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Free State

Summer 2017 Vol. XLIV No. 2


Maryland’s Own

State Flower

Soil Loss from a Field Production Nursery New Pilot Certification Program for Plant Cuttings A look back at Field Day 2017 The Twobanded Japanese Weevil Comes Back

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President’s Message Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association Officers 2017 President Steve Black Raemelton Farm 240-416-0714 1st Vice President Jessica Todd Clear Ridge Nursery, Inc. 888-226-9226 2nd Vice President Larry Hemming Eastern Shore Nurseries 410-822-1320 Secretary Tiffany Senseman Waverly Farm 301-874-8300 Treasurer Carrie Engel Valley View Farms 410-527-0700 Director-at-Large Brent Rutley Capitol City Contractors, LLC 301-854-5620 Executive Director Vanessa Akehurst Finney Quercus Management MNLGA Contact Info: P.O. Box 726 Brooklandville, Maryland 21022 Phone: 410-823-8684 Fax: 410-296-8288 E-mail: Free State E-mail: Website:


2 • Summer 2017

The Biggest Benefit of Membership I’m writing this fresh off the experience of MNLGA Field Day 2017 at Ruppert Nurseries. Wow! We all enjoyed the record attendance, great weather, and some awesome educational stations and demonstrations. To Craig, Kelly, Ronda, Nick, and everybody at Ruppert…Thank You! You made it look easy and we all know it’s not. We all come away from industry events like Field Day or Chessie Steve Black Green with a renewed sense of purpose. We see new things we’d like to try. We might have new problems to look for in our own operations. And we often have new or renewed friendships with industry colleagues. It’s just this exchange of knowledge—the connection with others in our field—that is the biggest benefit of MNLGA membership. We have affinity programs of course. Discounts on office supplies, shipping, or tires are nice and obviously carry an explicit dollar value. (Which you all take advantage of…. right?) But these discounts are small potatoes compared to the information you can gather at MNLGA events and through your contacts with other members. If you pay attention you can hear the side conversations in every chow line, on every hay wagon, and at every table under the tent: What kind of drip tube do you use? Which pre emergent herbicide is working best for you? What are you doing about Japanese Maple Scale? Where do you buy your trunk guards? What’s a good leading indicator for future plant sales? The value of the extension education stations is obvious, but these side conversations are probably just as useful. If you can take somebody else’s experience and make use of it - you just avoided re-inventing the wheel. There is rarely a reason to learn the same hard lesson that 3 or 10 or 300 other companies have already experienced. I dread the thought of finishing a long painful story about some issue to which we finally found a solution only to have an old-timer in the back of the room laugh and say ‘Well I could have told you that.’ In parallel with knowledge gained from other members, The University of Maryland Extension researchers and educators spend all their time helping us improve the way we run our operations. They teach us what is needed to comply with the latest new regulation. They give us a critical heads up for new pests and diseases. And, if you ask nicely, they can usually help with whatever on-farm research and development you’d like to undertake. These lessons and experiences are the longest lasting, highest impact benefit of membership. But the knowledge comes with a cost too and I am not talking about our oh-so modest annual dues. The minute you benefit from learning something, you take on the responsibility of teaching too. When people on your hay wagon are discussing a pest control technique, chime in with you own experience. When you finally figure out how to deal with that pesky perennial weed, then write a little article about your solution. And, when somebody asks you to be on a panel at Chessie Green, say ‘Yes’. The sharing of experiences, knowledge, and wisdom is one thing that really sets the Green Industry apart. Take advantage of the association’s events, become a member if you are not already and remember to pass it on. ❦ Steve Black Raemelton Farm, 240-416-0714


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12 Features


5 This Business of Ours – Mike Hemming

2 From the President

9 Total Plant Management – Stanton Gill

4 Director's Message

18 Growing with Education – Ginny Rosenkranz

12 Industry News

23 New Products – Francis Gouin

20 Industry Education

29 Featured Member American Plant

38 CPH

33 Growing Forward – Lesile Hunter Cario

50 Calendar of Events

36 It’s Time for Sharing – Jerry Faulring

2 Association Officers 4 MNLGA Board of Directors


14 New Members 26 Press Release 42 Industry Production 52 GWA- The Association for Garden Communictors 54 Affinity Programs

46 Field Day

56 Scholarship

53 American Hort Craig J.Regelbrugge

59 MNLGA Mission Statement 59 Directory of Advertisers


60 MNLGA Chairs and Committees

Executive Director: Vanessa A. Finney Quercus Management Staff: E. Kelly Finney and Chelsea Bailey Phone: 410-823-8684, Fax: 410-296-8288 E-mail: Web: Free State e-mail: Design: Gregory J. Cannizzaro Graphic Design (contact information page 40) Cover Photo: Gregory J. Cannizzaro © 2017 Maryland Nursery, Landscape, and Greenhouse Association, Inc.


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Director’s Message Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association Board of Directors Terms Expiring 2018 Brent Cassell Leyland Landscaping, Inc. 410-526-4449 Peter Driscoll Dogwood Hill Farm 301-428-8175

Ronda Roemmelt Ruppert Nurseries 301-482-2009 Wm. Oliver Hardy Classic Lawn & Landscape Ltd. 410-335-6868 Terms Expiring 2019 Andrew Thompson Foxborough Nursery, Inc. 410-836-7023

Ted Carter Pinehurst Landscape Company 410-592-5030 Ferenc Kiss Cavano’s Perennials 410-592-8077 John Murphy Murphy John’s, Inc. 410-928-3029

The Free State News is published for the membership of the Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association ( For more information, e-mail:

In my brief address to the attendees at this year’s Field Day (and thank you, Ruppert gang for hosting an awesome event!) I spoke of the vitality and energy exuding from Maryland’s horticulture industry at present. We started the year with MANTS which by all counts had its second-highest attendance ever and most attendance since Vanessa Finney 2008, the beginning of what is now known as the Great Recession. The show-floor was simply jumping and buzzing with energy. It truly is a blessing to be part of this annual event and share in the comradery and enthusiasm shared by exhibitors and attendees alike. Then we moved on to Chesapeake Green in February and experienced record-breaking attendance on both event days. Sure, I know the unseasonably warm weather helped boost our numbers, but I also know from the feedback and number of walk-ins that our attendees wanted to be at the conference. The conference, I believe, is showing value to attendees in terms of education needed and desired, networking, and frankly, the offer of a couple of days to get out of the office/nursery/greenhouse/job-site for a worthwhile change of pace. In June, Field Day at Ruppert Nurseries experienced a sell-out crowd. All those who attended I think would say this was an event well-worth attending to learn not only from the U of MD Extension researchers, but also from peer industry professionals. See photos event summary on page 46. So, what stellar event is up next? AmericanHort’s Impact Washington, is the answer. For many years AmericanHort (formerly ANLA) hosted an annual legislative conference in Washington for the purpose of bringing together industry professionals to become more aware of legislative and regulatory issues facing ornamental horticulture and landscaping, with the purpose of those individuals then sharing that information with their elected officials. ANLA ceased this conference for a number of years when the great recession took its toll on the industry. Now that we are post-recession and energy is high in the industry, AmericanHort is again sponsoring a Washington, D.C. based event aimed at education and advocacy for Green Industry professionals and our elected officials. I encourage and implore MNLGA members to attend this event. The ability we have as individuals to directly impact our legislators is not to be underestimated. Refer to this link for more information,, or feel free to give me a call to discuss the merits of your participation. Room reservations close on August 21st, so do not delay! And once last not-to-be-missed event – the MNLGA’s Green Industry Summer Picnic, to be held August 19th. Brent Rutley and his family have kindly offered to host us for games, fishing, kayaking, camping, fireworks, BBQ (of course!) and the Mayo Family Band. Register online via the calendar page of the MNLGA website, We hope to see you all there! Until then, enjoy the rest of summer. ❦ Vanessa A. Finney Executive Director, MNLGA “Summertime is always the best of what might be.” — Charles Bowden

4 • Summer 2017

This Business of Ours

Finally, A Good Spring Happening Mike Hemming


ell, yes, I know I missed the last edition; I don’t own a dog so I can’t use that excuse. In mid-January Flo had her knee replaced, so for 2 months I was almost a full-time caregiver. A different experience for sure; my hat is off to any who have to do it for more than a couple months. When it was time to sit down and write an article, busy season hit like a hammer. Finally, a good spring was happening, the first in a long time. Anyway, my head had no articles forming inside it and had to forgo getting one written. Anyway, it has been a pretty good spring for us; others have agreed and some haven’t. The lack of new construction is holding back some companies from what I have heard. Small local landscapers around here seem to be happy enough. The heavy rains we had in May slowed some of them down with wet ground. However, it made the ones that cut grass as well, happier. Here we have had busy June days and now and then a slow one, depending on the wholesale sales that day. The lack of new homes being built is still curtailing sales in that area of our economy. In late winter Larry and I took a calculated gamble because of the

expense and quality of the aged bark fines we had gotten in the last batch. The company said they were out of aged and they were correct - not quite fresh off the tree, but close. A local business that sells various bark products and other organic material mentioned they had some really aged and composted, basically ground-up wood and bark. Larry and I took a look at this monstrous pile of material he wanted to move (to

make room so he could have the fresh stuff ground up for next year). It looked good and was truly really rotted down and was available at a good price. We decided to go for it and had 90 yards delivered. We started using it about 4/5ths the way through our winter potting cycle. We had pretty well completed most of our liner potting. Mostly it was used on things we were (continued on next page) Free State • 5

(continued from page 5)

stepping up. We mixed it like we did with aged pine bark fines with peat, sand, and slow release fertilizer. The resulting mix was too heavy and stayed too wet for some plant material. Azaleas and plants like Cherry trees suffered the most. I should have known that, but didn’t think it through. Some plant material loved it like Crape Myrtles, oaks, maples and River Birch. We had some trees that were falling over all the time and I did what I call a quick and dirty move up. Just shovel in the unmixed bark to get it in to a larger container and top dress with fertilizer. The Crape Myrtles and River Birch have doubled in size and have enough roots to hold the ball together and so are being sold already. We are now adding pine bark to the mix and skipping entirely the peat moss and sand in the mix. The proportions we are using right now are 1/3 pine bark and 2/3 compost. I like the look and feel of it much better. For things like azaleas and other ericaceous plants I’m thinking we will reverse the above ratio. Some tweaking will get the ratios right, saving us money on peat moss and sand, especially since the sand will no longer try to wear out the mixer. A year ago, the paddles and the bottom of our mixer had to be rebuilt by a local skilled welder at a noticeable cost. Plus using this material will help the environment by reusing material that needs to be reused. I know I could have been more scientific about this “experiment” but sometimes money and time constrains combine with my

