Gardener News March 2016

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TAKE ONE March, 2016

Gardener News Serving the Agricultural, Gardening and Landscaping Communities GARDENERNEWS.COM

TAKE ONE No. 155

Providing the landscape with a welcome potpourri of color By Tom Castronovo Executive Editor

Dutch Grown/Photo

Double flowering tulips bordered by grape hyacinths in Keukenhof, Holland. Keukenhof is the international and independent showcase for the Dutch floricultural sector, with a special emphasis on flowering bulbs.

I had a very nice introduction to Ben Rotteveel recently. Ben, and his family, have been supplying and growing flowering bulbs for over 134 years. Right out of the gate, he said to me, “There’s nothing easier to grow or more rewarding to grow than beautiful flowering bulbs from Holland.” I liked this guy already. As an avid gardener myself and a former landscape professional by trade, I know that flowering bulbs require little garden area and can be planted in annual or perennial flower beds, among shrubs, under trees, and in practically every area of the landscape. And flowering bulbs offer a multitude of opportunities for brightening a home or an office building landscape. Most flowering bulbs prefer a well-drained, sandy loam soil, ideally with moderate amounts of organic matter. Nothing will cause flowering bulbs to deteriorate as quickly as poorly drained soil. The most important environmental factor to consider in locating flowering bulb plantings in the landscape is light level. Make sure you provide full sun or partial shade, as the particular species requires. Flowering bulbs can be typically planted in either formal or informal garden (Cont. on Page 16)

2 March, 2016


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4 March, 2016 I am writing this article from a conference in Washington, D.C., in February, where members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (known as NASDA) meet each year. Here, 54 secretaries, commissioners and directors represent agriculture for the entire United States and its territories. We join together to discuss and act on policies and to achieve consensus on issues that truly affect all of us. Just like the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, NASDA is marking its 100th year of existence, having been formed in 1916. Over the course of the past century, NASDA has advocated for the interests of the state and territorial agriculture departments. In NASDA, the states are divided into four regions of the country; the Northeast region, of which New Jersey is a part, stretches from Maine to Delaware. This area houses large dairy operations, nursery stock and poultry producers, field crop, fruit and vegetable growers, and many, many smaller producers, who sell at farmers markets and through CSAs (community supported agriculture). NJ Dept. of Agriculture By Douglas H. Fisher Secretary of Agriculture

Meeting with Other Agriculture Secretaries Provides Insight into US Agriculture Industry An interesting part of coming together in one place is the information-sharing, and as with any conference, various commercial, governmental and non-profit organizations come together to promote themselves and also to help NASDA members gain a better understanding of their missions. There is no shortage of subjects to discuss at national meetings such as this. So the first order of business is to prioritize our work to maintain effectiveness. You might be interested in some details of what we covered during the three-day conference, so I will offer just a smattering to help you gain appreciation for the depth and breadth of our contemplation. We considered actions on biotech labeling, food security assurance programs, pollinators

and honeybee practices, clean water and natural resources management and agriculture workforce development. One area of concern we spent a lot of time on was learning from the experiences of the Midwest states of Iowa and Minnesota on the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. There was a massive effort to stop this disease and hearing about it was very helpful for the rest of the states to gain practical knowledge on this subject. It took total cooperation of the public and private sectors to stop this disease in its tracks. Otherwise, there could have been even greater losses than the nearly 50 million birds that were affected. Agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state departments of agriculture had to immediately mobilize to ensure that systems

Look Who’s Reading the Gardener News!

It’s in the news

Tom Castronovo/Photo

America’s wildfire prevention icon Smokey Bear, made a guest appearance at the Garden Club of New Jersey’s Standard and Youth Flower Show on February 13 in Edison. In between teaching children of all ages about their role in preventing human-caused wildfires and the well-known public service phrase “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires,” he looks over the “Black Swallowtail Butterfly Official State Butterfly of New Jersey” cover story in the February Gardener News.

were in place and ready to engage. A presentation was made about the ways the marketplace is changing and the impact of social media. The adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” may not apply in the case of the evergrowing social media sphere. To me, it is more like, “The more things change, the more things change,” because in this area, everything is moving so fast. We were informed of what people are looking for when they go to the marketplace. It is much more than in the past about what people expect and want when they make their purchases, because in food, taste, quality, appearance and value have always been considerations. There are new dimensions now that must be conveyed in order to make the sale -- how

healthy is the item? What claim can that food make? Was it produced in an environmentally sound way that is sustainable? Everything must be accounted for and satisfactorily explained in a way that drives demand to whomever is most affective in their presentation. As you can see, the NASDA conference was a great experience and exposure of thought, but it is great to be back in the Garden State. One thing I always come away with as I leave these gatherings is the satisfaction of knowing that America has the best farmers and ranchers in the world and that their work is so mightily important in our lives. 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:

March, 2016 5 Farm to School and School Garden Fund Check-Off Available to N.J. Tax Filers 75(1721 1 - ĘŠ 1HZ -HUVH\ 6HFUHWDU\ RI $JULFXOWXUH 'RXJODV + Fisher reminds New Jersey taxpayers about an opportunity to support Farm to School activities in the Garden State through the “Farm to School and School Garden Fund.â€? This “check-offâ€? can be found on Line 64, number 19, on the 2015 New Jersey State income tax form. This new fund was established to allow taxpayers to donate a portion of their tax refund or make a contribution to help establish school gardens and purchase equipment and educational materials to promote students’ consumption of local produce. “Eating more fruits and vegetables is an essential part of a healthy diet and the Farm to School Program not only increases children’s consumption of produce but teaches them about good nutrition and where our food comes from,â€? said Secretary Fisher. “Contributions to this fund will go towards helping our schools and farmers connect and building school gardens.â€? The New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program works to connect schools with New Jersey farmers to source more than 100 types of Jersey Fresh produce grown here in the Garden State. Opportunities exist for New Jersey farmers to provide agricultural products to school food service departments throughout the growing season. Serving more local produce in school cafeterias not only supports local farmers but helps improve student nutrition, provide healthy options and nutrition education opportunities that will last a lifetime. The Farm to School Program also includes schools garden activities, which teach students where food comes from by growing it themselves. Students benefit by learning the science behind farming and the nutritional values of fresh products and gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the environment. Educators can use school garden programs to teach any subject - math, science, language arts, health and nutrition, art or social studies. Farm to School Programs promote and create a sense of community for all involved. For more information about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program, visit

Silver Maple By Hubert Ling The silver maple Acer saccharinum is one of 13 maples native to North America. The name “silver maple� comes from the fact that the leaf undersides are pale and if the wind and lighting is just right, the trees will shimmer sliver-green. The tree occurs naturally from southern Canada to South Dakota and down to Florida and is the first maple to bloom in spring. Silver maples grow naturally in flood plains and act as a buffer to reduce the effects of raging flood waters. Interestingly enough, although the tree likes moist soil and will stand periods of inundation, they are also moderately drought resistant. Thus, along with the fact that these trees can grow three to five feet a year, sliver maples were extensively planted as shade trees. Specimen trees can spread out and become

almost as wide as high; the trees reach a maximum of about 100 feet, provide moderately dense shade, and live for about 100 years. Although the sugar maple, Acer saccharum, is commercially used for syrup, most maples, birches, and walnuts can and have been used for syrup and sugar products. These other trees are not extensively used because they are less available, have a shorter tapping period, or have a lower sugar content in their sap. We learned the secrets of sap, syrup and sugar extraction from the North American natives. Native Americans drank the sap right from the tree and also boiled it down for syrup and sugar. There are widespread tales of Indian children anxiously waiting for adults to finally pour thickened syrup on snow for a once-a-year sweet candy treat. Even though silver maples are more difficult to use, their syrup is the best I have tasted; silver maple has

a very smooth, velvety feel on the tongue and a more aromatic vanilla-like flavor. Silver maple sugar has been reported to excel all others. Silver maples are very important to wildlife. After alders, silver maples are a beaver’s favorite food. The large rounded buds are also a major food source for squirrels in early-spring, and the seeds, which are shed in astounding numbers in spring, are food for numerous birds, chipmunks, and squirrels. Kids know that these seeds make the best helicopters. Large, silver maple trunks often become hollow and serve as homes for opossums, owls, raccoons, squirrels, and woodpeckers. Some Native Americans used the ground seeds in bread or soup, and the shoots for baskets. Infusions of the bark were used for coughs, to treat infected wounds, and to produce a black dye. Nathan Rupley, a wild-food guru, states that the seeds

vary greatly in palatability. Some were very astringent with loads of tannins and other were somewhat better. After being boiled with three changes of water (to remove some of the tannins) and smothered in butter, they were almost as good a soybeans. Since I don’t even like soybeans, I think I’ll pass up the experience and stick with the syrup and sugar. Silver maple wood is considered soft maple, but it is moderately dense (sp. gr. 0.5) easily worked and used for furniture, musical instruments, and wood turnings. Since silver maples sprout readily from stumps and grow rapidly, they have been evaluated along with willow and cottonwood as a source of renewable biofuel. Silver maples are generally easily recognized by the large leaves, deeply fissured lobes, and a palegreen underside. However, these trees are closely related to red maples and natural

hybrids with intermediate characteristics occur. Thus, trying to figure out which maple you have is occasionally difficult. Most silver maples turn yellow in fall but some strains also have red leaves. In recent years, silver maple’s popularity has declined. Silver maple is considered a soft maple and large branches, which tend to spread out laterally, may break when stressed by high wind or a substantial snow load and the shallow roots may clog sewers. However, with a little timely pruning to produce an upright shape and with careful site location, silver maples will provide you with a fast growing, beautiful, healthy, valuable addition to your landscaping. Editor’s Note: Hubert Ling is the Horticulture Chairman for the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. He can be reached at

