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TAKE ONE

Gardener News

September 2021

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TAKE ONE No. 221

Stop the Spotted Lanternfly Invasion in N.J.

www.badbug.nj.gov


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2 September 2021

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Jersey Fresh Outreach

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New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher, right, ran into awardwinning actor Kelsey Grammer in Atlantic City, while he was promoting the Jersey Fresh brand. Secretary Fisher spoke to Grammer about why eating local is better for the environment. They discussed that, if your food doesn’t travel long distances, you’re promoting better air quality and reducing pollution. At the end of the conversation, Secretary Fisher offered Grammer a Jersey Fresh hat to match the one he was wearing. Established in 1984, by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the Jersey Fresh logo was designed to inform consumers which fruits and vegetables were grown in the Garden State. New Jersey grows more than 100 different varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs and is ranked nationally in the top-10 as a producer of such items as blueberries, peaches, bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, and cranberries. New Jersey’s Secretary of Agriculture is the department’s executive officer, secretary to the State Board of Agriculture and a member of the Governor’s cabinet.


4 September 2021 Before I was Secretary of Agriculture, I had another career as a grocer, owning and operating an independent supermarket for about 30 years. My family was in the livestock and meat business my grandfather started. He and his brothers immigrated to America around the turn of the last century and each opened butcher shops in towns throughout the region. My grandfather Sam was a cattle dealer. From what I was told, he walked cattle before he made money to buy a truck. Sounds like many stories I hear from farmers around the state about their humble beginnings. I remember in my early years, in the 1970s, it was a pivotal time in the world of food and people’s expectations and needs in this arena. There were far fewer offerings available on grocery shelves. Heck, bottled spaghetti sauces were just coming into being. Ragu tomato sauce was introduced in just two flavors, plain and meat. Ultra-processed Stove Top stuffing was something new and revolutionary, as was Cool Whip. All these new offerings of processed food altered people’s thinking about what they put on their table.

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

What was once old is new again Frozen foods evolved this way, too, and soon there were multitudes more than TV dinners, vegetables and frozen cans of orange juice concentrate. Advertising expenditures by companies like General Foods and Kraft (now one company) exploded, as did manufactured food selections. Because of this, the notion of seasonality changed, and consumers were redirected to think that what they needed could be had with far less preparation than previous generations had toiled over. Shopping became less frequent than before, and people loaded up on each of these fewer trips. These trends extended to the produce aisle. With the advent of cheaper transportation, fruits and vegetable began to appear on produce counters regardless of the season. Before that, I remember people truly

anticipating the arrival of each crop locally because it just was not available to them any other time. “When are you getting the first cutting of asparagus from a local farmer?” was a frequent question I would be asked annually. Each local favorite had its time in the sun to be brought to an awaiting marketplace. Strawberries, greens, herbs, peaches, plums, nectarines, tomatoes, yams, sweet potatoes. These were tastes waiting to burst on the scene with anticipation, expectation, and satisfaction, all happening in cacophonous rhapsody. So, before manufacturers exploded with their canned, boxed, and frozen goods, people would do their own preserving of seasonal favorites by canning both cold and hot pack. I was sure to stock at the precise time, when the bounty

of crops appeared, the piles of Ball Mason canning jars, quarts and pints, wide-mouth and regular, lids and rings, sealing wax, and pectin. People actually knew what to do with these items to store the season’s bounty in the form of simply made, not highly refined and processed, ways of savoring farm products. As time went on, the demand for canning supplies dwindled to a trickle. Younger folks did not get the handeddown information, and the practice of home canning deflated. This brings me to, “What is old becomes new again.” I see a great surge in people’s appreciation not only for the aspect of local, to buy what is in season, but for the home preservation of food. Be it canning, dehydrating, freezing and so on, it’s very exciting and encouraging. It’s September now, so if

you want to get in on the satisfaction of basic home food preparation in our increasingly complex world, I’d suggest stocking up on the produce that is now in-season. By home canning it, you can enjoy a preserved piece of summer throughout fall and winter. Then you can begin anticipating spring in 2022, and the bounty of Jersey Fresh produce that will again be heading into the market. You can find a lot of great information on home canning at: https://njaes. r utge r s.e du /fo o d- s afet y/ home-food-preservation/ or recipes for canning apple pie filling, pickled jalapenos, and blueberry jams at https:// findjerseyfresh.com. Happy canning! 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

Phillip Alampi Beneficial Insect Laboratory Receives Funding for Important Upgrade

The Phillip Alampi Beneficial Insect Laboratory (PABIL) in Ewing Township, New Jersey has received $4.2 million in funding from the Board of Public Utilities State Facilities Initiative to receive important upgrades to the facility that opened in 1985. The top priority will be to renovate the lab’s HVAC system. Of the lab’s 33 temperaturecontrolled rooms, as many as 18 had been unusable because of an aging HVAC system and temperature controls. The money will also go to making repairs to areas where the HVAC system has leaked and to update the greenhouse control system and for repairs to a greenhouse. Some of the PABIL programs that have helped New Jerseyans and others across country include the Mexican Bean Beetle program, which has allowed farmers and gardeners to not apply pesticides to control the beetle since 1985; the Mile-a-Minute program, where another weevil is released to defoliate the weed that can grow as much as six inches a day, choking out trees

and other vegetation; and the Purple Loosestrife Program, where small beetles were released to invasive wetlands as the weed changes the wetlands environment essential to native wildlife. In all, these programs and others are estimated to have saved hundreds of millions of dollars that would have been spent if other treatment methods were conducted. PABIL is a 21,000 square-foot laboratory designed for biological pest control. It allows state entomologists to develop insect rearing techniques and mass produce beneficial insects to be used to help reduce insect and weed populations below economic levels. The Department’s Division of Plant Industry simultaneously mass produces a variety of beneficial insect species for control of many different species of pest insects and weeds. The laboratory’s 11,000 square-foot center section features 30 environmentally controlled insect rearing rooms with the ability to regulate temperature, humidity, and photo period to simulate any season or time of day. Most of the rooms

are used for development and implementation of biological control programs. Diet preparation rooms are equipped to mix large volumes of artificial diets and food supplements on which insects thrive. The greenhouses propagate plants required to produce host insects that are reared for the Department’s biological control programs. When in full working order, the greenhouse space totals more than 5,000 square feet and is equipped with lighting to resemble natural light and automatic controls to regulate temperature and air movement. Adjacent to the laboratory is a one-acre plot used to develop and field test pest control strategies and to maintain field insectaries to facilitate redistribution and establishment of beneficial insects. The support services area includes a cage washroom, glassware washroom, shop for repair and maintenance of equipment, supply storage area, equipment garage, mechanical and electrical rooms, and offices for the clerical and professional staff.


GardenerNews.com SupportSupport NJ Agriculture Support NJ Agriculture NJ Agriculture

September 2021 5

JERSEY GROWN JERSEY GROWN JERSEY GROWN

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Governor

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Secretary of Secretary Agriculture of Secretary Agriculture of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher Douglas H. Fisher Douglas H. Fisher

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Governor Phil Murphy

Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher

jerseygrown.nj.gov


6 September 2021

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

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From the Director’s Desk

Online Bee-ginner's Beekeeping Course: The Basics of Apiculture

November 1-14, 2021 | Self-Paced Online | $300 Learn how you can start, maintain, and care for a honey bee colony! Whether you are brand new to beekeeping or have a few years of apiary experience, you'll gain valuable insights to further your beekeeping hobby or business with this expert-led class. Course Topics:

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Disease & Mite Prevention

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Hive Assembly &

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Management Adding a beehive to your property is a fun and rewarding way to foster the natural circle of life.

Register Online Today! www.cpe.rutgers.edu/BEES

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

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

Rutgers Outreach Provided by Brian Schilling Director

Are you seeing spots? What community members can do about spotted lanternfly Spotted lanternfly (SLF), the jumpy plant hoppers that resemble brightly colored moths when in flight, are being spotted throughout New Jersey. While some New Jersey residents are already familiar with these invasive bugs, others are getting their first glimpses of the oneinch-long adults. There is no need to panic! SLF is certainly a bad bug, but it will not cause harm to people or pets. It is strictly a plant feeder. In gardens – cucumbers, roses, and grapes appear to be favored by the nymphs. While large feeding populations can damage plants, sturdy hardwood trees can withstand a fair amount of feeding and it takes large, sustained populations over multiple years before trees show signs of decline. Concern lies with the threat primarily posed to the New Jersey wine grape industry, as well as the nuisance factor of thousands of large jumping insects in green spaces and backyards. As fall approaches, SLF throughout New Jersey will have molted to the adult, winged stage. Egg-laying will occur in October and the eggs will be present until the nymphs hatch in the spring. Adults congregate on host plants, primarily hardwood trees, to feed on the plant phloem or sugar water. It can be impressive seeing adults completely cover the trunk. In the fall, adults prefer black walnut, sycamore, river birch, red maple, willow, and of course the invasive tree of heaven. As they feed, they excrete the extra plant sugar in the form of honeydew. Honeydew may attract bees, wasps, and even ants, which dine on this sugar-rich “manna from heaven.” However, fungal mats or sooty mold can quickly form on the base of the tree or understory plants, creating a nuisance. Adults will be around until the first hard frost, but the best time for management is in early fall before they start laying eggs in October. If adults can be killed before they lay eggs, it will contribute to population control. You may have heard of home remedies such as grits or pine sol mixed with sugar – these aren’t effective! SLF are brightly colored as a warning to bird predators that they are distasteful. Despite this, it is not uncommon to see predators such as spiders or preying mantids feasting on lanternflies, but they will not be able to control SLF. Two primary modes of control are available: 1) physical removal and 2) insecticide. If there are only a few adults, physical removal may be possible with a shop vacuum. A sock or nylon

stocking can be fitted inside the hose to capture collected bugs which can then be frozen and discarded. However, given their jumping ability, simply vacuuming up these bugs may not be as easy as it sounds. If there are thousands of lanternflies in the garden and yard, the most effective way to kill adult SLF is with insecticide treatment. Many insecticides are available for purchase at garden stores that are effective, such as those containing the active ingredients carbaryl, or dinotefuran. Check all insecticide labels to make sure they are approved for application on the host tree before applying and wear protective equipment. Alternatively, landscape professionals and even some pest management companies can provide treatment. Physical removal extends to the nymphs, too. While egg removal may be a useful tool, many of the eggs are not safely accessible. However, nymphs hatch in May and are easier to target. Nymphs move up and down trees daily, and this provides a way to physically remove them with trapping. The original method was to use sticky bands, but this captures other organisms like bees, tree frogs, and birds. Covering the sticky band with loose chicken wire can reduce capture of nontargets, but another option is a circle trap. Originally designed by the USDA, there are DIY instructions here: extension.psu.edu/howto-build-a-new-style-spotted-lanternfly-circletrap or simply search “circle trap SLF” on your internet browser for pre-made ones. Pick the host tree based on observations of this year’s high adult populations. In 35 traps, Rutgers has removed over 8,000 nymphs this year. That is 8,000 fewer future adults and thousands fewer eggs. All these strategies are not one-shot deals. Management of SLF will take multiple years and we are likely to be dealing with this bug for a long time. What the community can do is reduce the impact to their landscapes and green spaces. Removal of SLF’s primary host, tree of heaven, may help, but SLF can complete their lifecycle without it, it just takes a bit longer. Removal is not an easy process, please visit extension.psu.edu/controlling-tree-of-heavenwhy-it-matters. We hope this will help protect our farmers in the long term as well as any backyard gardens. For more resources visit njaes. rutgers.edu/spotted-lanternfly or www.nj.gov/ agriculture/divisions/pi/prog/pests-diseases/ spotted-lanternfly.