6 • Summer 2017

tendency to charge ahead and figure it will all work out. Have you ever had a holly shoot up 2 or more feet, so the next year it looks like a poodle because there are no side branches in the middle foot and a half? Yes, you can cut off most of that growth. But who wants to lose that height, when we sell plants by height. Years ago, I lamented this to Hank Dorries of Lovely Nursery. Hank is gone now and I miss him. Hank was a self-taught plantsman, which in my opinion is a high accolade for a nurseryman. I had first heard the term at University of Maryland when Dr. Robert Baker used the term to describe Henry Holman of Kingsville Nursery. Anyone that knew Mr. Holman knew the term described him to a T. Anyway, Hank said just make a small nick above a leaf bud with a knife. I have done this off and on for years, sometimes on customers’ plants back in our landscaping days. We have been growing more Dragon Lady Holly as well as Nellie Stevens Holly lately; both will have a main stem that shoots up like that. I have been nicking trunks to get them to fill in the gaps. It works pretty well on 1 or 2 year old buds and sometimes on far older ones. But that can be very inconsistent. I sometimes use a knife to make a cut or my Leatherman tool has a file that works. I just do a quick sawing action just above the bud. The best time is during active growth but sometimes it works when done during the winter, the closer to spring the better though. This summer Nurserymen’s Field day at Ruppert Nurseries, Laytonsville, MD was a blazing

success. More importantly the number of people that wanted to come was greater than ever before. On the minus side way too many people were waiting until the last minute to sign up. This caused a bit of a panic for MNLGA and Ruppert Nurseries wondering how to handle all the ones that kind of suddenly wanted to come. But after some wheel spinning all was well and all could come if they wanted. It would be nice if people would not wait until the last minute to sign up for things. Procrastination is a human failing that causes event organizers ulcers. The field day itself was great; speakers were informative but didn’t talk too long. There were tours that were well managed and interesting, followed by some nice food in a lovely setting. A talk on using drones for IPM scouting and plant stress monitoring was interesting. It’s a work in progress, of course. Another thing that was mentioned was the possibility of using drones for inventory. I got this mental picture of a drone zipping up and down rows of trees or hoop houses. I guess taking photos to be down loaded into a tablet which would spit out an inventory spread sheet is how it would work. Probably not all that farfetched anymore and believe me I’m not mocking the idea. Nurseries like Ruppert Nurseries that are innovative and well managed make me feel good about the future of what we do. ❦ Mike Hemming Eastern Shore Nurseries 410-882-1520

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8 • Summer 2017

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Total Plant Management

Stanton Gill

The Twobanded Japanese Weevil Comes Back, but with a Different Host?


received an interesting insect picture that I have not seen in a while. The picture was from a Knockout rose planting in Washington D.C. and the insect was the twobanded Japanese weevil, Pseudocneorhinus bifasciatus (Roelofs). Before 2001 I used to get in samples of this weevil on a regular basis. The last sample I had was from 2008. This used to be a big deal in nurseries and landscapes when azalea was the “hot” plant in commercial landscapes. Azaleas fell somewhat out of favor and were replaced with cherry laurel and knock out roses in many commercial planting sites. This pest has a wide host range, but seemed to prefer azalea and rhododendron in most cases. The good news is that it has one generation per year. The bad news is that the females lay eggs most of the summer. The twobanded Japanese weevil is native to China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and eastern Siberia. This weevil was first collected in the United States in 1914 near Philadelphia and was most likely introduced through infested nursery stock from Japan. It is

The twobanded Japanese weevil is native to China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and eastern Siberia. This weevil was first collected in the United States in 1914 near Philadelphia and was most likely introduced through infested nursery stock from Japan.

(continued on page 10) Free State • 9

(continued from page 9)

often moved into a landscape while in the larval stage which feed on the roots of plants. The elytra (hardened forewings) are fused and due to lack of flight wings, the adult weevils cannot fly. The weevils feed during the day but are less apparent because of their subdued brown coloration and markings. Once it is established in the nursery or landscape the weevil tends to stay around since it does not fly and goes only as far as it can walk or be carried. Small, cream colored eggs are laid within egg pods formed on leaf margins. Egg pods are formed by adult females by folding the leaf margin and pressing the edges with their legs. The egg pods bear a series of depressions along the margins and contain one to nine eggs. The newly hatched larvae drop to the ground and burrow into the soil to feed on the roots. Larval activity is generally limited to the soil under the canopy of the adult-infested host plant. Adults cause defoliation, whereas the larvae live in the soil and destroy the roots. Adults chew leaf tissues at the margins and create notches. When I searched the literature it was mentioned that they tend to lay many more eggs when feeding on multiflora rose. Since this recent find was on Knockout roses it may be that the weevils will do very well on this crop. What is interesting is that like the black vine weevil, Twobanded Japanese weevils reproduce parthenogenetically (reproduction without fertilization) and males are generally not encountered in the United States, although they are known to occur in China. So, 10 • Summer 2017


Small, cream colored eggs are laid within egg pods formed on leaf margins. The egg pods bear a series of depressions along the margins and contain one to nine eggs.


you need just one female to bring a problem into a landscape or nursery setting. Other hosts recorded by Marrone and Zepp (1979) include azalea (Rhododendron), privet (Ligustrum), Forsythia, Abelia, Viburnum, Acer, Morus, Populus, Sedum, Lythrum, Campsis, Thunbergia, and Coleus. Twobanded Japanese weevils are especially found in cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), Pyracantha, Euonymus, and barberry (Barberis) (Day 2003). This fondness for cherry laurel has me concerned. To check for the weevils, you need to know that the adult weevils feed during the day and when disturbed, quickly drop to the ground and remain still or feign death. To collect them, tap or shake the infested plant and lay a white sheet of cloth or paper under the shrub to catch them as they drop.

If you run into this pest in the nursery or landscape contact me at Stanton Gill, Extension Specialist in Nursery and Greenhouse IPM, Central Maryland Research and Education Center, University of Maryland Extension and Professor with the Landscape Technology Program, Montgomery College

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Industry News

Frederick County orchards and nurseries get ahead of lost topsoil Every time nurseries and orchards put a tree in the ground, they gamble that the soil is healthy enough to support a tree for a decade or more. Jerry Faulring operates Waverly Farm, a 200acre tree and shrub nursery in Adamstown, and has continued to expand his business by rebuilding the soil. Waverly Farm loses an average of 250 tons of soil per acre when it harvests its nursery trees. The dirt and roots are balled together, and the smallest ball size Waverly Farm sells is 500 pounds. The soil then leaves Maryland for wholesale companies whose main markets are in New England. “To be sustainable long term, you have to find a way to replace that soil,” Faulring said. The answer turned out to be products that others were giving away. Faulring composts horse manure and bedding for nine months to a year at the nursery, and combines it with river silt — debris filtered from drinking water at the treatment plant — to make a soil rich in organic matter and minerals. This gives him between 130 and 140 tons of free compost each year to plant new trees. The nursery folds the replacement soil into the ground with a machine called a rotary spade, which blends the remaining dirt and farm-made compost together. The end result is a soil that has a lot of organic matter and minerals, which the young trees need to grow, Faulring said. The rotary spade is different from a traditional rototiller, which mixes the soil fast and destroys the soil by turning it to dust, Faulring said. The rotary spade is more gentle and has increased the health of his soil. The gentle mixing maintains the structure of the soil, which is what allows soil to hold water and not compact and erode. Faulring found he can grow his plants faster, and that the water-holding capacity of the soil has gone up 26 percent because of the organic matter. But the compost and silt do not necessarily replace the soil, Faulring said. The organic matter from the

12 • Wnter 2016

Jerry Faulring has his operator lift the blades of a rotary spading machine on Monday so they are easier for a visitor to see.

horse manure will last for only 10 to 15 years. The nursery is lucky that it has trees in the ground for a maximum of 10 to 15 years, Faulring said. An orchard’s trees, on the other hand, are in the ground for more than two decades. Robert Black, who runs Catoctin Mountain Orchard near Thurmont, recently purchased a rotary spade to get more nutrients into the ground before planting thousands of new fruit trees this spring. The orchard lost topsoil to erosion in the late summers of the 1950s and ’60s as a trade-off to losing peach crops to fungal infections. The development of fungicides allowed the orchard to plant grass in the orchard to hold the soil in place. Now, the orchard is looking to boost its soil health again. It composts the scrap wood from pruning and can now fold it back into the soil as nutrients for new trees. The trees are in the ground for 20 to 25 years, and the rotary spade is an easy way to get the organic matter down further in the soil for the tree roots before planting.

Fruit trees have many fibrous roots that come off the main root and absorb nutrients for the tree, Black said. Black took a shovel to the freshly mixed soil and saw 15 inches of mixed topsoil for the new trees to take root in. Faulring studied agronomy — crop science — in college, but soil health was never discussed before he graduated in the 1970s. He is a longtime subscriber to a handful of traditional farming magazines, and in the last five years, there has been a burst of articles on building healthy soil. For Faulring, a lesson in soil health came a decade and a half ago when his trees started to be damaged by the cold. The new growth on the nursery plants wasn’t hardening before the first winter freeze, Faulring said. Faulring concluded that synthetic fertilizer was causing the problem by delaying the hardening process, especially in holly plants, of which Waverly Farm produces huge quantities. The nursery was losing an estimated 20 percent of its potential income to winter injury, Faulring said. The nursery no longer uses fertilizer and relies on building soil health to nourish the plants instead. Three years ago, Faulring eliminated all winter injury there, he said. Watching the healthy soil movement evolve has been interesting for Faulring. “When people start to see people do well and have better business, people start to change,” Faulring said. Faulring anticipates it will take 50 to 100 years for farms to fully embrace techniques that will restore the soil and make it more robust. With any movement, there are early adopters and later followers. Even with the far outlook, Faulring said the tide has already turned. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Thursday signed the Maryland Healthy Soils Act, which sets up a state Healthy Soil Program to improve the health, yield and profitability of soils in Maryland by providing research, education and technical assistance to farmers. Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder said in a statement published the same day: “Our farmers have shown an incredible commitment to improving and protecting our environment, and I look forward to building on that progress.”

The bottom of a rotary spading machine at Waverly Farm in Adamstown.

Jerry Faulring, owner of Waverly Farm in Adamstown, used compost made of horse manure. river silt, and wood chips.

Jerry Faulring, owner of Waverly Farm in Adamstown, walks through his conposting area.

Reprinted with permission of The Frederick NewsPost as appearing in the online edition at www. on May 9, 2017 Photos courtesy of The Frederick News-Post. By Samantha Hogan

Free State • 13

Industry News

Sporticulture at the NFL Draft

From Acres On-Line Beer you expect. But flowers? Thankfully, our friends at Sporticulture have figured out how to get our stuff, flowers, front and center at a major broadcasted sporting event, the annual NFL Draft. Sporticulture, which has licensed various sports and teams logos to put on plant packaging, decorated several venues around Philadelphia with various Draft-themed containers.