6 March, 2016

RUTGERS NJAES/RCE From the Director’s Desk

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

Green Infrastructure Practices Begin at Home

Introduction Since 2002, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program has been working with communities throughout New Jersey to address stormwater-related issues. During this period, the RCE Water Resources Program has developed and delivered education and outreach programs on stormwater best management practices to help promote low impact development on our undeveloped lands. In areas that have already been developed, the RCE Water Resources Program has been promoting the use of green infrastructure practices to retrofit existing development with stormwater management. What is Green Infrastructure? Green infrastructure practices are designed as a small-scale approach to stormwater management that addresses runoff near its source and is cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Green infrastructure practices capture, filter, absorb, and re-use stormwater to help restore the natural water cycle. Green infrastructure practices use soil and vegetation to recycle stormwater runoff through infiltration and evapotranspiration. When used as components of a stormwater management system, green infrastructure practices such as bioretention systems, green roofs, pervious pavement, rain gardens and vegetated swales can produce a variety of environmental benefits. In addition to effectively retaining the infiltrating rainfall, these practices can help filter air pollutants, reduce energy demands, mitigate urban heat islands and sequester carbon, while also providing communities with aesthetic and natural resource benefits. When managing stormwater with green infrastructure practices, the overall goal is to disconnect impervious surfaces that are connected (i.e., that drain directly to sewer systems or local waterways). Green infrastructure practices can be designed to capture and infiltrate stormwater. These practices tend to filter water using soil, as in the case of bioretention, or using stone, as in the case of porous asphalt. In areas where infiltration is not possible, these green infrastructure practices also can be used as a detention system to store runoff and slowly release it after the storm event. Some green infrastructure practices, such as rainwater harvesting systems, are used to harvest stormwater runoff for non-potable water usage such as watering gardens; whereas other green infrastructure practices, like bioswales, are designed to move water from one location to another while filtering pollutants. Can I Use Green Infrastructure at Home? Yes, of course you can! Two fairly simple and cost-effective green infrastructure practices in particular, bioretention systems and rainwater harvesting systems, can be implemented by most homeowners. We can all do our part to help manage stormwater at home and to help protect our precious water resources. Bioretention Systems – Rain Gardens A rain garden, or bioretention system, is a landscaped, shallow depression that captures, filters, and infiltrates stormwater runoff. The rain garden removes nonpoint source pollutants from stormwater runoff while recharging groundwater. A rain garden serves as a functional system to capture, filter, and infiltrate stormwater runoff at the source, while being aesthetically pleasing. Rain gardens are an important tool for communities and neighborhoods to create diverse, attractive landscapes while protecting the health of the natural environment. Rain gardens can be implemented throughout communities to begin the process of re-establishing the natural function of the land. Rain gardens offer one of the quickest and easiest methods to reduce runoff and help protect our water resources. Beyond the aesthetic and ecological benefits, rain gardens encourage environmental stewardship and community pride. To learn more about rain gardens, visit the Rain Garden page at Rainwater Harvesting Systems – Rain Barrels & Cisterns Rainwater harvesting systems focus on the conservation, capture, storage, and reuse of rainwater. The systems are located close to residential and commercial buildings and capture rainwater, mainly from rooftops, in rain barrels or cisterns. Rain barrels and cisterns are often paired with other green infrastructure practices to increase their storage capacity or efficiency (e.g., rain gardens, bioswales, stormwater planters) to capture the overflow from the system when it has reached its full capacity. The water can then be used for watering gardens, lawns, and landscaping as well as for washing vehicles or other non-potable water uses. Cisterns and rain barrels are an effective rainwater harvesting tool and can be an important element in a community-wide green infrastructure program. For every inch of rain that falls on an 800-square-foot roof (20-feet by 40 feet), nearly 500 gallons of water can be collected. Over an entire year, water draining from this rooftop will total over 20,000 gallons. This sustainable practice reduces the impact a building has on the environment by harvesting stormwater runoff from the rooftop and decreasing flow to the sewer system. To learn more about rainwater harvesting systems, visit the Rain Barrel page at Editor’s Note: This month’s column is written by Dr. Christopher Obropta, Extension Specialist in Water Resources in the Department of Environmental Sciences.

Rutgers Master Gardener Helpine opens March 1st The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Somerset County, a volunteer organization of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, is busy getting ready to open its Helpline office on March 1, 2016. NJAES Rutgers Master Gardeners are trained by Rutgers University staff and faculty as well as local horticulturalists. The Helpline provides a service every resident can take advantage of throughout the growing season. Rutgers Master Gardeners can help answer a myriad of home gardening questions, some of which include: soil, lawn care, plant, tree and shrub identification, advice about the right plant for the right place and recommendations on deer resistant plant material. With suitable samples, Master Gardeners can also diagnose plant diseases, identify insects, weeds, and other pests of the home and garden and give advice about the cultural recommendations for their control following Integrated Pest Management techniques. Rutgers Master Gardener Helpline volunteers will be available to provide assistance on the phone or on a walk-in basis. The NJAES Rutgers Cooperative and Extension office of Somerset County is located at 310 Milltown Road in Bridgewater. Hours are 9AM-12 Noon Monday through Friday. Inquiries can be made by phoning 908-526-6293 press option 4 or residents can bring a sample of their problem to the office on Milltown Road. Home Gardeners can also email the Helpline at Rutgers Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity program provider and employer. Contact your local Extension Office for information regarding special needs or accommodations. Contact the State Extension Director’s Office with concerns related to discrimination 848-932-3584.

2015 NJAES Annual Report Available for New Jersey Stakeholders The 2015 NJAES Annual Report, produced by the Office of the Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources Robert Goodman, was unveiled on Feb. 11 at the final day of the New Jersey Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City. The report highlights the research and extension activities of the experiment station under the six broad categories of commercial agriculture; environment and natural resources; fisheries and aquaculture; food, nutrition and health; home, lawn and garden; and youth and community development. In addition, the key areas of economic development and fundraising support round out a comprehensive look at the impact of NJAES on the lives of NJ residents, communities, and businesses. View the interactive report at https://njaes.

Rutgers Gardens Expands to Include Student Sustainable Farm A new student sustainable farm is scheduled to begin production soon at Rutgers Gardens, adding a small-scale organic agriculture venture to the university’s botanic garden. The farm, spearheaded by the Rutgers Office of Agriculture and Urban programs, will function as a year-round outdoor classroom and is part of a long-term plan to expand Rutgers Gardens to bring up to five acres under cultivation. Rutgers will pursue organic certification through the USDA for the farm that also will be used to strengthen community involvement in New Brunswick with a focus on local food access and security. The new project is an evolution of efforts that began in 1993 on the Hort Farm III research farm on Ryders Lane. As a teaching tool, the farm will offer a sequence of interdisciplinary courses. It also will provide the foundation for a broad spectrum of community outreach and programs, student research opportunities and entrepreneurial pursuits. This summer the School of Environmental and Biological Studies will offer an eight-week course as part of its Agriculture and Food Systems summer session offering on small-scale organic agriculture. In advance of its first season, the farm will be the site for a design/build studio course in the Department of Landscape Architecture during the spring semester of 2016.

Easter Flowers

March, 2016 7 Around The Garden By Tom Castronovo Gardener News

What’s happening in March


Visit our Farmers Market & Garden Center

I really enjoy attending green industry, flower and garden shows. And believe it or not, school. Last month, I wrote about a plethora of shows and events. This month, I’m going to provide you with a little more detail on what’s happening in March. First up is the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association Show. “Peace, Love and Landscape,” a tribute to the 1960s, is the theme of this association’s 39th Annual Trade Show and Conference to be held on March 3 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, Hudson County. Landscape NJ 2016 will feature over 150 companies showcasing their newest products, equipment, machinery and services. A DEP program will be coordinated, while additional businessrelated seminars will also be offered. Tom Canete, who is a featured columnist for the Gardener News, is president of this association. Next up is the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) Philadelphia Flower Show. This show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, and features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers. Started in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the show introduces the newest plant varieties, garden and design concepts, and organic and sustainable practices. In addition to the major garden displays, the Flower Show hosts world-renowned competitions in horticulture and artistic floral arranging, gardening presentations and demonstrations, special events, a mammoth indoor Marketplace, and a Flower Show Week celebration throughout the Philadelphia region. “Explore America” is this year’s theme. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the National Park Service are natural partners, sharing a common mission to protect and care for natural resources and preserve green spaces. In 2016, the National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of sharing America’s 408 national park sites, and helping people to make meaningful connections to them. Through “Explore America,” PHS and the Park Service are engaging those who know and love the parks, and inviting a new generation to discover the special places that belong to us all. “Explore America,” will celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service and our country’s majestic landscapes, rich history and vibrant culture on March 5-13 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. From Acadia and Cape Cod, to Valley Forge and Shenandoah, to Yellowstone, Yosemite and other iconic parks and historic sites, American beauty and glory will serve as inspiration for exhibits created by the nation’s premier floral and garden designers. In addition to 10n acres of floral and garden designs, plant competitions, and gardening demonstrations in the main exhibition halls, the 2016 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, “Explore America,” offers visitors a variety of new attractions, activities and special experiences. Whether you are a model train collector, a crafter or a butterfly enthusiast, you will find exciting opportunities at the Flower Show. The new Railway Garden is a special attraction of large-scale model trains that will chug their way through miniaturized American landscapes, including iconic sites such as Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore and Independence National Historical Park, as well as other famous landmarks. The Railway Garden is designed and built by the South Eastern Pennsylvania Garden Railway Society. “Butterflies Live” will also be featured. More than 1,000 domestic and exotic species of butterflies will be included in this engaging attraction. “Butterflies Live” is an interactive and educational exhibit created by California’s SkyRiver Butterflies exclusively for the Flower Show, and inspired by the indigenous environments of the national parks. This year’s habitat will feature native plants that attract butterflies and encourage pollination. Pollinator gardens with milkweed provide Monarchs a place to lay eggs, and nectar flowers like coneflowers and gomphrena supply nourishment to the pollinators. The life cycle of the butterfly, as well as the importance of protecting their fragile habitat, will be illustrated as part of “Butterflies Live” An additional ticket is required for both of these experiences. I can’t wait to climb a mountain, ford a stream, hike trails and pitch camp in the exhibits. This show is sure to be a greenhouse for new ideas in gardening and horticultural design. I’ll be heading up to North Jersey now to the Springfest Garden Show, which is currently celebrating 20 years of beautiful garden displays, bountiful garden shopping and beloved scents and scenes of spring. More than 10,000 visitors will enjoy the sun-drenched venue whose centerpiece is The Springfest Conservatory at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, N.J. The Show runs March 17-20. And March 19 is the 40th Anniversary of the Rutgers Home Gardeners School. Designed to provide “something for everyone,” the annual one-day Home Gardeners School offers 35 individual workshop sessions covering a wide array of horticulture topics. The Home Gardeners School provides expert instruction in the most innovative gardening and landscaping subjects available. Gardener’s go to school. I love it! Register now at As always, I hope you find the information in the Gardener News informative and enjoyable. Until next time…Keep the “garden” in the Garden State. -Tom Editor’s Note: Tom Castronovo is executive editor and publisher of Gardener News. Tom’s lifelong interest in gardening and passion for agriculture, environmental stewardship, gardening and landscaping, led to the founding of the Gardener News, which germinated in April 2003 and continues to bloom today. He is also dedicated to providing inspiration, and education to the agricultural, gardening and landscaping communities through this newspaper and