Editor’s Note: This month’s contribution was written by Anne L Nielsen, PhD, Extension Specialist in Entomology


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

September 2021 7

The Mighty Onion – A Gardener’s Friend Onions are a plant most people consider as ideal for the vegetable garden, while the more ardent gardeners undoubtedly recognize their potential for colorful spring bulb displays. The selections many people have yet to discover are the species and crosses available for late summer and autumn bloom. Indeed, the mighty onion, botanically known as Allium, has much to offer the late summer garden. Allium is a huge genus and the differences between species are often barely discernable, which explains the range in potential species from 250 to over 950. Allium is currently assigned to the Amaryllidaceae or Amaryllis Family, with most species found in temperate regions throughout the northern hemisphere. The name Allium is Latin for onion and was officially ascribed to the genus by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) in 1753 when he established

cultivated garlic, Allium sativum, as the type plant for the genus. The species epithet of sativum is Latin for cultivated. Allium species grow from bulbs which, along with the foliage and flowers, contain sulfurous compounds providing the characteristic fragrance of garlic. They are also characterized by flowers in the form of umbels, whereby the individual floral stems or pedicels radiate outward from a central point, like a starburst. One interesting species that is native to much of the United States, northern regions of Mexico, and Canada is Allium cernuum or Nodding Onion. It was named and described by the German physician and botanist Albrecht Wilhelm Roth (1757-1834) in 1798. The species epithet is from the Latin meaning “face turned towards the earth” or “stooping,” a physical attribute also echoed in the common name. The foliage appears as open clumps of flat, grass-like leaves growing 10 to 12 inches long and persisting throughout the

growing season. The unique flower stems appear in mid-July with the upper half of the stem completely bent over and the flower bud dangling downward, a stature befitting of its botanical and common names. As the flower nears the point of opening in late July and August, the floral stem “unrolls” upwards until all but the flower bud is standing upright. The leafy outer covering to the flower bud, called the spathe, splits open as the bud begins to make its final rise upwards, allowing the individual flowers to tumble outwards. When the flower is finally upright, the flowers radiate outward in the characteristic ball shape of an umbel. Very dramatic for a flower standing only 12 to 18 inches tall. The one-eighth-inch diameter flowers are pink, lavender, and occasionally white in color, with upwards of 30 to 40 individual flowers per umbel. The flowers are beloved by pollinators and effective for several weeks, following which each flower develops small black seeds that

allows the plant to rapidly naturalize. The seedlings can become weedy and in small garden areas it may prove beneficial to deadhead the spent flower heads. The plants naturally occur in rocky soils in open woods, dry meadows and prairies, where their spreading nature is more becoming. Aside from this species, there are numerous hybrids on the market that also provide the garden with latesummer color. Probably the most recognized is Allium “Millenium,”, the Perennial Plant of the year in 2019. In case you were wondering, “Millenium” is the proper spelling and is the result of the breeding efforts of Mark McDonough, an architect by trade who has been fascinated with this genus since high school. The dark-green leaves have a flattened appearance, growing 10 to 15 inches tall and topped by a two-inch diameter rose purple umbels in August into September. The floral display lasts for upwards of four weeks and the flowers are also a favorite among pollinators. “Millenium” is ideal for

use as an edging plant or used in mass with plants having a spikey habit, like Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), or small to mid-sized ornamental grasses. Without doubt, the mighty onion is a genus that can serve many functions, from kitchen to garden. These two selections will brighten your late-summer garden, just when a touch of color is needed. Without doubt, the mighty onion is a gardener’s friend.

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.

RUTGERS LAND-GRANT UNIVERSITY NEWS Somerset County 4-H Returns In-Person with Annual Open House September 23 The annual Somerset County 4-H open house is returning this year on September 23, 2021 to welcome the local community with a free evening of hands-on learning and discovery with some of their over 65 clubs. “This is a perfect opportunity for families to learn about 4-H directly from our members and volunteers whose lives have been positively impacted through our many county, state, national and international events, college scholarships, and volunteer opportunities,” stated Lisa Rothenburger, Somerset County 4-H agent. From STEM to Arts and Culture, Animal Science to PREP aged kids between kindergarten and third grade, Somerset County 4-H clubs are completely free to join and are perfect for making friends, fostering

leadership, teamwork, and boosting public speaking skills. The open house, which will be hosted at The Ted Blum 4-H Center, will run from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and will aim to be a fun, educational, and engaging evening out for all families. No registration is required, but masks will be mandatory while on the premises. “Many of our youth members and leaders are excited to finally be welcoming families back to the center, the open house is always an event they look forward to participating in,” stated Carol Ward, Somerset County 4-H agent. To learn more about Somerset County 4-H, as well as how you can get involved in your community, visit their website at 4histops.org.

Leadership Transition at Rutgers Specialty Crop Research and Extension Center at Cream Ridge On Sept. 1, 2021, the role of director of the Rutgers Specialty Crop Research and Extension Center at Cream Ridge (formerly the Rutgers Fruit and Ornamental Research and Extension Center), currently held by Joseph Goffreda, will transition to Dean Polk, Agriculture & Natural Resources County Agent I and Fruit IPM Coordinator. Dean will serve as interim director through June 30, 2022. Joe has served as farm director since 1995, while also building a nationally recognized tree fruit breeding program. His work has generated over 30 patents for peaches, nectarines, apricots and apples. We thank Joe for his commitment to the farm for the last 26 years and wish him continued success with his breeding program.


8 September 2021

GardenerNews.com


GardenerNews.com “From our yards to yours” is the Baldasare family slogan. Over 19 years ago when I was on News 12 New Jersey as “The Backyard Gardener,” I was looking for a landscape supply yard to create a segment on Landscape Supply Yard Safety. I wanted to educate homeowners on how to safely enter and shop an active landscape supply yard with front-end loaders and dump trucks constantly moving around. As I drove back and forth to the Jersey shore on Rt. 34, I noticed the Rt. 34 Landscape Supply Yard under the giant American flag in Wall Township. On my trip back home from the beach one day, I decided to stop by. This was in 2002, right before the Gardener News germinated in 2003. Back then, I was sporting a navy blue, button down shirt with the News 12 New Jersey logo on it. As I approached the landscape yards office, I was greeted by Mike Baldasare, the owner. After a few short minutes, I knew that I had found the right place for the taping. Mike was very friendly, highly educated, safety oriented, and easy to speak with. Mike and I put together, in my opinion, one of the best landscaping, horticultural and educational safety segments that aired on my show. From that point on, we became friends. As a former landscape professional, I stopped by his yard often to say hello on my trips back and forth to the beach. I soon met his son Brian, who joined up with his dad in 2005. What a great guy. They made a great team. Brian was a Wall Street guy that wanted to be closer to home. The family business at Rt. 34 began. I had a blast stopping by. Friday was grill and fried chicken day at Rt. 34. I always timed my beach trips to hit their spot on Rt. 34 near lunch. The camaraderie and joke-telling were the best. One Friday afternoon the father and son team shared some good news with me. They purchased another location right near the Freehold border. It was going

September 2021 9 other. Here are some of the safety tips that Mike and I discussed on News 12 New By Tom Castronovo Jersey. First and foremost is to Gardener News wear closed-toe shoes. Flip flops and sandals should not be worn. Always be aware of your surroundings as the heavy equipment moves about. Never walk behind Before I forget, I must greeted with a friendly, moving equipment. If you mention the highly educated warm welcome as I enter have your children with you, landscape supply yard staff the offices. The Baldasare hold their hands at all times. If you are loading mulch, at both locations. I am always family business is like no sand, or stone on a trailer or in a pickup truck, please make sure you have a tarp to cover the load. Nobody wants to follow you with the material you just loaded pelting their car. I know. A few years ago a knucklehead that was loaded with gravel without a cover, bounced it all over the road and onto my windshield. Bang! It cracked. And he got away. I’m sure Mike will be stopping by Rt. 34 from time to time to keep the family tradition going strong. I’d get into trouble if I didn’t mention this. The Jersey Shore Chapter West Virginia University Alumni was founded in December 2011 by Brian and Shannon Hammer Korb from The Crab’s Claw Inn. They were looking for a way to bring local WVU Alumni together for business networking and game watches. The Chapter quickly found a home at The Crabs Claw Inn in Lavallette, Ocean County, N.J., where you can always find fans cheering on the Mountaineers on game days in the Upstairs WVU Bar. Good luck, my friends.

Around The Garden

Wishing My Friends Well to be called Rt. 9 Hardscape Supply Yard. Mike moved to Rt. 9 for the first five years. Brian took over Rt. 34. Then they switched. Brian is currently at Rt. 9 and Mike is at Rt. 34. The boys’ goal has always been to provide superior service, the best horticultural products and prices to their customers in the Monmouth and Ocean County area. At the end of July, as I was dropping off copies of the August Gardener News, sporting my black Gardener News golf shirt, Mike informed me that they were going to sell Rt. 9 so he could take some time off and Brian would be back at Rt. 34. Now it’s time for Brian to move back to Rt. 34 in Wall, where he grew up and currently lives with his family. Mike his dad, wants to start taking some time off and relaxing. I know he’s earned it. Working in a landscape supply yard is very hands on for the younger generation. Each time I saw the guys, we hardly spoke about business. It was all about family and friends. It was some time since I had seen Mike and Brian at the same location. I arranged a day to meet with Mike and Brian together. We all decided to meet at the Rt. 9 location. It was a great morning and like old times again. In between customers we joked around again, shared some great memories from Rt. 34 and spoke about the current business climate as we looked into the future. This was a rarity. We did catch up on our families. While I was there, I asked them if I could take a photo of them together in front of their sign as a memory. They had no idea that I was going to feature them in my column.

Tom Castronovo/Photo

Mike Baldasare, left, and Brian Baldasare at Rt. 9 Hardscape Supply Yard.

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.