Sporticulture, Inc. President Cort Smith, who headed up the project, said, “We were really excited when the NFL asked us to supply plants for the 2017 NFL Draft again this year. Sporticulture, Walnut Springs Nursery and MasterTag worked together designing products with graphics created exclusively for this event. The Draft is a big deal now, with over 250,000 people attending the live broadcast. It is great exposure for our NFL Team Flowers program.” Cort says the most common inquiry he receives from social media and Internet customers is where to purchase their favorite team. “Our goal is to keep expanding! I hope growers and retailers around the country see how we are working to build awareness. There is a market for the team flowers concept and it is a fun, profitable way to connect with the NFL and NCAA fans.” Cort says that if your business is near an NFL stadium, he’d like to hear from you because there are opportunities to work with teams and Sporticulture can help you connect with them. Email him at cort@ CurrentNewsletter.aspx Reprinted with permission of Ball Publishing

New Members We welcome the following into membership in the MNLGA. Full contact information may be found within the member portal of the MNLGA website, We encourage you to reach out to your peer members – they may be a valuable business connection for you. Chesapeake Benefit Services Lori Kern Chestertown, MD 21620

Sensible Serenity Landscapes Diana Hiles Hyattsville, MD 20781

Roseland Nurseries Andy Schlosser Sudlersville, MD 21668

SMECO (Southern MD Electric Cooperative) Hollywood, MD 20636

14 • Summer 2017

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State Flower Ginny Rosenkranz


aryland’s own State Flower, the Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), are considered native annuals, bi-annuals or short lived perennials, but don’t let that stop you from planting some of the newer cultivars to brighten up the Maryland gardens from June through September. The species will grow easily from seed in the fall or spring to 2-3 feet tall and wide, with a single bright sunny yellow on each upright, stiff, bristly haired stems. The golden yellow ray flowers are usually pointed at their tips, and the domed disk is a dark chocolate brown, with the flowers about 2- 3 inches wide. Black Eyed Susans prefer full sun for best flowering, and dry to moist but well drained soils. They are not terribly picky about soil type but prefer an acidic soil pH under 6.8. Once established, they are very drought tolerant, but bloom better if watered during long periods of drought. Like a lot of native plants, they are tolerant of deer and rabbits, and provide nectar for many butterflies, bees and other pollinators and in the fall the seed is prized by many birds. The plants themselves are also the larva host for the Gorgone checker spot

18 • Summer 2017

butterfly and the Bordered Patch Butterfly. Many of the Black Eyed Susan cultivars are salt tolerant, so they are an excellent addition to a sea side garden and also excellent next to a walkway that gets salt in the winter to control icy patches. Although the Black Eyed Susan is short lived perennial, the plants seed freely each year, maintaining the look of a perennial. Dead

heading the spent flowers will keep the seedlings under control, and will cause the plants to re-flower later. Black Eyed Susans are excellent for cut flowers and for drying. The species, Rudbeckia hirta, is prey to many leaf spot diseases including 2 bacterial leaf spots, 8 fungal leaf spots, powdery and downy mildews, while many of the new cultivars are resistant to some of those diseases.

The number of cultivars continues to grow, and many deserve to be recognized for their bright or bold colors or the large size of the flower. ‘Marmalade’ is a compact plant that grows only 1 – 2 feet tall and wide while the orange yellow flowers open 4 inches wide. ‘Gold Flame’ is gold with bronze blotches, while ‘Goldilocks’ has large semi double and double golden orange flowers. ‘Maya’ also has deep orange fully double 3-4 inch flowers on a very compact plant. Toto® is also a very compact plant, only 8-10 inches tall with smaller flowers that have rounded petals instead of pointed petals, great for planting in the front of a flower border. ‘Indian Summer’ is a large plant, growing 2 – 3 feet tall and produces huge flowers that can spread 6-9 inches across in bright golden yellow. ‘Indian Summer’ has lasted in Maryland gardens for over 3 years despite the harsh winters, so it may be a better choice than others. ‘Irish Eyes’ are just as large a plant and creates large bright gold ray

flowers that surround a green domed disk. ‘Rustic Colors’ is called a Gloriosa Daisy with the flower colors flowing from dark orange, rust, mahogany, brown, gold and yellow. There are a number of darker colored Black Eyed Susans including ‘Cappuccino’, which is dark gold with mahogany splotches. ‘Cherokee Sunset’ has an assortment of colors on large double flowers. ‘Denver Daisy’ was developed to celebrate the 150 years of the city of Denver and has bright clear yellow with a dark red eye. ‘Cherry Brandy’ has dark red petals while ‘Becky’ is a mix that combines bright yellow, golden yellow, orange, cinnamon, and a bronzy red. ‘Autumn colors’ is a compact plant with large 5 inch bicolored ray flowers in shades of yellow, orange, red and brown that stand

out with the dark brown cone. So many to choose from, but no matter which of the Black Eyed Susan flowers are chosen, they will grace the garden with sunny colors and attract beautiful beneficials. ❦ Ginny Rosenkranz Extension Educator, Commercial Horticulture, University of Maryland Extension, Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester County 410-749-6141 ext. 106

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Industry Education

The American Landscape Institute: a new program designed to bring new faces to Horticulture Anyone involved in the Horticulture Industry knows the frustrations and challenges of finding and retaining good employees. The labor pool is not exactly teeming with energetic young people, clamoring to work a 10 hour day, in all types of weather, getting their hands and their cell phones dirty in the process! How can we as an Industry get a new generation to stop posting on Snap Chat or Instagram long enough to pick up a shovel and consider making Horticulture their life long career? Enter the American Landscape Institute (ALI), a scholarship program that integrates work experience and education, born out of a vision to create Gen H- a new generation of Horticulture Professionals in Maryland. Frustrated by the lack of young people entering the Horticulture Industry, some Baltimore area owners of leading landscape and nursery businesses created the Institute as a novel solution to the problem. It all began last year, when Andreas Grothe, owner of New World Gardens, a landscape contracting company in Baltimore County, began persuading colleagues that the time had come to bring the German model

20 • Summer 2017

of Horticulture training to Maryland. The owners of Maxalea Inc., Akehurst Landscape Services, TDH Landscapes, Babikow Greenhouses, Manor View Farms, Live Green Landscapes, Natural Concerns, Pinehurst Landscaping and Mullan Nursery Company, to name just a few, sat down together last summer to hear about the German system that has been training landscape and nursery professionals in that country for generations. Grothe, a German native who has lived in Maryland for 30 years, is a product of the German

apprenticeship system. After graduating from high school, Grothe worked for a landscape company. As part of the German apprenticeship system, his employer paid his tuition at a local college, where he attended Horticulture classes 2 days per week. He worked for the landscaper the other 3 days each week. Grothe graduated with a 2 year certificate in Horticulture and through his two years of work, he gained real world, hands on landscaping experience. After many round-table discussions and countless meetings with the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Grothe’s vision began to take shape into a concrete plan and the American Landscape Institute (ALI) was created. Grothe is now the President of ALI and 5 MNLGA members serve on the ALI Board: John Akehurst, George Mayo, Alan Jones, Tim Babikow and Michael Martin. After listening to Industry leaders, who asked for more applied courses and no general education courses, CCBC created an intense, streamlined version of their existing Sustainable Horticulture program. The new ALI program at CCBC requires a cohort of 14 students and will consist of 7 semesters, including two min-semesters each January. The inaugural ALI class will begin classes in September 2017 and will graduate in June 2019. The courses cover all important aspects of Horticulture: Woody Ornamentals I and II, Soils and Fertilizers, IPM, Turf Management, Plant Propagation, Computer and Basic Graphics, Herbaceous Plant Materials, and Landscape Maintenance, Installation and Construction. Upon completion of the ALI Program, student trainees will graduate with a 2 Year Certificate in Landscape Design and Installation. Students wishing to continue their studies for an additional year can earn

an A.A.S Degree in Sustainable Horticulture, although they are not guaranteed a scholarship. Alan Jones of Manor View Farms stated: “We got involved because we like the concept of getting younger people into the Industry. Also, many of the people involved are our customers. It is an excellent idea to help the Landscape Industry in Maryland and to help high school graduates and maybe even Vets, who are looking for a 2nd career, to get into Horticulture and to help them better understand the many opportunities available to them in Horticulture. It is unique, working with CCBC. We think it is a winwin for CBBC and for the Industry. We hope that, if the idea is successful, we can replicate it with other Community Colleges in Maryland and eventually, across the country.” When accepted into the ALI scholarship program, student trainees will work full time all summer for their sponsoring landscape or nursery company. To date, 15 companies have agreed to sponsor either an existing employee or a newly accepted student. Many more companies have expressed interest in the program. In September, students will work only 4 days a week and begin taking Horticulture classes at CCBC in Hunt (continued on page 22)

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(continued from page 21)

Valley every Friday. The sponsoring company must agree to pay their student trainee(s) a minimum of $11 per hour and a scholarship covering 80% of college tuition, paid into the ALI scholarship fund. The student trainee will pay the remaining 20% of tuition costs. That breaks down to $5,824 from the employer and $1,456 from the student. The payments are made to ALI each semester, 7 in all, spread over 2 years. ALI, in turn, pays CCBC. In addition, there is also a $1,000 ALI administrative fee, paid by the employer. ALI has applied for 501c3, non-profit status. Once non-profit status has been obtained ALI can begin applying for grants to fund the scholarships, relieving the financial burden for employers and bringing costs down. Anyone can contribute to the ALI scholarship fund. ALI hopes that more members of the Horticulture Industry will contribute to the scholarship fund. It is vital to support this unique effort that encourages, mentors and educates entry level employees, sustaining our Industry for future growth. A unique aspect of the program is that ALI will hold the tuition money from each student in an escrow account. Upon successful completion of the 2 year program, the student trainees will receive their tuition monies back in full. This is based on the German model and provides extra incentive for students to work hard and complete the program, graduating debt free. The ALI program will not be a walk in the park for the students. Working 4 days a week out in the field and attending a full day of college classes one day per week, as well as completing homework at night will require good study habits and a lot of determination. In addition, there will be two Saturday workshops or field trips per semester. Graduates will be qualified to serve as first line supervisors or managers for Maryland companies that are in desperate need of knowledgeable and trained employees. The ALI program hopes to attract students that want to learn new skills with on the job training. Most college graduates today rarely have practical work experience or skills. They also require high salaries to repay their student loans. ALI is seeking students that aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty or putting in a hard days’ work on a job site or in a nursery. Finding such students will be ALI’s biggest challenge. Visits to Baltimore and Harford county high school classrooms 22 • Summer 2017

to present the ALI program, have been met with excitement by teachers, administrators and counsellors. The staff at city schools have also been enthusiastic but transportation could be a big stumbling block for city students who will rely on public transportation to get to work. In addition to school visits and school job fairs, ALI is reaching out to Garden Clubs, to help spread the word and has spoken with FFA Advisors, Four H Educators, the Landscape Contractors Association, and the Horticulture Society of Maryland. Building this new program will take time and determination. To date there are 15 students enrolled and the program hopes that at least 5 more will sign up over the summer. No other program like ALI currently exists in this country. While there are still many details to work out and some questions to resolve, everyone involved with ALI agrees that the program is an idea whose time has come! Visit the ALI website to learn more about this exciting new program! Questions can be sent to Martha Pindale, Executive Secretary, at Contributions are gratefully accepted. Donations levels include adding company logos and links to company websites on the ALI website, creating another source of advertising for contributors. Donations can be made by credit card through the ALI website, or checks can be mailed to 21301 Dunk Freeland Rd., Freeland, MD. 21120. ❦ Martha Pindale, Executive Secretary

