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TAKE ONE

Gardener News

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November 2020

TAKE ONE No. 211

Searching the Earth for Plants of Worth By Tom Castronovo Executive Editor/Publisher Gardener News

Tom Castronovo/Photo

David Williams examines a unique and very decorative Burro’s tail Sedum morganianum in his family’s greenhouse in Westfield, Union County, N.J.

About five years ago, I noticed how succulents were becoming more popular for an indoor plant. In part, I think it was because of how easy it was to get a succulent to grow. What is easier than a plant that you can put on a shelf, ignore it, forget to water it, and still have it live? The number-one cause of killing a succulent, or any indoor plant, is to over water it. I should add that the number-two cause is under watering, but this usually doesn’t happen with succulents. I did a test for how long a succulent can go without water on an echeveria in my kitchen. How long do you think it could go? An echeveria is a succulent plant on which the leaves grow in a rosette shape. Their colors vary from green, to pink, purple and silver. I had planted a grey echeveria in a Captain America pot when Avengers: Infinity War was released in 2018. I watered him once when I planted him. The next time I watered this stylish plant was June 1st of this year! This is an extreme case. The plant is still alive, but not exactly thriving. It is starting to flower. The point is, you can get by with watering your succulent only minimally. In other words they thrive on neglect. Because of this, they are extremely popular indoor plants. Echeveria typically don’t require pruning except to remove the faded flower stems. (They only bloom in high-light situations; if you’re growing them indoors and they don’t get enough brightness, your echeveria may not bloom.) Plant education is the best at keeping them alive and thriving. Don’t you think?

Succulents have many different colors and shapes. Some people collect different plants based on their shapes or habits. One of the more popular and fun plants to collect are “Strings of Things.” Most of these are succulents, and they are grown as potted plants or hanging baskets. It’s almost unbelievable how many different strings there can be. Just to name a few, there are Strings of Arrows, Bananas, Beads, Beans, Fish Hooks, Frogs, Hearts, Needles, Nickels, Pearls, Peas, Spades & Turtles. The plant gets its name generally from the shape of the leaf that repeats along the stem. Last year, one of the most popular was the String of Dolphins, Senecio peregrinus. Each leaf is its own steely grey colored dolphin. Each stem is like having its own little pod. This is a great, fun plant for kids and adults alike. The genus Senecio is a succulent and should be put in a bright window indoors. The ideal light is a southern window with five to six hours of morning sun. One of the parents used in the cross of String of Dolphins was String of Pearls, Senecio rowleyanus. String of Pearls is extremely popular. Each leaf looks like a perfectly round pearl. When you look at one strand, it resembles a length of pearl necklace. There is a variation to String of Pearls which is variegated. A variegated plant generally will have different color zones on the leaves and stems. Variegated plants are very rare in the wild. Generally, there is a one-in-10,000 chance in a plant developing a variegation. Out of these, only a small percentage of them are commercial viable. Since the variegation means that the plant has less chlorophyll, then the variegated plant is usually slower growing. These factors make many of the variegated plants (Cont. on Page 15)


2 November 2020

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November 2020 3

Around The Garden By Tom Castronovo Gardener News

The Fragrance and Ambiance of a Christmas Tree The first day of the Choose and Cut Christmas tree season is usually the day after Thanksgiving. For those of you who do not know the meaning of a Choose and Cut farm operation, please allow me to explain. Choose and Cut farm operations allow you to visit a tree farm, select a Christmas tree and cut it yourself. The key feature to consider is its freshness. If you are cutting your own tree, the tree will be as fresh as you can get. This year will most likely be different with social distancing and masks. The ongoing pandemic has altered many parts of our lives. I hope a tree farm experience and a beautiful Christmas tree in your home will provide a sense of normalcy, togetherness, and unity for your family and friends. I’m sure that the farm owners have worked hard to continue many of the farm activities and experiences you’ve enjoyed in previous years. However, in several cases, I bet they have altered how you’ll experience them this year with an eye toward safety. Most farms will probably not have Santa this year. You’ll just have to wait until Christmas Eve. The National Christmas Tree Association has developed best practice recommendations for Choose and Cut farm operations to use as guidance during this year’s Christmas season. Choose and Cut farms are encouraged to follow these recommendations: Frequently sanitize items and areas such as hand saws, tree cart handles, counter tops, door handles and restrooms; limit the number of customers permitted inside buildings, minimize or eliminate wagon rides, fire pits, or other places that people gather; supply no-touch garbage receptacles; do not erect photo op “cut-outs” where faces come in contact; 0ffer individually bagged food items instead of self-serve loose items such as cookies; provide a server for drinks instead of offering self-serve. Require all dogs to be on a leash, or discourage dogs, as they cause unnecessary interaction among customers; encourage customers to tie their own trees on their vehicles by offering an instructional video; install windows or plexiglass partitions at sales counters; offer curbside pick-up; use a touchless pay credit card system; price products to limit the use of coins; eliminate the need for customer signatures on credit card transactions. Take staff temperature daily, provide PPE for all employees, do not permit staff exhibiting symptoms of illness to come to work; encourage customers to visit during non-peak hours; create special hours for select customers (elderly and at risk); advise customers that you reserve the right to deny service to anyone displaying signs of illness or not following farm guidelines. Have sanitizing stations available to staff and

customers; request masks be worn by those able to do so without adverse health impacts; require masks be worn when social distancing is not possible, as on wagon rides to fields or in checkout lines. To ensure Christmas-tree freshness, the Association recommends the following: Before placing the tree in a stand, cut off two inches from the base of a trunk; make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat sources, such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights; make sure the tree is NOT blocking an exit; be sure to add water to the tree stand; don’t be surprised if the tree drinks a lot of water the first day; continue to water the tree daily; use lights that have been tested by a recognized testing laboratory; check to see if your lights are rated for indoor use, outdoor use or both; replace any strand of lights if they have a worn or broken cord or have loose bulb connections; read manufacturers’ recommendations on how many strands can be connected; never use candles to decorate a tree; always turn off Christmas tree lights before going to bed or leaving the house. Before the Christmas tree season ends, check with your local community to see if they have a Christmas tree recycling program this year. If not, think about the birds before disposing of it in the trash. The easiest way to help birds with your Christmas tree is to put it outdoors as an impromptu brush pile. Propped up against a fence or shed, the boughs and needles will provide an instant windbreak and safe winter shelter for small birds. Also, discarded Christmas trees are invaluable for protecting sensitive shorelines. When positioned properly, the trees catch and hold sand and keep it from vanishing during winter storms and spring runoff. You can also cut off the boughs and lay them over perennial beds to protect them from snow and reduce frost heaving. If you have a lake or pond on your property, consider submerging your tree into the water. The tree will help provide a natural and decomposing habitat for fish and will attract algae for them to eat. If you are not able to visit a Choose and Cut tree farm this year, I’m sure your local garden center can provide you with a similar fresh experience. Rest-easy! There is no evidence that COVID19 can be transmitted on plants or plant products, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension/New York State Integrated Pest Management. Before harvesting or selecting a fresh tree this year, please check it for spotted lanternfly egg masses. If you happen to find one, simply scape it off and discard it. You can kill eggs by putting them into doubled bags, alcohol, or by smashing them. Destruction of spotted lanternfly egg masses has been shown to help reduce the population levels going into the spring.

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

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4 November 2020 This November marks the end of one era for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and the beginning of another. By the end of the month, our Department is scheduled to move from our longtime offices on South Warren Street in Trenton to more modern settings in the state buildings next to the Trenton Thunder’s ballpark. Like any move, there’s lots of work to do and I know our talented staff will be up to the task. This is the last move I think we will have to encounter for a while, as our Animal Health and Plant Industry divisions, along with the Division of Food & Nutrition, have all relocated to other buildings, leaving the divisions of Marketing & Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources (“Ag and Nat”), the in-but-not-of State Agriculture Development Committee (“SADC”) and the Office of the Secretary and central staff. The offices Warren Street buildings date back to the mid1960s, before many of our current employees were born. It’s a two-building complex – one cylindrical and one a cube – with a connecting skywalk. The circular building housed our laboratories for the Divisions of Animal Health and Plant Industry until about

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

NJDA Office Move Marks a New Beginning a decade ago, when those were moved to the new Public Health, Agriculture and Environmental Laboratory (PHEAL) building in West Trenton. A greenhouse just outside that building also has been unused for quite some time. For many Department employees, some with 40-plus years of service, the Warren Street offices have been the only “work home” they’ve known. For those longtime staffers, leaving that building is sure to be a culture shock. Those offices were our home during the creation of the renowned Jersey Fresh marketing program, which, next year, will mark its 37th year as the premier statesponsored agriculture-products promotional effort. It’s where our offices were housed when New Jersey launched the nation’s most aggressive effort to preserve farmland and prevent more

of it from being developed. The Farmland Preservation Program, overseen by the SADC, is approaching a quartermillion acres of permanently preserved farmland. It was the base of operations for the Department as we took on the challenges of the Asian longhorned beetle, “mad cow” disease, soil conservation, and becoming the second state in the nation (after Texas) to move its school-feeding programs from the Department of Education to the Department of Agriculture. These offices also housed the Department when there was a half-baked proposal to eliminate us as a way of saving money in the State budget. A massive rally and “tractorcade” featuring more than 1,000 farmers and 150 tractors outside the Statehouse, along with the realization that eliminating the Agriculture Department in the “Garden

State” wasn’t such a great look, spared us from that axe. I can’t help but think of all the changes taking place with this exercise and the past practices and memories over the 55-plus years we have shared the buildings with our sister agency, the Department of Health, which is moving to a new building being constructed just behind State Street. These offices once housed a system that saw someone dictate a letter to one employee, have the dictation handed off to another employee to write the letter on a typewriter, then have it reviewed and edited before being sent, with several “carbon copies,” aka “mimeographs” (kids, ask your parents or grandparents) being made for the files. Interestingly, the design of the Warren Street buildings reflected the emerging “Space Age” of the 1960s. The round building always brought to my

mind a Sputnik satellite. Yet, they were built before anyone had a home computer, cable television, or a phone without a bell inside of it. The buildings also were constructed before attention was paid to conserving resources or energy. The single-pane glass in the windows made for wild indoor temperature swings. As we know from daily life, change now comes fast and furious. Who knows? A future relocation may be building-less, non-housed and totally virtual. While we welcome the updated environs of our new offices (as well as the occasional chance to walk to a ballgame after work), we will no doubt miss our longstanding home.

Editor’s Note: Douglas H. Fisher is New Jersey’s Secretary of Agriculture. He is the department’s executive officer, secretary to the State Board of Agriculture and a member of the Governor’s cabinet. Secretary Fisher fulfills executive, management and administrative duties prescribed by law, executive order or gubernatorial direction. He can be reached at 609.292.3976. For more info, please visit: http:// www.state.nj.us/agriculture

Space Nematodes: A Giant Leap for Interplanetary Agriculture In a successful return-to-space mission, research study results indicate that beneficial insect-killing nematodes (small round worms) can be used in the future for natural control of insect pests when humans are growing crops in space. The research objective was to study entomopathogenic (insect-killing) nematodes (EPNs) foraging and infection dynamics in space onboard the International Space Station (ISS) between December 2019 and January 2020. These beneficial roundworms may have “what it takes” for controlling pest insects that threaten crops grown aboard during long-term human missions in space. That’s the implication of findings from experiments conducted aboard the ISS and published in the journal npj|Microgravity. EPNs are insect parasites used to naturally control insect pests that damage crops, that’s why investigating the efficacy of EPNs in a unique environment like

the one provided by the ISS (e.g. an apparent state of weightlessness) could help establish successful agriculture and plant protection in space. Here on Earth, insects have great abilities for finding, eating and multiplying in their favorite plants and crops. Nowadays, with a very dynamic world travel scene and extensive commercial activities, it is even easier for insects to move around globally and wreak havoc on crops. Now there is concern that these pests could extend their abilities (and appetite!) to crops grown in space for long term travel or habitation. “As we look into a future when crops will be grown in space, we expect that beneficial nematodes will offer one of a kind opportunities to establish agriculture for long-term space exploration.” said Dr. David Shapiro-Ilan, ARS Supervisory Research Entomologist at the Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Station in Byron, Georgia

and co-project director. Another startling finding was that nematodes born on Earth returned showing no problems, but those born and developed in space (under weightlessness conditions) had a hard time (or died) upon return to Earth. It is suspected that they became stressed upon re-entry to Earth due to the pressure of being exposed to “normal” gravity. This may be an important issue for long-duration space flights of nematodes to destinations such as Mars. Nematodes may need to be transported in a different developmental stage to ensure they survive on their destination planet. This agricultural biocontrol experiment in space gives insight to long-term space flight for symbiotic organisms, parasite biology, and the potential for sustainable crop protection in space,” said Dr. Fatma Kaplan, CEO of Pheronym. This EPNs space mission research was a collaborative effort led by Dr.