10 September 2021

GardenerNews.com

Catch a September Star By Hubert Ling Blue wood aster, or heartleafed aster, Symphyotrichum cordifolium, is a relatively common native plant in Canada and in almost all of the United States east of the Mississippi. In New Jersey, it is found in all the northern counties and several of the southern ones. Aster, of course, means star in both Greek and Latin. “Why so many asters and goldenrods now? The sun has shone on the earth, and the goldenrod is his fruit. The stars, too, have shone on it, and the asters are their fruit.” This lovely quote is from Henry David Thoreau’s, Journal, from 1853. The genus name comes from the Greek “sympho,” which means coming together, as in symphony, and “trichum,” which means hairs. The bunch of hairs probably refers to the feathery tuffs Recently, I was invited by our friends at the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture to participate in an “Urban Agriculture Tour.” Established in 1785, the Philadelphia Society shares many of the same objectives as the New Jersey Agricultural Society. To some, it might seem strange to hear the word “urban” and “agriculture” in the same sentence. With apologies to Norman Rockwell, and his romanticized renderings of bucolic farms, our cities are alive with a vibrant agricultural scene, and it is one of the fastestgrowing sectors in the United States agricultural industry. Urban agriculture can be defined as cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around a city. This can also include animal husbandry, aquaculture, urban beekeeping, or horticulture. This model of agriculture was most prevalent in our country’s earliest years, when surrounding farms supplied local villages and cities with food. As our country grew and became more developed, a system of transporting food from megaagricultural production areas became the norm. As our world population continues to expand, urban food systems have gained public notice. The COVID pandemic underscored

(pappus) which carry away the seeds in every passing breeze. Cordifolium is Latin for “heart shaped leaves”; the basal leaves of this aster are heart shaped. As expected from the common name, blue wood asters grow best in partial shade at the edges of woods, but they are also found in deep shade. In addition, don’t be surprised to find blue wood aster in full sun if it is surrounded by a few friends. Blue wood aster grows in moist to medium to dry soil and is resistant to black walnut roots, and moderately resistant to deer and rabbits. The plants are two- to fourfeet tall, with large, heartshaped leaves at the base and smaller, spade-shaped leaves near the apex. The lavender or pale blue flowers appear in late September and may continue after light frosts into November. The flower heads are half an inch in diameter, but the flowers are bountiful

and when massed around the upper portions of the plant, they look like light-blue billowy clouds. As in most composite flowers, blue wood aster has two types of small flowers in every half-inch head. The outside pistillate ray flowers, which look like petals, are pale blue, fertile, and number from 10 to 15. The very small central yellow disc flowers contain pistils, stamens, and number several dozen. These yellow disc flowers, past maturity, turn purple and the numerous small ovaries of flower heads ripen into tiny fruits, each containing a single seed. As the seeds are ripening, the calyx of each flower is developing into a hairy pappus similar to those found in dandelion and with the same function of distributing the seeds by riding air currents. You have to look very carefully, magnification greatly helps, in order to discover all these miniature marvels.

These asters are very easy to raise since they thrive under a variety of conditions. Some people even consider them a bit too rambunctious, but they are easy to control by simply pulling up unwanted plants; I have grown them for 20 years and have never needed to remove excess plants. These plants have no serious diseases or pests. Propagation is by seeds, which are generally sown outdoors in the fall. Starting in the 1600s, North American asters, including blue wood aster, were exported to England, where they have become an essential part of the fall English garden. Several cultivars of the blue wood aster have been developed and have been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. The flowers of blue wood aster attract bees and butterflies and provide nectar and nutrient-rich pollen at a time when it is crucial for migrating animals and those

NJ Agricultural Society By Al Murray Executive Director

Farming in the City

how fragile food systems can be and raised urban agriculture’s profile. Take a walk thorough any city, and you would be surprised to see urban agriculture hiding in plain sight. From backyard roof-tops and balconies, to community gardens on vacant lots, little plots of land are providing food, stabilizing soils, reducing C02 emissions, increasing carbon sequestration, and providing scenic and decorative views amid the swaths of brick and concrete. Urban agriculture also helps their locales by providing fresh food, generates employment, recycles urban waste, creates “greenbelts,” and educates the public about how their food is produced. In some cities, urban agriculture has become a social movement, introducing ideas such as community sustainability, environmental stewardship, as well as nutrition education. In Philadelphia, there are approximately 470 community

gardens. Most are connected with their local neighborhoods helping combat food deserts that exist within the city. Some have their own local markets and others send their products to feeding organizations to help fight hunger. Our tour featured examples of urban agriculture at work. Our first stop was the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Founded in 1965 and located in the northwestern section of Philadelphia, the center boasts 340 acres of fields, forests, ponds, and streams. For nearly 50 years, the center has sponsored a community garden for city dwellers to escape the chaos of city life and enjoy their own personal place to work the soil. The community garden takes up 5.25 acres and is broken up into 475 plots. Each plot is approximately 16 feet by 20 feet and can be rented by the year. Many rent multiple plots. Amenities include parking,

fenced plots, a hose system for irrigation, a porta potty, and community tool sheds. A walk around the garden showed it serves many purposes. Many gardeners were growing fruits and vegetables for themselves, and their families. A local florist was growing flowers for his business. Some gardeners use their plot as an unofficial back yard. Many of us take a back yard for granted, but to city dwellers this is a luxury. These plots featured elaborate gardens with benches and fountains, others were simply a space of grass with a child’s swing set – a little place of serenity from the hustle and bustle of the city. Our second stop was W. B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences. The school sits on a 130- acre campus that contains a school and features a produce and livestock farm. The school boasts being the largest agricultural farm school in the United States

preparing for winter. It is also a host plant for the larvae of the pearl crescent butterfly and, according to Doug Tallamy and Rick Darke. hosts another 108 species of caterpillars. Aphids, lacebugs, beetles, leafhoppers, leafminers, and walkingsticks all dine on blue wood aster, but the hardy plants rarely show much damage. The seeds also provide food for goldfinch, chickadees and small mammals. In late October and November, the leaves of blue wood aster turn a deep greenish-purple and reluctantly halt blooming only after several hard frosts. Give these plants a spot in your pollinator garden or in a natural area and you will be glad you caught a star.

Editor’s Note: Hubert Ling is President of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. He can be reached at milhubling@verizon.net. and has the largest FFA chapter in Pennsylvania. Students are involved in every aspect of the farm – from hands-on fieldwork, agricultural education, to applied research and summer internships. Many of the graduates continue their careers in the agricultural industry. In the summer, the school partners with Weavers Way Cooperative to operate a seasonal farm market at the farm. This provides additional opportunities for the students, who work with Weavers Way staff. It was a fun and informative tour and proved that agriculture can thrive anywhere.

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


GardenerNews.com

September 2021 11

Growing Gardeners By Diana Dove Environmental Educator

Plan Ahead when Teaching Children in a Garden

Teach outside! A garden of any size becomes a unique setting for learning, engaging GROWING GARDENERS in lessons of lasting impact. An outdoor learning space provides a refreshing environment for children to engage in direct observations, discoveries, and hands-on learning in crosscurricular activities. Outdoor lessons offer an ideal positive opportunity for students to solve problems in real-life situations. High-quality outdoor-based learning helps create thinking minds and helps students gain an appreciation for the out-of-doors, leading to responsible stewardship and conservation. Plan ahead to seek locations to utilize a garden or other outdoor space as an outdoor classroom site. Here are things to consider: Be weather-wise: Follow your local weather weekly and hourly on the day you plan to teach outside. Know what is predicted and be flexible, as weather fronts may abruptly change. When available, coordinate with the school or camp nurse and go outside when the UV and air-quality indices are acceptable. Follow weather temperature predictions. In hot weather, plan to teach in the shade and be sure students are hydrated before going outside. Students should always have reusable water bottles. The day before an outdoor lesson, describe to students how to dress for the weather. If planning to be in the sun, tell students to wear light colors that will reflect the sun’s heat. Advise them to wear sun screen, a sunhat or visor and optional sunglasses. In cool weather, remind students to bring an extra layer of clothing, such as a sweater or

windbreaker. Teach children and parents to take time to check the weather. Be mindful of windy conditions and always look up when selecting a place to teach outdoors. Never gather a class beneath or beside a tree with dead or dying branches. Children should wear socks and sneakers rather than flip flops or open-toed shoes. Select a dry comfortable, safe outdoor site if sitting for a lesson: The grass may be wet with dew in the morning shade. Pavement may be too hot in the sun. Carpet squares and washable cushions are one solution. Some carpet stores may donate carpet samples upon request. When tables are needed for an outdoor lesson, I check out the site to plan to use available picnic tables and benches. When needed, I bring card tables, sturdy TV trays, and folding lawn chairs to display teaching items. When more space is needed to spread things out, I use a clean ground cloth or tarp set on the ground. As we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, I wipe down all table surfaces, covers and ground cloths with an approved disinfectant so they are clean for the next use. Survey the area and select a teaching spot that is secure from strangers and away from moving and parked vehicles. When working with young children, I teach inside a fenced in garden or playground when available and always double check that the gate is closed. I tell the children to “Let the bees be… and stay calm when you hear them buzzing by.” Leave them alone, and they will leave you alone. Watch for ground bees’ nests and know how to identify

poison ivy and avoid those areas. “If the leaves are three, let it be.” Can the teacher be heard?: If your only outdoor space is filled with traffic sounds, consider obtaining a portable, rechargeable hands-free, head microphone with a mini-speaker and belt clip. In some of my lessons, I play animal and nature sounds from my cell phone using a rechargeable handheld Bluetooth speaker. Know when landscapers will be working: Lawn-mowing, leafblowing, tree trimming or tree removal involving chainsaw use are too loud during outdoor lessons. Children are easily distracted, and the children will pay attention only when they can hear you. Then… there may be low-flying airplanes and helicopters which are surely a distraction, but that’s out of your control. Sometimes, you just have to pause. Outdoor-based learning allows a child to venture out of the classroom and directly see the world around them. They learn new things as they investigate nature every time they go outside for a lesson. They experience new ways of “learning by doing and seeing!” Plan ahead, take students outside. Garden with children and create memorable lessons that may last a lifetime. As children grow up, outdoor lessons may inspire them to choose to teach others to be responsible and protect the natural resources when the outdoors has become part of their lives. Encourage children to explore outdoors. Be the teacher GROWING GARDENERS will remember as the one who taught them why this is the time to protect our environment and apply this to their everyday lives.

Editor’s Note: Diana is an Environmental Educator who can be reached at dianadove13@ gmail.com She co-teaches “Wildlife & Litter” programs with her husband, Mike. They offer this and Wildlife Education booths, free, with kids’ crafts, fully funded by County and Local NJ Clean Communities for Pre-K through all grade levels and adults. Please ‘Like” the FB page of the Karen Nash Memorial Butterfly Garden she founded in Washington Borough, Warren County. Diana is Co-Youth Chair on the Board of the Garden Club of New Jersey and is the 2021 National Garden Club Youth Leader Award Recipient. She has a BS in Forestry & Wildlife Management, with a concentration in Biology, plus a BA in Communications from Virginia Tech. She is a former Senior Naturalist for Somerset County Parks and has been teaching since 1975.