New Products

“Bloom” The New Soil Conditioner Francis R. Gouin

“Bloom” is the new soil conditioner that deserves serious consideration. From 1972 until I retired in 1995 I conducted numerous studies and published numerous manuscripts in composting and the use of compost for the production of nursery and greenhouse crops. The Biological Waste Management USDA and EPA perfected the science of composting and I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to assist them in developing applications for the compost. As a result of our combined efforts, Maryland leads the nation in the manufacturing and applications of composted products. As a matter of fact, the demand for compost now far exceeds the supply. My first experience with compost research began with composted biosolids from the Blue Plains waste water treatment facilities in Washington D.C. The compost later became know as “Compro”. Because it was made from lime dewatered bio-solids, it had a high pH and could not be used for growing species that performed best in acid soils. After the Biological Waste Management Laboratory was dissolved in 1980, I became involved in composting: yard debris, now sold as LeafGro; crab chum which became known as Chesapeake Blue; and paper-mill

sludge which became known as Gladco-Lite. I also became involved with the composting of garbage, and garbage with biosolids in Delaware. One of the problems with compost is maintaining quality and uniformity. Compost varies in pH, percent organic matter, nutrient concentration and particle size based on feedstock being composted, compost system being used and maturity. However, compost offers many benefits such as: beneficial organisms that controlled soil born diseases, natural occurring fungicides, it is rich in lignins and it releases nutrients slowly. Because it often contains wood chips, shavings, sawdust, stray, hay or fallen leaves, its nutrients levels are generally low. “Bloom” is a very different product from compost in many ways. Because it is not blended with any other product, it is relatively consistent from day to day with regards to pH, nutrient concentrations, nutrients, percent organic matter, soluble salts, carbon/nitrogen ratio and cation exchange capacity. It has a pH between 6.7 and 8.5, and a total nitrogen (N) between 4.2 to 4.8% with most of the N as ammonia. Although is has a very high level

of phosphorus (P) from 28000 to 34000 mg/kg the phosphate (P2O5) is only 6.4 to 7.7 mg/kg. The low phosphate concentration is due to the fact that iron sulfate is used in the process of cleaning the water resulting in much of the P becoming fixed with iron (Fe). As a result, P forms a tight bond with Fe which significantly reduces the availability of P. The potassium (K) concentrations varies from 930 to 950 mg/kg resulting in available K of 0.11 mg/kg. It is a rich source of essential trace elements especially iron (Fe) and sulfur (S). “Bloom” contains 52 to 59% organic matter and since its carbon (C) C/N ratio is 7, the nutrients are available. But because it has a cation exchange capacity (C.E.C) is 45.8 the nutrients are released slowly. It is my belief that the high C.E.C. is due to the high organic colloidal content. Although “Bloom” has a soluble salt levels between 5.4 to 7.0 mmhos/cm when incorporated into soil-less rooting media at levels not to exceed 25% by volume it does not appear to create excess salt problems when transplanting seedlings. However, it should not be used as a seeding media in concentrations greater than 10% by volume. The high levels of (continued on page 24) Free State • 23

“ ”

“Bloom” is a very different product from compost in many ways. (continued from page 23)

aluminum (Al) at 6700 to 7900 is not a problem because Al availability is limited by pH. In February 2017 I was presented with a 5 gallon bucket of dry “Bloom” and a 5 gallon bucket of wet “Bloom”. I immediately applied the wet “Bloom” as a mulch around half of the garlic plants growing in my garden and on half of the horseradish bed. By early May, it was evident the plants mulched with the wet “Bloom” were outperforming the untreated plants. With the dry “Bloom” I initiated greenhouse studies with growing vegetable transplants and bedding plants. Using a basic soil-less rooting media of equal parts home compost and peat moss amended with 6 lbs. of dolomitic limestone per cubic yard, I established that “Bloom” could not be used in concentration no greater than 25% by volume for some species and 20% for most species. In early April I planted onion plants in a raised bed in which half of the bed amended with”Bloom” applied at 2 cubic yards per 1,000 sq. ft. The other half of the bed was fertilized with calcium nitrate because soil test indicated adequate levels of all essential nutrients. By early May it was evident the onions growing in the “Bloom” amended soil would out-perform the calcium nitrate amended soils. Every onion variety being tested had darker blue-green foliage and had longer onion tails. All of the onion plants were 24 • Summer 2017

planted on a 4” x 6” spacing. The diameter of the bulbs grown in the “Bloom” amended soil were½ “ to 3/4” in diameter larger, on average, than those grown soil fertilized with calcium nitrate. Size differences were consistent in all 6 varieties of tested. Pepper plants growing in 3” pots filled with the rooting media containing 25% “Bloom” were grown for 9 weeks with only water as needed. When the plants were transplanted in the garden they still retained their green cotyledons and had an extremely fibrous root system and were not root-bound. The foliage of the plants had a very dark green foliage color. Those grown without “Bloom” on a liquid feed program had no cotyledons, had a lighter green foliage color and the plants were root-bound. Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli plants grown in 8x04 cell packs in the same blend for 5 weeks using only water as needed exhibited similar results. The foliage color of the cabbage, cauliflower and cabbage plants had a deep bluegreen color. The foliage of the red cabbage variety was purple as compared to blue green of the fertilized treatment. I can only attribute these results to the high C.E.C. of the bloom, the high Fe and S concentration and the low C/N value. Marigolds, Zinnia, Celosia, Cleome, Verbena, etc. were all grown in the basic rooting media amended with 20% by volume of “Bloom” grown in 6x06 cell packs

for 5 to 6 weeks and irrigated as needed. All species tested exhibited exceptionally dark green foliage. It is also interesting to note that all plants exhibited normal internodal length despite the fact they were crowded. In mid March, I elected to vertically mulch my 200 year-old cherry bark oak trees growing pon my property using “Bloom” to fill the augered holes.. Since 1990 I have been vertically mulching these trees using compost yard debris “LeafGro” every 7 to 8 years. Using a 6” diameter power auger,320 holes spaced at 3’ intervals were augered 10” to 12” deep and filled with “Bloom”. A total of nearly 3 cubic yards of “Bloom” was used to fill the holes. Starting in early June I started seeing the foliage of the tree grow darker green. In early July I noticed a second flush of growth on some of the branches. But the most interesting part was the lawn beneath the branches of the trees. At first grass surrounding each augered hole filled with “Bloom” was dark green and the turf between the holes was dull green. Shortly after I started mowing the lawn, I observed the turf between the augered holes becoming greener. By early June, the turf between augured holes was similar to the grass growing around the augered holes. What is also interesting is the turf growing inside the drip-line of the branches is darker green than the turf growing outside the drip line. It is

well known that N does leach from foliage of green healthy plants. There was a study conducted using forsythia back in the 50’s that proved N does leach from foliage. In mid May my wife was given two 8” diameter hanging baskets in which Calibrachoa and Verbena were growing. Within a week after they were delivered, I began noticing older leaves, on both species, beginning to exhibit N stress. To try and duplicated the results I observed with the garlic, I placed a half-cup of “Bloom” as a mulch on each hanging basket. Within a week I observed a color change from pale yellow green to dark green. Two months later, the plants are thriving, with an

abundance of flowers. I spent several years developing the nutrient formula for “Osmocote 18-6-12” and many years researching uses for compost. I am continually amazed with the results I am experiencing with “Bloom”. No matter what I do with it, I see positive results with regards to plant growth and improved foliage color. I have given samples to friends and family members with instructions on rates of application. I have received nothing but praises on the benefits from a single soil application of “Bloom”. During the few months that I have been testing “Bloom”I have not experienced any problem when blended in a potting media at levels not to exceed 25% by volume

or used as a soil amendment at a rate not to exceed 2 cubic yards per 1,000 sq. ft. To improve the shelf-life of bedding plants, I strongly recommended it be used in the potting media and/or as a top dressing on plants growing in large containers. Its cost is relatively cheap when compared to commercial slow release fertilizers. I am convinced that “Bloom” is the ultimate in near organic slow release fertilizer. This produce definitely needs additional research in order to maximize its use. ❦

Enough Said. Francis R. Gouin, Professor Emeritus University of Maryland College Park, MD

Eight inch hanging basket top dressed with 1/2 cup of “Bloom” Photograph taken 7 weeks after top dressing applied.

Pepper plants growing in 3” pots for 9 weeks in a rooting media contains 25% “Bloom”. Plants were irrigated as needed.

Two hundred year old cherry bark oak vertically mulched in March with “Bloom” and photographed in late June. Free State • 25

Press Release

Journal of Environmental Horticulture Expands Scope and Accessibility WASHINGTON, DC and COLUMBUS, OH—June 2, 2017— Exploring new ways to disseminate horticultural research is a core mission for the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI). The Journal of Environmental Horticulture was born in 1983 to connect the horticultural industry to horticultural research and the researchers to the industry. HRI is pleased to announce changes to both the scope of and access to the Journal with the launch of a new online platform at HRI recognizes that highly relevant content, directly from the source, can help guide industry businesses to adapt with new processes and protocols. The Journal is peerreviewed, so you can count on the legitimacy of the content. Until 2013, the Journal was available only to paid subscribers as a quarterly print publication. In 2013, the Journal began publishing articles online. Bringing research to life in a digital environment improved industry access to relevant horticultural research and gave researchers greater opportunity for collaboration. In 2017, the Journal will take another step forward and increase access to and visibility of horticultural research. This bellwether publication will celebrate its 35th year of service by migrating from a subscription-based model to an open-access model and revamping the online user experience. Eliminating subscription fees means more industry professionals will have important research results at their fingertips. The new platform offers an easy-tonavigate design with fast and comprehensive search features on all content, dating back to 1983. Furthermore, the scope of the Journal will be broadened to include all aspects of the green industry, to better reflect the industry represented by HRI and AmericanHort, including but not limited to floriculture, herb and vegetable production in controlled environments, container and field nursery production, and all aspects of the managed landscape. More access to relevant content provides horticultural businesses a competitive advantage as they continue to innovate. Improvements to the Journal platform were made possible by HRI donors, including a special, dedicated contribution by Ball Horticultural Company. To access the new Journal platform, visit For additional information, please contact Jennifer Gray, HRI Administrator, at 614-884-1155 or ### The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), the research affiliate of AmericanHort, has provided over $7 million in funds since 1962 to research projects covering a broad range of production, environmental, and business issues important to the green industry. Over $10 million is committed to the endowment by individuals, corporations, and associations. For more information about HRI, its grant-funded research, scholarships, or programming, visit www. or contact Jennifer Gray at 614.884.1155. 26 • Summer 2017

Akehurst Landscape Service, Inc.