8 March, 2016

Awards Presented During New Jersey State Agriculture Convention $7/$17,& &,7< 1 - ĘŠ *UHHQKRXVH JURZHU +DUU\ Âł6NLS´ %DUWOHWW DQG 5XWJHUV &RRSHUDWLYH ([WHQVLRQ UHWLUHHV 'UV *HUDOG 0 *KLGLX RI %ULGJHWRQ and Bradley Majek of Pittsgrove were honored February 10 with Distinguished Service to Agriculture Citations by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture during the New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City. “New Jersey is fortunate to have such outstanding individuals who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of the Garden State’s agriculture industry,â€? said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “The state’s farmers owe a lot to Skip, Dr. Ghidiu and Dr. Majek. Their contributions have had a lasting impact on farmers and young people interested in agriculture.â€? Harry “Skipâ€? Bartlett is a third-generation owner of Bartlett’s Florist and Greenhouses in Clifton, along with his sisters Nancy and Maryetta. Their grandparents, 19th century immigrants Sarah and Charles Bartlett opened the greenhouse business in 1920 on the same land where it operates today. The business was eventually taken over by their son Harry and wife Irene and then passed to their children. Skip earned a BS in Plant Science from Cook College, Rutgers University. He grows poinsettias, Easter lilies, bedding plants, perennials, wheat grass, cabbage, kale and other items. Currently, Bartlett’s encompasses three acres and includes more than 20 greenhouses, including a high tech model that regulates temperature and the amount of sunlight --automatically -- via computer. Skip has been instrumental in growing the Passaic County Board of Agriculture and County Agricultural Development Board. He served as president of the New Jersey Flower and Garden Show and New Jersey Plant and Flower Growers Association, and currently is an executive board member. Skip has placed great importance in educating the next generation about horticulture, having created and implemented the New Jersey FFA Floral Design competition and served as a judge for many years. At age 36, he was the youngest recipient of the Plant and Flower Growers Association Golden Flower Award. He’s an 8-time recipient of the New Jersey Florist Association Grower of the Year Award and recipient of an Honorary State FFA Degree twice. Skip also donates his services and plant material to the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Passaic County, the Passaic County Fair, county 4-H programs and Essex County Vocational Technical School. Dr. Gerald Ghidiu’s service to New Jersey agriculture began in 1980 when he became a Rutgers University extension Entomologist. His career spanned 33 years during which he worked with farmers and conducted research to assist them in controlling vegetable pests. Dr. Ghidiu earned a BS in Biology and Secondary Education from the State University of New York and a PHD in Economic Entomology from Iowa State University. He then worked for the USDA Federal Corn Insects Research Unit in Iowa, focusing on the European corn borer. While at Rutgers, he presented many educational sessions to students, growers, ag specialists and agribusiness personnel. His research centered on the Colorado potato beetle, European corn borer, and insect pest management of vegetable insect pests. He developed many practices that are now commonplace in the industry. Dr. Ghidiu gave presentations and lectured throughout the country on his work and was published in numerous journals, papers, magazines and newsletters. From 1996 to 2000, he was the Director of the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Bridgeton. He served as Supervisor of the IR-4 Regional Research Center at RAREC and was the IR-4 State liaison. IR-4 activity helps connect growers, the agrichemical industry and federal agencies to secure clearance for pest control products on vegetables, eventually becoming a registered label for use on that crop. He completed a total of 84 IR-4 projects for insecticides over his career. He was editor of the Journal of Economic Entomology, Entomological Society of America. And he served as Editor of the insect control section of the NJ Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations. Dr. Ghidiu retired Professor Emeritus from Rutgers in September 2012. Dr. Bradley Majek has played an important role in New Jersey agriculture for more than 34 years. He worked at Rutgers University conducting research and extension programs in tree fruit and vegetable crops since1981 and has filled a critical need of improving crop productivity in New Jersey. Majek earned his BS from Cornell University, his Masters in Weed Science and Botany from Oregon State University and doctorate from Cornell. As a weed specialist, Dr. Majek studied the growth, development, reproduction and competitive ability of weeds, using this information to develop new weed control practices. He evaluated the effectiveness of crop response to and cost potential of cultural, biological, mechanical and chemical methods of controlling weeds in vegetables and tree fruit. He also worked to determine the fate of herbicides in plants and the environment. A long-time member of the Northeastern Weed Science Society and the Weed Science Society of America, Majek held many leadership positions in those organizations, including President. Prior to retiring in 2013, Majek was the Director of the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Bridgeton. Since 1932, the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture has awarded the prestigious Citation for Distinguished Service to Agriculture to men and women who have given unselfishly of their time and talents to the advancement and betterment of the agricultural industry and rural life in New Jersey. This award is given to recognize and honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions of public service to New Jersey agriculture. Organizations who qualify to send delegates to the New Jersey State Agricultural Convention may nominate a state farmer for the award. For more information on the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, visit

USDA Secretary Vilsack Announces $58.25 Million to Protect Agriculture and Plants from Pests and Diseases Through 2014 Farm Bill Section 10007 :$6+,1*721 ' & ĘŠ 8 6 'HSDUWPHQW RI $JULFXOWXUH 6HFUHWDU\ 7RP 9LOVDFN DQQRXQFHG WKDW 86'$ÂśV $QLPDO DQG 3ODQW +HDOWK ,QVSHFWLRQ 6HUYLFH (APHIS) has allocated $58.25 million from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill. This money will support 434 projects that prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment and ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the United States. Funding will be provided to 50 States plus Guam and Puerto Rico to implement projects suggested by universities, States, Federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, non-profits and Tribal organizations. “Through the Farm Bill, we are working with our partners and stakeholders to not only ensure the global competitiveness of our specialty crop producers, but to fight back against the destruction caused by invasive pests,â€? said Vilsack. “The projects and centers funded through this effort are helping to develop and put in place the strategies, methods and treatments that safeguard our crops, plants, and natural resources from invasive threats.â€? Since the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted, APHIS has funded more than 1,200 projects that have played a significant role in our efforts to protect American agriculture. Collectively, these projects make it possible for us to quickly detect and rapidly respond to invasive pests. They also help our country maintain the infrastructure necessary for making sure that disease-free, certified planting materials are available to U.S. specialty crop producers. This year, funded projects include: Old world bollworm (Helicoverpa Armigera) $420,725 to delimit the infestation in Puerto Rico and collect and study samples of the pest, and $470,004 for survey and response planning activities in Florida; Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer/Fusarium Dieback in avocado: $175,000 for survey, early detection, and educational outreach in California; Bark beetle: $157,793 for a Regional Identification Center for Bark Beetle and other wood boring beetles in Oregon; Giant African land snail: $2,203,080 to support ongoing eradication efforts in Florida; Spotted lanternfly: $1,666,612 million to support eradication and education efforts in Pennsylvania; Coconut rhinoceros beetle: $1,649,384 to respond to infestations in Hawaii and Guam; Honeybees: $1,068,988 to survey honeybee populations and study bee health; Invasive pest control on Tribal lands: $504,786 for six projects to support Tribal outreach and education initiatives and projects to mitigate and control invasive pests on Tribal lands; Grapes: $465,145 to enhance surveys for grape commodity pests and diseases in 15 states; and National Clean Plant Network: $5 million to support 22 projects in 17 states that focus on providing highquality propagated plant material for fruit trees, grapes, hops, berries, citrus, roses and sweet potatoes free of targeted plant pathogens and pests. The Farm Bill provided $62.5 million for these programs in fiscal year 2016, though funding was reduced by sequestration. The FY 2016 Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill spending plan is available on the APHIS Web site at

March, 2016 9

Which of these daily food profiles is a better fit for you? Scenario One: A light to moderate breakfast at home, followed by a homeprepared sandwich that is eaten at work, which is then followed by a home-cooked family dinner in the evening? Or Scenario Two: A breakfast that is purchased on the way to work and then eaten in the car, followed by lunch in the office cafeteria, which is then followed by a dinner consisting of takeout from a local restaurant? If you answered Scenario Two, you would fall into the majority of Americans. According to 2015 United States Census figures, Americans now spend more money on food that is prepared away from home than they do on food that is purchased from grocery stores and then prepared at home. If you are like me, these figures were somewhat surprising. But then I looked back over the last few weeks and tried to analyze where and when I consumed my meals. And then I was surprised that the actual numbers were not even higher.

these restaurants are open year-round, they need to be supplied with food year-round as well. And because “Out of Season” signs are generally frowned upon within the restaurant industry, these chains must search far and wide to maintain their menus. It is clear that people are spending less time in their kitchens, but what are they doing instead? They are probably working more or spending more time with their families. I would even bet that there are a lot of people out there who spend more time watching cooking shows on television than they do actually cooking!

I read this really great article about Mainers and their ingenuity. A while back, an owner of a very large Aroostock County potato farm found out what to do about the potatoes that did not qualify as baked potato table stock on up to the fanciest of fancy potatoes, the steamables. Steamables are offered nationwide, come in a pouch, are-pre washed three times and all close to the exact same size to be nuked in the microwave for eight minutes. These are marketed toward the harried working person who wants something fresh for the family dinner and likes the convenience of a product where the most strenuous action involved is carrying the bag into the house from the grocery store. If you ever shop in the Walmart grocery chain, the brand is called Side Delights. Tender-skinned and very flavorful, but that is not what this article is about. What about the really ugly potato? Small, misshaped, really bumpy skinned, blotchy and just not something you want to

The Town Farmer By Peter Melick Agricultural Producer

Where Do We Eat? We have come a long way since 1900, when the average American ate only 2 percent of their meals outside of their homes. Now, in 2016, eating out has become the norm, not the exception. But what caused this to occur? How did we get from there to here? First of all, we do have a much greater abundance of food available to us now, compared to 1900. And the cost of that food today is much less in real terms as compared to over a hundred years ago. Due to the fact that, for many people, the cost of the food has become almost immaterial, there has been a proliferation of restaurants and other food establishments out there that are ready and willing to offer a quality substitute for a home-cooked meal. And just to illustrate this

fact, I tried to calculate the number of pizzerias within a 30-minute drive of my house. The number I came up with was close to 100. And to further this argument, I would bet that there are close to 1,000 within an hour’s drive! The other factor that comes into play with this is, of course, time. In 1900 when the large majority of meals were prepared in the home, the cooking process was much more time-consuming. Most everything was prepared from scratch. This was done because it was more cost effective for the family to have one person remain at home to accomplish these as well as other tasks. Fast forward a hundred years and you can see how the modern economy has changed this dynamic. Many people are very willing

to sacrifice preparing their own food for being able to have a job. Yes, I know that this is over-simplifying this issue a bit, but it is clear that time spent in the kitchen is clearly one of the tradeoffs that people make in our modern day society. This change has had a significant impact on agriculture as well. Because food establishments are purchasing more and more farm products, and consumers are purchasing less farm products and more prepared foods, the buying of farm products has become much more centralized. And this consolidation generally means that there is more downward pressure on farm prices. Along with this pressure on prices comes pressure for a year-round supply. Because

The Miscellaneous Gardener By Richard W. Perkins Freelance Writer

What To Do With The Ugly Ones? put in front of a first date to have for dinner unless she is a Hobbit, no offense to Hobbits. So the article I read went on to say that potato vodka does not care about how pretty the potato is. And the vodka they produce is called Cold River Vodka and, whoa, very expensive top-shelf vodka it is. I am not a vodka drinker, so I went to the local big grocery market, and there it was, fancy bottle and all. I could not help but think that the really unfortunately ugly potatoes that came rolling down the production line, through the sorting process in the past that got tossed have sure made a name for themselves. And, what a brilliant way to improve a revenue stream instead of throwing one away!

My next thought was, how hard is it to make vodka from a potato? If you throw large parties, which I frequently do, a bottle or two of Grey Goose, Belvedere, a top Stoli and of course Cold River, sets you back in the $35 to $40 a bottle range and adds up. Google the most expensive vodkas in the world and two of them come in Swarovsky Crystal bottles and are in the $2,500 and up range! Well, I contacted a cousin that I haven’t seen for a while because her Dad, my Uncle, mentioned to me that it is much cheaper to make it in your basement than to buy it and that I should give her a call. A few e-mails later and the basic-basic process is this: The first step in making potato vodka is choosing the correct amount of potatoes.