Fatma Kaplan, CEO of Pheronym, award-winning ag-biotech pest management company that enables sustainable farming through its novel platform of nematode pheromones, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory) and USDAARS (Agricultural Research Service) co-project director research leader Dr. David Shapiro-Ilan. The research was sponsored by the ISS National Lab, who partners with NASA to utilize the U.S. research allocation aboard the orbiting laboratory. Source: The Agricultural Research Service is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific in-house research agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural problems affecting America. Each dollar invested in agricultural research results in $20 of economic impact.


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

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From the Director’s Desk

Rutgers Outreach Provided by Brian Schilling Director

A Season of Change at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station July 1, 2020 ushered in a new chapter in leadership and organizational structure at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS). We saw two long-serving, outstanding leaders return to the faculty – Dr. Robert Goodman, Executive Dean of SEBS and Executive Director of NJAES since 2005, and Dr. Bradley Hillman, NJAES Director of Research since 2006. Dr. Goodman leaves a track record of strategic investments in faculty and their expertise in teaching and research will prepare our students to serve society and its needs and build our research excellence. Dr. Hillman’s leadership in growing the NJAES’ research portfolio and making sound investments in infrastructure, new programs, and faculty and staff have expanded the research capabilities and impacts of NJAES to provide a strong foundation for the future. We thank Dr. Goodman and Dr. Hillman for their commitment and service to SEBS/NJAES! We welcomed Dr. Laura Lawson, who serves as the Interim Executive Dean of SEBS and Interim Executive Director of NJAES. Dr. Lawson has been a faculty member at SEBS for the past 10 years, serving as Professor, Department Chair of Landscape Architecture, Dean of Agriculture and Urban Programs, and Dean of Academic Programs.  Her scholarship on urban agriculture and community open space has found a perfect home in the Garden State, and she enjoys working in many diverse communities across New Jersey. As Dr. Lawson takes on these new roles, she is committed to tackling critical challenges of our time – from climate change to food insecurity, from resource sustainability to human and animal wellness, and importantly, supporting diversity, equity, and accessibility in all we do. July 1 also saw the initiation of a new co-director leadership structure for NJAES. This organizational approach provides effective management of resources to build a strong NJAES infrastructure, deliver on our historic mission and commitment to support New Jersey’s agricultural base and allied industries, and grow our research excellence, while at the same time, further our reach into New Jersey communities served by dedicated Rutgers Cooperative Extension personnel and programs in all 21 counties. NJAES is now led by three co-directors: Wendie Cohick, as the Director of Research; Peggy BrennanTonetta, as Director of Administration and Strategic Development; and Brian Schilling, who since 2018 has served as the Director of Cooperative Extension. Dr. Cohick serves as both Director of Research for NJAES and Dean of Research and Graduate Education for SEBS. She has primary responsibility

for overseeing the SEBS & NJAES research portfolio to assure their success and excellence. This includes promoting interdisciplinary research collaborations among Rutgers faculty; coordinating the missions of SEBS-based institutes and centers with NJAES and departmental research goals; managing strategic investment in research infrastructure and core facilities, and strengthening graduate and postdoctoral training. Dr. Cohick has been with SEBS since 1996, serving as a Professor and Department Chair in Animal Sciences. Her training is in animal science from Cornell University, and her research expertise is in endocrine regulation of mammary gland biology and breast cancer. Dr. Brennan-Tonetta, as Director of Administration and Strategic Development, has responsibility for strategically deploying and utilizing NJAES assets and budgets for on- and off-campus farms, research stations, incubators, and auxiliary units. She also works with program leadership to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of these operations so that they generate meaningful economic development impacts. Additionally, Dr. Brennan-Tonetta leads NJAES economic development programs, NJAES state and federal government relations activities, and outreach for NJAES engagement within the broader Rutgers community. Dr. Brennan-Tonetta is an alumna of SEBS and has been a part of the SEBS/NJAES community for more than 20 years, serving as Associate Director of NJAES since 2006. She is an economist specializing in economic development and entrepreneurship, impact assessment, and bioenergy economics and policy. Under Dr. Schilling’s leadership, Rutgers Cooperative Extension delivers innovative, responsive, science-based educational programming in agriculture, environmental and resource stewardship, youth development, personal and family health, and other areas of need that help New Jersey residents and communities. Dr. Schilling is also an alumnus of SEBS and has served in key leadership positions and as a professor at SEBS/NJAES since 1993. His research in land use and agricultural policy is well-recognized and a valuable resource to state policymakers. The leadership at NJAES works as a collaborative, integrated team. Our goal is to deliver excellence in research, education and outreach as we strive to be responsive to the changing needs of our constituents through-out the state. We are here when you need us! For all the latest resources at the recently updated NJAES website, visit: https://njaes.rutgers.edu. New materials on home, lawn and garden, and family health and wellness, including best practices during COVID, are available.

Editor’s note: This month’s contribution was written by Drs. Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, Wendie Cohick, and Brian Schilling.


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

November 2020 7

An Aster to be More Widely Distributed Sometimes, you simply need to work with a plant for a number of years before you can totally appreciate that plant. For the past 16 years, I have used Aster oblongifolius, commonly known as Aromatic Aster, in various designs and seen it at various public gardens. It struck me as a good plant, but it was not until this past year that I came to the dumbfounded realization that this was a very garden-worthy plant, needing wider recognition. Perhaps one of its challenges for gardener recognition is the plant’s very name, since the genus name changed from Aster to Symphyotrichum. Fortunately, the plant remains a member of the Aster family or Asteraceae. The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) first penned the genus name of Aster in 1753. It is derived from the Greek Astḗr for sun, describing how the flowers resemble a glowing star. The species epithet This Lifelong Learning column is dedicated to amplifying innovations in teaching and learning - spotlighting educational and professional development courses and webinars available at Rutgers throughout the year. Please visit the website at the bottom to obtain the full list of classes available. We R Here When You Need Us. While distance education has been around for quite some time (you will learn more about this below), the extended effects of the pandemic continue to transform our educational lives in many new ways, specifically, the way we learn and receive education and training. Additionally, an entire new vocabulary has been thrust upon us – WebEx, Zoom, Group Chat, Voice Thread, Synchronous, Asynchronous, VPN, Bandwidth, Buffering, and some other saltier terms when an internet connection freezes or drops you from a call. Subsequently, these terms, along with the increased propensity of virtual learning, will remain long after the impacts of the coronavirus subside. Colleges and universities across the globe have been vehemently converting their educational offerings to remote online formats. Rutgers is among the nation’s leading research universities to immediately respond to the changing needs of our diverse student body – including our professional and home

describes the oblong shape of the foliage and was crafted by the English botanist Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859), who conducted numerous botanizing excursions in North America and named it in 1818. The name Symphyotrichum was first authored in 1832 by the German botanist Christen Gottfried Daniel Ness von Esenbeck (1776-1858) while studying the New York Aster. He crafted it from the Greek Sỳmphsis, meaning coming together or coalescing, and Trich for hair. In 1995, the American botanist Guy L. Nesum (1945- ) noted the difference in DNA structure throughout the Asteraceae and proposed splitting the family into six genera, resurrecting the yet unused name authored by Esenbeck over 100 years prior. Fortunately, the plant is far easier to grow than understanding the complex history of its name. Native throughout Eastern and Central North America, the plants grow to one to three feet in height and are strongly branched,

creating a very dense plant. Its habit provides an advantage over many of the taller asters, since it does not require staking or pinching. The alternate foliage is largest near the base of the plant, reaching one and a half inches long by a half-inch wide, diminishing to a half-inch long near the tips of the stems. The foliage smells similar to balsam when crushed, providing the common name of Fragrant Aster. The plants are not a favorite of browsing deer, which may be a consequence of the aromatic foliage. Plants grow well in sunny locations, as well as open woodlands, or in the light shade of small trees. It adapts well to rocky or sandy soils, as well as moister soils with a higher silt and clay content. Flowers begin to appear in September, with some plants still displaying flowers well into November. The flower heads are one to one and a quarter inches in diameter, with 20 to 35 outer petal-like ray flowers varying from light to dark blue

or purplish blue in color. The central disc florets are initially yellow, contrasting nicely with the ray florets, and age to a reddish purple. There are two excellent cultivars on the market. “October Skies” is a selection I first started to use 15 years ago and is responsible for my initial fascination with this plant. It is a compact selection, growing to 18 inches tall, and the cultivar name reflects the deep blue skies of autumn. The other great selection is “Raydon’s Favorite.” Mr. Raydon Alexander was a horticulturist in San Antonio, Texas, and called it his favorite in a letter to Allen Bush of Holbrock Farms in 1991. Introduced in 1992, the plant starts to bloom in midOctober and continues well into November in central New Jersey. An ideal plant for lateseason interest, as well as a great benefit for the pollinators. Fragrant Aster is a wonderful plant to mass as a groundcover, to plant amongst ornamental grasses or use as pops of midautumn color in the garden.

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

Lifelong Learning

horticulture/gardener audiences. With over 175 programs converted since March, the Office of Continuing Professional Education remains committed to providing the highest quality of education – remotely – as we have for over one hundred years of in-person training. Listed below are a handful of sessions available this Fall. November Trivia Question: When was the first distance-learning course offered? Spotlight Series: This month’s spotlight series is the Rutgers Online Classes for Landscape, Turf, and Tree Care Professionals. New for 2020, we are now offering self-paced and live ONLINE courses covering various landscaping, grounds management, environmental, and tree care topics. These online programs provide you with the opportunity to gain valuable professional skills and earn the continuing education credits you

need, all from the comfort and safety of your own computer or mobile device. November Sessions: Introduction to Plant Identification (2-Day Course) November 4-5, 2020 (9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.). The Woody Plants of Summer: Native Plants (2-Day Course) November 10-11, 2020 (9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.). Diseases and Pests of Trees (2-Day Course) November 13 & 20, 2020 (9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.). The Woody Plants of Summer: Plants from Abroad (2-Day Course) November 16-17, 2020 (9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.). Snow and Ice Removal for Municipalities and Public Grounds November 18, 2020 (8:30 a.m. - Noon). Municipal Shade Tree Management November 23, 2020 (9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.). December Sessions: CORE Training for NJ Pesticide Applicators December 4-10, 2020 (4 Hours Self-Paced). Managing Turfgrass Insects: Introduction to

Insects December 4, 2020 (9:00 a.m. Noon). Soil and Plant Relationships (4-Day Course) December 7, 8, 14 & 15, 2020 (9:00 a.m. - Noon). Caring for Ornamental Plants (2-Day Course). December 10-11, 2020 (9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.). Managing Turfgrass Insects: Identification, Biology, and Special Control Considerations December 16, 2020 (9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.). Basics of Turfgrass Management: Part 1 December 21, 2020, and Basics of Turfgrass Management: Part 2 December 22, 2020 (9:00 a.m. – Noon). Trivia Answer: You may be surprised to learn that Distance Education (also known as correspondence courses) dates back to the 18th century. The first documented distance learning course occurred in Boston, where lessons were sent by “snail” mail. The course was even marketed in a printed news publication - in similar fashion to this

During the 16 years I have worked with the plant, it has not required division or care, other than removing the previous year’s stems each spring. I cannot but think of the opening line of Raydon Alexander’s note to Allen Bush: “I am taking the liberty of sending you an aster that should, I think, be more widely distributed.” I cannot agree more!