May 10th, 2017, Joppa, Maryland – Akehurst Landscape Service, Inc. presented the Harford County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit with lawn care equipment. Akehurst along with the help of some of their vendors presented The H.C.S.O. K-9 Unit a Wright Stander mower along with some Echo hand held power tools to maintain their Dog training campus and shooting range in Northern Harford County. “When our fleet manager, David Tritt, came forward and presented the need and the idea to help out the sheriff’s department, it was an opportunity and we didn’t have to think twice. The opportunity to give back to the men, women and dogs who put their lives on the line day in and day out for the citizens of Harford County is a true honor”, said John Akehurst, President. Tritt, immediately went to work and solicited vendors of the firm to help out. Port City Equipment, of Baltimore generously donated Echo power tools to assist the K-9 Unit. Beaver’s Auto Body in Aberdeen painted the Wright Stander Mower blue, Allsigns of Belair created and provided the graphics that were placed on the mower. To top it off, Intercon Truck Body in Joppa donated red and blue led strobe lights that were installed on the mower to add a special touch. Contact: John Akehurst 410.538.4018 Ext. 104 or Email: ### Founded in 1876, the company is a privately held firm. John Akehurst, his brother William K. Akehurst, and cousin Jay Tarleton, are the fifth generation in one of America’s oldest family-owned horticultural companies. Akehurst is a full-service business serving the Greater Baltimore Metro region with landscape management, interior plantscaping and snow/ice management services. For more about the company visit,

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We have answers when you have questions … The MNLGA web site is designed for our members and is your single source for the answer to almost any question. The site is your: • Membership Directory with member search options • Up-to-date industry calendar • Classified ads which members can post and track resumes/ responses • CPH program information including basic and advanced test applications and registration • Business resources • CEU forms • Free State Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse News (electronic issues) • Root of the Matter issues and MaGIC updates • Chesapeake Green - speaker resources - year round

28 • Summer 2017

• Industry calendar includes: – Event postings from organizations and educational institutions around the Mid-Atlantic region; – Resources for finding CEUs for pesticide recertification, nutrient management recertification, and general education in horticulture topics; – MNLGA events including Field Day, MANTS, Chesapeake Green and much more

Visit today!

Featured Member



merican Plant in Bethesda, Md., is a third generation, family-owned business which includes Garden Center and Lifestyle Boutique store locations plus a Landscape Design|Build|Maintenance division. The Shorbs’ grandfather built the business on the principle of treating customers like guests in his home. This principle has become second nature to the young owners, Brett, Erik and Todd, who have made their garden centers a “destination” for customers from the entire metro area. Skip Shorb, their father, added a commitment to environmentally friendly gardening solutions when the boys’ mother was diagnosed with cancer. The family experienced an awakening to the effects of chemical pesticides and fertilizers upon both people and the earth, and American Plant embarked on a leading role in a movement to provide more earthfriendly choices. American Plant caters to homeowners throughout the D.C. metro area with two convenient locations and a wide selection of garden supplies, annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. Tinge, the lifestyle boutique, is the perfect gift destination for home décor, furniture, accessories, candles, jewelry, and beauty products. The greenhouses have exquisite

A third generation, family-owned business, he Shorbs’ grandfather built the business on the principle of treating customers like guests in his home.

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orchids, houseplants and creative custom arrangements. The photo gallery of the Landscape/Design/Build division would set any homeowner to dreaming about possibilities on his or her own property. Since the turn of the century, this division has provided the same exceptional customer service and high quality products as the retail locations. By providing a full landscape makeover, creating a patio or natural stone wall, building a European-style pergola or attractive wooden screen, or solving a persistent drainage problem, American Plant’s experienced, creative designers and crews can turn one’s landscape into the envy of the neighborhood. Landscape also offers a yearround maintenance package

that includes pruning, weeding, mulching, and leaf removal. You can visit the Landscape website at In addition to the two locations, American Plant has an e-commerce website,, from which clients can purchase bagged goods from bird food, potting media or mulch, to a half cord of wood. Website customers can also choose from more than 100 items in the Lifestyle Boutique, including a nice selection of gifts and beautiful jewelry. American Plant offers free membership in its “Garden Rewards” program and a tiered Trade Discount membership based on purchases the previous year. Sign up online or in-stores. An expedited ordering process gets contractors on their way

quickly. Email your order by 3 p.m. and it will be ready for pick-up the next morning or can be delivered directly to a job site. If you aren’t in a rush to get to work, however, you’ll want to take time to wander through the store displays. Marketing Manager Gina DeMatteis said American Plant is well-known for its seasonal displays, particularly for Halloween and the holidays. In October, the company has haunted houses, pumpkin painting, and movie nights for the kids with cider, popcorn, hay mazes and a fire pit. “It’s close by, convenient and it’s free!” she said. At Christmas, Santa is there for picture-taking, and there are displays for doors, mantels and tabletops. American Plant’s wreath stations are spectacular, offering customers custom details. Tons of displays give visitors an incentive to create a fabulous entryway or decorate for a party. Since incorporating the boutique, American Plant has become a onestop shop for indoor and outdoor home decor. “We call our lifestyle boutique ‘Tinge,’” DeMatteis said. “We brainstormed about the name and decided on “Tinge’ because it means just a little bit extra, like a tinge of color in a sunset. Lots of our products are created in small batches, and you can’t find it anywhere else. For example, we have vintage Spicher and Company Vinyl Floor Cloths which people go crazy over. We have them on the floor of our store. We have lots of candles, body lotions, soaps, hand creams made with organic herbs… “We’ve always had a gift shop with typical paper party goods, (continued on page 32)

30 • Summer 2017

Since we opened the boutique, we have become a one-stop shop for indoor and outdoor home decor. We call our lifestyle boutique ‘Tinge,’ which means just a little bit extra, like a tinge of color in a sunset. Free State • 31

artificial flower picks, gardening accessories — it’s meshed with our garden supply department. People responded well to the things our buyers chose, so when we renovated our space, we tried to think differently of how to tie in the feeling of … not so much gift shop but bringing garden style indoors. Customers look forward to spending time with our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff. We continued to grow by creating a home décor boutique that is like no other.” DeMatteis is obviously enthusiastic about the selection of products offered. She continued, “We have furniture, accessories, terrariums and custom arrangements from our greenhouse. Or you can bring your own pot and we will create a combination with you, or tell us what you like and we’ll create it for you. “Because this is Bethesda and there are so many apartment complexes, we have bistro furniture 32 • Summer 2017

for those with only balcony space or small backyards.” DeMatteis has been with the company for four years and says it is like a little slice of therapy. “You walk into a zen paradise in the store. We are proud that our staff is knowledgeable and helpful. We promote customer service, even on our website. We have handouts on composting; we even brew our own compost tea every weekend and sell it fresh brewed. We offer tips and techniques for planting.” You’ll just have to make American Plant a destination someday when you have time to stay awhile. Both stores’ summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For specific questions, you can call either store location: 7405 River Road, (301) 469-7690 or 5258 River Road, (301) 656-3311. For the Landscape division, call (301) 762-6301. ❦ Carol Kinsley

Growing Forward

Leslie Hunter Cario

What’s the Buzz with the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Certification?


he Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) certification is a new, voluntary, regional credential for professionals who design, install, and maintain sustainable landscapes within and beyond the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Level 1 Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professionals (CBLPs) have a solid foundation in sustainable design and installation, with a focus on stormwater maintenance. Professionals certified at Levels 1 and 2 hold an advanced credential in design (CBLP-D) or installation (CBLP-I) of conservation landscapes and small-scale stormwater retrofits. Professional landscapers, horticulturists, landscape designers and landscape architects, stormwater professionals, engineers, and tree care professionals all gain knowledge and practical experience from the training. The certification lends additional credibility to the professionals’ knowledge of and experience with these subjects. Appropriate candidates for CBLP certification include those employed by government agencies and school districts, large companies, small business, and individual consultants.

Prince George's County Maintenance Practicum examining bioretention with instructor, Ted Scott, Fall 2016

“CBLP provided an in-depth look at stormwater in the Bay region, and an invaluable opportunity for me to connect with like-minded professionals,” said Dennis Skaggs, owner of Severn Grove Ecological Design. Since government entities have pledged preferential hiring of certified pros, who have demonstrated knowledge and participated in standardized trainings, and consumers are encouraged to ask for CBLPcertified individuals when selecting a landscaping company, it will be a benefit to business to support employees through their efforts to become certified and to consider

an individual’s certification status in the hiring process. Kody Cario of Bryan and Sons, a CBLP who served as a Technical Advisor for the certification, noted an increase in sales for installation and maintenance of these types of projects. Horticulturists will have a more thorough understanding of the conditions plants will experience in stormwater and conservation plantings, which will put them in a position better able to advise their customers. A searchable directory of more than 100 certified professionals in Maryland, Virginia, DC and Pennsylvania is available online at, (continued on page 34) Free State • 33

Baltimore Level 1 class examines green roof technology with instructor Dave Hirschman, and CBLP-T trainee Brad Thompson of CCBC (continued from page 33)

which helps companies with CBLPs on staff and self-employed individuals to market themselves. CBLPs pledge to promote and apply sustainable landscape techniques, also known as the Eight Essential Elements of Conservation Landscaping: www. resources/the-eight-essentialelements/. Additionally, they have a solid understanding of the regulatory framework of stormwater management and water quality laws, regulations, and permits designed to protect water quality and watersheds. Commercial operations, government agencies, and other potential customers can search the CBLP directory to find pros in their area who have the expertise needed to design, install, and maintain sustainable practices such as rain gardens, bio-swales, permeable pavers, cisterns, and native plantings. Choosing a CBLP for design or installation will result in a product with superior aesthetic and function. Appropriate installation techniques will be utilized. Choosing a CBLP for project maintenance means that potential problems can be identified sooner, with less expense on the 34 • Summer 2017

front end. Proactive inspections and related maintenance will help avoid costly failures. Each of these practices, when properly implemented, has the ability to positively impact the health of the Bay. CBLP certification is developed by a consortium that includes the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council (CCLC), Wetlands Watch, University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension, Virginia Tech Extension, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Habitat Partners. The certification is under the leadership of CBLP Coordinators Beth Ginter and Shereen Hughes. It utilizes the guidance of a Steering Committee comprised of landscape designers and installers, stormwater professionals, educators, and individuals in private practice. “Training and identifying landscape professionals who know how to maintain these BMPs, and who would then know how to design, construct and maintain many more conservation landscape best practices for water quality on existing landscapes, just makes good business sense,” said Shawn Cummings of Greenskeeper