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12 September 2021 The lawn and garden industry is tenacious to say the least! Over the past decade, issues like Sudden Oak Death disease (SOD), Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), Impatiens with downy mildew, Basil downy mildew, Black Knot disease on plum and cherry trees, Rose Rosette disease (RRD), Boxwood Blight, Japanese beetle, Cicadas and Spotted Lanternfly have all been thrust to the forefront. Additionally, and most recently, COVID-19 has stalled inventory arrivals, the industry has been faced with labor shortages, as most industries have, grass seed is scarce and this past winter the Pacific Northwest (PNW) faced monumental ice damage. And if this wasn’t bad enough, June saw record temperatures touch 117 degrees Fahrenheit in the PNW! The surrounding areas of Portland, Salem, and Eugene, Oregon saw a four-day heat event that had temperatures hovering between 110 and 117 degrees, the last day having 20 to 30 mph winds. A virtual convection oven that reportedly torched living landscapes and had growers scrambling to protect their livelihoods. With all that was reported, I simply had to go see for myself, as our garden center buys a fair amount from Oregon, a Mesopotamian region or fertile crescent, for nursery stock. And who better to go visit with than my best friend and mentor, Tony Maiello, from the horticultural conglomerate Metropolitan Plant and Flower Exchange. Landing at Portland Airport and traveling toward The Lodge at Government Camp, Mt. Hood, I remarked to Tony, my wingman, at the consistent burn marks on the larger, native trees, particularly on their southwest sides. Trees like Noble fir, Abies procera, Incense Cedar, Calocedrus decurrens, Port Orford cedar, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana and Douglas Fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii, were noticeably marked with a bright orangebrown patina. Suffice (it) to say, our ambitions of finding

GardenerNews.com Unique Plants By Bob LaHoff Nursery Specialist

Copious Nursery Notes from the Pacific Northwest additional Christmas trees, roping and wreaths were quickly put to rest. Noticing the devastating damage on the “true firs,” we immediately knew that Christmas trees would be in even more of a short supply this year, as they have been for the past several years. Incidentally, fir tree parts are used to make certain Christmas roping (garland) and wreaths, and that in itself presents another problem. Concentrating our efforts on nursery stock suddenly became easier. Visiting eight growers in three days, covering nearly 400 miles, we were encouraged by the efforts of all the nursery growers we visited. While there were consistent plant materials that simply couldn’t transpire water in the extreme heat, many plant types were able to hold on and make it through the event. “Extreme heat stress (even in the presence of adequate soil moisture) can cause a reduction in plant stomatal conductance, which reduces plant transpiration rate, causing reductions in plant productivity and yield… Under water stress, some plants develop short suberized roots, as the top soil becomes dry” (cropwatch.enl.edu). A few plants Tony and I saw that consistently suffered, bruised or perished from the extreme heat were Arborvitae types. Specifically, American/ Eastern Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis, Oriental Arborvitae, Thuja orientalis and Giant Western Arborvitae, Thuja plicata. Cultivars that had succumbed, more than others, to Mother Nature’s wrath include Thuja o. “Franky Boy,” Thuja p. “Forever Goldy,” Thuja p. “Daniellow” (Golden Spire) and Thuja p. “Whipcord.”

Traveling so many miles, we did see other plant types affected, like spruce and pine. However, because of the topography and the way the winds blew, particularly the last day of this analogous convection heat transfer, the most consistently injured plants seemed to be these along with the “true fir” types previously mentioned. Additionally, plant cultivars with a yellow patina or gloss routinely showed stress as well. Enough of the hardships, let’s move on to some excitement…specif ically cool and unusual plants and technology! The first of our eight nursery stops “had me at hello” (“Jerry Maguire” 1996 movie). A grower known for exquisite plant material, particularly Japanese maples and dwarf conifers, surprisingly it was two rhododendron types that caught our attention, still holding it as I write this. Rhododendron x “Wine and Roses” and Rhododendron x “Everred,” both have gorgeous indumentums. “A protective, woolly layer that sheds water and provides leaf protection” (rhododendron. org), the underside of rhododendron leaves is covered with a surface of trichomes. The fact that they flower red is irrelevant to this writer as my first year college professor, at Rutgers University, said it best, “Why do you pay attention to the flower of an evergreen when you stare at the foliage all year?” Truer words were never spoken! From a distance, the leaves of these ericaceous plants look like they’re flowering. Ericaceous plants, belonging to the heather family, enjoy acidic soil and as such, heather, azaleas and rhododendron are

not suited to calcareous soil types. Finally, the back of these rhododendron leaves literally feels like felt and their rich, dark hues are noteworthy in itself. The next day seemed to be a lesson in horticultural vocabulary. Visiting the premier Japanese maple, dwarf conifer, and deciduous tree grower in the United States, perhaps the world, our guide, dear friend, and plant guru Rob pointed out some highlights. After receiving a passing grade on the translation of certain Japanese maple cultivars and their meaning: “Tsuma Gaki” (red painted nails), “Koto-no-ito” (harp strings) and “Beni Hime” (red dwarf/frogs feet or hands) we pressed on to see some additional, eminent maple types. Siebold’s maple, Acer sieboldianum “Kinugasa yama” is on my short list for next spring! Extremely cold tolerant with large, full-moonlike leaves, this tree doesn’t disappoint. Young leaves are pinkish-red and velvety as they emerge, while its fall color takes on bright oranges to fiery red. Acer campestre “Carnival” has white and pink hues and could easily catch anyone’s attention, from any point, in your garden. The next morning had us on an early start, moving swiftly down the mountain, past the town of Rhododendron (yes, that really is the town’s name) and into the Woodburn, Oregon area, known as much for its pedestrian plants as it is for its unusual ones. Traveling toward our first nursery, we passed some exquisite plant material and a grower many would be intimidated by. More on this in a moment. Settling in on our first tour, we were treated to a

“technological new age.” Machines that can dig spiral boxwood at a single bound, prune hornbeam trees into perfect, replicated cylinders, and create some of the most exquisite topiary creations seen in this country. Our tour guide was as affable as she was brilliant. Her command of the horticultural language was inspiring and her ability to weave the academics of a textbook easily with personal observations, adding a touch of humor, made us fast friends. This particular nursery simply leads the way in innovation. Lommers Tuinbouwmachines bv, a company from Bergeijk (Netherlands), specializes in machines for the horticultural sector. Active worldwide, and a relatively new company, they design, develop, manufacture, install and maintain some of the most sophisticated horticultural machinery known to the planet. Machines that can drill a plant’s hole, prune trees and shrubs with exact precision or put a rootball on a plant, this company can and will design your most vivid thoughts. Simply put, Lommers has the ability to develop, manufacture and even write the required software that their customer wishes for and demands. In turn, all this technology, despite its cost, will eliminate a few jobs. However, in so doing, time will be saved, precision will be the new benchmark and a healthier bottom line and more cost effective product will be achieved. In awe of what this mechanized assembly line can do, I watched a small tree get dug out of the ground and present itself for shipment to the East Coast in less than 60 seconds. This same company explained to me how they import plant parts from Israel, specifically Redbud trees, to ensure plant health and reliability. Unaware that Israel has a similar climate to growers in the PNW, this company’s attention to detail and slight obsessions spoke to my character. The implementation of advanced pruning techniques, speeding up production and offering a finished (Cont. on Page 13)


GardenerNews.com

September 2021 13

Bob LaHoff/Photo

Tony Maiello, manager of Metropolitan Plant Exchange in West Orange, Essex County, N.J., happily shows the windswept character of the slow-growing Fukuzumi Japanese White Pine Pinus parviflora “Fukuzumi” at Iseli Nursery in Boring, Oregon, on July 20. This species develops multiple leaders that extend at 45-degree angles, with short, blue-green and twisted needles. The dimensions are six feet tall, 16 feet long, and four feet deep. This is one of the largest in the country. There is not a larger one known. product, meticulous by design, was thrilling. Following this two-hour tour, I had to “knock on the door” of the nursery next to this one. A nursery known for cutting-edge plants, apparently they don’t sell to just anyone? Japanese maples, companion deciduous trees, dwarf conifers and broadleaf evergreens were all on the menu here. After a quick “Q & A,” we both quickly realized that we not only had much in common, but knew many of the same people. However, it was a (Cont. from Page 12)

three-tree identification test, which thankfully I passed, that proved we both had an affinity for all things plants and a thirst for knowledge. Some of the most coveted plant material will, no doubt, be delivered from here to our nursery next spring. Finally, a small handful of eclectic plants, seldom seen in our industry, still has me captivated! A weeping tree broom, Carmichaelia stevensonii and Duckfoot Ivy Tree, Metapanax davidii were far out. Despite the fact that both are “borderline hardy” for our temperate

climate, a man can dream! One having cascading, cordlike branches, the other, a small evergreen tree reminiscent, to this author, of Wheel tree, Trochodendron aralioides; exotic textures are the common bond here. And 2 Magnolia types, Yulan Magnolia, Magnolia denudata and Magnolia “Black Tulip,” Magnolia x “Black Tulip” had me not only admiring their structure, but the “scratchiness” of their leaves too. Wondering if they would be more deer resistant… I believe so. The entire trip, as usual,

was simply sensory overload. Spending time with friends, learning from some of the world’s best growers and procuring some of the most highly coveted plant material, along with the basics, is always a thrill. However, spending a few days with the gentleman who introduced me to my profession, a man who is so accomplished and connected in our industry, and whom I continue to admire on a personal and professional level, is truly a gift in itself. My wish is for everyone to love their work as much as I

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


14 September 2021

GardenerNews.com ™

The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association and the NJLCA Education Fund are excited to announce that on October 1st and 2nd, we will be holding a two-day trade show/demo days/in-person event for all to attend! The Northeast Green Industry Showcase will be like no other event in the entire northeast!

• • • • • •

Outdoors – Booth space will be available in open air pavilions and on a grass concourse. Demo space – All equipment vendors will demo area space to match their booth space for attendees to try out equipment. Live music – Live band on Saturday Food trucks – Instead of usual trade show fare, this event will host several food options from multiple food truck vendors. Location – The Hunterdon County Fairgrounds are within minutes of a great nightlife in Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA. Plus, we expect attendees from throughout NJ, NY, PA and DE to come to this centrally located event. Limited education – Means more time for you to spend with attendees and exhibitors, networking, demonstrating and discussing products and services.

Over 1 acre of covered open-air exhibit space, 1.5 acres of outdoor space and 1.25 acres of demonstration area, this will be the biggest event on the east coast.