Editor’s Note: Bruce Crawford is a lover of plants since birth, is the Rutgers State Program Leader for Home and Public Horticulture, a part time lecturer in Landscape Architecture at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, regularly participates in the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education Program, and Past President of the Garden State Gardens Consortium. He can be reached at crawford@njaes. rutgers.edu. column. In 1728, the Boston Gazette ran an advertisement for a course in the “…new method of Short Hand.” Teacher Caleb Phillips mailed his weekly lessons to eager students. Fast forward nearly three centuries, this revolutionary approach to learning has evolved into an entire industry of Online Education. Keep in mind, this course was offered nearly 50 years before Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general in 1775 - and nearly 70 years before the Postal Service Act of 1792. Mr. Phillips was definitely an 18th century entrepreneur! Visit CPE.RUTGERS.EDU to learn more about the hundreds of programs available at OCPE, Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station all year long! Learning Never Ends for the New Jersey Gardener!

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


8 November 2020

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GardenerNews.com Did you know that your landscape can be used to increase the energy efficiency of your home? If you have been thinking about how you’d like to cut your home energy costs (aren’t we all at this time of year?), you might want to take a second look at your landscaping. Energy-efficient landscaping can reduce your household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by as much as 25 percent, according to energy. gov. I certainly wouldn’t mind saving that much on my utility bills! Proper placement of trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and hedges lets you modify the microclimate around your home to maximize shade during the summer and reduce wind chill during the winter. Energy-efficient home landscaping is one of the best investments you can make, because aside from its potential to increase the resale value of your property (and it looking beautiful), it can generate enough savings to return your initial investment quite fast. So, where can you start with this exciting new landscaping adventure? Well, of course, reach out to your landscape professional, and consider the following: There are countless landscaping strategies for

November 2020 9 The NJLCA Today By Gail Woolcott Executive Director

Energy-Saving Landscaping

energy conservation, but not all of them may be appropriate for your property. Before you plant those evergreens in your backyard, assess the comfort and energy shortcomings of your current landscaping. Things like the property’s microclimate, house location, and the presence of surrounding structures will influence your energy-efficient landscape plan. Microclimate is the climate immediately surrounding your home, and along with the regional climate, it helps determine which plants and trees will thrive and provide the best energy-saving benefit to your home. Your house’s location affects your exposure to the sun, wind, and water, consequently shaping your landscaping needs. Nearby buildings, walls, trees, and bodies of water can produce significant climatic effects that would impact your strategy. A thorough analysis of your property’s features by

a professional will help you to create an energy-efficient landscape plan that addresses your needs and goals. Thoughtfully planned landscaping can reduce your air-conditioning costs in the summer by providing shade from the hot morning and afternoon sun. Deciduous trees (i.e. Eastern Hemlock, Red Maple, River Birch, Norway Spruce, etc.) will block the sun’s heat in the summer but let it in during the winter. Plant these on the south side of your home. Landscapes that maximize shade can reduce temperature inside the home by as much as eight to 10 degrees. Shading the AC unit will also increase its efficiency and shading the ground and pavement with trees, shrubs, and groundcover reduces surrounding air temperatures. Other heatreducing landscape ideas include building a trellis for climbing vines to shade a patio and planting a row of shrubs to

shade a driveway. By the way, if you have solar panels, make sure that the shade from the trees will not block the panels on your roof (now or 25 years from now). Diverting the flow of cold winds like we often get in New Jersey helps cut down your home heating costs in the winter. Trees, shrubs, bushes, walls, and fences make effective windbreaks for winterprotection. You can achieve adequate wind protection by planting evergreen trees and shrubs along the north and northwest areas of your property. Windbreaks can decrease wind speed for a distance as much as 30 times its height, although maximum wind protection occurs at two to five times the mature height of windbreaks (www.energy. gov). A well-designed landscape will provide energy savings year-round. Shrubs, bushes and vines planted close to your

house will insulate your home in both winter and summer. Plant so there will be at least one foot of space between fullgrown plants and your home’s wall. Some other thoughts for saving money include planting more native, drought resistant plant material to save on water and time and solar panels, but those are stories for another day! Reducing my household energy consumption by a possible 25 percent has motivated me to start looking around my yard. Have a wonderful holiday season and as we all are, I’m looking forward to 2021!

Editor’s note: Gail Woolcott is the Executive Director 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.

Bobcat Company Introduces New Large Excavator Attachments Bobcat Company, a global leader in compact equipment, is widening its attachment offering with the introduction of new large excavator attachments. The versatile lineup includes the Bobcat® trenching bucket, grading bucket and pin grabber, as well as main pin and pro-link thumb attachments paired specifically with the E145 and E165 large excavators. Heavy-Duty Trenching Bucket The new heavy-duty trenching bucket makes light work out of the heaviest digging. Operators can equip their E145 excavator with 24-, 25- and 42-inch sizing options to upgrade their capabilities on the jobsite. Heavy-Duty Grading Bucket The versatile, heavy-duty grading bucket helps deliver added capacity for operators working to move material on the jobsite. The bucket is especially beneficial for operators looking to easily finish, grade, backfill or clean ditches. This attachment can be pinned on, quick coupled or utilized with a thumb. Hydraulic Quick Coupler With the hydraulic quick coupler, operators can

easily switch out their attachment. The coupler uses a pin grabber style and will only release in a curled position to ensure safe and secure coupling. Operators can change attachments from the security of the large excavator cab. Plus, there are no grease points, so maintenance is kept at a minimum. HT Thumbs (Main Pin) HT thumbs use a hydraulic cylinder to give operators up to 137 degrees of rotation. The HT thumbs are compatible with 36- and 42-inch buckets. This attachment is beneficial for operators in demolition and land-clearing applications. Pro-Link Thumbs Progressive link thumbs provide up to 180 degrees of rotation for unmatched versatility on the jobsite. The thumbs follow the bucket throughout the entire work cycle, improving material pickup and placement close to the machine. The new thumbs are compatible with 36- and 42-inch buckets. ABOUT BOBCAT COMPANY Bobcat Company is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and distribution of compact

equipment. Headquartered in West Fargo, North Dakota, Bobcat offers a complete line of compact equipment including: skid-steer, all-wheel steer, mini track and compact track loaders; excavators; VersaHANDLER® telescopic tool carriers; utility vehicles; Toolcat™ utility work machines; compact tractors; small articulated loaders; zeroturn mowers; attachments and implements. As a global brand with a worldwide network of dealers and distributors, Bobcat is the industry’s original innovator, beginning in 1958 with the first compact machine and predecessor to the skid-steer loader. Bobcat continues to lead the industry by offering quality product solutions and technologies to empower people to accomplish more. For more information, visit Bobcat.com. Certain specification(s) are based on engineering calculations and are not actual measurements. Specification(s) are provided for comparison purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Specification(s) for your individual Bobcat equipment will vary based on normal variations in design, manufacturing, operating conditions, and other factors.


10 November 2020 Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Leads New USDA Direct Marketing and Agritourism Project Targeting Mid-Atlantic Region Rutgers University is partnering with New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania State University, Farmer Direct Marketing Association, and other local stakeholders to lead a new project to expand value‐added marketing opportunities for small famers in the Mid‐Atlantic region of the U.S. Ramu Govindasamy, professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, is principal investigator of the USDA-funded project, “Local Food, Direct Marketing, and Agritourism Activities as Value‐Added Opportunities for Small Farmers in the Mid‐ Atlantic United States.” “The overall goal of this project is to establish and develop a successful partnership fostering collaboration and sharing of best practices of local food direct marketing and agritourism activities, with a focus on boosting small farm profitability in the mid-Atlantic U.S,” says Govindasamy. This study focuses mainly on documenting the characteristics of patrons, product attributes of local food direct marketing outlets and developing forecasting models to predict customer base, patronage rate, spending behavior, and other related characteristics so that the farmers can better target specific population segments to increase profits. “The results of the study will help to form a coalition of all relevant stakeholders in the mid-mid-Atlantic U.S to promote direct marketing and agri-tourism industry in the region,” adds Govindasamy. The two-year project is funded at $98,488 by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA, through the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program and includes co-investigators Brian Schilling, Richard VanVranken, Isaac Vellangany, Steven Komar, Joe Atchison, Peter Nitzsche, Hemant Gohil and consultant Kathleen Kelley. According to the USDA’s Small Farm Commission Report, the steady decline of the viability of the small farm economy has negatively impacted the health of the environment, farmworkers, and communities. The report further determined that global operations and interests are increasingly replacing local production and distribution as small and medium farmers are regularly squeezed out of business by high input costs, low prices for their products and poor access to markets. In addition, agribusiness mergers and consolidations result in the loss of market competition and fair market access for independent farmers. The report further calls for USDA to “develop an inter-agency initiative to promote and foster local and regional food systems featuring farmers markets, community gardens, Community Supported Agriculture, and direct marketing to school lunch programs,” which is the focus of this new Rutgers-led project. The concept of local food direct marketing is popularly used as a mechanism to connect farmers to customers, resulting in enhanced profitability for local farms. Local food direct marketing allows farmers, especially those in the mid-Atlantic states in the U.S., to capture a greater share of marketing margin instead of spending on the packaging, marketing, transporting and other services needed to bring farm products to the consumers. As Govindasamy explains, since mid-Atlantic U.S consumers appreciate the quality and value of sourcing fresh agricultural products directly from the farmer, they are also open to patronizing other unique farm-based activities such as agritourism, community-supported agriculture, and pick-yourown. These economic opportunities can motivate farmers to identify consumer trends, shopping habits and value-added product purchasing demands to enhance their direct marketing efforts towards profitable on-farm agricultural activities.