Landscaping, a landscape professional who also serves on the CBLP Steering Committee. “The market is ready and willing. We see a growth trend in clients who know their landscapes can actually be beneficial for the streams in their backyards and for the Bay,” Cummings added. Funds from grantors as well as cash and in-kind pledges from pilot partners have ensured a successful pilot program and a smooth transition to a fully-functioning certification program. Many of you will remember Beth Ginter, CBLP’s Lead Coordinator, speaking about the certification’s pilot program at the MNLGA Annual Meeting during MANTS 2017 last January. As of MANTS, all of the Level 1 pilot participants had taken part in one of the regional maintenance practicums, and most had also attended a review session and sat for the exam. At that time, over 80 professionals were newly certified at Level 1. In the months following MANTS, the final group of Level 1 pilot participants sat for the exam, resulting in over 110 Level 1 certified pros, and a select group participated in the pilot Level 2 seminar and exam, resulting in a total of 22 Level 2 certified pros. In June, the first round of Trainthe-Trainer workshops took place to expand the reach of certification and training opportunities for new candidates and current CBLPros. Those trained include educators, landscape and engineering professionals, and watershed restoration specialists from Maryland, Virginia, DC, and Pennsylvania. Throughout 2017, new Level 1 candidates will have participated

Level 1 Pilot Participants sit for exam in December 2016

CBLP candidates and host Christine Simpson examine soils at the Arlington, Virginia maintenance practitum, 2016

in one of six training sessions. Sessions held throughout the region in Baltimore, Richmond, Annapolis, Virginia Beach, and Lancaster will have wrapped up by the end of July, with one remaining Level 1 session to be held in Derwood and Rockville, MD on September 14-15. The Level 1 training sessions combine classroom learning about conservation landscaping and stormwater best management practices with a field-based maintenance practicum. Those professionals who have successfully passed Level 1, and are both qualified and interested in pursuing Level 2 certification may apply for

the Level 2 seminar to be held November 9-11 in Arlington, VA. Those interested in becoming certified can participate in customizable, interactive trainings throughout the Bay watershed. Because CBLP is a Bay-wide credential, candidates may take the class and sit for the exam in any location. For more information, and to apply for certification, visit Plans for 2018 include another round of Level 1 and Level 2 trainings region-wide, as well as collaboration with higher education institutions and other partners. Beth Ginter, CBLP Coordinator, notes,

Level 2 CBLPs Kelley Oklesson and Richard Jacobs develop a tree preservation plan at George Washington University, January 2017

“We are encouraged by the high level of interest in this program and the positive feedback we’re receiving from those who have participated, and we look forward to expanding the certification in the next few years.” If you have questions about the program, or would like to help sponsor a session or individual, please contact CBLP Lead Coordinator Beth Ginter at or visit ❦ Leslie Hunter Cario Chesapeake Horticultural Services Leslie Hunter Cario was certified as a CBLP during the first round of the pilot program in fall 2016. She is a Certified Professional Horticulturist and former board member of the MNLGA, also licensed as a Nutrient Management Consultant and a Pest/Disease Consultant through the Maryland Department of Agriculture. She runs Chesapeake Horticultural Services, consulting with nurseries, landscape operations, and non-profits on planning, production, research, and photography projects. Free State • 35

It’s Time



Soil Loss from a Field Production Nursery Jerry Faulring


he most important sustainability concern for a field production nursery relates to the loss of soil through the sale of plants. Soil loss from shipping root balls equals approximately 250 tons per acre, about 13 tandem dump truck loads. The average will vary for individual nurseries based on many different practices. To put this in perspective, USDA allows that 6 tons of soil loss per year from wind and water erosion is acceptable

for general agriculture. If a typical nursery grower turns the inventory every 6 years, the operation would be within bounds by selling just 36 tons of soil per rotation. Nurseries are also subject to additional soil loss from erosion. Soil loss has been substantially ignored by growers. This is understood by realizing replacement soil of quality is rarely available and the cost of its acquisition and field distribution is prohibitively expensive.

1,000 pound root balls remove a large amount of soil from the nursery

36 • Summer 2017

Many growers have attempted to replace soil through high tonnage cover crops when enough land is available to fallow acreage. Some have sourced soil for distribution but this is often on a ‘when available’ basis. Others have amended production soils with organic matter. This is very useful because there is a short-term increase in soil volume while also enhancing soil health dramatically over the long term. Many other benefits accrue from the organic

Left: Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant, Washington, DC By AgnosticPreachersKid - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https:// php?curid=6026048 Below left: Silt being dewatered Below right: Treatment plant silt after processing and waiting for removal

amendment including increased water holding capacity and reduced or eliminated need for additional fertilizer. Several years ago, Steve Black, Raemelton Farm, and I were approached to consider amending our soil with river silt (silt). Steve began using silt soon after but I chose to wait and see what might go wrong. As it turned out no negative production issues have arisen. At the time, many farmers had started broadcasting silt as a topdressing for a variety of traditional agricultural crops. River silt contains enough nutrition from organic matter to justify the effort while reducing traditional fertilizer applications. We did our research and soil testing to the extent that it was shown to be a useful amendment with no

potential detrimental effects to our plants. Soil testing consistently shows the silt to be about 20% organic matter, 80% mineral and no deleterious components. The significant factor is the high mineral content. The mineral constituent is a near permeant addition to the soil profile and an aid in replenishing soil lost to root ball sales. Please note, I keep referring to the sale of root balls which also have the added feature of having a plant included. This plant is actually a part of the weight calculation. Therefore, the actual volume of soil and its weight skews the discussion and would be the subject of another article. We did some research on this many years ago in cooperation with Maryland Extension. What is silt? Water treatment

plants fill huge holding tanks with water to begin the process of producing potable water; in this case water is sourced from rivers. The holding tanks are treated with a flocculating agent causing suspended solids to settle to the bottom of the tank. Eventually the holding tanks require cleaning. The silt is made to be fluid and pumped to a dewatering press. The finished product is dense, wet, and really sticky. At Waverly, we have been amending our soil with approximately 120 tons of organic matter per acre from farm produced compost of horse manure and wood chips since 2004. This is done each time we plant a new crop. Last fall we began receiving silt to further (continued on page 38) Free State • 37

(continued from page 33)

amend the compost. We now blend approximately 60% organic matter and 40% silt by volume. The silt is blended just prior to field spreading. To do so earlier would negatively impact composting of the organic matter. Our delivery system still delivers the same volume of material

per acre reducing the amount of organic matter compared to previous practice which I believe is very important to the overall production system. As we do not apply any synthetic fertilizer, our nutritional needs will be somewhat reduced. Time will tell if overall plant health and vigor are compromised. On the other hand,

replacing more soil is critically important long term and is the ultimate goal. We will be able to devise a method of increasing the organic amendment if needed. All of the amendments are delivered to us free of freight and material charge. Previous analysis shows the total nutrition requirement over a period of up to 8-10 years is taken care of in the planting year. Of course, the entire system costs money to produce the compost, blend it with silt and distribute it to the field. I estimate that our cost is roughly similar to using synthetic fertilizer alone for 5-10 years in a rotation but expensed entirely in the first year of a new planting. Finally, the soil is not actually lost. It simply moves to a different location. ❦

Combination of composted horse manure, wood chips and river silt spread on a new planting bed at Waverly Farm

Maryland Certified Professional Horticulturist Program


Jerry Faulring Waverly Farm 1931 Greenfield Road Adamstown, MD 21710 301-874-8300

PUBLICATION NOTICE: The deadline for submissions for the winter issue of Free State Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse News is November 1, 2017. We welcome your company news and updates or columns with your professional insight. E-mail any submissions you have for Free State News to or mail to:

Free State NURSERY

Remaining 2017 CPH Exams – October 3 will offer two exams: - CPH Basic - CPH Specialist in Plant ID All eligible candidates will be sent registration information within the next few weeks. 38 • Summer 2017

Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association P.O. Box 726, Brooklandville, MD 21022

Summer 2017 Vol. XLIV No. 2




wn State Flower Soil loSS fro Production m a field nureSery New Pilot Cer tification Pro gram for Pla nt Cuttings The Twoban ded Japanese We evil Comes Bac k



JANUARY 10-12, 2018


THE MASTERPIECE OF TRADE SHOWS™ Technology has certainly changed our lives, but in the nursery industry there still remains a vital need to conduct business face to face. And MANTS has been fulfilling that need artfully for 48 years now. Over 11,000 attendees, representing over 3,600 buying companies and nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies, attended our most recent show. Buyers and sellers come together at our 300,000 square feet of exhibit space every January to conduct serious business, with no distractions. But when the work day is over, and it is time to unwind and relax, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor offers an impressive list of fine restaurants and attractions. Sure, you can find plenty of important information on the web. But you still need to attend MANTS to get the job done. Flowers, plants and people abound

Remember, MANTS means business.

P.O. Box 818 Brooklandville, MD 21022 410-296-6959 800-431-0066 fax 410-296-8288

On-line Registration is available 24/7 beginning October 1.

@mantsbaltimore #mants Free State • 35

Bright Ideas

Logos Exhibit Design Vehicle Graphics

Advertising Brochures Direct Mail

Fresh Solutions

Gregory J. Cannizzaro Graphic Design 410-444-5649 • Lowry_full ad_MNLGA_Nov2016_print.indd 1


Wednesday and Thursday February 21 and 22 Check during the coming year for more details.

40 • Summer 2017

11/30/16 6:04 PM

Crop Insurance

Protect your farming future

Nursery Provides protection from loss due to natural hazards Field and container grown can be insured separately Losses can be determined separately by plant type with buy-up protection Optional endorsements include peak inventory, field grown rehabiliation and higher price protection Enrollment available throughout the year with a 30 day waiting period before insurance attaches. Contact a crop insurance agent for details list available at: This message brought to you through a cooperative effort of the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the USDA Risk Management Agency. “This institution is an equal opportunity provider.”