Registration is now open at www.NGIS-NJ.com

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education fund

*Attendance at this event will be to the level permitted under New Jersey Executive Orders in effect at the time of the show. Currently there are no limits to the number of attendees. Additionally, all participants must adhere to all CDC and state guidelines regarding COVID-19.

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September 2021 15

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GardenerNews.com

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GardenerNews.com Wow, as I write this article in late summer, lawns seem to be suffering quite a bit. Mother Nature has done it once again, sent all sorts of fun weather to help mess up your lawn. Last night there was even a tornado sighting in western New Jersey. Let’s review what has happened. Things seemed to change every day, first too much rain then a long hot, dry spell in June. This disrupted pre-emergent crabgrass controls. The rain watered down the active ingredient to prevent crabgrass and the hot, dry weather allowed existing crabgrass to take hold and establish itself while the lawn went slowly into dormancy. Your lawn will try to go into dormancy like a bear hibernating in the winter to conserve energy and survive. It basically shuts down and you start to see what you believe to be dead grass. If the lawn is under stress for too long, it will die and need to be reseeded. So, crabgrass started to emerge and then nutsedge came along. Nutsedge is a tall, light-green sedge that emerges quickly right after you mow Now that we are into the month of September, the days are starting to get shorter, the nights are a little cooler, and hopefully, the kids are back in school. But it is also time to start thinking about preserving the bounty of this year’s growing season so that it can be enjoyed throughout the winter and spring. Not only does locally grown and preserved produce taste great, but it also serves as a pleasant reminder of what happened during the prior year. Preserved produce almost serves as an unwritten journal of what went on during last year’s growing season. Every time that you open a jar from the pantry or pull a zip lock bag out of the freezer, it can turn into a miniature trip down memory lane. Of course, today, because of the time involved and the widespread availability of most produce items yearround, preserving fresh fruits and vegetables can almost be seen as a luxury. But there was a time when a full cellar or pantry was the difference between living well and going hungry. Because the great majority of fruits and vegetables were only “in season” for a relatively short amount of time, people came up

September 2021 17 Turf ‘s Up By Todd Pretz Professional Turf Consultant

Here we go again!

your lawn. It seems to grow an inch or two in a few days, standing tall amongst your nicely mowed lawn. Nutsedge is a bit mysterious because it seems to pop up in different areas of your lawn as the years go by. Nutsedge is easily identified by its triangular blade shape and it’s white “nutlet” at the bottom of the root system when you gently pull it out of the ground. This is not an easy one to control. Halosulfuron does the best, along with sulfentrazone. What next? Fungus is among us. This seems to be a continuing problem in the summer in many parts of the country every year. Eventually, many lawns have fungus problems each year.

Fungicides labeled for the correct fungus can be effective. Some can be applied as a preventative treatment before the fungus arrives and some a curative treatment, which is designed to kill the fungus once it arrives. Fungus can be very frustrating since they are sometimes misdiagnosed as drought or heat stress or even insect damage. Bugs, bugs they’re here to stay, no matter what you do you can’t chase them away. It seems that this verse is true, but we do have effective controls to kill and chase bugs away. What seems to be your problem – grubs, chinch bugs, ants, fleas, ticks? The important thing is to properly identify the bug you are trying

to get rid of. There are many pictures on the Internet to help you identify bugs and then find the proper way to control them. Timing and following all label directions is important for best control. Organic oils can repel some insects and mowing along tree lines can help to reduce deer tick populations. I know I sound like a broken record, but what did you not do so well this year to save your lawn from Mother Nature’s grasp? I know that I’ve been meaning to apply a summer fertilizer since the end of June and just did not get to it; it’s still in my shed waiting to be spread. Did you or your mower crew mow too close or weed

The Town Farmer By Peter Melick Agricultural Producer

Farming Preserved

with ways to keep produce, in some form or another, so that it could be utilized for months on end. Fermentation is probably one of the earliest types of food preservation. When grape juice or apple juice ferments and turns into alcohol and is then cared for in the right way, it can then last many months or even years without requiring any refrigeration. The alcohol has a way of inhibiting the growth of bacteria, which would normally spoil most fresh fruits and vegetables. In fact, before modern water systems were put into place, drinking homemade hard cider or wine was probably much safer than drinking water, at least from a bacterial standpoint. Plus, the vitamins and calories that these

fermented fruit juices provided played a key role in keeping these early populations healthy. For those people who lived in more arid climates, drying food items was an excellent form of food preservation. Many fruits and nuts lend themselves to this method quite well. Because most of the pathogens that cause fruits and vegetables to spoil and decay thrive in humid environments, drying can sometimes be tricky in wet seasons or areas prone to quite a bit of rain. But if this process can be done properly, it can be very successful. Canning is a process that really caught on in the United States in the late 1800s. It basically allows for fruits or vegetables to be heat-treated, and then sealed in a bacteria-free environment.

This method of food preservation gained in popularity largely due to the availability of economical containers produced solely for this purpose. Whether these containers were metal or glass, their use allowed families to capture whatever was in season and save it for use later in the year. In fact, the advent of canning here in New Jersey was one of the main reasons that the peach and tomato industries grew so large. These fruits lent themselves very well to the canning process and were sought after by rural and city folk alike. After World War II, freezing became a very common and economical way to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables. New technology allowed for the home freezer to become affordable for

whack too low that your lawn suffered and crabgrass established? Did you forget to water or irrigate before it was too late to save your lawn and now you are looking at dead brown grass? Did you forget to monitor for insects and fungus problems? You should take notes of problem areas each year to try to stop these problems before they become too hard to handle. I know, I sound like a school teacher reprimanding you for not following the rules or not doing your homework. But then, Mother Nature can make up her own rules. Speaking of school, it’s time to send the kids back to school. Don’t be discouraged, you can always fix lawns problems moving forward. Let’s all look forward to cooler fall weather ahead. 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 most families. My father related that after the end of the war, many local farm families had the means and desire to purchase these freezers, but because of labor and component shortages, were forced to wait many months before they could actually take delivery. (Sound familiar?) But with almost every home now electrified, these freezers became the ideal way to preserve many items throughout the year. Of course, the modern way of preserving fruits and vegetables is to just take a picture of it and post it on social media. Call me old fashioned, but I’ll choose canned peaches or frozen sweet corn anyday! 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.


18 September 2021

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UNITED STATES DEPARTME Summer Lights We often cherish the small memories of summer and all the joy that those memories bring. Maybe those memories are framed with ocean breezes, laughter, good food and time well-spent with friends or family. Whatever your summer memories include, I’d like to think that the yellow-green flash of the firefly is somewhere on the list. Did you spend the summer evenings of your youth capturing fireflies in a glass jar? Did you try to catch them in your hand? Did you ever wonder where these insects come from and why they are such a huge part of summer evenings? If so, this may be the perfect time to learn. First, it’s worth noting that despite their common name, these insects are not flies. They are actually a part of the Lampyridae beetle family, and they appear in late May or early June, often disappearing around September. But that varies according to species, region, and local weather conditions. Some species also emerge earlier than others. Like all beetles, fireflies have a complete metamorphosis, meaning they develop from eggs, to larvae, to pupae, to adults. Fireflies can spend up to two years as larvae, while their lifespan as adults only lasts a few weeks. Most people may find them flying around their yard, but fireflies prefer damp areas and you will often find them in meadows, woods, backyards or near sources of water. As they develop and grow, the larvae will eat other insect larvae, snails, and slugs. The adult diet is less well known, but research shows most adult fireflies don’t feed at all, and when they do, the diet can vary from species to species, but usually includes nectar, pollen, or other fireflies. During the day, nocturnal Lampyridae can be found resting on vegetation or tree trunks. Once evening falls, they begin mating behavior which results in the spectacular light show that we all know and love. During this time, the males will fly through the air and emit light from specialized organs on their abdomen to get the attention of the females. If the female is interested, she’ll reply with a flash of her own, attracting the male towards her. Each species has a specific flash pattern that differs in number, duration, and intervals between flashes. After mating the female lays her eggs and the adults soon die. Fireflies are actually considered a beneficial predator of garden pests, and sometimes, pollinators. Sometimes they are not quite hospitable to one another, as research shows that some female fireflies mimic the response of a different species to lure in a male firefly before eating him. As everyone knows, fireflies won’t bite or sting you. So, it’s fine if they land on you while you enjoy a summer evening outdoors. There are now more than 136 species of fireflies in the United States and Canada, but they are currently in decline due to loss of habitat, pesticides, and light pollution. Be sure to enjoy their light show as they move about your backyard and be sure to set them free if they’ve been captured in a jar or your hand. We want them around for a long time. 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 $17 of economic impact.

USDA to Survey Fruit Growers about Chemical Use In the next few weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will survey fruit growers in 12 states, including Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, for its biennial Fruit Chemical Use Survey. This survey will collect information on bearing acreage, pest management practices, fertilizer types, acres treated, application rates, pesticide application, acres treated, and rates applied to more than 21 fruit crops. “Growers benefit from providing this information because it is used to re-register products for their use, to illustrate the industry’s environmental practices, and to assure the quality of U.S. food to consumers here and around the world,” said King Whetstone, director of the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office. “I encourage every grower to take the time to respond if they receive this survey.” The Fruit Chemical Use Survey will

provide much needed information about the current crop production practices used in the United States. The results of this survey will paint a detailed picture of pesticide use and other pest management practices used by the fruit growers across the nation. To conduct the survey, NASS representatives will contact selected Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey growers to collect the survey information. The results of this survey will be available in aggregate form only, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by federal law. Survey results will be published in NASS’s online database, Quick Stats, in July 2022. This database and all NASS reports are available on the agency’s web site: www. nass.usda.gov. For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office at (800) 498-1518.

USDA Announces $10 Million in Grant Funding Available for the Specialty Crop Multi-State Program The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that $10 million is available for competitive grant funding in the 2021 Specialty Crop Multi-State Program (SCMP). “This program is an important resource to strengthen the competitiveness of our nation’s specialty crop industry,” said Bruce Summers, administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which manages SCMP. “By working across state lines, grant recipients can share resources and collaboratively address challenges for specific crops.” Grants are awarded to state departments of agriculture to fund collaborative, multistate projects that address food safety, plant pests and disease, research, cropspecific common issues, and marketing and promotion for specialty crops including fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. State departments must partner with organizations located in at least two different states to qualify. Partner organizations include specialty crop producer associations and groups, state agencies, Tribal governments, universities, nonprofits, and other stakeholder groups and organizations. Funding will be available for use in the Spring of 2022 with awarded projects with a period of performance of 36 months. Matching funds are not required.

In addition to screening proposals and submitting applications to AMS, participating state departments of agriculture will: Assume administrative responsibility for any application they submit that is selected for funding; and establish subgrants and/or contracts with the multi-state partners to complete the project. Applications must be received before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time December 6, 2021. For more information, visit the SCMP webpage or contact Martin Rosier at martin. rosier@usda.gov. USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.


