen for easy and delicious meals cooked right in your backyard. You can add anything from a simple grill to a kitchen with a wine cooler, refrigerator, propane stove and even a dishwasher!

Zen Retreat: Design a serene Zen retreat in your backyard where you can find tranquility. Create a minimalist landscape with clean lines, natural materials, and simple yet elegant furnishings. Your landscape professional can help you incorporate elements such as fencing, pebble pathways, and trees to evoke a sense of harmony and balance. Add a meditation area with comfortable cushions or a Zen Garden for quiet reflection and mindfulness practice. Ask your landscape professional how they can incorporate a variety of plants, flowers, and trees to create a vibrant and tranquil atmosphere. Designate different areas for relaxation,

meditation, and gardening activities. Ask to have a water feature installed, such as a fountain or pond, to add a soothing element to your garden retreat. Create hidden nooks with benches, hammocks, or swings where you can relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Entertaining Space: Mix and match different styles, textures, and colors to create an entertaining space that reflects your personality and interests. Combine vintage furniture with modern accents or rustic elements with contemporary designs. You can jazz up the place with all sorts of cool art, sculptures, and funky decor! Incorporate elements of fun and surprise such as a tiki bar, outdoor games, or a hot tub for memorable gatherings with friends and family. I’ve seen some amazing lawn chess sets, golf putting greens and life-sized Jenga games.

In conclusion, there are endless possibilities for transforming

your backyard into a versatile and inviting outdoor living space. A landscape professional can help you choose what to do and install all the elements properly. Whether you prefer cozy relaxation, lively entertainment, or serene retreat, these ideas can help you create a backyard oasis that fits your lifestyle and preferences. With a little creativity and ingenuity, your backyard can become a cherished sanctuary where you can connect with nature, unwind, and create lasting memories with loved ones. So go ahead, unleash your imagination, and elevate your outdoor experience!

I ask only that you use a professional who is knowledgeable about plants, materials, and installation methods to avoid any unforeseen mishaps or having to redo the landscape you worked so hard to create. A professional will know from the start the soil and environmental conditions and the

proper way to create the atmosphere you seek. And a true professional will have the proper insurance, certifications, and registrations to safely and legally create the backyard you’ve been waiting for.

Editor’s Note: Gail Woolcott is the Executive Director for the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association. Gail received the New York State Turf & Landscape Association 2022 “Person of the Year” award on December 1, 2022. Gail also received a proclamation from the Westchester County, New York Board of Legislators proclaiming December 1, 2022 as “Gail Woolcott Day” in Westchester County. Gail has also been presented with a community service award from the Borough of Fairview, New Jersey 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 can be reached at 201-703-3600 or by emailing gwoolcott@

Celebrating 95 Years in the Garden State

In the late ‘40s, Mr. Sanders created the company’s number one selling product – “Holly-tone”. At the time, The Espoma Company held close ties with the Holly Society of America’s founding fathers Clarence Wolf and Daniel Fenton. With great insight, Mr. Sanders foresaw the need for a new type of fertilizer specifically designed for hollies and other acidloving plants. After testing several formulations with local nurseries, he pioneered the development of the first organically balanced fertilizer formulated to fulfill the requirements for these types of plants. He called it Holly-tone. It quickly became and still remains the leading choice for professional and amateur gardeners for feeding acid loving plants.

In 1953, Herbert’s son Dean joined the company and eventually took operational control in 1960. Dean expanded the product line by creating what’s been termed the ‘Tone Family’. This family has grown to include premium organic fertilizers such as Plant-tone, Garden-tone, Rose-tone,

(Continued from page 13)

Bulb-tone, and Bio-tone Starter Plus. Not only did the product line expand, but the customer base grew as well. Originally serving the New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. areas, Espoma expanded its distribution throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic region. The manufacturing facility was expanded five times and production began early phases of automation to meet the growing demand.

In 1977, Serge Brunner (Dean’s nephew) joined the company and operational management gradually shifted to him. Serge continued to expand the company’s product line by offering specialty plant foods and supplements. Serge was also responsible for computerizing the company, expanding the manufacturing facility five more times, and for further automating its production processes. He expanded distribution of the product line down to the Carolinas and westward to Ohio and Michigan.

In 1997, Jeremy Brunner (Serge’s

son) joined the company as General Manager and since that time much of the day-to-day management has shifted to him. Jeremy was responsible for redesigning the packaging of Espoma’s products, and expanding the product lines into potting soils, liquid plant foods, and control products. He has also expanded the distribution of Espoma’s products so that they are now available nationwide. Today, Jeremy is the company president. Today, Espoma is the leading provider of organic fertilizers for the retail lawn and garden industry. Espoma offers over 70 organic products and manufactures over 50 million pounds of organic fertilizer per year. This combination of hands-on family ownership, quality products, and a dedicated workforce has allowed The Espoma Company to grow for over 95 years. With this combination the company looks forward to continued growth in the 21st century.