Secretary of Agriculture Joseph Bartenfelder Dep. Secretary James P. Eichhorst (continued on page 38)

Governor Larry Hogan Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford

Free State • 41

Industry Production

Family Nursery Growing To Support Next Generation Reprinted with permission from AmericanFarm, Mid-Atlantic Grower. Originally published May 5, 2017 Union Bridge, Md. The nursery industry has had its share of ups and downs in recent years. Joseph Barley, founder of Clear Ridge Nursery in Carroll County, Md., said the secret to success is not sitting still. “When I first started this business, I thought I could stay within my niche. After 22 years, you realize that you have to adapt and diversify,” Barley said. Barley, who has a background as an arborist and in forestry, opened Clear Ridge Nursery in 1994 in Union Bridge. In the early years, he focused on native trees and shrubs. While that’s still the primary focus of the business, he said they have also adapted to meet the demands of their customers. “When I first started, it was literally like walking off a cliff,” Barley said. “I’ve learned it’s important to always be thinking five years ahead.” Barley said the biggest challenges he sees facing the nursery industry are a lack of young owners, labor issues and the ability to diversify. “Everybody’s getting older and I don’t see a lot of young faces — particularly as business owners,” Barley said. “We’re fortunate here that [Jessica] raised her hand and started us on a 10-year effort toward succession.” Jessica Todd, Barley’s daughter, said it wasn’t until after she graduated from college that she saw taking over the family business as an opportunity. “I had one foot always in [the business]. I saw how [my father] was able to support a family, and I saw that I could do that too. And not just for my family, but the families of our employees,” said Todd, who purchased 51 percent of the nursery nine years ago. Barley said he was grateful to have an excellent consultant to help him and his wife plan the succession of their business. Father and daughter agreed that labor was one of the most difficult aspects of their business. Barley said federal programs like the H2-A temporary agricultural worker visa are tedious and unpredictable. 42 • Summer 2017

Hiring people year round, though, means you have to constantly have things to keep people busy. “You have to hold on to the people that you have,” Barley said. “We can’t make it on seasonal labor. We try to balance and maintain the full time labor force that we can support and still get the job done.” He said the full-time staff he has often isn’t enough during the busy season. But on the other hand, he said it can be more than he needs during the down times. Todd said diversification of the nursery is what helps them to be more efficient. In the last decade, the business has made several changes to adapt to the market and utilize their workforce year round. One change was growing out trees and shrubs in larger container sizes. Another was entering into the re-wholesale market. And they recently began to wholesale cut flowers grown on the farm, capitalizing on the trend for locally grown, value-added agriculture. “Native trees is still our niche and three-quarters of everything we do,” Barley said. “But we’re also adjusting with the markets and with our customer’s needs.”

Last year, Clear Ridge Nursery won the bid to be the supplier for Tree-Mendous, a program of the Maryland Forest Service that provides discounted trees for planting on public land. Anne Gilbert oversees the program, which is housed at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. She said the most important aspects of the program are that the trees be native to Maryland and planted on public land. “Our goal is to build up the urban tree canopy across the state… the primary mission is to get trees in the ground,” said Gilbert. Gilbert said she works with all types of organizations from boy scout troops to county governments to help them plant thousands of trees each year. Clear Ridge isn’t entirely new to the Tree-Mendous program. Barley said they were one of many suppliers for several years during the program’s early years. The Maryland Forest Service has since streamlined the program. Gilbert said utilizing one nursery allows for better management and efficiency. “It’s a great program and we’re hoping to help expand participation,” Todd said. “It fits us well because we are a grower and specialize in natives. The feedback we’ve had from customers so far has been very positive.” Groups can place orders for trees in the spring and fall, directly through the Tree-Mendous program at DNR. Clear Ridge collects the payment and fills the orders, arranging for pick up or delivery, depending on the order. As Todd assumed control of the company, Barley said he’s optimistic. “If you stay in your comfort zone,

you don’t push yourself to get better,” he said. “My role now is to replace myself. And that’s not easy because you’re constantly being pulled back in. I’ll always be active, but I’m working on not being depended on.” Todd is ready for the challenge. She said through the succession planning process, she gleaned a lot of important information from her father. Pursuing leadership roles has also helped prime her for the business. Next year, Todd will step in as President of the Board of Directors for the Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association. She will be both the youngest and first female president of the organization. “I was apprehensive about putting myself out there…but it’s been one of the best things that ever happened,” said Todd. “I’ve learned so much and met more people outside of our specific industry.” While their business is growing trees, Todd and Barley agree that what they do more so is grow relationships. With their customers and their employees. “I’m not just looking at my quality of life,” Todd said. “I’m also looking at the quality of [my employees] lives…[and] how to grow with our customers, so we can grow with them. Because if they’re not growing, we aren’t going to be either.” ❦ Jamie Clark Tiralla AFP Correspondent Reprinted with permission from AmericanFarm, MidAtlantic Grower. Originally published May 5, 2017

Free State • 43

Get your Ag Tag today! Educating Youth about Agriculture



Interested in a subscription to

Free State News?

Contact us with your request and we’ll add you to the mailing list. Subscriptions are $35 annually; MNLGA will invoice you upon receipt of your subscription request. (members need not subscribe) Name_________________________________________________ Business_______________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________ City, State, Zip_________________________________________ E-Mail_________________________________________________


Mail/Fax or e-mail: Free State, MNLGA, P.O. Box 726, Brooklandville, MD 21022 or e-mail:


44 • Summer 2017

USA - Braun Better - USA - 3.5x4.875.indd 1

3/9/15 2:20 PM


FIELD DAY 2017 Most events require planning, a venue, a program, decent weather, food of some kind, and occasionally a little luck. And every once in a while you have the opportunity to work with a great team at a fantastic venue on a terrific program and you wind up having close to perfect weather, delicious food and whatever luck you have is your favorite topping on a sundae. The 2017 Field Day hosted by Ruppert Nurseries will long be remembered as a very special day. The truth is that all Field Day events are special and I think most hosts will tell you that the greatest part of hosting is the day after the event. One of the nicest compliments we (as planners) have ever received came from the host who said, “No offense, but I really look forward to not hearing from you for a while.” We would like to thank the entire staff at Ruppert Nurseries and especially Craig Ruppert, Kelly Lewis and Ronda Roemmelt. Their time and attention, in addition to everything else they have going on at the nursery, was critical and most appreciated. You would have to be an “old timer” to remember a crowd this size with 345 people registered from 110 different companies. In addition, vendors including American Landscape Institute, BDi Machinery Sales, Bloom (DC Water), Finch, JESCO, Inc., MAEF, and Farm Credit. The most popular vendor might have been the Waredaca Brewing Company who thanks to Ruppert poured happy hour while mindy Miller and the Chrome Tears played. You will see in the following pages what the program entailed, but we would like to thank our morning speakers MDA Deputy Secretary Jim Eichhorst, Dean Craig Beyrouty who spent the whole day immersed in our industry and seeing first-hand how much we all depend upon the work of the UMD Extension, Craig Regelbrugge of AmericanHort for sharing his annual Capital Hill legislative update in language we can all understand and Mike ‘The Bug Guy’ Raupp for his usual entertaining educational style. See the following the pages to see how the rest of the program unfolded in pictures. ❦ Kelly Finney MNLGA

Photography: Larry Canner 46 • Summer 2017

Craig Ruppert welcomes everyone

Deputy Secretary of Ag Jim Eichhorst

Steve Black and Kelly Lewis

Mike Raupp

Dean Craig Beyrouty

Craig Regelbrugge of AmericanHort

Field Day means Networking

LEAD Maryland Alumni

Chuck Schuster at the Extension’s Cover Crop Station

(continued on page 48)

Free State • 47

Tree Boxing Demonstration

Seemingly endless rows

Andrew Ristvey at the Compost and Soil Amendment Station Rows and rows and rows Corn hole competitions between tours

John Deere Tractors were loaned by Finch Services for the Field Tours 48 • Summer 2017

Craig Ruppert and Stanton Gill

Tree Tying Demonstration

Checking out Rebeccah Waterworth's extensive bug collection at the Conserving Beneficials Station

Drones flew overhead at the Extension’s Invasive Species Drone Monitoring Station

Taking it all in at the end of the day

Tree Spade Demonstration

Free State • 49

2017-2018 Event Calendar

For a full and updated calendar of events, and to find registration information and event links, please visit the MNLGA website at

MNLGA Green Industry Picnic August 19, 2017

Hosted by Rutley family at Just This Side of Paradise Farm 15240 Frederick Road, Woodbine, MD 21797

Featuring the Mayo Family Band for some great music Family games, good food, bonfire, camping available for those who want to keep the fun going! Bring the whole family! Great chance to pal around with industry colleagues and family

Contact: MNLGA, 410-823-8684,

Enjoy an afternoon of family fun August 24 – September 4, 2017


SEPTEMBER September 12 and 13, 2017 Impact Washington, summit hosted by AmericanHort

Location: Westin Washington D.C. City Center Contact:

September 13, 2017 MAEF/MNLGA Scholarship Golf Tournament Location: Hampstead, MD Contact: MAEF 410-939-3090

September 27, 2017 MAA and MOSH – Safety Seminar Location: Howard County Fairgrounds Contact: 50 • Summer 2017

OCTOBER October 1, 2017 MAC-ISA Annual Meeting Location: Virginia Beach Contact:

October 3, 2017 CPH – Basic Exam Location: MD Dept. of Agriculture Contact: MNLGA, 410-823-8684,

October 3, 2017 CPH – Specialist Exam – Plant ID Location: MD Dept. of Agriculture Contact: MNLGA, 410-823-8684,

JANUARY January 8 and 9, 2018 SNA Research and Plant Conferences Location: Baltimore Convention Center Contact:

January 10, 2018 MNLGA Annual Meeting Location: Baltimore Convention Center Contact:

January 10-12, 2018 Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade ShowMANTS

NOVEMBER November 2, 2017 MAEF Annual Banquet and Silent Auction Location: Michael’s Eighth Avenue Glen Burnie Contact:

November 3, 2017 Turning a New Leaf Conference Location: Dulles Hilton, Herndon, VA Contact: new-leaf

Location: Baltimore Convention Center Contact: MANTS, 410-296-6959,

FEBRUARY February 21 and 22, 2018 Chesapeake Green – A Horticulture Symposium Contact: MNLGA,

MARCH March 19-22, 2018 The 9th International IPM Symposium Location: Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, MD Free State • 51

duPont Triple Play Tour On April 28th, 45 members and guests from GWA’s Region II gathered to tour a trilogy of du Pont gardens in Delaware. The day began with an early morning photo shoot just outside Wilmington at the Nemours Mansion and Gardens. The estate was developed by Alfred du Pont and included a 77-room mansion and almost 200 acres of woodlands, meadows and lawns. From Wilmington, the group headed to Hockessin to pay a visit to Mt. Cuba Center, a non-profit botanical garden founded by Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland. The property boasts a stunning native woodland garden. Additionally, the group was able to hear from George Coombs, a Research Horticulturist at Mt. Cuba Center. The final stop on the Triple Play Tour was in Winterthur at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. This property is home to H.F. du Pont’s 60-acre masterpiece garden of color and natural design. The estate is made of a 175-room mansion surrounded by 1,000 acres of woodlands and rolling meadows. GWA’s time in Delaware came to end with a trunk show where attendees obtained four new shrub introductions from Spring Meadows/Proven winners, as well as some other raffle prizes. We invite you to join us on our next tour in Region II. It is the perfect opportunity to learn about GWA and to meet some of its members. For more information about GWA events, please visit GWA’s website.