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NT OF AGRICULTURE NEWS USDA Forecasts US Corn and Soybean Production up from 2020 The Crop Production report issued today by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) forecasted soybean and corn production up from 2020. Soybean production is up 5% from last year, forecast at 4.34 billion bushels; corn growers are expected to increase their production 4% from 2020, forecast at 14.8 billion bushels. Average corn yield is forecast at 174.6 bushels per acre, up 2.6 bushels from last year. NASS forecasts record-high yields in California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Acres planted to corn, at 92.7 million, are up 2% from 2020. As of Aug. 1, 62% of this year’s corn crop was reported in good or excellent condition, 10 percentage points above the same time last year. Area for soybean harvest is forecast at 86.7 million acres with planted area for the nation estimated at 87.6 million acres, up 5% from last year. Soybean yields are expected to average 50.0 bushels per acre, down 0.2 bushel from 2020. If realized, the forecasted yields in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas will be record highs. Wheat production is forecast at 1.70 billion bushels, down 7% from 2020. Growers are expected to produce 1.32 billion bushels of winter wheat this year, down 3% from the previous forecast but up 13% from last year. Durum wheat production is forecast at 34.7 million bushels, down 50% from 2020. All other spring wheat production is forecast at 343 million bushels, down 41% from last year. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, the U.S. all wheat yield is forecast at 44.5 bushels per acre, down 5.2 bushels from 2020. Today’s report also included the first production forecast for U.S. cotton. NASS forecasts all cotton production at 17.3 million 480-pound bales, up 18% from last year. Yield is expected to average 800 pounds per harvested acre, down 47 pounds from 2020. NASS interviewed approximately 18,600 producers across the country in preparation for this report. NASS is now gearing up to conduct its September Agricultural Survey, which will collect final acreage, yield, and production information for wheat, barley, oats, and rye as well as grains and oilseeds stored on farms across the country. That survey will take place during the first two weeks of September. NASS is the federal statistical agency responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture and is committed to providing timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

New Jersey 2021 Cranberry Crop Forecast at 490 Thousand Barrels New Jersey cranberry producers expect to harvest 490 thousand barrels in 2021, compared to 531 thousand barrels in 2020, according to Bruce Eklund, New Jersey State Statistician. Massachusetts production is forecast at 2.10 million barrels, up 2% from the year before. Oregon producers expect to harvest 610 thousand barrels, up 1% from 2020. Wisconsin production is forecast at 4.70 million barrels, also up 1% from 2020 production. Total forecast for these four states is 7.90 million barrels compared to a realized 7.83 million barrels in 2020. NASS is the federal statistical agency responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture and is committed to providing timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

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Microscopic Worms to the Cranberry Rescue Nematodes with a taste for “insect innards” may offer cranberry growers a natural alternative to fighting hungry crop pests with chemical insecticides. Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of Wisconsin (UW) are now exploring the possibility in field trials. They’ve set their sights on redheaded flea beetles, Sparganothis fruitworms and other cranberry pests that attack the cranberry plant itself or its tart-tasting fruit. Severe infestations can force growers to apply insecticides, ratcheting up their production costs. Developing alternative controls as part of an integrated pest management approach can reduce or replace the need for insecticides, noted Shawn Steffan, an entomologist with the ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit in Madison, Wisconsin. For his part, he and UW collaborator Shane Foye are working to formulate a bioinsecticide that’s made of entomopathogenic (“insectkilling”) nematodes. One species they’re particularly excited about came from the self-same environment that cranberries thrive in—the marshland and bogs of central Wisconsin. Cranberry also happens to be the official fruit of the state, which produces 60 percent of the nation’s total crop. Annually, Americans consume 2.3 pounds of cranberries per person, primarily as juice but also in dried fruit snacks and holiday fare such as cranberry relish. However, the path from bog to juice bottle (or table) can be a perilous one—no thanks to sundry insect pests whose appetites for destruction threaten the crop’s yield, fruit quality or both. Nature, though, has seen fit to make these pests a favorite food of the nematodes Heterorhabditis georgiana and Oscheius onirici. Both species were found in the acidic, wet bogs of central Wisconsin. Interestingly, H. georgiana was originally discovered by David Shapiro-Ilan (another ARS scientist) in Georgia.

“O. onirici was originally found within caves in Italy, but clearly there are populations making a living in the marshlands of Wisconsin,” said Steffan. The researchers hope both nematode species will prove to be an especially useful ally to both conventional and organic cranberry growers. Neither species is a threat to people, pets or other vertebrate animals. But what they do to their preferred prey isn’t pretty. After entering a natural body cavity, the nematodes release symbiotic bacteria that liquefy their prey’s internal organs and tissues. This creates a nutritious soup that the nematodes eat. Afterwards, they mate and deposit eggs inside their host’s remains. Eventually, juvenile nematodes wriggle free in search of new hosts to infect, a cycle that lasts as long as their prey does. In field trials, spraying a solution of the nematodes onto cranberry beds reduced flea beetle numbers by up 93 percent. Average levels of control typically reached 60 to 70 percent—equal to two insecticide applications, Steffan noted. In related laboratory experiments, O. onirici also proved lethal to the adult and larval stages of the spotted wing drosophila, an invasive species from Asia that’s become an established U.S. pest of many different fruit crops. Encouraged by the results, the researchers have devised a method of rearing the nematodes by the billions and creating a clean, highly concentrated mass of them that can be mixed with water and sprayed onto cranberry plants. Additionally, “we are trying some side-by-side trials this year involving commercial nematodes,” Steffan said. “This will give us some idea as to how our native Wisconsin nematodes compare to ‘off-the-shelf’ varieties.” 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 $17 of economic impact.


20 September 2021 Late summer is a great time of the year to start adding shrubs to the garden that have fantastic fall color. One of my favorite shrubs for fall color is Disanthus cercidifolius, which is an upright, multi-stemmed shrub from China. The epithet implies Cercis or redbud-like leaves, which are heart-shaped and ultimately turn to pink to burgundy and often fire engine red in the fall. Also sporting excellent red fall color is a selection of the chokeberry, Aronia arbutifolia, “Brilliantissima,” which is grown for its white flowers in the spring, an abundance of bright red berries which attract wildlife and birds, and its “brilliant” red fall color. This multistemmed native shrub can survive in both wet and dry conditions and exhibits the best fall color in full sun. With shades of red, burgundy and purple, Itea virginica “Henry’s Garnet” is an excellent native shrub for fall color. It too, can grow in a variety of conditions including very wet conditions. This East Coast native has amazing bottlebrushlike, fragrant flowers that cover this four- to five-feet tall shrub in May-June. It is aptly referred to as the Virginia sweetspire. Other excellent selections include a more diminutive form, Little Henry® and “Merlot” with deeper burgundy fall color.

GardenerNews.com Pennsylvania Horticultural Society By Andrew Bunting Vice President of Public Horticulture

Planting for Fall Color

For golden fall color, there are the summersweets, Clethra alnifolia. Like Itea virginica and Aronia arbutifolia, this spreading shrub can also take damp conditions in the garden. When I drive east through New Jersey during the summer, I see Clethra peeking out from the edge of the woods growing in swamp-like conditions in the Pine Barrens. It is grown for its spire-like flowers in late summer that are white and fragrant. Selections such as “Ruby Spice” have an abundance of pink flowers. In the fall, the leaves turn bright yellow, which adds to the ornamental interest of this medium-sized shrub. Underused in the garden is the native spicebush, Lindera benzoin. The understory shrub is found throughout the Eastern deciduous forests and is completely resistance to deer pressure. All lindera species have alkaloids in their stem and leaf tissue that are unappetizing to deer.

Lindera benzoin has small clusters of yellow flowers in early spring that emerge before the leaves emerge and in the fall golden leaves brighten the darkest corners of the shade garden. In my home garden, is an Asian counterpart, Lindera obtusiloba. This is one of the best-of-the-best when it comes to shrubs with exceptional fall color. This spicebush has leaves similar to Sassafras albidum, in that they have a variety of leaf shapes, from entire, to tri-lobed to mitten shaped. These leaf types create a bold texture in the garden. Like Lindera benzoin, flowers emerge before the leaves in the spring. In the case of Lindera obtusiloba, the flower clusters are larger and more robust. In the fall, these large leaves turn an amazing, vivid, golden yellow. A discussion on fall color and spicebushes would not be complete without including Lindera glauca var.

salicifolia, which is another Asian species. The leaves transition from yellow-orange to a stunning pumpkinorange and ultimately turn to taupe and remain on the plant until the following spring, when they ultimately will fall off. While this shrub is still relatively obscure, it has gained in popularity with some landscape designers, and it is only a matter of time before it gains in popularity at the garden center and with the home gardener. While all hydrangeas are ultimately grown for their flowers, the oakleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, also has exceptional fall color that can range from red to purple. It is called the oakleaf hydrangea because of the leaves that resemble large red oak-like leaves. There are many old and new selections, all worthy of consideration. For years, the best cultivar has been “Snow Queen,” which has an abundance of white cone-like clusters

of flowers in mid-summer. “Snowflake” has double hose-in-hose flowers that weigh down the flowers and make them drooping or pendant. These are a few of my favorites, but there are literally hundreds of excellent shrubs with multi-seasons of interest that have great fall color.

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

Invasive Bradford Pear, 3 Other Species to be Banned for Sale in SC South Carolina will become only the second state in the United States to ban the nursery sale of Bradford pear trees and any other pear trees grown on the commonly used Pyrus calleryana rootstock. The ban on sales will begin Oct. 1, 2024, which is the annual nursery licensing renewal date in South Carolina. Ohio will become the first state on Jan. 1, 2023, after passing regulations banning the sale of the species in 2018 with a 5-year grandfathering period. The additions of Pyrus calleryana — or Callery pear — along with three

species of Elaeagnus to the State Plant Pest List met the approval of state agency representatives and the director of Clemson’s Regulatory and Public Service Programs. The clock is now ticking on a grandfathering period of a little more than 3 years for the nursery industry to comply with the new regulations by ceasing sale of these plant species. While the ban on these plants will make them illegal to sell or trade within South Carolina, it’s important for the public to know it will not be illegal to possess them on their property or to keep what

they have. Along with P. calleryana, three (of several) species of Elaeagnus — Elaeagnus umbellata, Elaeagnus angustifolia and Elaeagnus pungens — were also added to the State Plant Pest List, which includes all the species of plants, insects and otherwise that are regulated in the state. The efforts have been spearheaded by the South Carolina Invasive Species Advisory Committee, which is required by law to include members from Clemson’s Department of Plant Industry (the

State Plant Regulatory Official), the USDA State Plant Health Director, a Clemson Cooperative Extension representative and at least two at-large representatives from other stakeholder agencies, such as the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, S.C. Forestry Commission or S.C. Department of Agriculture, and also includes the South Carolina Green Industry Association. The committee meets annually to review the list of invasive species for additions and deletions, as well as to discuss new pests on the horizon that could soon become a factor.