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GCNJ’s Blue Star Memorial Projects in the Garden State By Jeannie Geremia Contributing Writer This year has brought a sea change in how we view our world, but some things remain constant and give us pride, reflection, purpose and a renewed appreciation for the sacrifices our United States Armed Forces have given to us throughout our history. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice of life, others wounds, both physical and mental, from the Revolutionary War to date in our country and in far-flung places throughout the world. They are our heroes, now and forever, and in this year of particular distress due to a global pandemic, followed by crises after crises and natural disasters, we are reminded of the gifts of liberty and freedom that we are blessed with. America has long been a beacon of liberty and freedom to the world, and The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc. is proud to extol our nation’s heroes by honoring them with Blue Star Memorials, the project begun in New Jersey in 1944. It is fitting that two of our new Blue Star dedications will occur on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020. “The History of the Blue Star Memorial Program Project” was the front page article in the November 2019 issue of Gardener News, this back issue available on Gardener News website at www. GardenerNews.com and The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc.’s website at www.gardenclubofnewjersey.org (go to the third circle on Home Page, click OUR NEWSLETTER, and up will come Periodicals, including Gardener News). This article provides a detailed account of the proud role The Garden Club of New Jersey President Helen Hull, her roadside Chair, Elizabeth Hood, and the New Jersey State Highway Commissioner, Spencer Miller, Jr., played in seeking to honor our men and women from New Jersey returning from World War II battlefields by a plan that called for a five-mile planting of flowering dogwood trees in a landscaped area along U.S. Route 22 (old Rt. 29) between Mountainside and North Plainfield, “where all who passed might share in the beauty and

homage. The blue star of the service flag would be its name.” The Blue Star had its origins during World War I, with the Congressional Record stating: “The world should know of those who give so much for liberty. The dearest thing in all the world to father and mother – their children.” A service flag was created, a field of white bordered by red with a blue star in the center, standing for hope and pride. This service flag is hung in a front window and replaced by a gold star for a fallen soldier or a silver star for a wounded and disabled soldier returned home from the battlefield. This project begun by the GCNJ and the NJDOT has continued to this day and this project became National Garden Clubs, Inc., GCNJ’s parent organization, most celebrated and revered project ever undertaken. Well, over 3,000 Blue Star markers have been erected throughout the United States as we continue this great project serving as a tribute to the United States Armed Forces. Last November’s article outlined our goal in erecting at least one Blue Star Memorial Marker in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties, and the good news is that we erected a Blue Star Memorial marker in Haddonfield, Kings Highway, the installation was done, August 14th, 2020, with The Haddonfield Garden Club sponsoring this first Blue Star in Camden County and dedication to occur on November 11, 2020. West Trenton Garden Club had a Blue Star dedication on November 9th, 2019 at Birmingham Park, Ewing Township, Mercer County, jointly sponsored by West Trenton Garden Club and the DOT, thanks to the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Lois Johnan and the Good Neighbor grant the DOT provided. The DOT’s Good Neighbor grants are currently at a standstill as the COVID-19 virus has caused havoc with the need for employees of the state of New Jersey to work safely from home and necessary budget restraints put into play as we deal with these unprecedented times. The NJDOT’s landscape contractor was unable to perform, so we are tasking our garden clubs throughout the state to inform us

of any Blue Star site that is in need of maintenance as the GCNJ will work with our clubs, local civic organizations and the NJDOT to refurbish and maintain them. The Garden Club of New Jersey and NJDOT are proud to announce that two Blue Star Memorial Markers are ordered and in production for a site in Cape May County, 2901 Route 9 South near a DOT Maintenance Facility, and a site in Passaic County, Paterson Hamburg Turnpike (Route 23) Rest Area and Picnic Facility. These two sites will have their Blue Star Memorial dedication in 2021, leaving only three remaining counties without a Blue Star Memorial. The Greater Woodbury Garden Club is working to erect one in Woodbury in Gloucester County in 2021. We hope to have one in Sussex County at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, and in Hudson County at Liberty State Park in Jersey City in 2021 as we celebrate the installation of the GCNJ’s Past President Mary Warshauer (2009-2011) as National Garden Clubs, Inc. President in spring of 2021. It’s my honor to relate that my local garden club, the Neshanic Garden Club, has sponsored a Blue Star Memorial Marker that has been installed in September 2020 on the grounds of the Hillsborough Municipal Complex, just a short distance from the Veteran’s Way Monument, facing Beekman Lane in Somerset County. Mums have already been planted, followed by spring bulbs with Affinity Bank providing two benches at the site. The dedication will be held on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020 with local garden club members and officials in attendance. A shout out to Skip Stabile, for his ongoing dedication of maintaining the Blue Star Byway Memorial marker in Watchung at the intersection of Watchung Avenue and Somerset Street, originally sponsored by Watchung Garden Club. Skip Stabile also has helped to maintain the original Blue Star Memorial site on Route 22 (North Drive) that was erected in 1944 and rededicated in 1993 in North Plainfield, Somerset County. Thank you to our Veterans!!!!!

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


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November 2020 11

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12 November 2020 It may seem odd that we need legislation to support the right-tofarm in the Garden State, but it’s not so surprising when you consider all of the pressures that decades-long rapid development in New Jersey have put on farmers. That’s why the Assembly Agriculture Committee will continue discussing several bills this winter that protect farmers from lawsuits and boost farming revenues by making it easier to bring farmers and the public together. The New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) issued a report in March recommending the Legislature consider the impact of laws we pass on agritourism. We have been making progress. The SADC report provides critical support for A-2773 and A-2775, which would make permanent the expired 2014 pilot program that allows farmers with preserved farmland to hold events such as weddings, lifetime milestone events, or other cultural or social events. The pilot program included only six of the 18 farms in New Jersey that have some part of their operation dedicated to vineyards or wine-making. The bills also would allow all commercial farmers to hold up to 14 special events on their property per year. “Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man.” - George Washington. Depending on when you’re reading this, our nation is either on the verge of, or has just completed, her 59th presidential election, pitting our 45th President Donald Trump, a New York businessman, against his challenger, Joseph Biden, a lawyer, former Vice President, and longtime politician. Many businessmen and politicians have served as president; however, I was interested in learning how many of our past presidents had a link to agriculture. Surprisingly, 64 percent of our presidents were either born on a farm or had extensive agricultural experience. Two centuries ago, farming was the United State’s primary occupation, so naturally all our early presidents were farmers. But in our modern era, we’ve had Presidents Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush all getting their hands dirty (in a non-political way!) The following highlight a couple of our farmer-presidents. George Washington farmed over 8,000 acres at his beloved Mount Vernon. Like most Virginia plantation owners, tobacco was his primary crop. Eventually, he became tired of being ripped off by London tobacco agents, as well as the toll

GardenerNews.com Agriculture and Natural Resources By Eric Houghtaling New Jersey Assemblyman

Supporting the Right to Farm in New Jersey

It just makes sense. Garden State winery production alone has an economic impact on the state that increased to $323 million in 2016, up from $231 million in 2011. Agritourism has been a growth area in New Jersey’s tourism sector, which is a major contributor to the state economy. Overall, the Garden State ranks ninth in the nation in agritourism revenue. That translated into total direct-to-consumer sales of $123 million in 2018. Nine counties rank in the top 10 percent nationwide in agritourism sales. Allowing social, cultural and other events is important because it also lets the public experience the beauty and productivity of Garden State farms, which will help them understand the importance of preserving and promoting agriculture to New Jersey. It also allows farmers to supplement their

income during difficult times and promote their services. Unfortunately, sometimes people who move into residential developments near farms don’t always see it that way, which is why the Agriculture Committee needs to consider several other pending bills related to lawsuits and the right to farm. Two bills, A-3619 and A-3066, would strengthen the legal protections provided to farmers under the “Right to Farm Act.” The bills allow farmers who prevail in right-to-farm disputes before their county agriculture board, or the state agriculture board if there is no county board, to recover the costs of defending their farms. Based on a resolution that came out of the last state Agriculture Convention, the law requires someone who loses their complaint against a farmer to pay the farmer’s

reasonable costs and attorney’s fees if the person who brought the action cannot show they acted in good faith. Another bill before the Agriculture Committee, A-292, would limit the civil liability for hosting activities such as apple picking, horseback riding and other events that fall under the heading of agritourism activities. Agritourism activities include farming activities, viewing of cultural, historic, or natural attractions, pick-your-own activities, nature watching, and activities involving an animal exhibition at an agricultural fair. It would not include roadside farm stands or operations exclusively devoted to merchandise or food retail. Horse farms are another important part of agritourism and the agriculture economy in general in our state and they have been

NJ Agricultural Society By Al Murray Executive Director

Of Plows and Presidents

tobacco took on his soil. Washington phased out that crop in favor of a diversified rotation system including wheat for sale, corn for domestic consumption, and even installed a whiskey distillery. He was also known for experimenting with composting and early fertilizers. Thomas Jefferson was known for his brilliance and eclectic interests, including food and wine, resulting in some referring to him as America’s “first foodie.” Spending years abroad tending to America’s interests overseas, Jefferson was exposed to a lot of different fruits and vegetables and brought back many to his plantation. At Monticello, Jefferson introduced and experimented with over 330 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Like Washington, he promoted techniques to build soil health through composting. He was generous in sharing seeds and technology. Jefferson also promoted commercial market gardening and

significantly altered this young nation’s palate. John Tyler, America’s 10th president, owned a farm in Virginia originally named “Walnut Grove.” After a bruising political battle that ended with him being thrown out of the Whig party, Tyler renamed his farm “Sherwood Forest” as a nod to him being referred to as an outlaw in his former political party. Interestingly, he fathered 15 children over his lifetime. A surviving grandson, Harrison Tyler, who was born in 1928, still lives on the family farm. Abraham Lincoln had deep agricultural roots. Growing up on Knob Creek Farm in Kentucky, Lincoln drew on these formative years in many of his stories. As President, Lincoln strongly supported technology in agriculture, and advocated machines to take the place of hand labor. He promoted and signed legislation creating the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Lincoln also believed a strong nation relied on a successful agricultural industry. In 1862, he signed the Morrill Land Grant College Act, that provided grants of land to states to finance the establishment of colleges specializing in teaching “agriculture and the mechanic arts.” In New Jersey, this facilitated the creation of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Ulysses Grant hated farming. As a washed-up army officer, failed storekeeper, and referred to as “Useless Grant” to those who knew him, Grant probably would have been lost to history. Living in near-poverty conditions and barely eking out a living on his farm, the advent of the Civil War changed him into an American hero, and set him on the path to the presidency. Theodore Roosevelt initially visited the Dakota Territory for hunting, but quickly fell in love with the region. The Dakotas were experiencing a ranching boom, and Roosevelt joined in. Lack of

feeling pressure from the decline of horse racing here. That’s why the Agriculture Committee likely will continue discussions of A-2768, which would include housing of equine-related farm employees in facilities with horses under certain conditions as a “Right to Farm” permissible activity. The bill would require the SADC to adopt agricultural management practices that permit horse farms to house people who care for their horses to live in their barns and other facilities where they board horses. So, as you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner - hopefully with lots of Jersey Fresh produce and a locally raised turkey on the table - you can rest assured that the Agriculture Committee members are thinking of ways to make sure the farms that brought it to you remain healthy and productive for generations to come.

Editor’s Note: Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling is Chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the New Jersey State Assembly. He can be reached at 732-6953371 or AsmHoughtaling@ njleg.org, or by mail at 802 W Park Ave, Ste 302, Ocean Township 07712. regulations quickly led to massive overgrazing, and a harsh winter in 1886-87 proved deadly. Roosevelt’s losses forced him out of the business, but his experience with agricultural disaster led to a life-long commitment to conservation and national parks. Harry Truman was known for his blunt, no-nonsense approach. He tackled the problems of postwar America in simple, sensible, and pragmatic ways. As a young man in Missouri, Truman farmed 600 acres. Later, his mother would say, “It was on the farm that Harry got his common sense.” Perhaps we need more farmers in the White House.

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


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14 November 2020

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The Very Small Bouquet of a Composite ‘Flower’ By Hubert Ling Want to give your sweetheart a dozen vibrant flowers and still save money? You could give someone a goldenrod composite bouquet with 12 to 14 flowers at a cost of perhaps 2 cents. The bouquet would be small, about a quarter inch by a quarter inch, and you might lose your friend unless that person has a good sense of humor and takes the time to count the dozen minute flowers. What appears to be a small goldenrod flower, with three to six petals, is actually a small dome (receptacle) covered with about 12 just barely visible flowers. The disc flowers in the center of the flower-aggregate are perfect miniature flowers, each with bristle-like sepals and five small petals, which extend about one-sixteenth of an inch out of a one-sixteenthinch petal tube (corolla tube: This is a twofold question: Why is my grass seed taking so long to grow and where IS the grass seed? The shelves seem to be bare. As I write this article, rain is coming down like buckets. It’s about time! Since early September, we really have not received very much rainfall. It has been somewhat of a surprise since cooler fall temperatures usually bring along regular rainfall. But not this year. This has been a great big factor why grass seed plantings this fall have been so slow to establish. Even when you say you watered newly sown grass three times a day, nothing beats a natural rainfall from Mother Nature. This fall I spoke to many landscape professionals and homeowners who have experienced slow germinating grass seed. If it’s not because of a lack of rain, it’s due to poor quality soil and soil preparation. Many folks like to aerate in the fall and that’s OK and good for the lawn to reduce compaction, but this is not the best way to prepare

like a miniature honeysuckle or azalea flower). At the outside of this cluster of disc flowers are the three to six highly modified ray flowers. Ray flowers look like a single petal but after careful observation you can see a minute corolla tube at the base and the five petals fused side to side (or like a corolla tube slit down one side and then ironed flat). Traces of the five distinct petals still can be found in the five lobes at the tip of the relatively large single fused “petal unit.” To really see what is going on, pick up a daisy and examine it to find the yellow disc flowers in the center surrounded by dozens of white ray flowers around the outside. This tight cluster of two basic types of minute flowers in one head is what gives the composites their name. Since composites have many flowers, the minute sepals, which generally protect flower buds, can’t possibly cover dozens of flowers of the head.