CareerNext Summit 2017 CareerNext defines tracks to professional livelihoods in the world of ornamental horticulture. This one-day powerhouse lineup of garden media superstars is designed for students looking to grow education into stable jobs in the industry, veteran communicators looking to redefine career goals and confident professionals diversifying their toolbox with state-ofthe-art media awareness! If you are looking for a place to learn from the best in the industry, CareerNext is that place. Our schedule includes a keynote presentation by Chris VanCleave, Robert ‘Buddy’ Lee, Jessica Callahan, 52 • Summer 2017

Angela Treadwell Palmer, Katie Elzer-Peters, Karl Gercens III as well some of the staff from our host venue, Magnolia Planation & Gardens. But our day isn’t just for workshops, CareerNext also provides you the opportunity tour Magnolia Planation & Gardens, America’s last large-scale romantic-style garden, and Middleton Plantation. The event is taking place in Charleston, South Carolina at Magnolia Plantation on Saturday, September 16. To register and learn more, please visit our website:

American Hort

Craig J. Regelbrugge

New Pilot Certification Program for Plant Cuttings Set to Launch this October

Offshore-produced plant cuttings of diverse varieties of annuals and perennials have become an important component of the greenhouse and nursery industry supply chain. Over one billion unrooted cuttings are imported each year, from farms primarily in Latin America and Africa. They are rooted and finished in growing operations across the country. Unrooted cuttings are highly perishable, and they need to move rapidly and efficiently from harvest to the next phase of production, or risk quality loss or failure. Most concerning are delays or cold-chain interruptions that can happen during the port of arrival inspection and clearance processes overseen by Customs and Border Protection and USDA-APHIS. For over a year, AmericanHort has participated in an industry technical working group with USDA-APHIS and four major cutting suppliers (Ball Horticultural Company, Dümmen Orange, Proven Winners, and Syngenta Flowers). The resulting certification framework establishes standards that must be consistently met or exceeded by offshore operations. The standards encompass facility infrastructure, production and sanitation, pest and pathogen management, and traceability. The pilot will encompass places of production in six Latin American countries. If the pilot is successful, it could pave the way to a faster clearance process at the ports, helping to ensure that high-vitality cuttings reach U.S. growers sooner. If successful, the program would be opened to additional producers and countries where cuttings are produced for export.

The draft framework document can be found at downloads/ogcp/Offshore-Cuttings-GreenhouseCertification-Framework-Final-Draft.pdf ❦ Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort

Aerial view of a vegetative cutting farm in Central America

Free State • 53

Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA) Affinity Programs

Getting the Most of Your Membership Office Depot • High use office items

discounted up to 85% • Everday office essentials catalog items discounted up to 70% • Discounted copy, print and binding services • Full line promotional products catalog selection discounted up to 20%

PartnerShip • Discount shipping

program through AmericanHort partnership • Small Package Discounts using FedEx • FedEx Express Discounts including Overnight, 2Day, International Services, and Saver programs as much as 27% • Save on Truckload and Tradeshow Shipments • FedEx Ground and Home Delivery discounts starting at 5% • PartnerShip LTL freight discounts

54 • Summer 2017

Commercial Friends and Family Program • Invoice pricing on all vehicles in stock. Pricing for

locates are on a case by case basis. • Brands include Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ford and Ram. Expanding to other brands soon. • All incentives that are being offered will be deducted from invoice pricing • Up-fits offered at employee cost • $500 off any negotiated price for used vehicles • Honor all Fleet accounts and if needed can be established with Ford or Chrysler • Discount delivery vehicle program or if qualified, courtesy delivery to local dealer

Plant and Supply Locator • All MNLGA members

receive 6 months of free unlimited online Plant Booth listings • Free subscription to Plant Locator magazine • After free 6 month period, members will receive: – Ability to keep 5 listings online free for an additional two years – MNLGA members already listing in print will receive equivalent online plant listings – Discounted packages for listings in print and online • 5-10% discount on tire purchase • Free shipping on many products • Over 110 warehouses in the US, over 8,500 nationwide installation partners

• All other purchases qualify for either free shipping or discounted shipping

• Lower shipping rates than industry averages when shipping to a home or business

For full program description, discounts offered, and access to program contact information, log into the MNLGA membership portal on the MNLGA website. Portal access is located on the upper right hand corner of all pages of the website. If you do not recall your access credentials, simply select the link, “Forgot Your Password,” and you will be given instructions on how to proceed.

Shell – Fleet Plus Fuel Program • 15 cents off per gallon on fuel purchases from Shell for 12 months

• After 12 months, tier structure rebate program • No minimum gallons required • Built in security and purchase controls • Online account management • Comprehensive reporting • No transaction fees, no card fees, and no report fees

Free State •55


MNLGA 2017 Scholarship Recipients In keeping with its mission to promote and provide for the future success of Maryland’s ornamental horticulture industry, the Maryland Nursery, Landscape, and Greenhouse Association shall sponsor academic scholarships to students pursuing an education in the field of landscape/ornamental horticulture. The 2017 applicant pool all shared their passion for horticulture; either in design/architecture, plant science, or greenhouse specialization, and their excitement to enter a career in the horticulture industry was abundantly expressed in their applications. We congratulate our 2017 scholarship recipients: Stephen Blaes, Jr. and Rachel Levitt. Rachel Levitt Rachel is currently a junior in the Landscape Architecture program at Penn State University. She takes a broad range of classes that included interactive design studio, introduction to soils, world landforms and plant biology as well as ecology and GIS. She participates in hands on field trip classes that link landforms and vegetation to human manipulation of landscape through time. Growing up in the Chesapeake Bay area has made her appreciate the unique eco-system and is more aware of the challenges that the watershed faces. It is her hope that her education will be used to focus on environmental work in Maryland. One of Rachel’s teachers notes, “She is very passionate about the environment.” She spearheaded an environmental initiative, weaving sustainable practices into the operation of the project organization.

Another professor states, “Rachel is open to new ideas of sustainability and very conscientious regarding her work and her commitments to others.” Rachel is entering her senior year at Penn State and looks forward to returning to Maryland to work, upon graduation. Her family resides in Columbia. Stephen Blaes, Jr. Stephen is a second-year student in the Sustainable Horticulture program at the Community College of Baltimore County. Horticulture has long been an interest of his, as he pursues his degree after a number of years working in the landscape and grounds management profession. In addition to his studies, Steve currently works as a groundskeeper at Johns Hopkins University. He holds certifications in arboriculture by the International Society of Arboriculture and in a Certified Landscape Technician. Steve, his wife, and two-year-old daughter live in Baltimore. The MNGLA is pleased to endorse our 2017 scholarship recipients’ goals and we applaud them for their hard work and dedication. We extend our best wishes to Rachel and Stephen on their future academic and career success. You may find more information on the Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association Ornamental Horticulture Scholarship, as well as additional horticulture education scholarships at:

Congratulations! 56 • Summer 2017

You only grow the best.

Why not offer your customers the best in advice, too!

Certified Professional Horticulturists (CPH) provide either “do-it-yourself� or professional landscape installation and maintenance advice.

Maryland Certified Professional Horticulturist Program

For more information contact the Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association at 410-823-8684 or visit

Cultivate your business with a Certified Professional Horticulturist

Directory of Advertisers Firm Name



Mission Statement The purpose of the Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association is to promote the use of ornamental plants, products, and services. The association supports all constituent groups of the horticulture industry including landscape, garden centers, interiorscape, grounds maintenance, nursery, greenhouse, and arboriculture. The association communicates the role of the horticulture industry in improving people’s quality of life.

Specific Goals Promote professionalism through education programs for members and the public and by encouraging enrollment in educational institutions. Monitor state and local laws relating to horticulture industry. Participate actively in legislative and regulatory processes. Promote the use of environmentally sound practices in the horticulture industry.


AmericanHort Impact Washington Angelica Nurseries, Inc.


Outside Back Cover

Babikow Greenhouses

Inside Front Cover

Braun Horticulture


Cam Too Camelia Nursery


Cavano's Perennials


Chesapeake Benefit Services


Chesapeake Green Symposium


CPH 58 Foxborough Nursery

Inside Back Cover

Gregory J. Cannizzaro Design


Greenstreet Growers


Homestead Gardens Horticultural Supply


Lowry and Company


Manor View Farm


MANTS 39 MD Ag Ed Foundation


Maryland Department of Agriculture


MNLGA Affinity Program MNLGA On-Line

54-55 28



Pender Nursery


Walnut Springs


Waverly Farm


Monitor and communicate to members developments in allied industries including agritechnology. Support donations of plant products and services to state and community programs. Support research relevant to the horticulture industry. Participate in Maryland agricultural organizations.

To join the growing list of companies who advertise in the Free State Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse News or for more information, please call Vanessa or Kelly in the MNLGA office at 410-823-8684. Visit the association website at: E-mail Free State News at

Free State • 59

Chairs and Committees Education Ted Carter – Co-Chair Ronda Roemmelt – Co-Chair Jessica Ahrweiler Angela Burke Dave Clement Hank Doong Stanton Gill Pete Gilmore Brett Karp Mary Kay Malinoski John Murphy Karen Rane Andrew Ristvey Ginny Rosenkranz Brent Rutley Chuck Schuster Nominating Mark Dougherty – Chair Richard J. Watson

Finance and Planning Carrie Engel – Chair Steve Black Jessica Todd Larry Hemming Link/Shanks Scholarship Mark Dougherty – Chair MANTS Jan S. Carter Bernard E Kohl, Jr. William A. M. Verbrugge Membership Committee Rich Poulin Greg Stacho Awards - Professional Achievement, Carville M. Akehurst Michael Marshall– Co-Chair Kevin Clark - Co-Chair Historian George Mayo – Chair

Legislative/MaGIC James R. McWilliams– Chair Mark Schlossberg All Officers and Directors Alan Jones Bernie Kohl CPH George Mayo - Chair Steve Black Shelley Hicks Cindy King Andrew Ristvey Martha Simon-Pindale Bob Trumbule Gaye Williams Scholarship Bernie Kohl, Jr. – Chair Hank Doong Leslie Hunter Cario Jessica Todd George Mayo Mary Claire Walker Economic Survey Steve Black Bernie Kohl George Mayo Dr. John Lea-Cox Strategic Planning Steve Black Brent Rutley George Mayo John Murphy John Lea-Cox (UMD rep) Jerry Faulring Carrie Engel MDA Representative ADVISORS TO THE BOARD Kimberly Rice MD Department of Agriculture Dr. John Lea-Cox University of Maryland

ADVISORS TO OTHERS CCLC – Ches. Bay Professional Landscape Certification (CBPL) Kody Cario Invasive Plant Advisory Committee Brent Cassell LEAD Maryland Vanessa Finney Maryland Agriculture Commission Marion Mullan Ray Greenstreet Vanessa Finney (at-large) Maryland Farm Bureau Larry Hemming Vanessa Finney MAEF George Mayo Maryland Invasive Species Council (MISC) John Peter Thompson Leslie Hunter Cario MDA Nutrient Management Advisory Committee Signe Hanson Amy Crowl University of Maryland – Dean’s Global Leadership Council Vanessa Finney Young Farmers Advisory Council Jessica Todd Every member of every committee listed above is an individual who volunteers their time in support for the MNLGA and it is with the utmost gratitude and appreciation that we thank you for your selfless endeavors. If your name is not listed above, please consider following the example of those who are. Contact Vanessa at 410-823-8684 with your interest.

60 • Summer 2017

3611 MILLER RD • STREET, MD 21154 p. 410.836.7023 f. 410-452-5131

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Foxborough Nursery

Free State Summer 2017  

Free State Summer 2017