The Espoma Company is a fourth generation, family-owned business

that has been the pioneer in organic gardening in all 50 states. Espoma products work in harmony with nature to grow beautiful lawns and gardens, preserve natural resources, and make a greener world for future generations. I finally got to see where all those red and white bags came from. Congratulations on 95 years, Espoma!!!

Editor’s Note: Tom Castronovo is executive editor and publisher of Gardener News. Tom’s lifelong interest in gardening and passion for agriculture, environmental stewardship, gardening, and landscaping, led to the founding of the Gardener News, which germinated in April 2003 and continues to bloom today. He is also dedicated to providing inspiration and education to the agricultural, gardening, landscaping, nursery, and outdoor living communities through this newspaper and 20 June 2024

We also offer: Colorful Hanging Baskets•Grass Seed•Straw•Jolly Gardener Products Annuals (Vegetables & Flowers)•Perennials•Shrubs•Installation Services June 2024 21

It’s hard to follow a set lawn care program when Mother Nature keeps throwing curves at us. How many years has it been since we experienced “normal” spring weather? It’s not going to happen! Actually, during the growing season the weather has been all over the place for years. How do you follow a dated lawn program when there are too many variables? What am I missing?

This spring is no exception; cold, rainy weather delayed us like many other years. Some say apply your first lawn fertilizer in March/April. But we had many bad weather weekends which did not allow us to apply products in a timely fashion. What about your pre-emergent application to prevent crabgrass? Is it too late to apply these in late spring? It probably is a bit late to apply once you read this article in June. Will you get some crabgrass this summer; did you get a chance to apply any pre-emergent? Did you miss something, an application due to the weather?

Remember in early spring when many of us did not get a chance to spread our first

Turf ‘s Up

What am I missing?

application of fertilizer, then we had a warm spell and the dandelions started popping up all over the place? What do we do about crabgrass?

Are we afraid we will miss something, like an application?

The good news is there is some forgiveness in lawn care products and application timing. The best way to avoid problems from missing an application is a healthy, thickly growing lawn over the years. Like a broken record I’ll repeat myself, if you have followed my articles over the years, hopefully you have a good lawn. A healthy lawn can withstand stress better than a weak lawn, including better heat and drought resistance, weed infestation, insect

damage and fungus attacks.

There are options available in the market that can help you deal with “missing” the perfect timing of product applications. If dandelions came out early and you just fertilized a few weeks ago, you can apply a straight weed killer without fertilizer to avoid excessive lawn growth. The same goes if it rains too much in spring. You can apply straight control products for weeds or insects that do not include fertilizer. What about mowing on time? Did you find many weekends it was raining or too wet to mow? There’s not much advice I can give about this problem. Have your mower ready with sharp blades and do not allow excessive

clippings to clump up on the lawn. These piles of clippings can kill the grass and make it very hard for your mower to mow the next time around. Remove these clippings when necessary.

Now is the time to think about the past few years with your lawn. Do you keep records of your application dates and what other conditions were present? Knowing what and when you applied products in prior years can help direct your future plans for your lawn. Did you have a lot of problems once the spring-green color of your lawn went sour with summer stresses? Are you ready for bugs, fungus, and drought stress to come around? If you

have only fertilized once this year, please do so again before July 4 so your lawn can be as strong as possible. Deep roots and healthy growing grass are the key to short-term and longterm lawn survival. Be sure to avoid lawn applications if extreme hot, humid weather of 85 degrees or more arrives in late June. Consider applying a slow-release organic lawn fertilizer during June months. This will give a nice, easy, gentle feeding to your grass.

So don’t feel bad if you missed a certain lawn application due to weather constraints. We can always fix a problem, although I hope you don’t have any problems. With July and August ahead, I can’t guarantee you will not have lawn problems. Remember, the summer shore season is in full swing. Go to the beach and have some fun.

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: 22 June 2024
SIGN UP TODAY for an E-Newspaper Subscription It’sFastandEasy! Please visit the top right-hand corner of Gardener News Gardener News is the leading Agricultural, Gardening, Landscaping and Nursery industry publication, both online and in print, in the New Jersey metropolitan area. Gardener News is published and disseminated monthly. *Whether you are looking to promote your business, a sale or event, celebrate an expansion, enhance your image or maintain relationships with customers, Gardener News can help meet your advertising goals. Gardener News is written by amazing, credentialed industry professionals, industry leaders and brilliant industry specialists. Gardener News covers local, national and regional farming, forestry, horticultural, landscaping and outdoor industry news. We also feature a wide variety of interesting reading material and great educational tips. Germinated in 2003 June 2024 23 Available at garden centers and hardware stores in your area. Sign up to receive timely lawn t ips Ask for a free copy of our Lawn Care Guide. Discover the Difference of Jonathan Green! Summer is here! 6/24 Open Every Day 7AM to 6PM Family Owned Retail Garden Center for over 40 years! 24 June 2024 THE ULTIMATE BEER LOVER’S EXPERIENCE @njbeerandfoodfestival • • Crystal Springs Resort • Hamburg, NJ Live Music: THE NERDS 200+ Beers, BBQ, Games + Contests! INFO + TICKETS SPONSORED BY

In the Chef’s Corner

Grilled Stuffed Boneless Chicken Thighs with Twice Stuffed Baked Potato

Greetings Gardener News readers. Summer is upon us and possibilities on the grill are endless! This month, I am sharing my recipe for Grilled Stuffed Boneless Chicken Thighs.