Instead, composite buds are protected during development by a covering of shingle like bracts (modified leaf-like scales) called phyllaries. Now that the sepals have lost their function, what can you do with them? Well, they are often used for seed dispersal. The sepals remain in their assigned place surrounding the petals, but they are often hair-like or feathery. In dandelions, asters, and thistles, the modified hair-like sepals, termed the pappus, expands greatly in number and in volume, and you probably guessed it, act as wings, which on windy days can carry the seeds for miles. In other composites, the pappus may stick to fur and will transport seeds by hitching a ride on passing animals. This is possible because the very small composite flowers produce very small fruits each with just one small, light, seed. Take a careful look at this engineering marvel and note that not only animals have

developed the art of flying. The composites, or Asteraceae, are one of the largest flowering plant families with almost 2,000 genera and over 32,000 species around the world. These numbers are only exceeded by the orchid family. Composites are found in almost every area of the world except Antarctica and the extreme north. Most composites are annual or perennial herbaceous plants but some are vines, shrubs, or trees. There are many common garden composites including chrysanthemums, coneflowers, dahlias, daisies, fleabanes, and zinnias. In addition, several composites are commercially important, such as artichoke, lettuce, and sunflower. Other composites of interest are ragweed, tumbleweeds, and hawkweeds such as devil’s paintbrush. There are a few rare composites which only have one flower to a head, and other rare composites which have heads made up of only one

Turf ‘s Up By Todd Pretz Professional Turf Consultant

What’s up with my grass seed? a seed bed. Aeration pulls plugs out of the ground and to do it correctly you need to go over the area many times in a crisscrossing pattern. When you apply grass seed after aerating, the seed falls into the holes and your lawn comes up in rows like corn. It is critical to get good seed-to-soil contact when seeding. Thatching a lawn and removing dead debris is very helpful to create an ideal seed bed, provided it scratches up and loosens the soil somewhat. Also, the use of a slit seeder which actually places the seed into the soil after it cuts through the good grass is a great way to establish grass seed. If your soil pH is between 6.2 and 7.0 you are OK, but

if it is outside of this range, your grass seed growth will be stunted. Get your soil tested. We have referenced this many times. Can you stick a pencil or screwdriver into your soil easily? If not, how do you expect a little grass seed plant to penetrate the soil? Hard soil comes about from the presence of too much clay or drainage problems and the lack of soil life. You need to feed the soil microbes to have a better chance of growing grass seed. Adding soil amendments after preparing the ground is good. Consider tackling soil problems in early spring, since it takes time for them to do their thing, so seeding

attempts in spring or fall work better. Did some of you experience difficulty in finding grass seed on the shelves this fall? There are many reasons this happened. The Pacific Northwest wildfires caused many seed companies in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to shut down for a few weeks due to excessive smoke drifts. These states represent the world’s largest grass-seed growing area. Shipments were delayed to the eastern market because of the lack of trucks and drivers willing to go to these areas. A sharp increase in e-commerce also took a portion of the over-theroad drivers off these routes. Some trucking companies

female pistillate flower and other heads with only multiple male staminate flowers. In addition, thistles are an example of composites whose heads contain only disk flowers and dandelions are examples with only ray flowers. Most composite plants bloom in late summer or fall. In New Jersey, we have about 200 species of native composites. This family contains some three dozen species of native asters, two dozen species of goldenrod, beggar ticks, thistles, coreopsis, boneset, mistflower, Joe-pye-weed, sneezeweed, sunflowers, hawkweeds, wild lettuce, blazing star, and ironweed to mention just a few. Take the time to examine your composites carefully. You may be amazed at what you find! Editor’s Note: Hubert Ling is President of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. He can be reached at milhubling@verizon.net. moved their rigs down to southern California to bring Christmas products to the market, causing a larger shortage in the Northwest. On another note, there is a shortage of Perennial Ryegrass from last summer’s crop harvest due to reduced acres and poor harvest conditions. Perennial Ryegrass may be hard to come by in spring. A final note: One of my customers found Spotted Lantern Fly in Phillipsburg, N.J. (no big surprise) but also in Chesterfield, N.J. Please do your part to educate yourself about this pest and help to STOP THE BUG! Enjoy the upcoming holiday season, Happy Thanksgiving!

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


GardenerNews.com A gardening friend said to me the other day, “I never met a fern I didn’t like.” I generally agree. While some ferns are too aggressive for my garden, almost all can find a niche in somebody’s landscape. Many ferns are native, while some are not. Most are truly deer resistant. Entire reference works have been written about them, such as David Jones’ “Encyclopaedia of Ferns.” This article will highlight some of my favorites. Some I love for their beautiful fronds, some for their adaptability – able to grow in deep dark shade or in wet, poorly drained conditions – and some because they’re native to this region. A great native to the eastern parts of the United States is the Christmas fern, Polystichum acrostichoides, so called because, as an evergreen, its fronds are still ornamental at Christmas. It has upward facing, eight- to 12-inch long fronds. One of its best attributes is that it will grow in extreme shade, including dry shade. The fronds of evergreen ferns can be cut back in mid-March. This allows new fronds to unfurl in April. Deciduous ferns can be cut back in late fall. An Asian evergreen with

November 2020 15 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society By Andrew Bunting Vice President of Public Horticulture

Favorite Ferns for the Garden

stunning leaves is the Japanese tassel fern, Polystichum polyblepharum, whose intricately textured leaves form a rosette about 12 inches across. The scientific epithet “polyblepharum” refers to the wooly “fuzz” on the leaves. In Latin, “poly” means “many,” and “blepharum” means “eyelashes.” Another great evergreen is the autumn fern, Dryopteris erythrosora. It is most likely called the autumn fern because the newly emerging leaves are largely bronze with other autumnal hues. Its leaves form a dense clump that provides excellent winter interest. Some of my favorites of all the ferns are the Japanese painted fern, Athyrium nipponicum “Pictum,” and related hybrids. This spreading fern can grow in deep shade, and its delicate, silvery-white fronds often have purple-to-red tints.

Athyrium “Ghost” will brighten a shady spot with whitish-gray, upward-facing leaves. “Ghost” is a hybrid of the Japanese painted fern and the lady fern, Athyrium filix-femina. “Lady in Red” is a lady fern with very erect, lacy fronds and a red mid-rib. It will tolerate both 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 they form spreading, vaselike clumps. In spring, the emerging fertile fronds are a rich brown color: hence the name “cinnamon.” If you are looking for a quick-to-cover, aggressive fern for moist conditions, consider the ostrich fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris – but be aware that it really does spread fast. A terrific larger fern is the royal fern,

Osmunda regalis, with fronds up to five feet tall. It can tolerate moist soils or even standing water. And, if you want to try some fun ferns, consider Arachniodes standishii, the upside-down fern. This evergreen needs a little protection in our climate. Its fronds are incredibly intricate and almost appear to be made of plastic. It’s a great choice for a small shady nook where you keep your most treasured plants. The Japanese beech fern, Phegopteris decursivepinnata is an Asian native. It has upward facing fronds to 18 inches. Like other ferns, it is deer resistant and rabbit resistant too! The border of the leaf is very attractively lobed. At home, I grow it in very dense and dry shade right at the base of a tree and it thrives. The world of ferns is diverse. It includes tiny ferns

that grow in the deepest and darkest parts of forests, and the tree ferns of New Zealand that tower almost 100 feet tall. In the Delaware Valley, we are fortunate to have an amazing array of great ferns we can select for our gardens.

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

Searching the Earth for Plants of Worth (Continued from Page 1)

more desirable and more expensive to collectors. The variegated String of Pearls has flecks of cream and pink. They are gorgeous, a little trickier to grow, and prized by collectors. The most popular String for this year is String of Hearts, Ceropegia woodii. String of Hearts is a succulent that was discovered hanging from the rocks on Groenberg Mountain in Natal, Brazil at an altitude of 1,800 feet by John Medley Wood in 1881. It does extremely well indoors and is very easy to grow. Each leaf is a heart shaped and is about an inch long. What a perfect plant for symbolizing your love. There are many collectible cultivars of this plant. There is a pink variegated form called Pretty Pink, and a Silver leaf form called Silver Glory. These are both hard to come by, but are worth the hunt. For my personal collection, I just got the coveted String of Dragons, Ceropegia bosseri. Discovered in Madagascar, this plant looks like a dragon rising out of the ground. Now, please allow me to introduce David

Williams, a good friend and a past columnist for the Gardener News. David will be returning as a columnist next month for the paper after a sabbatical to share his knowledge, love and passion for plants in the months that follow. He will be focusing on indoor plants. If you don’t remember David or you do not know David, in the following paragraphs I’d like to share with some of David’s history. In 1921, William Edward Williams and Roy Williams founded Williams Floral Farm, later renamed Williams Nursery. Their goal was to bring interesting plants to the area. In the 1950s, Roy Williams started traveling the United States looking for unusual plants that you couldn’t get locally. Roy discovered Monrovia Nursery in California, and several other nurseries on the West Coast. In fact, Williams Nursery was the first nursery to bring plants from Monrovia Nursery east of the Mississippi. They became brokers for them, and sold unusual plants to other nurseries on the East Coast. Williams Nursery’s motto was “We

search the Earth for Plants of Worth.” Roy’s Son Edward continued his father’s tradition and brought many unusual conifers from the Pacific Northwest. As trends changed, the Williams family would continuously search for unusual plants. They would follow the national trends of shrubs, perennials, and annuals. David Williams, Ed’s son, got his BS in horticulture from Cook College Rutgers in 1983. He has always been a plant geek from when he was a child. He vividly remembers at 5 years old the first plant that got him hooked. His grandfather, Roy, showed him a plant called “Mother of Thousands” Kalanchoe daigremontiana. He was shown that tiny little plants grow along its edges. Roy showed David how he could set one leaf on sand, and that he’d be able to start up to 50 plants from one leaf. David sold these little plants for 25 cents each. Fifty years later, he’s still as excited about growing plants today as when he was a kid. During David’s sabbatical, he served as (Cont. on Page 16) president of Garden Centers


16 November 2020 Over 30 years in the horticultural industry and still a pet peeve of mine is the misuse of plant material. Professionals and retail customers alike, are driven by inexpensive, larger plants rather than the “right plant for the right space.” Often when I speak to customers, I talk about my Three P’s… Price, Patience & Property. Price, in a sense, that you can either “exercise your wallet,” buy a mature plant and space it properly from the beginning or you buy what’s more affordable and still space the plant properly. This of course leads to patience, in that, should you start with a smaller-sized plant, you still space it properly, being patient as it matures. When I talk about property, I am referring to choosing the right plant and correctly spacing it for the real estate allocated for that plant. In other words, don’t buy a plant that gets too big and place it in an area that is too small. Plants are living, breathing things with a vascular system. Understanding their potential and choosing the right cultivar is key to their success. After all, when you choose a plant that is too big for its allocated space, poor air circulation, compacted soil, root competition and