It takes approximately 2.2 pounds (or one kilogram) of potatoes to make one liter of vodka, so you can use this conversion factor to determine how many pounds of potatoes you need to make the desired amount of vodka. Next, clean and prepare the potatoes. Use a sharp kitchen knife to remove the skin from the potatoes, and carefully chop them into uniform, small cubes. This will ensure even cooking. Place your chopped potato pieces into a large pressure cooker, and pour in enough water to reach one inch over the level of the potatoes. Slowly and carefully increase the temperature on the pressure cooker, and allow the cubed potatoes to completely dissolve in the water.

Editor’s Note: Peter Melick is co-owner of Melick’s Town Farm in Oldwick and a 10th-generation New Jersey farmer. Peter is currently the Mayor of Tewksbury Township. He also served as a director for the New Jersey Farm Bureau and is a past president of the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. Peter has also been featured on NJN, News 12 New Jersey and on the Fox Business Network. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature and strain to remove the “potato juice.” This will be the beginnings of your potato vodka. Purchase an alcohol distillery. While this may be found in some specialty cooking stores, you more than likely will have to purchase it on-line. Hmmm, I said to myself, and went on to find them from $130.00 to $500.00, depending on the amount of copper equipment you want to utilize. Set up the distillery according to the directions. The distillery will remove any imperfections within the potato juice, and will turn it into vodka. Once the process is complete, bottle the vodka, and enjoy! I asked her if it was really that easy and she said yup, it is really that easy. Just don’t tell your friends where you got the alcohol or you’ll be making vodka for the entire neighborhood. Thanks for reading and see ya next month. Editors Note: Check out Richard’s photography at;

10 March, 2016

Amato’s Nursery & Landscaping Win Top Honors

Tom Castronovo/Photo

New Sprayer Technology Reduces Pesticide Use By Sharon Durham ARS Public Affairs Specialist An experimental variable-rate spraying system that helps growers efficiently apply chemicals to trees was developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at the agency’s Application Technology Research Unit in Wooster, Ohio. The new sprayer reduced average pesticide use between 46 and 68 percent, with an average cost savings of $230 per acre for ornamental nurseries. The cost savings can be much higher for orchards and other fruit crop productions. ARS agricultural engineer Heping Zhu, along with engineer Richard Derksen and research leader Charles Krause, developed the laserguided sprayer that synchronizes spray outputs to tree structures. Their colleagues at the Ohio State University, Oregon State University and the University of Tennessee evaluated the sprayer, which would help nursery, orchard and grape growers apply chemicals to trees. Zhu and his colleagues received a National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant to develop this technology to control insects and diseases. The technology and performance evaluations were described in several papers in the journal Transactions of the ASABE.

The sprayer developed by Zhu and his colleagues controls output to match targeted tree structures. The two-ton sprayer can treat either a single row, or two to six rows of trees at a time. Conventional spray application technology requires excessive pesticide use to achieve effective pest control in floral, nursery, orchard, and other specialty crop productions, according to Zhu. This challenge is now overcome by the new precision sprayer, which is able to characterize the presence, size, shape and foliage density of target trees and automatically applies the optimum amount of pesticide. Zhu and his colleagues conducted field trials on the technology’s performance in six commercial nurseries in Ohio, Oregon and Tennessee. Their field experiments showed that the precision sprayer consistently applied the correct amount of chemicals despite changes in tree structure and species, and increased consistency of spray deposition uniformity on targets at different growth stages. Pest control with the new sprayer was comparable to that of conventional sprayers and reduced pesticide use. Editor’s Note: Sharon Durham works for the USDA Agricultural Research Service. She can be reached at (301) 504-1651 or by emailing

The 14th Annual New Jersey Flower & Garden Show was held on February 11-14, 2016 at the New Jersey Convention Center on Sunfield Avenue in Edison, Middlesex County. This annual show featured New Jersey’s horticulture industry, the largest sector of our state’s agriculture, and featured some of the area’s most dynamic and innovative gardeners. It also featured beautiful display gardens, created by the most respected garden designers and landscape professionals in the central part of the Garden State. Each year the gardens are judged by a panel of horticulturally trained judges and show attendees. Winning numerous First, Second and Third place category ribbons, Best in Show and the coveted People’s Choice Award this year was New Jersey Nurseryman Peter Amato, president of Amato’s Nursery and Landscaping located in South Brunswick, Middlesex County. His family’s display garden, which was themed “Christmas Gathering” was designed by his son Anthony. The show’s 2016 theme was ‘Celebrate! It’s a party!’ The New Jersey Flower & Garden Show attracts a full house of gardening exhibitors from around the country and attendees from all corners of the New Jersey metropolitan area. The New Jersey Flower & Garden Show is produced by Townsquare Expos, LLC, one of the leading producers of live events in the United States. Townsquare Live Events has successfully introduced hundreds of thousands of interested consumers to businesses, helping to develop long-term relationships. With the weather fluctuating between winter and spring, the big question in the month of March is: when do you gear up? We are all familiar with the proverb, “Comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.” This is especially true for this month. It becomes a balancing act not to gear up with landscape equipment and crew too fast versus not being able to provide the services due to weather. Winter is extremely hard on your equipment. Snow service equipment especially, takes a huge beating. Salt products and plowing are very damaging to electrical systems and corrosive to all metal parts of our trucks and equipment. Not surprising considering the hard work they do. To prevent some of this damage after purchasing a new truck, I suggest having it professionally undercoated to protect the electrical system and brake lines and to prevent rust. When you return after a storm, wash all the equipment with salt inhibitor to extend the life of the plow and salt trucks. When it looks as if the last snow and ice storm has passed, It seems every year we talk about the impact that the wild weather in our region has on our landscapes. This winter started out as calm and mild, with more golf weather than skiing. Well, of course, that never holds true for too long in the great transition zone that we live in. Just when we said that we wouldn’t have any snowfall, we get hit with a 30-inch blizzard. So, in effect, we had a normal year of snowfall. It just happened in the span of a weekend. Thank God for small favors. In the aftermath of this stretch, we once again went into the temperate weather that started the winter. How will our plants survive not knowing what season it is? Well, they are more resilient than we are. We can, however, give our plants the help they need to get a good start this spring. Part of our plan moving forward should be increasing the use of organics. This may be redundant, but it needs to be a practice that we incorporate into our landscape care. Any fertility program, and especially a natural organic approach, must begin with an investigation

March, 2016 11 The NJLCA Today By Tom Canete Association President

How to transition from winter to spring services inspect all your equipment for damages and repair it immediately. When it’s still fresh in your mind, you will be less likely to forget any necessary service and repairs to have your equipment ready to roll out again next winter season. You also need to consider that snow and ice operations create a lot of idling time on your trucks, which is not indicated on the odometer. I suggest changing the standard or synthetic oil in your trucks every 3,ooo to 5,000 miles. It may seem like you are changing the oil often, but idling time counts as much as mileage for wear on your engine and is an important factor to consider when scheduling such services. To help the transition from snow and ice services to the landscaping season, certain

salter models for mid-size trucks allow you to remove the salter shoot and hook up a trailer to be able to go back and forth between your “white” and “green” services. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see landscapers out this time of year trailing trees, shrubs and frost-hardy annuals with the salter still on the back of their trucks and the snow plow still on the front. A year round company will need the flexibility such equipment provides. When a steady client base of commercial properties expect you on their site as soon as the weather warms to evaluate their landscapes, mulch, edge and treat shrubs and lawn areas, this is a way to service them. Therefore, it is a good idea to be in contact with your landscape

client base throughout the year to offer enhancements and irrigation repairs, which will keep your crews busy during these months. Hopefully, your design staff is also busy completing and presenting some inspiring landscape design projects including new patios, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, and fireplaces, all softened by lush layered plantings of trees, shrubs and perennials. Now is also a great time to order your bulk product and any plant material you will need for your planting projects. The earlier the season, the more negotiation is available when ordering your supplies. As long as the soil is workable, there are many early flowering shrubs and trees that can be planted. Think ornamental flowering trees

The Landscaper By Evan Dickerson Landscape Professional

Our Challenge: Keeping Up With Mother Nature into the environment surrounding the plants to be cared for. This environment starts with the soil. The first step in any program will be a soil test. There are many sites available where tests can be done. A comprehensive test needs to show soil texture, pH, organic matter content, salinity and nutrient levels (including phosphorus, potassium, nitrates, iron, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and other trace elements). As we have said many times, collect your samples at a time when normal soil moisture exists, not saturated or drought stressed. When the test results are received, a plan of action can be created. There will be many individual levels listed in the results and they need to be properly interpreted to be able to set up

recommendations for the test areas. PH needs to be managed and your location and soil texture will also affect the pH recommendation. In our area, the soils are predominantly acidic and therefore a limestone product would be recommended. Many times, a high-calcium limestone product is warranted. Soil texture will refer to the class of the soil. Sandy soils have lower water and nutrient holding capacities and soils with high clay content tend to be poorly drained and subject to compaction. The addition of organic matter will help to amend these soils. These practices will increase the availability of nutrients and oxygen to the plants as the root systems density increases and overall health improves.

Measuring organic matter content gives another view of the soil tilth, or physical condition. Usually higher levels of organic matter are desirable. Organic matter will increase microbial activity, provide nutrients for plant growth, as well as amending the soil texture. When you cannot physically till in organic matter, the use of natural organics will start to amend the soil. When the soil test samples are taken, compaction problems can be identified. Scientific ways to determine compaction are the use of a penetrometer or small diameter sampling. These instruments may only indicate a layer of compaction. Digging a series of holes to analyze the soil inch-by-inch and exposing root depth in these areas may reveal possible

and early flowering shrubs to bring immediate color to a garden just awaking from a snowy winter! As with any company offering seasonal services, a flexible crew schedule using flexible equipment will make for a successful company yearround. We all want to continue to stay in business, and in order to stay in business, we need to be technologically advanced and have the right equipment to do our jobs properly. Through hard work, good decision-making, and teamwork, you will be able to continue growing your business every year. This strategy will certainly make it easier to transition your services this month. Have a good one! Editor’s Note: Tom Canete is president of the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association, also known as the NJLCA. He is also owner of Canete Landscape, Inc., Canete Snow Management, Inc. and Canete Garden Center, Inc. all located in Wayne, N.J. He can be reached by emailing compaction. Efforts to improve pH readings amend the texture of the soil and increase organic content will all help alleviate compaction. Since we always seem to have many weather events which impact our landscapes, we can also look at replacing and repairing some of our damaged specimens with smaller stature trees and shrubs, which may have more substantial root systems due to our improving the medium that they are growing in. There are also many native plants which will adapt more rapidly and will be hardier in our area. Storm damage may not immediately show up, but as it does, horticultural pruning will remediate the situation, as well as take a preventative approach. Using a coordinated methodology will help create a more sustainable landscape in the future. Editor’s Note: Evan Dickerson is owner of Dickerson Landscape Contractors and NaturesPro of North Plainfield. He has been pioneering the organic approach to plant health since 1972. Evan can be reached at 908-753-1490

12 March, 2016

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14 March, 2016



GARDEN GARD RDEN SHOW March 17-20, 2016 Sussex County Fairgrounds Inspiring Garden Displays