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22 September 2021

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NORTHEAST DEPARTMENT NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE State Agriculture Commissioner and Cornell CALS Announce Opening of Revitalized Arnot Maple Research Facility

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) today announced the opening of the newly rebuilt Arnot Maple Research and Teaching laboratory, which will house the first-of-its-kind new maple product development lab in the country. Following 2018’s Forestry and Wood Products Summit, convened by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State invested $500,000 in the laboratory to facilitate further growth and innovation in New York’s maple industry. The opening of the brand new 4,200-squarefoot state-of-the-art facility was celebrated today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the renovations, which include a new commercial kitchen and increased capacity for research and development of new maple products.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Cornell’s Arnot Maple Research and Teaching facility conducts groundbreaking research that is critical to the growth of our state’s maple industry, which contributes significantly to the state’s ag economy. With the help of funding from New York State, new improvements to the laboratory will allow researchers to develop new maple products and improve existing ones, providing a boost to New York’s maple producers and supplying even more delicious maple products to people across the state.” Benjamin Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “This state-of-the-art facility positions New York’s already thriving maple industry for new successes and that’s a win for maple researchers, producers and

consumers alike. We’re grateful for the continued support of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the advocacy of New York State Senate Agriculture committee chair Senator Michele Hinchey and New York State Assembly Agriculture committee chair assembly member Donna Lupardo to bring this space to life.” Helen Thomas, Executive Director of the New York State Maple Producers’ Association said, “On behalf of the entire New York State Maple Producers’ Association, we would like to share our appreciation to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for everything they have done to make today possible. Today marks the first step toward

VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Vermont’s Produce Program Launches Marketing Campaign Celebrating Farms’ Focus on Food Safety

This summer, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets’ Produce Program partnered with growers to celebrate the steps they take to bring food from the field to customers. The campaign features Vermont farmers telling their stories, a message that puts a face with the product and invites all Vermonters to value the food they buy, how it’s produced, and who grows it. “In Vermont, people really care about buying locally, and putting a face with the product. It was a growing plant, it was a crop. As soon as you cut it, it’s food. And you’ve got to keep it clean.” – Hank Bissell, Lewis Creek Farm of Starksboro. The Vermont Produce Program works with farmers across the state to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, which sets standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. Vermont’s farmers work hard to implement best practices for food safety and strengthen consumer confidence in the quality and safety of local fresh fruits and vegetables. “We feel like there’s a responsibility to our customers. We really want to give them a product that they can trust. “Providing food to families

that really care about what they eat is the best part of what we do.” – Taylor Mendell, Footprint Farm of Starksboro. In developing this unique marketing initiative, the Vermont Produce Program took a collaborative approach to raising awareness about the culture of produce safety on local farms and why it matters to consumers. A partnership with DigInVT.com created a landing spot for consumers to find local farms producing fresh produce. Farms that wish to be listed on DigInVT.com are invited to get in touch with the Vermont Produce Program at AGR.FSMA@ vermont.gov. “The Vermont Produce Program … it means good food. Quality food. And the support of Vermont farms. I know, coming off our farm, it was handled properly. I know our best practices. It’s the culture of our farm. – Melissa Mazza, Sam Mazza’s Farm Market of Colchester. In addition, farmers were surveyed on what they want their communities to know about their produce safety practices. You can find fresh Vermont produce at your local farm, farmers market, and grocery store. “Good for you and your family. Good for Vermont.” To learn more about the campaign visit, diginvt.com/vermont-produce-program/

a bright and more prosperous future for the maple industry and the State of New York. We love NYS and pure NYS maple syrup. Here’s to a sweet future!” About New York’s Maple Industry New York State ranks second in the nation for maple production, producing 804,000 gallons of maple syrup in 2020. New York is also home to the largest resource of tappable maple trees within the United States and more than 2,000 maple sugar makers. The industry has an annual estimated economic impact of $30 million. The Department of Agriculture and Markets supports the maple industry through the New York State Budget— which includes funding for promotion and educational programs—as well as through investments in research projects and through its NYS Grown & Certified marketing program.

CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Connecticut Department of Agriculture Urges Farmers to Report Crop Damage or Loss from Tropical Storm Elsa to USDA Farm Service Agency

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers and agricultural producers who may have experienced crop damage or loss due to Tropical Storm Elsa to declare a loss to their United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office. Crop losses can be modified after the initial reporting as necessary. The damage assessment for a USDA disaster declaration is based on a 30% loss of any crop per county. Only losses reported within that initial three-day window count towards the 30% threshold. It is critical that producers keep accurate records to document damage or loss and report those losses to their local USDA Service Center as soon as possible. For more information on disaster assistance, visit farmers.gov.

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OF AGRICULTURE NEWS MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

State Agricultural Officials Urge Public to Inspect Boxwood Shrubs for Box Tree Moths

Delaware Has Preserved 143,000 Acres of Farmland After 25th Round

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is alerting Massachusetts residents that it has received notification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that a number of nurseries within the Commonwealth received Canadian boxwood plants that were potentially infested with box tree moths. Box tree moths are an invasive pest that feed on the leaves of boxwood shrubs and can cause complete defoliation, eventually killing the plant. While state and federal inspectors have not found any signs of box tree moths at the nurseries, state officials warn that some of the plants may have been sold before inspections began, or were purchased out of state and planted in Massachusetts. MDAR and APHIS urge anyone in Massachusetts who may have purchased boxwood shrubs this spring to check the plants for signs of the moth. “MDAR is working with its federal partners at the USDA to prevent the box tree moth from spreading and establishing itself in Massachusetts,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “We ask Massachusetts residents that purchased boxwood shrubs this spring to take a close look at the plants to aid in our efforts to prevent this invasive species from expanding into the state and causing severe damage to Massachusetts’ popular boxwood shrubs.” If a boxwood plant was purchased this past spring, state officials request that residents inspect it for signs of the moth, and report any findings to https://massnrc.org/pests/report. aspx or by calling 617-626-1779. When inspecting your boxwood shrubs, look for all of the life stages of this pest: eggs, caterpillars, pupae, and adults. Eggs are typically laid in gelatinous masses on the underside of boxwood leaves, but may also be laid singly. Caterpillars can grow up to 1.5 inches long, and are yellowish green with a black head, and long black stripes and spots that reach from the head to the end of the body. The caterpillars create pockets of webbing within the boxwood shrubs to wall themselves off from predators. When they are ready to morph into adult moths, they form small green pupae. Adults typically have white wings with a dark brown border, but can sometimes be all brown with just a small white streak on each wing. Box tree moths (Cydalima perspectalis) are native to Asia and are now a pest in both Europe and Canada. They can produce several generations between June and October, which makes urgent action essential to prevent this pest from establishing itself in Massachusetts.

Delaware announced its 25th consecutive round of easement selections by the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation. With the preservation of 3,695 acres, Delaware has permanently preserved more than 143,000 acres of farmland for future generations. “Delaware’s Aglands Preservation Program has been critical to keeping our farms in production,” said Governor Carney. “We can all agree through the pandemic we learned how important family farmers are to ensuring food including fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and meat are readily available. Preserving farmland is not just about passing a farm down to the next generation. It’s about making sure future generations have food grown locally available to feed their families.” In this round of easement selections, there were 23 farms in Kent County and 22 farms in Sussex County preserved. The Delaware Aglands Preservation Program has successfully preserved nearly 27 percent of Delaware’s farmland. “We take pride in having one of the country’s most effective farmland protection programs. With today’s announcement, 3,695 acres have been permanently preserved, including 45 farms through the AgLands Preservation Program and four forested parcels through the Forestland Preservation Program,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “There are a lot of partners who play a role in Delaware’s success preserving farmland, from the county level up to federal agencies by providing matching funds.” Since the beginning of the program, landowners have donated, on average, 59 percent of their development rights value – that is, they received 41 cents on the dollar of their farm’s development rights value to preserve their farm. The average discount (donation) for Round 25 is 53.57 percent. Landowners interested in preserving their farm can contact the Aglands Preservation Program at 302-698-4530 or find information and application forms at agriculture.delaware.gov. The Aglands Preservation Program received $10 million in the state budget on July 1 for selecting easements in Round 26, expected to be announced in late Spring 2022.

NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE New Members Take Seats on State Board of Agriculture

Burlington County farmer Lisa Specca and Morris County farmer Kurt Alstede were sworn in to their terms on the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture during the July monthly meeting of the Board at The Horse Park of New Jersey. The session also included the annual officer reorganization where Hunterdon County’s David DeFrange II was elected President and Gloucester County’s Dr. Ernie Beier Vice President. “Lisa Specca and Kurt Alstede offer a wide range of experience and expertise that will greatly benefit the farmers and the entire agricultural community in our state,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher said. “Their perspectives will aid in the continued advancement of agriculture in the Garden State.” Specca and her husband Dave Specca, own and operate Specca Farms in Burlington County. It is a fourth-generation family owned and operated vegetable farm. The farm markets directly to the public through a pick-your-own operation and seasonal farmers markets. Lisa Specca’s primary responsibilities include being manager of retail sales and marketing, manager of human resources, greenhouse production manager, chief financial officer, and coordinator of farm safety. Lisa Specca is also a comprehensive professional planning consultant, which includes services to land use boards across the state that involve rural sector planning including farmland preservation plans, expert witness for grid scale solar litigation, transfer development rights planning, and Highlands conformance plans. She has also served on the State Agriculture Development Committee, and the Springfield Township Council, and was a member of the New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program

Class No. 2. Lisa is also a member of the New Jersey Agricultural Society, the New Jersey Vegetable Growers Association, New Jersey Farm Bureau, the American Planning Association, and the American Institute of Certified Planners. Alstede is the General Manager of Alstede Farms, a first-generation operation that is family owned and was built over the last 40 years evolving from raising hay, grain, and wholesale vegetables to becoming an entirely retail based business with nearly 800 acres of tree fruits, small fruits, vegetables, and flowers. All the farm’s output is sold through the on-farm store, pick your own, tailgate markets, and Community Supported Agriculture. Agritourism also compliments the business as the farm employs 30 full-time year-round staff and seasonally up to 200 people in both production and retail. Alstede has served on the New Jersey State Committee of the Farm Service Agency, been the agricultural liaison for the New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program, is a Director for Farm Credit East, is a member of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, and serves on the Morris County Board of Agriculture, where he was president in 20032004. DeFrange and Beier have each served on the board since 2019. DeFrange owns and operates Copper Creek Landscape Management in Frenchtown and Beier is a veterinarian who owns Beier Veterinary Services in Mickleton. The State Board of Agriculture comprises eight members who serve for four years. By law, at least four of its members must represent the top commodity groups in the state. For more information, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/about/sba.