GardenerNews.com Unique Plants By Bob LaHoff Nursery Specialist

Reducing A Giant’s Stature

absence of sunlight are not far away. And when a plant’s health becomes compromised, insect and fungal issues may arise. Perhaps the most popular plant, in recent years, is “Green Giant’Arborvitae, Thuja plicata “Green Giant,” “Green Giant”Arborvitae, as its name implies, becomes a GIANT! Capable of growing north of 75 feet tall and 25 feet wide, this tree continues to be dimpled into landscapes in the Northeast, often five feet apart. Leyland Cypress, xCupressocyparis leylandii, it seems, has conceded its crown as the “go to” hedge plant for residential properties in recent years. “Thank God!” Leyland Cypress, only hardy in zones 6 to 10, has its share of problems. “Stringy” root systems make it difficult to transplant as a ball-and-burlapped tree and “the burgeoning use various

cultivars” has led to its decline, both in popularity and general health. “Green Giant”Arborvitae are a full two zones, USDA Plant Hardiness, more cold tolerant (some 20 degrees) than Leyland Cypress. Make no mistake though, both grow exponentially and both can become mammoth. However, there is a new cultivar of a “Green Giant” type that seems to have enormous potential. “Virginian”™ Arborvitae, Thuja plicata x standishii, is a sport of “Green Giant,” touted to grow as fast, just not as wide. Literature states, in 10 years, “Virginian”™ has grown some 15 feet tall and six feet wide. The possibilities of this plant, should the public embrace it and understand its potential, would be HUGE. Imagine a tree that grows quickly with only a third the width of “Green Giant”? Sometimes the struggle of finding a

cultivar of a particular genus and species, more fastigiate in habit, that tolerates and thrives in certain cultural conditions can be cost prohibitive. “Virginian”™ could be the answer for many with smaller garden footprints who desire a thick, lush, privacy screen or windbreak. What’s more, “Virginian”™ requires little pruning to maintain its svelte appearance. Tolerant of the heat and humidity of the south is another added bonus of this lithe conifer. However, its apparent bagworm resistance is more interesting to me in the Northeast. And the fact that it has weathered Northern Ohio’s harshest winter in recent memory, not having any snow or ice damage, suggests its extreme cold-hardiness. “From the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp in Suffolk, Va., to the edge of Lake Erie in Ohio, “Virginian”™

Arborvitae is proving to be a versatile evergreen for today’s landscapes.” “Green Giant” Arborvitae is the result of two species, Giant (Western) Arborvitae, Thuja plicata and Japanese Arborvitae, Thuja standishii. A chance cross-pollination that happened at Poulsen Nursery in Denmark in the 1930s, “Virginian”™, in turn, is a natural mutation of “Green Giant.” Fast forward to 2004, Plantation Spring Nursery in Suffolk, Va., had a small collection of “Green Giants” and in 2007 Benjamin Frank Case, Jr., selected one with feathery young stems. In 2012 “BFC68” was named and in 2016 a patent was issued for “Virginian.” Editor’s Note: Bob LaHoff is co-owner of Hall’s Garden Center and Florist in Union County, a member of the Union County Board of Agriculture, the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, Reeves-Reed Arboretum Buildings and Grounds Committee, a lifetime member of the Conifer Society and past member of the retail council for Monrovia Growers. He can be reached at (908) 665-0331.

OPEI Board of Directors Appoints New Leadership The Board of Directors of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) announces new leadership at the helm, with the appointment of Rick Olson, Chairman and CEO, The Toro Company as Chairman. The board also elected several new executive committee members to the 2020-2021 roster. Olson takes on chairmanship duties during an unprecedented time in the association’s history, including the canceling of its spring annual meeting;

the postponement of GIE+EXPO, the international landscape, outdoor living, and equipment exposition, to 2021; and the October 1 launch of GIE+EXPO ToGo, a new, free online portal meant to connect the outdoor power community. “Change and creativity are the watchwords of OPEI this year,” says Olson. “No one could have predicted how 2020 would unfold, but the association is ready to tackle the challenges ahead from how we meet and connect with one another

to reassessing our priorities. We’ve learned through this pandemic just how important our outdoor spaces are to our mental and physical health.” Adds Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI and the TurfMutt Foundation: “Rick is the right person to lead us through a tumultuous time and genuine uncertainty. Toro is a significant player in the business, and the company has had a longtime leadership role at OPEI. We are very fortunate to have him as Chair.”

Searching the Earth for Plants of Worth (Continued from Page 15)

of America (GCA). Thank you for being a highly esteemed member of our Garden State community. David also represented GCA and the United States at the International Garden Center (IGCA) Association in Japan. IGCA is an association made up of representatives from more than 15 countries to provide a worldwide forum for the exchange of information of independent garden retailers. Please join me in welcoming back David, as he will surely enlighten us with his knowledge of fascinating indoor plants. Editor’s Note: Tom Castronovo is executive editor and publisher of Gardener News. Tom’s lifelong interest in gardening and passion for agriculture, environmental stewardship, gardening and landscaping, led to the founding of the Gardener News, which germinated in April 2003 and continues to bloom today. He is also dedicated to providing inspiration, and education to the agricultural, gardening, landscaping and nursery communities through this newspaper and GardenerNews.com.


GardenerNews.com

November 2020 17

morris county park commission

The FrelinghuysenArboretum 3rd annual tree symposium

Sponsored by the Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum New format—Zoom presentations on Tuesday evenings. Each program eligible for 1 ISA or Master Gardener CEU credit

The Evolving Urban Forest in the “Fitness landscape”*

Dr. Jason Grabosky, Rutgers ecologist, on the evolution of design, function, and management of urban forests, as a canopy asset and plant community.

Tuesday November 10, 7 pm • $15

Native Ornamental and Edible Plants*

Allyson Levy, founder of Hortus Arboretum in the Hudson Valley, on the importance of using native ornamental and edible trees in the landscape. Tuesday November 17, 7 pm • $15

Grafting Techniques for Tree Propagation*

Dr. Tom Molnar, Rutgers Plant Biologist, presents the principles and practices of grafting and budding, demonstrating 5 methods. Tuesday November 24, 7 pm • $15

More Than the Metasequoia: A Story of Trees at the Willowwood Arboretum*

Zinnia Cheetham, Plant Records Curator highlights 100 years of record-keeping and significant trees at Willowwood Arboretum. Tuesday December 1, 7 pm • $15

FLOR 700 Springfield Avenue Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922 Phone: (908) 665-0331 Fax: (908) 665-9804 email: hallsflorist@hotmail.com www.hallsgarden.com

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908.782.4028 LIFE • PROPERTY DISABILITY INCOME INSURANCE American National is a group of companies writing a broad array of insurance products and services. Products and services may not be available in all states. Terms, conditions and eligibility requirements will apply. Life insurance and annuity products may be underwritten by American National Insurance Company, Galveston, Texas. Property and casualty products and services may be underwritten by Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company, Glenmont, New York. Form 11094 | 12.18

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Sharing Our Landscapes with Additional Friends*

Dr. Beth Brantley, Bartlett Tree Expert, on relationships between trees and birds, bats, insects, and fungi in oaks, birches, maples, and conifers. Tuesday December 8, 7 pm • $15

353 East Hanover Avenue • Morris Township, New Jersey • 07960 *Pre-registration is required

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18 November 2020

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NORTHEAST DEPARTMENT NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Long Island Vegetable Farm Recognized for Environmental Stewardship Sang Lee Farms of Peconic has been selected for New York’s inaugural AEM-Leopold Conservation Award (LCA). Awarded by the Sand County Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the AEM-LCA award honors Sang Lee Farms, along with the Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District, for their efforts to protect the environment through the preservation of soil and water quality while ensuring farm viability for future generations. Sang Lee, one of Suffolk County’s largest vegetable farms, is owned and operated by father and son, Fred and William Lee. The family grows more than 100 varieties of specialty fruit and vegetables on their 97-acre certified organic farm. An early adopter of the AEM program, Sang Lee Farms uses modern technology and environmental best practices, including annual crop rotation to aid pest management, and inter-seeding of cover crops to suppress weeds, increase soil fertility, and to protect and conserve water resources. For the first time, New York’s longstanding Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Award has joined forces with the nationally recognized Leopold Conservation Award® program. Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold

Conservation Award (LCA) recognizes farmers, foresters and other landowners across the U.S. who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management on working land. The award is presented to landowners in 21 states. Earlier this year, New York State Soil and Water Conservation Districts were encouraged to identify and nominate the best examples of conservation success in their district. Applications were reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders. Among the many outstanding landowners nominated for the award were finalists: Hemdale Farms and Greenhouses of Seneca Castle in Ontario County, and Honorone Farms of Canajoharie in Montgomery County. New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “On behalf of the Department and New York State, I congratulate Sang Lee Farms on receiving this esteemed award. The Lees have long been dedicated to caring for the environment, educating their Long Island neighbors about their work to grow healthy, fresh food, and giving back to their community. They have prioritized the conservation of the land, water and our wildlife to not only ensure the long-term viability of the farm but also to protect our natural resources for our

future generations.” William G. Lee, owner of Sang Lee Farms, said, “The Sang Lee Farms Family and farm staff have been inspired by the recognition from the Sand County Foundation. The commitment we hold to be stewards of the environment and the land we farm has been strengthened by the support in one of our most challenging seasons. We are pleased to carry the AEM Leopold Conservation Award torch this year and we will continue to manage our farmland and natural resources to the best of our ability for years to come. We hope that by joining this network of innovative farmers we can continue to learn and teach environmentally conscious food production practices to improve our long-term sustainability and local community health.” The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont).

CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Department of Agriculture begins initiative to increase market share for Connecticut producers To expand its efforts to promote Connecticut’s robust agriculture and aquaculture industries, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) has announced plans to research, develop and execute a comprehensive marketing campaign surrounding the current Connecticut Grown brand. These efforts will include the promotion of all Connecticut farm products – from fruits and vegetables to shellfish and wine, maple syrup and honey, dairy and fiber. This refreshed branding and comprehensive marketing campaign, based on research, will seek to connect with new audiences, engaging those not currently buying Connecticut Grown agriculture and aquaculture products and the importance of supporting these industries. Additionally, this investment will provide Connecticut farmers with tools and materials to engage in the campaign and promote the Connecticut Grown brand. After an extensive RFP and vetting process, Norwich-based brand management firm, Miranda Creative, Inc. was selected to partner with DoAg to manage the comprehensive scope of work. Miranda Creative has more than two decades of experience working with agriculture/aquaculture industries —

serving as brand manager for the Connecticut Wine Trail, and long-standing producers such as Bishop’s Orchards, March Farms and Val Wilgen’s Garden Center. Originally developed by DoAg in 1986, the Connecticut Grown program — over the past three decades — has blossomed into a multifaceted initiative targeting diverse local, regional, national and international markets through both direct-to-consumer and wholesale-oriented program components. In order to continuing growing brand awareness of the program, DoAg has identified the need for significant investment into the branding and marketing of Connecticut Grown. “In order to promote the small businesses that grow and produce our agricultural products in Connecticut, it’s vital that we engage with consumers in effective and meaningful ways,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “While DoAg has invested in the promotion of Connecticut Grown for years, the initiative’s growth has highlighted the need to develop a comprehensive approach to effectively and efficiently expand awareness, build sustainability, and drive sales of Connecticut Grown products. This effort supports our agricultural economy, and the state’s economy,

RECYCLE THE Gardener

while making the highest quality, local goods available to Connecticut’s residents.” Through the end of 2020, DoAg will conduct market research and strategic analysis of consumer awareness and reaction to the Connecticut Grown brand. This research will shape and identify overall branding and marketing strategies for the program. This new marketing approach will be deployed in early 2021 as a comprehensive 12-month campaign inclusive of all farm products, for the Connecticut Grown brand and the state’s agriculture and aquaculture industries. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) represents Connecticut’s agriculture and aquaculture industry. DoAg regulates and markets the farm products of Connecticut ranging from produce such as fruits and vegetables to seafood, wine, and fibers. With 5,500 farms and nearly a half million acres of farmland, Connecticut’s agriculture and aquaculture industries represent approximately $4 billion to the state’s economy each year. Established in 1986 by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, CT Grown is a multifaceted initiative designed to support and celebrate the diverse agricultural and aquacultural offerings of Connecticut.