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March, 2016 15

16 March, 2016

Providing the landscape with a welcome potpourri of color (Continued from page 1)

beds, or they may be naturalized. As a general rule, bedded flowering bulbs look best in informal groups, unless the overall landscape character demands a formal treatment. Try to avoid a small number of bulbs planted individually or in straight rows. Mass plantings are far superior, visually. An exception to this rule of thumb is in a rock garden setting. I kind of like the drift or wave look. I’ve always been told that the best bulbs come from reputable businesses. And since Ben’s family business, Dutch Grown, has one of the best reputations in the industry, AND he’s the guy who supplies the flowering bulbs to the Vatican in Rome for the Easter celebration, I was honored to meet him. So, in my own stylish fashion, I introduced the Gardener News to him and asked if it was OK to interview him. Below are some of the questions I presented. How did you get into the flowering bulb industry? I was more or less born and bred into it! My family has been growing and exporting flowering bulbs for four generations, and I grew up helping out on the family farm. I still remember

working in the tulip fields as a child, cutting off the bloom heads so that the bulbs’ energy goes back into the bulb, not the flower head, so a larger bulb can be harvested later. Even though I learned about the flowering bulb industry from my studies at school, a great deal of knowledge came through hands-on experience. My family’s company was founded in 1882 and we are one of the oldest, most respected wholesale flower bulb exporters in the Netherlands, supplying to greenhouse growers, landscapers, botanical gardens, garden centers and independent gardeners worldwide. Who works alongside you? The company is run by myself and my brother Peter. We joke about our children being old enough to help out in the warehouse in the near future! Where is your location in Holland? We’re located right in the middle of what is called the “flower bulb district” in Holland. Our family farm is in the middle of the famous flower bulb fields that are visited and photographed by tourists from all over the world each spring. In the summer, it’s

Daffodils in Keukenhof, Holland

Dutch Grown/Photo

L’Osservatore Romano/Photo

Ben Rotteveel shakes hand with Pope Francis inside the Vatican after he assisted with the annual flowering bulb setup in St. Peter’s Square. digging time and by August we have inspected and packed our entire flower bulb harvest for shipment to the USA. We distribute our bulbs in the USA from our warehouse in West Chester, Pa. How long is the journey from Holland to the USA for the flowering bulbs? It takes approximately two weeks by boat from the harbor located in the City of Rotterdam in Holland to the New York Harbor. They are shipped in temperaturecontrolled containers. How do you force flowering bulbs? Most flowering bulbs need a winter cold period. If you want to force bulbs, you have to trick the bulbs into thinking that they have spent a winter in the cold, hard ground. Store them for a minimum of 12 weeks at around 40 degrees F. When you take them out of cold storage, the flowering bulbs will think that winter is over and will start to bloom. When is the best time to plant flowering bulbs? The best time to plant flowering bulbs is in the fall. Be sure to plant your flowering bulbs before frost sets in because it’s hard to plant them once the ground is

frozen solid! In the southern states, you can plant your flowering bulbs through January. What is the most important piece of advice you can give me for growing flowering bulbs? The most important thing is to plant them in soil that has good drainage. What determines the level of quality of a flowering bulb and does it really matter? Flowering bulb quality is determined by its size. And when it comes to flowering bulbs, size really does matter. The bigger it is, the better the quality, the bigger the flowers, and the more chance it has of flowering year after year. Do tulips come back every year, and what about the other types of bulbs? Tulips are not perennials. They tend to come back some years, but every year the energy of the bulb gets less and less. So the flower gets tinier every year. If you are looking for flowering bulbs that are easy to naturalize, you’ve got to go for daffodils, muscari, allium, snowdrops or crocus. Do all flowering bulbs grow in the spring?

Most of them, yes. There are some exceptions like the famous Saffron crocus (crocus sativus). Which type of bulbs attract butterflies? Butterflies like the nectar of flowers and some in particular more than others. If you like butterflies in your garden go for alliums, which produce a lot of nectar. Allium “Globemaster,” for example, produces big round flowers which are really a feast for butterflies. The little brother of the Globemaster is Allium “Purple Sensation.” Although Purple Sensation produces smaller flowers than Globemaster, butterflies still like it as a good snack. Also, a very affordable butterfly attractor is Allium “Sphaerocephalon,” also known as the drumstick allium. Which flowering bulbs have the most fragrance? All hyacinths give you the great smell of spring, and in winter time, the famous indoor narcissus paperwhites will fill your holiday season with lots of scent. But be warned that the fragrance of paperwhites is typically something people either love or hate! (Cont. on pg. 20)

March, 2016 17

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18 March, 2016

Community Food Pantry Fund Check-Off Available to N.J. Tax Filers 75(1721 1 - ĘŠ 1HZ -HUVH\ 6HFUHWDU\ RI $JULFXOWXUH 'RXJODV + Fisher reminds New Jersey taxpayers about an opportunity to assist those in need in the Garden State through a fund that pays for food purchases at the state’s food banks. Contributions to the Community Food Pantry Fund can be made while filling out the 2015 New Jersey income tax forms this year. Since the Community Food Pantry Fund check-off was created in 2010, more than $117,000 has been distributed to Community Foodbank of New Jersey, Hillside; Food Bank of South Jersey, Pennsauken; FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Neptune; Southern Regional Food Distribution Center, Vineland; Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, Ewing; and NORWESCAP, Phillipsburg. The money was used to purchase healthy foods to distribute to the hungry through food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters. “There is a need for emergency food in New Jersey and this fund directly helps the people who need it most,â€? said Secretary Fisher. “Using the Community Food Pantry Fund check-off is an easy, simple way to become involved and help fellow New Jerseyans.â€? The check-off was first available on the 2010 tax year forms. It allows taxpayers to either contribute a portion of their tax refund or make a donation. Money collected for the fund administered by the Department of Agriculture must be used exclusively for food purchases. Those wishing to contribute should enter the code “09â€? on Line 64 to designate this check-off item on their NJ-1040 income tax form. The fund was the result of recommendations from the state’s Hunger Prevention Advisory Committee in an effort to create an on-going funding stream to assist with the acquisition of emergency food to enhance the emergency food provider system. Governor Christie and the State Legislature allocated $6,818,000 for the current fiscal year for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture State Food Purchase Program (SFPP). The New Jersey Department of Agriculture distributes United States Department of Agriculture-donated food to the six food banks through the Emergency Food Assistance Program, as well as distributes funds from the State Food Purchase Program.

It has been a great start to the year thus far. The weather has been good, business is good and overall things are looking up. It has been a tough several years since “Sandy� paid us an unwanted visit, but we are absolutely bouncing back. So take a ride down to the shore and check us out. This time of year is tough to speak about Jersey crops, so I would like to bring up a little known friend of the Garden State, the cranberry. Everyone thinks Massachusetts and Cape Cod when they think cranberry. But in all actuality, New Jersey produces the third highest amount amongst Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Washington. Pretty surprising for our little state I would say. Contrary to popular belief, as well as the commercials, cranberries do not “grow� in water. They are grown on sandy bogs or marshes. The bogs are then flooded in order to harvest them. They are one of the only

From the Deep By Craig Korb Executive Chef

Greetings form the amazing Jersey shore! native American fruits, along with blueberries and concord grapes, that are indigenous to north America. The Native American Indians used them to preserve meats such as deer, acting as a preservative called pemmican. They were also useful to sailors to prevent scurvy due to their high vitamin C content. Americans consume approximately 400 million pounds per year, mostly as juice. So the next time you pick up a bottle of cranberry juice you will have a little knowledge of what those little berries are all about. They are also a super fruit of sorts, as well as being used for dyes. It is a friend of the urinary tract, as well

as being a potent delivery system of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and manganese. So one might call it a super berry of sorts! Cranberry cultivation in New Jersey is believed to have begun in 1840. The State Board of Agriculture report of 1874 states that in 1840 a man by the name of John Webb established a cranberry bog in Ocean County near Cassville, and it is reported that he received $50 per barrel for his cranberries. The majority of the Garden State’s cranberries are harvested between September and October, and occurs in one of two ways. By far the most common is wet or water harvest. The beds are

flooded and a water reel, nicknamed an “eggbeater,� is used to churn the water and loosen the cranberries from the vine. The floating fruit is then corralled by farmers using wooden or plastic rakes pushing the floating fruit toward a conveyor belt or pump truck, then loaded onto trucks for delivery to a receiving station. Wet harvested fruit is used for processed cranberry products like juice and sauce. Dry harvested fruit is “combed� from the vines using a mechanized picking machine. No water is involved during this process. The fruit is loaded into bins and shipped to receiving stations, where it is cleaned and packaged as fresh fruit.

Well, not surprisingly I will be giving you a recipe for cranberry sauce, which my wife has become somewhat of a pro at making. It is so simple, and yet so good. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to a bountiful spring and some great springtime recipes. Enjoy! My wife’s cranberry sauce (serves 4) 1 bag of fresh cranberries 1/2 cup sugar zest of 1 orange 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup orange juice pinch salt - combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer until sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Editor’s Note: Craig Korb is executive chef at The Crab’s Claw Inn, Lavallette, New Jersey. He has an Associates degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelors degree in Food Service Management from Johnson and Wales University. For more information visit or phone (732) 793-4447. So it finally snowed heavily in late-January, the first snow of the season and it was a big one. Many areas had two feet of snow, but drifting made some piles three to four feet. It took a while to dig out. Who knows how many more snow days we’ll see until spring? Today as I write this article, the next few days will be 40 to 60 degrees! How does this “environmental factor� affect your lawn? The snow cover won’t remain for long, but snow cover can lead to more snow mold damage once the grass is visible in early-spring. If snow mold appears, fertilize your lawn after March 1 in order to comply with New Jersey lawn fertilizer laws. Your earliest lawn fertilizer application date may vary from state to state, check with your local county extension office if you are outside of New Jersey for any lawn fertilizer application “blackout� dates. With spring fast approaching, cool-season broadleaf weeds can be

March, 2016 19 Turf ‘s Up By Todd Pretz Professional Turf Consultant

Want a great lawn? a major problem during periods of mild temperatures and abundant rainfall. Many homeowners have reported seeing yellow dandelion flowers and “puff balls� into December. Since we did not really have a harsh winter kill, these weeds may be running rampant in your lawn this spring. Trying to control broadleaf weeds in early-spring can be difficult, particularly if temperatures are below 50 degrees and the weeds are not really actively growing. Spot sprays may work better at this time of year, but be aware, control may be poor. If you do not plan to do any seeding this spring, an early application of Dithiopyr (Dimension) can help to control and suppress 10-plus broadleaf

weeds, such as bitter cress, chickweed, henbit, oxalis and more, provided it is applied prior to the germinating of these target weeds. Wild Onion (wild garlic) and bitter cress are the first early spring broadleaf weeds that appear in lawns and sometimes landscape beds. These are difficult to control because the air is cold and they stand tall and upright making it hard for granular controls to stick to the leaves. You can weedwhack these plants and then spray properly labeled broadleaf weed controls for best results. Once you rake your lawn of debris and start mowing the grass, these weeds tend to disappear once the lawn starts to fill in. They are then forgotten

until next year when, yes, they will appear again. Keep an eye out for more insects appearing earlier than usual in your lawn and in larger populations. This also is due to the mild temperatures and wet fall we had last year with little harsh winter weather to kill off existing populations. Grubs may not have had to burrow as deep and may be in abundance this spring. Monitor your landscape beds because many times this is where grubs tend to appear first, once you start digging around. Begin to keep records of where certain weeds and insects appear over the years so you can monitor these areas for best control solutions. Remember, the best control of lawn