24 September 2021

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GardenerNews.com It’s already September, can you believe it? I am so excited, however, because next month, on October 1 and 2, the NJLCA and the NJLCA Education Fund are thrilled to be able to present the Northeast Green Industry Showcase at the Roger K. Everitt Fairgrounds (home of the Hunterdon County 4-H & Agricultural Fair). We can’t wait for this one-of-a-kind event, the first of its kind in the Northeast! The Northeast Green Industry Showcase (NGIS) is a comprehensive landscape, nursery, horticulture, hardscape, outdoor living and equipment showcase. The event is produced by the NJLCA Education Fund, a non-profit corporation, in cooperation with the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association. The purpose of the Northeast Green Industry Showcase is to provide a conducive, common environment bringing sellers and buyers together to educate and inform members and the green industry representatives on the latest developments in technology, information, product innovation, and services available to industry members. The Northeast Green Industry Showcase is so much more than a trade show. So, what is different? Victorians were a passionate lot who adored assembling collections. Among their collecting passions, orchids occupied the highest of positions. So much so, that when the fever for collecting orchids peaked in the mid-19th century, the country was said to be in the grips of “Orchid Delirium.” Many forces coupled to create this fervor. The first was the desire to have the best, most complete collection. Like everything rare and precious, orchids represented wealth and privilege. The second was the growth of plant exploration, which experienced its Golden Age during the Victorian era. Yet orchids - with their impossible colorings and variations, their sexual organs on display in a most immodest and compelling fashion, their brief, but spectacular bloom - began their journey to popularity by accident. In 1818, British ornithologist William John Swainson was in Brazil packing plants he collected to take back to England for study. The story goes that he used plants he deemed worthless as packing material. Among these were dormant orchids. By the time he crossed the sea back to England, many of the orchids had bloomed, particularly Cattleya labiata. The stunning, exotic flower set the horticultural world on fire and ignited orchid fever.

September 2021 25 The NJLCA Today By Gail Woolcott Executive Director

Experience the Excitement at NGIS First and foremost, the NGIS will be held outdoors. Booths will be set up in huge open-air pavilions and outside on the concourse. All equipment vendors will also be given demo area space for attendees to “test drive” their equipment (18 or older only). Instead of the usual concession stand fare, the NGIS will feature food trucks that are so popular, including American, Greek, Vegetarian, and Latin cuisine, among other options. On Friday, October 1, gates will open at 11 a.m. and attendees will have all afternoon to network with friends and colleagues, reunite with old friends, eat great food, and try out equipment to their hearts’ content until 6 p.m. On Saturday, October 2, we’re welcoming families to join us in the festivities. Gates will open at 8 a.m. and we will have food trucks, seasonal offerings, live music and

more. Industry will still have the same opportunities as Friday, with the demo area and vendor booths open until 5 p.m. Vendors will include equipment manufacturers and dealers, growers, greenhouses and nurseries, hardscape manufacturers and dealers, snow and ice management products, irrigation and outdoor lighting manufacturers and dealers, seed, sod and artificial turf manufacturers and dealers, software and technology providers, and others. There will be limited, but unique educational offerings. We want to give everyone plenty of time to visit, network, and learn from their fellow members, vendors, and guests. However, we will still offer several mini-learning opportunities, where we will talk about hands-on techniques, native plants, sustainability, and additional

innovative topics. NGIS welcomes all attendees, including landscape contractors, nursery professionals, hardscape installers, municipalities, irrigation professionals, snow and ice managers, buyers and dealers, lawn and plant healthcare professionals, landscaping enthusiasts, and more. With over one acre of covered exhibit space, one and a half acres of outdoor space and one and a quarter acres of demonstration area, this will be the biggest Green Industry event on the East Coast. The pavilions and outdoor exhibits offer plenty of fresh air, and COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to, including cleaning and sanitizing high touch areas, plenty of handwashing stations, and additional measures. Finally, the Fairgrounds are within minutes of great nightlife and restaurants in Lambertville, N.J. and New Hope, Pa., so many can make a weekend

The Garden Historian By Lesley Parness Garden Educator

Orchid Delirium

The final force was Charles Darwin, who in 1862 announced, “I was never more interested in any subject in my life than orchids” and published “On the Various Contrivances by which British and Foreign Orchids are fertilised by Insects, and on the Good Effects of Intercrossing,” in which he proposed that Angraecum sesquipedale from Madagascar (aka the Darwin orchid) must be pollinated by a “huge moth with a wonderfully long proboscis.” It would take 40 years to discover the Sphingidae moth, with a foot-long tube, and once again prove his theory of natural selection. His proposal, however, sparked great controversy and interest in orchids. Another book, “About Orchid: A Chat,” (1893) by Frederick Boyle, depicts the scene at London’s weekly and hugely popular orchid auctions “At the stroke of half past twelve, the auctioneer mounts his rostrum.”

Hundreds of exotic specimens were put up for bid and gentlemen gathered to peruse the enchanting epiphytes just brought in from jungles around the world.” Fortunes were made and lost at orchid auctions, similar to the scenarios during Holland’s “Tulipmania.” Orchids might command “the fanciest of prices” or plummet from “a guinea a leaf to a fraction of a shilling.” Wild monetary swings were driven by supply, demand, and a lot of hype. A single orchid could fetch more than 2,000 pounds (256,00 pounds today) or were sold in lots of 100s for far more. Auctioneers embellished their botanical descriptions to attract interest, and any danger surrounding the gathering of these plants figured into their value as well. For example, Boyle tells of an orchid growing in a New Guinea

graveyard, which arrived in London still attached to a skull. Stories of orchid hunters being mauled by tigers, burned alive by angry natives, and robbed at knifepoint proliferated. While many hunters died in their efforts, the survivor who returned with new orchids earned a fortune. Amongst orchid hunters reaching the pinnacle of fame, Frederick Sanders was called the “Orchid King,” He built an orchid empire, employing two dozen hunters who traveled to remote regions. He built an orchid farm in England with 60 greenhouses. And in 1880, he built an orchid farm in Summit, N.J. Fifteen years later, it was sold to J. Lager and H. Hurell and became the largest commercial producer and distributor of orchids in the USA. Now that you have an understanding of the grip in which Britain was held by orchids, you are ready for several upcoming columns,

of it. So now you know, and you can go! Join us at NGIS by registering at www.ngis-nj.com. Me…I’m just looking forward to seeing all of my old friends and making new ones, face-to-face. After a long and tough year and a half, we all deserve to enjoy ourselves and be able to interact. What a better way than at an outdoor trade show event? The Northeast Green Industry Showcase will be THE place to be this October 1 and 2. Don’t miss it and feel left out when everyone is buzzing about it!

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. which together will form the novella, “The Mud Lark and the Orchid.” Sequential fictional installments or serialized fiction surged in popularity during the Victorian age due to the rise of literacy, technological advances in printing, and the improved distribution logistics. Many Victorian novels, such as Dicken’s “The Pickwick Papers,” first appeared as monthly installments. Its success established the viability and appeal of the serialized format, which still exists today, often online. I hope you will enjoy reading it over the coming months.

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


26 September 2021

GardenerNews.com

IN MEMORIAM

FLO

Long-Time Nurseryman and Owner of Central Jersey Nurseries

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

Vincent Paul Lipani, born July 19, 1940, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on his 81st birthday, July 19, 2021. Vince was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., son of John and Anna Lipani. They soon moved to North Plainfield, N.J. with his two brothers John and Paul. He attended North Plainfield High School, serving as the Senior Class President, then graduating from Gettysburg College in 1962 with a degree in Biology. After a two-year U.S. Army enlistment, he became a successful sales associate with the Weyerhaeuser Company in Florida, transferring to the Brooklyn, N.Y. branch in 1969. Deciding to become self-employed, he purchased property in Hillsborough, N.J. in March 1970 and established Central Jersey Nurseries. It is there Vince began making his impact on the town he loved. He will be well remembered for his 50-year influence on his young employees, teaching them the value of integrity, accountability, and hard work. Many have returned to thank him for instilling these values. Established in May of 1970, Central Jersey Nurseries is a family-owned and operated business located on a 20-acre site in Hillsborough, N.J. Over 50 years ago, Vince began the business as growers and designers/installers of residential landscape projects. Over the first decade of existence, his company evolved into serving the commercial landscape market, and now boasts over 40 years of experience in commercial landscaping. Vince was a lifelong sports participant and fan. He enjoyed watching his N.J. Devils, N.Y. Giants, and Mets regardless of their performance. He was an avid golfer and skier and was always at home on the slopes of Colorado. His love of sports was surpassed only by his love of duct tape and its infinite uses. Vince was a member of the Hillsborough Reformed Church, The Rotary Club of America, and served as Chairman of the Hillsborough Board of Adjustment. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, sons Shawn, Todd, and Troy, along with their wives Tara, Tamayra, Maria, and five grandchildren.

700 Spr Berkeley H Phone: Fax: (9 email: halls www.ha

BILL RANDOLPH AGENT

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

SERVING THE AGRIBUSINESS COMMUNITY

Full Moon September 20, 2021 Eastern Daylight

The Premier Gardening Monthly Newspaper Number 221 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

September 2021 Columnists Brian Schilling Al Murray Peter Melick Diana Dove

Bob LaHoff Douglas H. Fisher Lesley Parness

September 2021 Contributing Writers Bruce Crawford

Hubert Ling

Gardener News is published monthly by

Gardener News, Inc.

16 Mount Bethel Road #123 Warren, NJ 07059 The Gardener News invites correspondences on gardening subjects of interest. Gardener News, Inc, and its Publisher reserve the right to accept, refuse, or discontinue any editorial or copy, and shall not be liable to anyone for printing errors, misinformation or omissions in editorial or copy. The information contained in articles herein represents the opinions of the authors and, although believed to be accurate and complete, is not represented or warranted by Gardener News, Inc. to be accurate or complete.

Vincent P. Lipani happily reads the Gardener News while vacationing in Germany in August 2017.

All advertising is subject to the Gardener News advertisement rates, and must be PAID IN FULL at time of submission. Publisher reserves the right at its absolute discretion, and at any time, to cancel any advertising order or reject any advertising copy whether or not the same has already been acknowledged and/or previously published. In the event of errors or omissions of any advertisement(s), the newspapers liability shall not exceed a refund of amounts paid for the advertisement. NOTE: All editorial, advertising layouts and designs and portions of the same that are produced and published by Gardener News, Inc., are the sole property of Gardener News, Inc. and may not be reproduced in any form unless written authorization is obtained from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to: Gardener News, 16 Mount Bethel Rd - #123, Warren, NJ 07059. (c) 2021 Gardener News, Inc.


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Gardener News September 2021  

Serving the Agricultural, Gardening, Landscaping and Nursery Communities

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Serving the Agricultural, Gardening, Landscaping and Nursery Communities

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