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November 2020 19

OF AGRICULTURE NEWS NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE New Jersey Department of Agriculture Recognizes Farmers in Farm to School Program New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher recognized Drop the Beet Farms in Monmouth County as the 2020 winning farm for the Jersey Fresh Farm to School Farmer Recognition Award. The presentation took place on the farm during the 10th Annual Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week, being held September 21-25. The program is an opportunity for farmers to promote their Farm to School efforts and to connect with students in schools who are the next generation of Jersey Fresh consumers. Drop the Beet Farms has taken a unique approach with its Farm to School program by constructing a 20,000-gallon aquaponics facility operating out of Calgo Gardens in Howell. Drop the Beet manager Cody Parker works with schools to build their own aquaponics system and students are involved at every step by integrating the design process into the STEM curriculum. “That each system is constructed to accommodate the unique needs of the individual school points to the technology and ingenuity Drop the Beet has developed,” Secretary Fisher said. “These types of systems allow students to grow their own produce all year long and can facilitate Farm to School programs throughout the state.” Drop the Beet Farm has installed aquaponics systems in several schools in New Jersey which can combine to

produce more than 5,000 heads of lettuce each year. Also, the Rumson School District now has an after-school garden club where more than 200 fourth graders participated in a mushroom workshop. They are expecting to harvest more than 80 pounds of the gourmet delicacy this year. Drop the Beet also has a mobile aquaponics system that it takes to other schools to help them learn more about sustainable agriculture practices. The farm also features a tour where students do a water chemistry exercise, and a pick-your-own salad to take home. “I really enjoy encouraging students to learn about the different methods there are for growing food,” Parker said. “To see the expansion of this program and the increased interest after the systems have been installed has been a very rewarding part of this process.” Each farm received Jersey Fresh Farm to School promotional materials. All farms who submit an application and meet the criteria are added to our list of Farmer Recognition Program farms. The influence of the Farm to School Program led to more than 250 schools purchasing local produce from their main distributor, more than 200 districts buying local produce directly from farms and using a curriculum that ties cafeteria meals to healthy eating education and more than 100 districts organizing field trips to farms.

MAINE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Invasive Stiltgrass Found at a Nursery in York County The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP) urges nursery professionals, landowners, and land managers to carefully search their properties for the invasive stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum), also known as Japanese Stiltgrass. DACF staff recently confirmed the first known Maine location of this severely invasive plant at a nursery in York County. Previously, the closest known locations for stiltgrass were at nurseries in New Hampshire. “We knew it was likely that this invasive plant would make its way to Maine eventually,” said Gary Fish, State Horticulturist. “It is a severely invasive plant with small seeds that can hitchhike on plant root balls, potted plants, soil, gravel, or equipment.” Stiltgrass forms dense colonies in sun or shade, invading the forest and forming a thick thatch layer over time. The thatch layer makes it difficult for native trees, shrubs, and wildflower seeds to establish and grow. Thatch buildup also raises fire risk. Stiltgrass is an annual plant, and each stem can produce hundreds to thousands of seeds before dying in the fall. Seeds survive for at least five years in the soil. Nancy Olmstead, an Invasive Plant Biologist with MNAP, urges landowners to search recently disturbed areas for new infestations of stiltgrass. “It’s imperative to be on the lookout for this plant. We have to work together to locate any additional sites and keep stiltgrass from invading Maine’s priceless forests and natural areas.” Landowners, land managers, and nursery professionals

should be on the lookout for any dense patches of unfamiliar grass that could be stiltgrass. Several features of stiltgrass can help distinguish it from other grasses: • Leaves of stiltgrass alternate along the stem, 2-4” long and “ wide, and have a stripe of reflective hairs along the leaf midrib on the leaf’s top surface. Individual hairs may be too small to see with the naked eye, but the pale stripe along the leaf midrib is distinctive. The midrib may be slightly off-center. • The leaf edges and surfaces feel smooth to the touch, unlike some native grasses with stiff hairs along the leaf edge. • The common name “stiltgrass” comes from the plant’s growth habit: it trails along the ground, branching from nodes where it produces “stilts” (roots) to support the new branches. It is shallow-rooted and easy to pull up. • Plants flower and set seed very late in the season (September-October); most other grasses seed much earlier in the year. Each plant can have one to three seed spikes that resemble crabgrass. • Stems can develop a reddish tint late in the season. If you think you have stiltgrass on your property, please review the above list of characters to confirm, and check your plants against photos of stiltgrass at these websites: MNAP, GoBotany. If you still believe you have found stiltgrass, please either map the location with images in the online mapping tool iMapInvasives, or send an email with photos and location description to invasives.mnap@maine.gov.

PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Pennsylvania Invests $5,655,426 in Future of Farming, Safeguarding 2,224 Acres on 25 Farms Statewide Pennsylvania safeguarded 2,224 acres on 25 farms in 17 counties, investing $5,655,426 through the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program. Preserved farms are protected from future residential, commercial or industrial development. They represent targeted investments in the future of farming and food security in Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvania farmers have faced tremendous pressure to sell their land for more lucrative ventures,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “These farmers have not only resisted that pressure and beat odds that were stacked against them to keep food on our tables, they have guaranteed that their farms will continue to be there to feed us in the future. This investment supports their generosity and dedication to a food-secure future for all of us.” The 25 farms preserved are in Adams, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Chester, Dauphin, Cumberland, Fayette, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry, Potter, Union and York counties. These farms include crop, livestock, nursery, equine, dairy and poultry operations. Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county, and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,781 Pennsylvania farms totaling 589,109 acres. Notable farms include the 200.27-acre Robert D. and Carol J. Stahl farm in Perry County that was donated to the program. Perry County leads the state in the number of donated farms and the Stahl farm is the second largest acreage donation to date in the county. The crop farm is part of a large contiguous block of preserved farmland in Northeast Madison and Southwest Madison townships. The Burchetts of Chanceford Township in York County, have preserved four of their farms including Maple Spring Farms Partnership Farm #2, a 128.2-acre crop farm. Previous owners, Robert and Judy Burchett, recently transferred ownership of the farm to their son Thomas and his wife Stacy, who are the fourth generation of their family to farm. A newly preserved former dairy farm in the Morrisons Cove region of Blair County is now a crop operation that supports a local dairy farm by providing crops for cattle. The 170.29acre operation is owned by Linda Longenecker. Morrisons Cove has some of the best farmland soils in the state. Including the Longenecker farm, there are now 56 farms and 8,391 acres preserved in Blair county.


20 November 2020

GardenerNews.com

BEAST OF THE NOR’EAST W H E N A N O R ’ E A S T E R R OA R S I N , YO U N E E D A B E A S T O F A S N O W B LO W E R TO R OA R BAC K .

A

O

W

N

SN

D †*

ER I CA’ S AM

B L O W E R

B

R

*Based on average Traqline unit share for snow blower market from 2013 – October 2017

NUMBER ONE

AMERICA’S

SNOW BLOWER BRAND COMMERCIAL

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STARTING AT

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SNOWMASTER

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LIGHTNING FAST

All the power to break through heavy, wet snow in no time and throw it up to 40 feet.

Tear through the roughest snow and ice in record time with the engineered powerful auger.

MORE ROOM FOR WHAT MATTERS

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Sleek, compact design for easy storage and quick use.

You control your speed with the Personal Pace® Self-Propel System.

®

SINGLE-STAGE SNOW BLOWERS

®

SELF-PROPELLED HYDROSTATIC TRANSMISSION TRACKS PROVIDE INCREASED STABILITY FOR TOUGH SLOPES AND STEEP TERRAIN

SNOW BLOWERS

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COMMERCIAL SINGLE-STAGE SNOW BLOWERS EXTENDED LIFE PADDLES AND REINFORCED HANDLE

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Hardened gears and no shear pins to break or replace in the cold.

Optimal performance and years of dependable use with Toro Premium 4-cycle OHV engines.

TRIGGLERLESS STEERING

NIGHT VISION

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Self-propelled, triggerless steering for smooth turns. (Select models)

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CENTRAL JERSEY NURSERIES 18 Hamilton Road, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 www.centraljerseynurseries.com 908-359-4652 mowershop@cjn1970.com

^Manufacturer suggested promotional price subject to local dealer participation. †Based on average Traqline unit share for snow blower market from 2013-March 2020.


GardenerNews.com Adieu iced coffee and welcome tea! Soon, many of us will be snuggling up with “a cuppa.” After water, tea is the world’s most widely consumed beverage. Its history begins with a legend. Around 2750 BC, Chinese Emperor Shen Nung sat before a pot of boiling water when tea leaves from twigs being used for the fire rose up and landed in the pot. Considered the father of Chinese medicine, and possessing a “transparent stomach,” through which he could observe chemical reactions, he found the brew to have medicinal properties and a pleasing flavor and urged its cultivation for the benefit of the nation. The Dutch first drank tea in 1610, with its introduction to Britain around 1650. In 1657, English proprietor Thomas Garway offered tea to the public. It quickly became the drink of choice and tea drinking an essential part of British social life. In 1843, Scottish plant explorer Robert Fortune, commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society, undertook an expedition to China. Among his accomplishments was the smuggling of Chinese tea plants and skilled tea makers from China to India. He disguised himself as a Chinese merchant, purchased tea plants and travelled great distances – all forbidden by the Chinese

Every once in a while, when there is a scarcity or shortage of a certain product, the price of that product will skyrocket. Conversely, when there is a glut of a particular item, the price for that item tends to fall. This is hardly groundbreaking information and should be quite apparent to almost everyone who has the most basic understanding of economics, and the last thing that I want to do is to dwell on the obvious. But what I did want to discuss, was the relationship between scarcity, demand and price, and some of the things that can shape these forces. Earlier this spring, when the COVID pandemic was starting to take shape, there was a run on many items in grocery stores. There was not necessarily a shortage per se, but rather an increase in demand that caused these items to be in short supply. Did people really use more toilet paper? I would guess that they did not, but you couldn’t tell that by looking at the grocery store shelves. Then there is the type of demand where people are actually using the product more than they

November 2020 21 The Garden Historian By Lesley Parness Garden Educator

“Welcome Tea!”