N.J. Department of Agriculture Seeks Agencies to Sponsor Meals for Summer Nutrition Program 75(1721 1 - ʊ 1HZ -HUVH\ 6HFUHWDU\ RI $JULFXOWXUH 'RXJODV + )LVKHU HQFRXUDJHV RUJDQL]DWLRQV WR KHOS provide nutritious meals to children in low-income areas during the summer months through the Department’s Summer Food Service Program. Begun in 1976 as an outgrowth of the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program is designed to reach those who are age 18 or younger in economically disadvantaged areas. It also is open to people over 18 who are mentally or physically handicapped and who participate in public or nonprofit private programs established for the disabled. The federally-funded program reimburses participating organizations for meals served to children who live in areas in which at least 50 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program. Applicants might include public or private nonprofit school food authorities, units of local, municipal, county or state governments, public or private nonprofit organizations, residential summer camps or national youth sports programs. Organizations approved to sponsor the Summer Food Service Program are responsible for managing the feeding sites that provide the meals to youngsters. Most participating organizations may be reimbursed for up to two meals a day – lunch and either breakfast or a snack. Those serving primarily migrant children may be reimbursed for up to three meals a day. Residential camps may serve up to three meals a day, but they are reimbursed only for meals served to children eligible for free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program. More than 430,512 children in New Jersey receive free or reduced price meals in their schools under the National School Lunch Program. In 2015, only 19 percent of the children in the state participating in the National School Lunch Program had access to nutritious meals in the summer. One-hundred eight organizations in 2015 participated in the Summer Food Service Program to provide nutritious meals to children during the summer. In addition to the summer food program, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Food and Nutrition, administers a number of programs devoted to improving the quality and provision of food to New Jersey residents, in particular those most in need, including school nutrition programs and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The Division also administers The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which distributes federallydonated commodities to six emergency feeding organizations statewide to distribute federally-donated foods to hundreds of soup kitchens, food pantries and public feeding sites serving the state’s neediest citizens. For more information on the Summer Food Service Program or to obtain an application, call (609) 292-4498. The deadline for submission of completed applications is June 15, 2016.

problems is a healthy growing lawn. Let’s change our thinking from killing everything to growing better quality turf. By targeting your use of pesticides only when and where they are really needed, we can help give Mother Nature a break. Perhaps you have not introduced some of the new and improved grass seed varieties to your lawn for a number of years? Is your soil pH off? When was the last time you tested your soil? Have you fertilized your lawn in the last year two to three times or more? A great lawn can only happen when you take the proper steps each year. The Super Bowl is over once you read this article. Let’s hope that winter is finally over, too, and let’s start working towards growing a great lawn this year. 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:

20 March, 2016 One of the responsibilities at our garden center is snow removal. January 23 and 24 of this year marked a historic storm where the snowfall was measured in feet. New York City’s Central Park missed an alltime record by only 1/10th of an inch, and locally, where we live in central New Jersey, 24-30 inches was the norm. Trapped in my skidsteer for nearly as many hours as we had inches of snowfall was monotonous and at the time seemed never-ending. I remember thinking, “We’re losing” as Mother Nature continually dumped snow faster than we could clear it. The only thing that kept me going, quite frankly, was the snow-covered trees. I have never sugarcoated the fact that of all my responsibilities, snow plowing is my least favorite. Banging equipment off Belgium block, slipping and sliding on slopes and trying to find the outer boundary markers is difficult, to say the least, when a storm dumps that much snow that Unique Plants By Bob LaHoff Nursery Specialist

Mind Games fast. Fortunately, for me, there are some gorgeous trees on the commercial site that we manage and they were enough to see me through. The condominium complex that we manage has 10 different sub-units within itself and I try to focus on at least one plant type in each development. A mind game for me alone, it gives me something to look forward to while helping to keep my sanity as I continue to make those repetitive circles plowing snow. The first development we start in, I always look forward to the small grove of American Planetree or Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis. The bark on this tree is a dead giveaway

with its smooth, flaking, irregular pieces showcasing grayish, cream colored inner bark. This group of larger trees is mature enough to appreciate the “mottled appearance” of the bark that many wait years to see. Of course, the rounded fruit of achenes that are about one inch in diameter and appear singly are a tell-tale sign, too. A pair of Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora “Little Gem,” continues to impress me as they thrive in a zone 6 climate. Years ago, our company apprehensively planted this evergreen magnolia type at the request of the customer. Sited on the south side of the property, these rugged, diminutive trees continue

to defy textbook hardiness, producing abundant fragrant, white flowers even after being encased in snow and ice year after year. A beautiful weeping white spruce, Picea glauca “Pendula,” is a fastigiate piece of architecture that holds the snow in all its nooks and crannies. It is a towering 30-foot conifer that even has a bird’s nest near its top. This outstanding selection was “rediscovered” by the late Jean Iseli, of Iseli Nursery in 1982 at the Morton Arboretum in Illinois. The original specimen had grown since 1958 and its “geyser-like appearance” was apparently enough to hold his attention. Stiffly held, dropping branches display light, gray-green

foliage with hints of blue and fall gracefully near the tree’s central leader. During those long, arduous hours that almost always seem to come in the middle of the night, I try to do whatever I can to keep my mind alert. Rifling through as many botanical names as I can, while I pile snow near or on top of these and other plants, helps pass the time. Winter interest can be just as rewarding as any other season. I just wish Mother Nature hadn’t been so liberal with her white paintbrush all at once! Editor’s Note: Bob LaHoff is co-owner of Hall’s Garden Center and Florist in Union County, a member of the Union County Board of Agriculture, the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, Reeves-Reed Arboretum Buildings and Grounds Committee, a lifetime member of the Conifer Society and past member of the retail council for Monrovia Growers. He can be reached at (908) 665-0331.

Providing the landscape with a welcome potpourri of color Can you offer me some of your secret flowering bulb planting tips? For a dramatic effect, try planting only one single variety. To elongate the flowering period, you can plant early, mid-season, and late-season varieties of the same type of flowering bulb and group them by bloom season. After flowering is finished, let the foliage yellow naturally before cutting it back, and plant annual flowers such as vinca flower or sunpatiens in the bed to provide summer color. Be careful digging in the flowerbed so not to disturb the flowering bulbs that may already be in there. For a longer show, you can plant two types of flowering bulbs on top of each other in the same bed. For example, crocus on top of daffodils. I understand that your family supplies the flowering bulbs to the Vatican for Easter. Are

you personally involved? Yes. My family and I travel each year to Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, to assist with the setup in St. Peter’s Square. It’s a special experience for us every year. Have you ever met the Pope? Yes. I had the honor to meet Pope Francis last year. Do you grow all your flowering bulbs yourself in the Netherlands? No, it’s impossible to grow all the many different varieties that our customers request on one single farm! We do grow some varieties ourselves, but we also buy our flowering bulbs from other growers in Holland. There are hundreds of specialty flowering bulb growers in Holland. For example: We get our fritillaria bulbs from a small-scale family farm in Holland that only grows fritillaria and has so much

(Continued from page 16) love and dedication to just this particular species. In this way, we make sure to get the best quality for every item our families business handles. Are there deer and rodent resistant flowering bulbs? Luckily, there are a lot of bulbs that deer and rodents don’t prefer to eat. All members of the amaryllis family (including daffodils, snowdrops and snowflakes). These bulbs and flowers contain a bitter and poisonous substance called lycorine. Deer will generally leave alliums alone as well. Crocuses, grape hyacinth and chiondoxa are other safe bets when it comes to deer cuisine. If you live in an area with pesky critters, place a layer of chick wire on top of the bulbs before covering them over with soil. This should help protect them from being dug up. After the flowers fade

on daffodils and tulips, what should I do about the seed pods? Removing the seed pods after the flowers fade will have a positive effect upon new bulb formation and bud set. Failure to do this will result in smaller bulbs because the seed pods will continue to develop and set seed. This requires energy reserves which otherwise would go into bulb growth. Do you see a change in the way gardeners are gardening? Yes. There is a big change going on. People are nowadays much more aware of the environment. Ben also told me that his family offers unusual, exclusive, hard to get, newly introduced and rare flowering bulb varieties. And that their flowering bulbs are meticulously inspected at every stage, from diligent disease control during the growing stage through to careful handling during packaging.

He also stressed to me that the quality of all their flowering bulbs far exceeds industry standards. If you are looking to add flowering bulbs to your landscape, please visit Flowering bulbs also make a great gift. By the way, I really enjoyed this interview. Editor’s Note: Tom Castronovo is executive editor and publisher of Gardener News. Tom’s lifelong interest in gardening and passion for agriculture, environmental stewardship, gardening and landscaping, led to the founding of the Gardener News, which germinated in April 2003 and continues to bloom today. He is also dedicated to providing inspiration, and education to the agricultural, gardening and landscaping communities through this newspaper and

March, 2016 21

A Fascinating Woman! By Jeannie Geremia Garden Club of New Jersey

Daylong Seminar to Train Animal Emergency Responders 75(1721 1 - ʊ 7KH 1HZ -HUVH\ 'HSDUWPHQW RI Agriculture Animal Emergency Working Group (AEWG) will hold its 18th Annual Symposium at 9:15 a.m. on Monday, April 25 at the Burlington County Emergency Service Training Center in Westampton to prepare animal emergency responders for the challenges they might face in a disaster. During the daylong seminar, attendees will get handson experience in small animal restraint and handling exotics in a county animal response team (CART) shelter. They will participate in a panel discussion about managing distraught or emotional animal owners and hear a speaker on how to handle vaccination status, rabies suspects and bite wounds in a CART shelter. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture, under the auspices of AEWG, develops and coordinates plans to protect animals during emergency situations. It oversees state and county animal response teams that work in the field during disasters and emergencies. The AEWG operates under the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health and the New Jersey State Police, Office of Emergency Management. Animal control officers, police and firefighters, county emergency planners, animal response volunteers, veterinary-related personnel and others with an interest in assisting animals during emergency situations will be in attendance at the symposium. For the agenda and the registration form, go to http://