This part of the chicken is a portion of the leg (along with the drumstick), cut just above the knee. It is often referred to as the dark meat because of its extra fat content and deeper hue. Chicken thighs are more flavorful than breasts given the higher fat content, with a more intense, rich flavor than the white meat counterparts. Another positive is that thighs are an economical choice, and in this day and age, that is a big plus.

Ingredients needed are 3 tablespoons whiskey (I like Crown Royal Peach), 2 tablespoons honey, 2 minced jalapenos, 4-6 boneless chicken thighs, ½ cup softened cream cheese, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 3 tablespoons light brown sugar and 4-6 slices thick-cut bacon.

In a small bowl, whisk together the whiskey, honey, and jalapenos, then set it aside. In a large saucepan, add the chicken thighs and cover them with water. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes and remove the thighs to cool.

Clean and preheat the smoker or grill to a medium heat. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, garlic, onion powder, dry mustard, and brown sugar.

Return to the cooled chicken thighs. Lay the

thighs out, skin side down. Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture down the middle of each thigh. Fold the thigh over and wrap the skin around. Next, wrap a piece of bacon around the thigh covering the open sides and secure with a toothpick.

Place the thighs on the grill or smoker. If using a grill, be sure to place the thighs on the indirect heat side. Cook/grill for about 10 minutes each side.

Generously baste the thighs with the whiskey glaze. Let them cook for three minutes, flip the thighs, and then baste the opposite side. Cook for another three minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165° degrees F. Remove and baste again prior to serving.

As a side dish, twice stuffed baked potato works well. You will need 8 washed baking potatoes, 2 cubed butter sticks, 8 finely chopped or crumbled slices cooked bacon, 1 cup sour cream, 2 cups divided cheddar jack cheese, 1 cup whole milk, 2 teaspoons seasoned salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for serving and 4 thinly sliced green onions.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Prick each potato with a fork, three to four times. Place on a baking sheet and roast for an hour and 15 minutes or until tender when pressed. Let them rest until cool enough to handle, then reduce the oven temperature to 375°

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the bacon and sour cream. With a sharp knife, cut each potato in half

lengthwise. Scrape out the flesh of the potato and add it to the mixing bowl, being careful not to tear the skin. (Leave a thin layer of potato intact all over the skin so that the filling has some support). Place the potato skins on a baking sheet.

Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes into the butter, bacon, and sour cream. Add one cup of cheese, milk, seasoned salt, three quarters of the green onions and black pepper. Mix well to combine. Then, fill the potato shells evenly with the mashed potato mixture. Divide the remaining one cup of cheese evenly over top of each potato piece. Bake the potatoes once again until golden brown on top and heated through for about 20 minutes. Top evenly with the remaining scallions and a little more black pepper before serving. In addition to the potatoes, grill some corn on the cob and slather with butter.

When choosing wine to go with grilled chicken, it is best to consider the marinade or sauce of the dish. As this one has mustard, my pick would be a whites or light red. The sweetness of the brown sugar will make an off-dry German or Oregon Riesling a perfect pairing. And let’s not leave out dessert. Blueberry crumble bars are ideal. Blueberry picking season starts June 1 and runs through August in New Jersey, so get some fresh ones if you can (though frozen blueberries work just as well). They are especially great with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top. Enjoy! June 2024 25
Editor’s Note: Andy Lagana is a Chef at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, Sussex County, N.J. For more information on its culinary program, visit Celebrate Father’s Day with us! Celebrate Mother’s Day with us! *Award Winning Wine List* Seafood, Steaks, Pasta. Are Our Specialties Daily Lunch & Dinner Specials Family Style Meals To-Go 601 Grand Central Avenue (Rt. 35 North)

News Online 26 June 2024 Full Moon June 21, 2024 Eastern Daylight Savings Advertise in Gardener News Please visit and click on the Advertising Link in the center of the Navigation Bar to view our Media Kit. We can be contacted through our Contact Us Form, also on the Navigation Bar. Thank you! The Premier Gardening Monthly Newspaper Number 254 Published Monthly RESERVE AD SPACE Website: E-Mail: Staff Executive Editor/Publisher ..... Tom Castronovo Art Director ................. Susan F. Kessel Advertising .................. Tom Castronovo 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) 2024 Gardener News, Inc. June 2024 Columnists Tom Castronovo Todd Pretz Gail Woolcott Andrew Bunting Brian Schilling Peter Melick Bob Andrzejczak Bruce Crawford Andy Lagana Joe Atchison III Bert Kuhn Hubert Ling Read The
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