government. This technology and knowledge were instrumental in the growth of tea’s popularity. Here in the colonies, tea’s 3-pence-perpound tax was causing problems. Angered by the tax, The Sons of Liberty attempted to block its shipment. On December 16, 1773, they watched two ships sail into Boston Harbor. Sneaking aboard, they emptied 342 chests of tea into the harbor. The “Boston Tea Party,” led the British Parliament to pass a series of laws known as the “Intolerable Acts,” which ultimately led to the Revolutionary War. Tea, it can be said, provided a rallying call for American independence. I’ve been drinking tea all my life. In my grandmother’s kitchen, we drank it in short glasses, tucking a sugar square in our mouths to sweeten every gulp. In Beijing, China, I shopped on “Tea Street” Malia Dao Chayehang, where 600-

plus tea shops sell 500-plus kinds of tea. In Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, I drank tea served with salt and yak butter. In Thailand, it was iced with anise. In India, chai was seasoned with ginger, cardamon and black pepper. In Morocco, tea glasses were filled with mint. Whether black, green or white, all tea is made from a single plant, Camellia sinensis. Camellia sinensis is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that grows outdoors in plant hardiness zones 7-9. They cover about six million acres of the earth, and I am growing a Camellia sinensis too. Outdoors, it can grow up to 15 feet tall, indoors in a container, it reaches six feet. My plant has been growing outdoors in a container all summer in a pot with good drainage and an acidic soil. Now, I’ll move it to a grow rack in my unheated basement with daytime

temperatures around 60 degrees, and nighttime temperatures under 50 degrees. I’ll let the soil dry between waterings, and no fertilizer until next spring. My tea plant will go dormant, but springtime will bring new growth, and I will harvest the first bright green leaves from each branch for a fresh cup of tea. Back outside, I can harvest leaves from spring on. I’m planning on green jasmine tea. Here’s how. To scent tea, use a pesticide free J. officinale, J. sambac, or J. polyanthum. Do not use “Star jasmine/Confederate jasmine” or Carolina jessamine, which is toxic. Jasmine flowers should be plucked during the warmth of the day when the dew has dried. Place a layer of fresh tea leaves in the bottom of a glass jar. Cover with a layer of jasmine flowers. Repeat this process, until the jar is three-

The Town Farmer By Peter Melick Agricultural Producer

When Supply and Demand Don’t Add Up used to. Hand sanitizer is an excellent example of this. Many agricultural products behave in the same way. At certain times of the year, there is an increase in demand for certain foods. Take sweet corn, for example. In this area of the country, the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends are probably the two times of year when sweet corn is the most heavily consumed. Based on this, you would think that because of the increase in demand, corn would cost more at these times of year. However, that is not always the case. Because growers know this, they try to time their plantings so that they have extra to sell during these times of high demand. If growers got together and colluded, (which

is illegal by the way), they could manage the availability and drive prices higher. But because agricultural production is spread out among so many different growers, there is no chance of that happening. Another wild card that goes into this equation is the fact that the weather rarely cooperates. Take this past growing season, for example. Due to the extremely cold spring, sweet corn that was planted for the Fourth of July was ready about seven to 10 days later. And because of the hot and humid summer with very adequate rainfall, corn grew like gangbusters all summer long and corn planted for Labor Day was actually ready a week to 10 days earlier. I also believe that there

was an increase in demand this past summer for sweet corn. Due to restaurants being closed and people wanting to practice social distancing, one of the few remaining ways for people to get together was the backyard cookout. And as everyone knows, you can’t have a cookout in the summer without fresh-picked sweet corn! Another factor that can come into play here is the fact that many supermarkets use sweet corn as one of their “Loss Leader” sale items as a way to get people into their stores. They might advertise a very low price for corn at certain times of the year purely for marketing purposes. If there is a normal amount of corn around when they run these

quarters filled. Place a small weight atop the tea and tightly cover the jar with a lid. After a week, remove the weight, sift the flowers out, and store the delightfully fragranced tea in a cool, dark place. Want more tea history? Read “Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea,” and “For All the Tea in China.” I hope you will find these books to be “your cup of tea.”

Editor’s Note: Lesley Parness has taught horticulture and environmental education around the world for the past four decades. Retired from her post as Superintendent of Horticultural Education at the Morris County Park Commission, her focus now is garden history and botanic literature. She is a past President and Founding Member of the Garden State Gardens Consortium, and a member of the Herb Society of America and The Council on Horticultural and Botanic Libraries. Lesley lectures throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at www.lesleyparness.com, where a complete listing of her presentations and workshops may be found. This column will appear in the paper every other month. sales, they might not make as much per ear, but should make up for it with increased volume. But if there is a shortage when the sale is going on, and the retailers have already locked into their adds, then that increase in demand coupled with a crop shortage can really drive markets to insane levels. But as almost every grower can relate, events like these rarely happen. In fact, it is much more common to have to leave corn unpicked in the field because of a glut in the market than it is to both experience a shortage and at the same time be able to capitalize on it. Editor’s Note: Peter Melick is co-owner of Melick’s Town Farm in Oldwick and a 10th-generation New Jersey farmer. Peter is Mayor of Tewksbury Township, Hunterdon County, NJ. He also served as a director for the New Jersey Farm Bureau and is a past president of the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. Peter has also been featured on NJN, News 12 New Jersey and on the Fox Business Network.


22 November 2020

GardenerNews.com

Happy Thanksgiving Day of Celebration with Marigolds Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1 and 2, that honors friends and family who have passed away. To welcome spirits back to visit the living, it is viewed as a day of celebration rather than one of sadness, with colorful altars erected in homes, cemeteries and public spaces with favorite foods and drinks and personal mementos of the deceased. The altar decorations usually include hand-cut paper marigolds or fresh marigolds—cempasuchitl.

EPA Program Recognizes Water Management Leader for Fifth Consecutive Year The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has again recognized The Toro Company with a 2020 WaterSense Excellence Award for promoting WaterSense® and water efficiency in 2019. WaterSense recently recognized a total of 28 utilities, manufacturers, builders, and other organizations that are making it possible for consumers and businesses to save billions of gallons of water each year as part of its Partner of the Year Awards. WaterSense, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by the EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping consumers learn ways to save water. WaterSense labeled products, homes, and programs helped consumers and businesses save 871 billion gallons of water in 2019. “Since the program started in 2006, our WaterSense partners have made it possible for consumers and businesses to save more than 4.4 trillion gallons of water and $87 billion on utility bills,” said Veronica Blette, WaterSense Program Manager. “Our award winners in particular have gone above and beyond to make water, energy, and money savings easy for Americans.” WaterSense Award winners demonstrate their commitment to saving this precious resource by producing, building, and promoting labeled products and homes that are independently certified to use less water. In addition, WaterSense offers certification programs for water-smart irrigation professionals. WaterSense honored The Toro Company as Manufacturer Partner of the Year in 2016 and an Excellence Award winner in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Toro has been selected as a 2020 Excellence Award winner for showcasing its WaterSense-labeled products at 35 home expos and trade shows, reaching several thousand homeowners and industry professionals. Toro conducted several training sessions in a variety of locations to educate attendees on water management trends, share best practices, demonstrate WaterSense labeled irrigation products, and provide hands-on product experience. Toro once again sponsored the Irrigation Association’s E3 Program that provides scholarships to professional irrigation students; the program awarded students a record number of scholarships last year. The Toro Company also continued its sponsorship and production of the weekly Water Zone radio program focused on outdoor water efficiency best practices and products. Since the show has been available on iHeart Radio, it now has up to 19,000 listeners per month. “We are proud to continue our partnership with the EPA’s WaterSense program and are inspired by the activities and contributions of all of this year’s winners,” says John McPhee, general manager, Toro Irrigation and Lighting Businesses. “The responsible use of water drives the work that we do to innovate and educate our customers and business partners worldwide. We are pleased to have these efforts recognized again this year.” For more information about WaterSense and the 2020 award winners, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.

The Premier Gardening Monthly Newspaper Number 211 Published Monthly Reserve Ad Space Website: www.GardenerNews.com E-Mail: Mail@GardenerNews.com Staff

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

November 2020 Columnists Brian Schilling Al Murray Peter Melick Lesley Parness

Bob LaHoff Douglas H. Fisher Eric J. Houghtaling Kenneth M. Karamichael

November 2020 Contributing Writers

Bruce Crawford

Jeannie Geremia

Hubert Ling

Gardener News is published monthly by

Gardener News, Inc.

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Full Moon November 30, 2020 Eastern Daylight

TIP OF THE MONTH It’s time to prepare for winter in the Northeast. First: Deer-proof evergreen shrubs by encircling them with stakes and attaching burlap to the stakes. Second: Protect the bark of saplings from gnawing mice by wrapping tree guards around the lowest parts of the trunks. Third: Remove spent canes and cut back dead foliage of perennials to about four to six inches off the ground. Fourth: Change the oil and spark plug on your snowblower. And add a high octane fuel right before snow is predicted. Clean and fresh - fuel can begin to deteriorate in as little as 30 days. Fifth: If your lawnmower fuel has not been treated with a fuel stabilizer, it must be drained into an approved container. Run the engine until it stops from lack of fuel. And have the blades sharpened. Sixth: Don’t forget the garden hoses. They need to be drained and rolled up. Then make sure you turn off the water supply to any outside faucets to prevent pipes from freezing during the cold winter months. Seventh: Rake up all dead plant material, cuttings, twigs, weeds, and leaves and compost them. Any diseased or infested plant matter should be separated from the rest and disposed of as trash. Eighth: Store breakable items, like terra-cotta pots, rain gauges, and other garden art before hard freezes settle in. Terra-cotta overwinters fine in an unheated shed or garage. Make sure pots and saucers are dry before storage. Ninth: Birdseed can attract rodents, from squirrels, to mice, to rats. Store birdseed in tightly sealed, metal containers.


GardenerNews.com

November 2020 23


24 November 2020

GardenerNews.com

BEAST OF THE NOR’EAST W H E N A N O R ’ E A S T E R R OA R S I N , YO U N E E D A B E A S T O F A S N OW B LOW E R TO R OA R BAC K .

A

O

W

N

SN

D †*

ERICA’ S AM

B L O W E R

B

R

*Based on average Traqline unit share for snow blower market from 2013 – October 2017

NUMBER ONE

AMERICA’S

COMMERCIAL

CHOOSE YOUR POWER

GAS OR BATTERY

STARTING AT

STARTING AT

399

$

SNOW BLOWER BRAND

679

$

^

SNOW BLOWERS

NEW!

^

POWER TRX HEAVY-DUTY

TRACKED TWO-STAGE SNOW BLOWERS

POWER CLEAR

SNOWMASTER

POWER TO BLAST SNOW

LIGHTNING FAST

All the power to break through heavy, wet snow in no time and throw it up to 40 feet.

Tear through the roughest snow and ice in record time with the engineered powerful auger.

MORE ROOM FOR WHAT MATTERS

KEEP UP THE PACE

Sleek, compact design for easy storage and quick use.

You control your speed with the Personal Pace® Self-Propel System.

®

SINGLE-STAGE SNOW BLOWERS

®

SELF-PROPELLED HYDROSTATIC TRANSMISSION TRACKS PROVIDE INCREASED STABILITY FOR TOUGH SLOPES AND STEEP TERRAIN

SNOW BLOWERS

POWER CLEAR®

COMMERCIAL SINGLE-STAGE SNOW BLOWERS EXTENDED LIFE PADDLES AND REINFORCED HANDLE

STARTING AT

STARTING AT

1199

$

899

$

^

^

POWER MAX® HD

COMMERCIAL TWO-STAGE SNOW BLOWERS CAST IRON SKID PLATES AND DRIFT CUTTERS

POWER MAX®

POWER MAX® HD

BUILT 2X STRONGER

POWER UP

Hardened gears and no shear pins to break or replace in the cold.

Optimal performance and years of dependable use with Toro Premium 4-cycle OHV engines.

TRIGGLERLESS STEERING

NIGHT VISION

TWO-STAGE SNOW BLOWERS

Self-propelled, triggerless steering for smooth turns. (Select models)

HEAVY-DUTY TWO-STAGE SNOW BLOWERS

Your visibility will never be clearer with the LED headlight.

Find Your Local Dealer at WWW.TORO.COM/DEALER

GRANDSTAND® MULTI FORCE™

WITH BOSS® SNOW BLADE, SNOW BLOWER OR POWER BROOM ^Manufacturer suggested promotional price subject to local dealer participation. †Based on average Traqline unit share for snow blower market from 2013-March 2020.

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Gardener News November 2020  

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Proudly Serving the Agricultural, Gardening, Landscaping & Nursery Communities