Just recently, I did a “Pollinator Habitat� Program at the Clinton Library and met an extraordinary woman, Sylvia Miller, who exemplifies the image of the proactive, concerned citizen and neighbor that we should strive to emulate. I was thrilled to have Sylvia and her daughter, Jane, in my small audience on that January night as Sylvia engaged the audience with tales of “fighting the good fight� on environmental issues for the past several decades. I have since found out that Sylvia is a former charter member of the New Jersey Forestry Association, and has been an activist even as a young woman in the 1950s. She regaled us with stories of meetings of graduate Home Economists on Long Island, a division of the Home Economics Association, who decided to stay home and raise families. These women stayed current and connected through lectures and workshops and shared their experiences in the event they decided to re-enter the workforce as Home Economics teachers. They received informative tips from the County Home Economic Advisor which was part of the Cornell University Extension Service. Sylvia recalled attending a workshop run by Cornell scientists who passed out a list of recommended books and a list of not recommended books in the early 1960s. She was appalled to find that author Rachel Carson’s new book entitled “Silent Spring� was on the “not recommended� list. Sylvia, whereupon, wrote an editorial as editor of the newsletter of the Home Economists group and stated that Cornell University’s recommendation should be ignored as Rachel Carson’s book was an important book that didn’t deserve to be dismissed. Sylvia subsequently received numerous phone calls and mail asking her to rescind

her editorial by Cornell University scientists and the President of her Home Economics Association. Our Sylvia stood her ground and adamantly refused to retract her article until they finally gave up and stopped asking. How fortunate are we in New Jersey that Sylvia Miller and her sculptor husband, Stanley Miller, decided to move to New Jersey and raise their family here in Hunterdon County in the 1960s? As President of the Home Economics Advisory Council in Flemington, Sylvia suggested that they should have their well water tested, thus raising eyebrows from other participants who questioned that their water could be anything but wholesome to drink. It was Sylvia Miller who reached out to local librarian Dana Neubauer a year and a half ago asking her if they could form a garden club in the Clinton Library where there would be no rules, by-laws or dues, but just a forum to exchange seeds, ideas and swap books and bring in speakers on various garden-related topics. Sylvia says the number of the group varies from two to four dozen. I’d love to have them join The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc., as joining a larger group has its advantages, such as getting our butterfly bill S939/A2913 passed, designating the black swallowtail butterfly as New Jersey’s official state butterfly. There is power in numbers and the GCNJ does not meddle in local garden clubs affairs, we provide support, education and materials that encourage our clubs to be an integral part of their communities. Far from being a “cockeyed� optimist, thinking that there is an easy answer to the myriad problems we face, Sylvia feels there is no “magic answer� such as doing away with all pesticides and herbicides. She feels “each one of us should try to be as informed as we can be.� Using an “Integrated Pest

Management� program and educating the public, as well as state and local officials, as to the hazards of incorrect and overuse of pesticides and herbicides would protect our ecosystem and our waterways from pollutants and contaminants. Sylvia and her daughter, Jane, attend lectures on our food and environment and continually read books on the problems we face of methane gasses, global warming, population explosions, arable land, water issues and carbon emissions. A thoughtful woman, who embraces life and is worried for our future generations as rampant consumerism has replaced a sense of moderation, Sylvia Miller embodies our national trait of “giving back� that is at the heart of volunteerism. A fascinating woman, indeed. Two more fascinating women that deserve to be remembered and thanked for their contributions to mankind and the environment are Rachel Carson, recommended reading about her is in a New York Times Magazine article entitled “How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement� by Eliza Griswold, available on the internet. And last, but not least, is Helen Fenske, who led the battle to save the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge from becoming a regional jetport. Get out there and make a difference! Editor’s Note: Jeannie Geremia is the Community Gardens Chair, the Butterflies & BeeGAP Chair, and the Backyard Wildlife Habitat Chair for The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc., and is a National Garden Clubs, Inc., Accredited Flower Show Judge for the GCNJ. Jeannie can be reached by emailing: The Garden Club of New Jersey website is: www. gardenclubofnewjersey. com and phone number is: 732-249-0947.

22 March, 2016

I remember the phrase from elementary school: “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” This was the phrase that explained the month of March. \ March brings the end of winter (lion) and the beginning of spring (lamb). This time of year has been written about for generations and generations. In Greek mythology, to help explain this time of year and the changing of the seasons, they spoke of the story of Demeter the Goddess of Harvest and her loving daughter, Persephone. Demeter was the goddess who brought and taught mankind how to cultivate and harvest the land. Demeter was known as a giving goddess and helped man more so than other gods when she was happy. In today’s time, it would be here in March when Demeter would fill up with happiness and make the world beautiful waiting for her daughter Persephone to return to her from the underworld. Demeter’s love for Persephone would allow

The Professional Grower By Tim Hionis Greenhouse Specialist

In like a lion, out like a lamb the crops to thrive and the flowers to bloom throughout the lands. Persephone was a free-spirited, happy-golucky, young lady who loved to frolic in the fields and pick flowers with her mother until one day she was caught in the eyes of Hades, God of the Underworld. He got a glimpse of her and fell in love with her and dragged her down to the deepest depths of the underworld with him. Down in the underworld, she had eaten six Pomegranate seeds where it was forbidden to eat anything in the underworld, thus was forced to live with him for six months and was able to return for six months to her mother. While with her mother, the lands flourished (spring and Summer) with the joy and love her mother

had while Persephone was with her. But when she returned to Hades, Demeter didn’t care about the lands because of her broken heart (fall and winter). In Roman mythology, the Roman Goddess Ceres is the equivalent to the Greek Goddess Demeter. The Romans described Ceres as the goddess of Agriculture, fertility for the land and of human relations and marriage as well. In Roman times she had festivals in her honor in April and in May. She is regarded as giving the knowledge of agriculture to man in Roman times and actually had strict laws called Ceres’ Law in her name, that would protect actions against agriculture, in particular actions that destroyed or damaged crops

in any way. Many temples where made in her honor and many festivals with offerings to her where made to make sure of a plentiful harvest. Ceres is a very important goddess for the great Garden State as well. She is depicted on the Great Seal of the State of New Jersey, along with Liberty. She is shown above prosperity to the right of the shield with three plows and is shown holding a cornucopia overflowing. The overflowing cornucopia represents the plentiful and prosperous harvest. The plows on the shield are to honor and highlight the state’s significant agricultural traditions in its history. Anyway, back to today, being that the pleasantness

of spring is coming close to our feet and it will soon be time to enjoy all the gardening pleasures that comes with the spring. The anticipation of sunshine and warm days will hopefully be here sooner than later. Easter comes at the end of this month. This year, Easter falls on March 27. There will be plenty of plant material ready for the end of this month. Tulips, Hyacinths, Daffodils and other early-spring flowers will fill the markets and home centers. Primrose, Ranunculus and Pansies will also be primed perfectly to be able to start planting outdoors, if weather permits. These cool-weather crops can flourish by month’s end as long as the snow has subsided and nighttime temperatures can stay above 32 degrees. Editor’s Note: Tim Hionis has been growing plants for over 20 years, and is co-owner of Hionis Greenhouses and Garden Center in Whitehouse Station, NJ. He can be reached by calling (908) 534-7710.

March, 2016 23

A Midas Glow for Spring It is a shame that bulbs, technically called geophytes, totally lack sex appeal during autumn! The seemingly lifeless array of tubers, corms and bulbs line the shelves at local garden centers, simply begging to be purchased. If only they showed some sign of life or color, earlyspring would be far more awash with sweeps of yellow, white or purple flowers. One of my favorite geophytes is the genus Eranthis or Winter Aconite; a shriveled and lifeless appearing tuber in autumn, it bursts into an effervescent field of gold come spring. Eranthis is a member of the Ranunculaceae or Buttercup Family, with eight species collectively spanning the region from Southern Europe east to Japan. Eranthis hyemalis is probably the most popular species. Native to Southern Europe, it was initially described by Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) in 1753 as Helleborus hyemalis.

Helleborus is yet another member of Ranunculaceae, with a very similar floral structure, which misled Linnaeus. It was not until 1807 that the British botanist Richard Anthony Salisbury (1761-1829) properly authored the plant. Eranthis comes from the Greek Er meaning spring and anthis for flower, while the species epithet comes from the Latin Hyems for winter; clearly, the name solutes its season to flower. The common name of Winter Aconite is a reference to the bloom time and the similarity of the foliage to the genus Aconitum. Eranthis hyemalis certainly is a true harbinger of spring, with the first blooms appearing while remnants of snow still remain scattered throughout the Garden. The 1½-inch flowers are golden yellow and cupshaped, perched atop a ring of finely divided, dark green foliage. Leading Linnaeus astray, the flowers are strikingly similar to Hellebores. The six petals are actually sepals or modified leaves, while the petals are transformed into

nectaries that are laden with a sugary liquid – the exact same structure as in Hellebores. The nectaries have proven their effectiveness, attracting a vast number of early-spring pollinators. Unlike the Hellebores, flowers close during the overnight hours, protecting the flower from frosts or snow. The subtending leaves initially encase and protect the flower bud as it arises through the soil, before unfurling to act as a floral base. After flowering, the leaves expand rapidly to produce a three- to four-inch whirl of foliage. The foliage normally persists into the third week of May, before starting to yellow and enter dormancy. While in flower, the plants are generally three to four inches tall, but as they evolve into a leafy carpet, they stretch to six to eight inches in height. Another easily purchased species is Eranthis cilicica. Native to Turkey, the species name is a reference to the ancient region of SE Asia that was famous for Cilice, the haircloth made from Cilician

Goats. This species is similar to that above, with just a few minor differences. Most noticeably, the foliage is much more finely divided and the stem is a dark purple, rather than green. The flowers are also slightly larger, appearing one to two weeks after Eranthis hyemalis and effectively extending the duration of the Midas carpet. Eranthis is an easily grown plant, but it is not without a few quirky cultural needs. This geophyte endures the heat of summer and cold of winter as a tuber or modified stem, which stores starches and nutrients. It truly resembles a desiccated raisin when purchased in autumn. The tubers should be soaked for six to 24 hours prior to planting in order to ensure that the slumbering geophyte rehydrates and returns to life. Plants can also be moved very successfully immediately following dormancy in lateMay. Eranthis appreciates humus rich or silty soils that drain well, yet retain more moisture than most geophytes request. Preferring woodland

New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association recognized for 100 years of service to the industry The assembled delegates of the 2016 New Jersey Agricultural Convention, held in Atlantic City on February 10-11, 2016 unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing “the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association (NJNLA), and its forebearer organizations, on 100 years of serving the nursery and landscape professionals of the state of New Jersey.” The convention annually assembles delegates from over 100 agricultural organizations to debate and adopt policy resolutions that inform the work of the Department of Agriculture for the coming year. Over 45 resolutions were debated and adopted on issues ranging from farmland preservation to rural communications to drones and agriculture. All the leaders of New Jersey’s agriculture industry are present at the event, making the recognition all the more significant. Assemblyman Robert Andrzejczak, chairman of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, was present and shared his thoughts on the state’s nursery industry. “New Jersey’s nursery industry is not only a leader in the State’s agricultural community, it is a recognized leader across the country. For over 100 years, this state’s nurseries, greenhouses, and sod farms have been a leading economic generator and industry innovator, and I was proud to see that success recognized by New Jersey’s agricultural leaders.” The nursery industry ranks as the largest segment on New Jersey’s agriculture, and ranks in the Top-10 nationally. Nursery, Greenhouse, and Sod account for approximately $400 million in annual sales, according to the latest National Agricultural Statistics Service Census of Horticulture released last December. As detailed in the resolution, the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association was first organized in 1915 as the New Jersey Association of Nurserymen, and incorporated under that name in 1935. In the 1950s, the organization merged with similar interest groups in the northern part of the state, and in 1988, after seeing a decade-long shift in the composition of its membership, formally renamed itself the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association. Ed Overdevest, partner of Overdevest Nurseries, and current candidate for the State Board of Agriculture, was on the Board of the NJNLA in 1988 when the name change took place. According to Ed, “the change in 1988 is a good example of the association’s ongoing efforts to remain relevant to evolving circumstances while continuing to honor its proud past.” To mark the 100-year anniversary, the NJNLA embarked on an aggressive strategic planning process, and has formally adopted the NJNLA|2020 plan to set a strong vision for the organization in the near future and lay the groundwork for the next 100 years of service to the industry. The complete plan and more information can be accessed at The New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association’s mission is to be passionate advocates for professional nursery and landscape businesses in New Jersey. NJNLA was founded in 1915, and currently is celebrating its 100th year of service to the industry. Our 400-plus member companies encompass all facets of the nursery, greenhouse, landscape and retail garden center industry in New Jersey. For more information please visit our website at

regions, Eranthis will also thrive in sun-drenched areas. Over a period of 50 years, I have seen it naturalize beautifully throughout a garden, even into areas of turf. I should also mention, it is highly deerresistant! Totally lacking in autumn sex appeal, Eranthis needs to be on your list for planting this autumn – a pollinator-friendly Midas glow will await you for a lifetime of springs to come. Editor’s Note: Bruce Crawford is a lover of plants since birth; is the managing director of the Rutgers Gardens, a 180-acre outdoor teaching classroom, horticultural research facility and arboretum; an adjunct professor in Landscape Architecture at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences; regularly participates in the Rutgers – Continuing Education Program; and the immediate pastpresident of the Garden State Gardens Consortium. He can be reached at (732) 932-8451. For more information, please visit

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24 March, 2016 N.J. Secretary of Agriculture Honors Judith Hennessy as N.J. Horseperson of the Year 75(1721 1 - ĘŠ7KH *RYHUQRUÂśV $ZDUG IRU Horseperson of the Year was awarded to Judy Hennessy, who has fostered the growth of young equestrians in New Jersey 4-H programs for more than four decades. New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher presented Hennessy with her award on January 25 at the annual Breeders Luncheon in Eastampton. “Judy is an extremely knowledgable horsewoman who mentors and educates young people in New Jersey to build their self-confidence, strengthen their public speaking skills and offer them opportunities to learn and grow,â€? said Secretary Fisher. “She is a dedicated volunteer who has given of herself countless hours teaching, coaching and leading, making a positive impact on thousands of youth over the years. She is very deserving of the Governor’s Award for Horseperson of the Year.â€? Judy Hennessy began volunteering in the Somerset County4-H Youth Development Program in 1972. She has served as the leader of Chaps N Spurs 4-H Club, a county 4-H horse program coordinator and education program coach. She coordinates two county 4-H qualifying horse shows each year and two tents full of horses and 4-H members for the three days of continuous shows at the Somerset County 4-H Fair. Hennessy is the New Jersey State Hippology Coach and meets with the team once a week, writes study guides for the members and participates in fundraising activities to pay for the trip to Louisville, KY, where the group competes at the national level. Hippology is the 4-H equine knowledge contest. Judy is a member of the New Jersey State 4-H Horse Project Advisory Council, which meets four times a year to provide advice to the 4-H staff and help coordinate the state 4-H horse events. A committee of past horsepersons of the year awarded the honor to Hennessy for her dedication to horses and many accomplishments with the 4-H youth equine program.

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Falling Temperatures do not Necessarily Mean Fewer Insects By William A. Kolbe B.C.E. With record-breaking cold temperatures in much of the United States recently, newspaper headlines have suggested that the freezing weather this winter could mean fewer insects next spring. For example: “Celebrating Deep Freeze, Insect Experts See a Chance to Kill Off Invasive Species,â€? “The Upside Of The Bitter Cold: It Kills Bugs That Kill Trees,â€? “Extreme cold may wipe out high percentage of emerald ash borer larvae.â€? While it’s true that insects will die if exposed to very cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time, many are able to survive, depending on the insect and the circumstances. It’s DĂŠjĂ vu All Over Again ‌ This is nothing new, of course. In fact, two years ago we faced a very similar situation when an extraordinarily mild winter gave rise to headlines about how the warmer temperatures would mean greater insect populations come spring. Mosquitoes, for example, would thrive, the thinking went, because of the lack of freezing temperatures. However, leaders of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) said “Don’t Bug Out Over Warmer Weatherâ€? in a press release, explaining that lots of other factors affect insect populations besides temperatures. “States like Alaska and Minnesota are famous for their brutally cold winters, and yet they are also known to have extremely active mosquito populations during the summer,â€? said ESA past President Grayson Brown, who explained that mosquitoes are even more affected by the amount of rain during the

spring, since they need water to lay their eggs. ESA’s past Vice President Robert Wiedenmann said that in some cases the warm winter could even cause harm. “Some insects that emerge earlier than normal because of warm temperatures may not find the appropriate food sources available and could starve,â€? he said. “Likewise, mild winters may favor the predatory or parasitic insects that help keep pests in check, and result in fewer pests. Insect ecology is affected by a number of factors and is not solely dependent on winter or spring temperatures.â€? Long Story Short: It’s Complicated ‌ Which bring us to our current situation. While it’s true that extremely cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time can decrease insect populations, other factors are at play as well. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a good example, since it has received so much press recently. Ironically, the recent cold spell could actually end up helping the EAB in certain areas because the freezing temperatures might harm EAB predators. A few years ago, scientists in Michigan and other states began releasing tiny parasitoid wasps that help control the EAB by laying eggs into or on the EAB larvae. “In general, parasitoids are more susceptible to stressors (e.g., pesticides, cold temperatures) than their hosts,â€? said Dr. Jian Duan, one of the scientists who has been rearing and releasing the wasps. “If this year’s cold temperature kills overwintering EAB larvae, it will surely kill the associated parasitoids — even more so than EAB.â€? “Prolonged very cold temperatures can definitely kill off both EAB and the

parasitoids, and the parasitoids appear to be less cold-hardy than the EAB themselves,� said Dr. Jonathan Lelito, another USDA researcher. Dr. Lelito went on to explain that even in extremely cold regions like northern Minnesota and parts of Canada, where a significant portion of EABs may have died because of the cold, the effect will not extirpate the species completely. “Even with 50-percent mortality, the populations will recover in a few years or so and the infestation will continue on,� he said. “But biological control is a long game. Occasional setbacks will occur, and the populations of both hosts and parasitoids will tend to oscillate through time anyway. The long-term goal is the establishment of a balance, and severe weather events are just a step in the long march, so to speak.� The same holds true for other insects. Once again: It’s complicated. Editor’s Note: William A. Kolbe, BCE is a Board Certified Entomologist for Viking Pest Control based out of Warren, NJ. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Entomology with a minor in Ecology from the University of Delaware. He is a member of The Denville NJ Community Gardens. He can be reached at 800-618-2847 or visit Reprinted with Permission from Richard Levine, Communications Program Manager at Entomological Society of America. Richard is editor and head writer of the Entomology Today Blog. Original article at: http://entomologytoday. org/2014/01/13/fallingtemperatures-do-notnecessarily-mean-fewerinsects/

March, 2016 25

IN MEMORANDUM Angelina “Jean” Brock 1938-2016 Angelina “Jean” Brock, 78, of Colts Neck passed away on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township. She was born in Monmouth Junction where she lived before moving to Colts Neck in 1958. Jean was the innovator and driving force for Brock Farms Family Christmas Wonderland which brought joy to many families. She was predeceased by her grandson, Robert E. Arcoleo, Jr. in 2013. Jean is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Edward M. Brock, Sr. of Colts Neck; her daughter, Linda Brock Arcoleo of Freehold Township; her son, Edward M. Brock, Jr. and his fiancée, Phyllis Parasole, of Colts Neck; three grandchildren, Cristina Arcoleo of Matawan, Michael Brock of Colts Neck, and Jonathan Arcoleo of Freehold Township; one great granddaughter, Linden L. Arcoleo of Reading, PA.; and one brother, Carmen Pellino of Montreal, Canada.

Importation of Phalaenopsis Spp. Plants for Planting in Approved Growing Media From China to the Continental United States USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service published a final rule on February 11, 2016 in the Federal Register which amends the regulations to allow the importation of Phalaenopsis orchids from China into the continental United States in an approved growing medium, subject to specified growing, inspection and certification requirements. This final rule is effective March 14, 2016. For specific information about this rule, refer to the docket at the Web site!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0106-0014.

The Premier Gardening Monthly Newspaper Number 155 Published Monthly Contact Information Phone: 908.604.4444 Website: E-Mail: Staff Executive Editor/ Publisher . . . . Art Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tom Castronovo Justin Kukuc Tom Castronovo

March Columnists Tom Castronovo Tim Hionis Douglas H. Fisher Larry Katz Craig Korb Evan Dickerson

Todd Pretz Tom Canete Bob LaHoff Peter Melick Richard Perkins

Contributing Writers Bruce Crawford Hubert Ling Sharon Durham

Jeannie Geremia Dr. Christopher Obropta William A. Kolbe B.C.E.

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16 Mount Bethel Road #123 Warren, NJ 07059 The Gardener News invites correspondences on gardening subjects of interest. Gardener News, Inc, and its Publisher reserve the right to accept, refuse, or discontinue any editorial or copy, and shall not be liable to anyone for printing errors, misinformation or omissions in editorial or copy. The information contained in articles herein represents the opinions of the authors and, although believed to be accurate and complete, is not represented or warranted by Gardener News, Inc. to be accurate or complete. All advertising is subject to the Gardener News advertisement rates, and must be PAID IN FULL at time of submission. Publisher reserves the right at its absolute discretion, and at any time, to cancel any advertising order or reject any advertising copy whether or not the same has already been acknowledged and/or previously published. In the event of errors or omissions of any advertisement(s), the newspapers liability shall not exceed a refund of amounts paid for the advertisement. NOTE: All editorial, advertising layouts and designs and portions of the same that are produced and published by Gardener News, Inc., are the sole property of Gardener News, Inc. and may not be reproduced in any form unless written authorization is obtained from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to: Gardener News, 16 Mount Bethel Rd - #123, Warren, NJ 07059. (c) 2016 Gardener News, Inc.

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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


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Plant propagation is the process of multiplying the numbers of a species or individual plant, or perpetuating a species or a specific plant. There are two types of propagation, sexual and asexual. Sexual reproduction requires the union of the pollen and egg and may result in a plant with a new combination of genes. It involves the floral parts of a plant. Asexual propagation involves taking a part of one plant and causing it to regenerate itself into a new plant. Genetically it is identical to its “parent.” Asexual propagation involves the vegetative parts of a plant: stems, roots, or leaves.

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Celebrate the start of spring with your family’s time-honored recipes, brought to life with the freshest ingredients from Kings. For 80 years, we’ve helped bring families together with love of food, and our selection of organic produce, unique finds, and chef-prepared classics. Create or cater your holiday meal with us this spring, and make it a celebration to remember. Follow us for fresh updates | | #80YearsofKings ©2016 Kings Food Markets