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2013 Gardening Calendar

DON'T FORGET TO GET A

COPY OF THE 2013

MINNESOTA GARDENING

CALENDAR!





Karl Foord
PEOPLE ARE ALL ABUZZ





Karl Foord
AND A-FLUTTER ABOUT THIS YEAR'S CALENDAR.





Karl Foord
DON'T BE DOWN,





Karl Foord
ITS LIKE A TRIP TO PARADISE.





Karl Foord
BUT TIME IS FLYING





Karl Foord
FLYING





Karl Foord
FLYING






Karl Foord
AND IT WOULD "BE DISAPPOINTING" IF YOU MISSED IT.






Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger)

Robin Trott, University of Minnesota Extension Educator


I know the growing season is officially over when we make our annual trek to the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers conference. This time we travelled to Tacoma, WA, and had the great pleasure of visiting growers in the Skagit Valley, north of Seattle. This year's particular delight was visiting Skagit Gardens and beholding their greenhouses filled with hellebores.





Skagit Gardens
Photo 1: Skagit Gardens Greenhouse of hellebores







Skagit Gardens
Photo 2: Skagit Garden's Greenhouse of hellebores




This alpine plant grows native at high elevations and produces large white flowers that turn a blushy pink as they age. Until recently, these perennial plants (hardiness zone 4-9 depending on species) were the sole domain of rare plant collectors, with prices way beyond the pocket book of average consumers. With the breeding programs developed at Skagit and other wholesale nurseries, a variety of cultivars are available at garde…

Position your houseplants to avoid winter starvation

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

Light Basics

Note: Measurement of light is a complicated subject. This article can be approached from at least two levels: one level would be to gain an intuitive sense of the graphs, whereas a second level would be a more in-depth approach where individual parameters are explored. For those interested in the latter, references are given at the end of the article.

In Minnesota the number of hours of light essentially doubles between the winter and summer solstices, 8 and 16 hours, respectively. (Figure 1).





M. Pidwirny (PhysicalGeography.net)
Figure 1: Hourly variations in insolation received for a location at 45° North latitude over a 24 hour period.





The low angle of the sun reduces the number of light photons or energy per unit area meaning that the energy received at mid-day on December 21 is less than one third of that received at mid-day on June 21 (Figure 2: Sun declination angle relative to energy received at 41.7 o N latitude).





Apogee Ins…

Still Time for Sanitation

Michelle Grabowski and Jeff Hahn, UMN Extension



M. Grabowski, UMN Extension
Photo 1: Dead daylily leaves with visible dark spots from daylily leaf streak


The ground is cold, trees have dropped their leaves, and perennial and annual flowering plants have died back to the ground. Yet there is still time for a garden clean up that will reduce the number of pathogens and insect pests that survive from this season to the next. Sanitation, the removal of a infected plant material, is one of the basic steps of integrated pest management. It is a chemical free way to reduce pest damage in future growing seasons.

For sanitation to work you must remove the part of the plant that is infected with a pathogen or insect pest completely from the area and destroy it. Disease infected plant material can be burned, buried or composted. Check with local laws about burning plant material. Composting will kill pathogens and insects only if the pile gets hot. If your backyard compost pile is a slow pile o…

Bug Bombs and Bed Bugs

Jeffrey Hahn, Asst. Extension Entomologist

The resurgence of bed bugs in the U.S. over the last 10 or so years has increased many people's awareness of these biting insects. They have presented residents and pest management professionals a tremendous challenge to detect and eliminate them. A popular tactic used by residents in bed bug control is the application of total release foggers, also known as bug bombs. Many people have turned to these products to help them control their bed bug problems. But are they effective? This question was examined in a research study conducted by Drs. Susan Jones and Joshua Bryant at Ohio State University.



Jeff Hahn
Photo 1: Bug bombs are not effective in controlling bed bugs. One reason is the insecticide does not reach where the bed bugs hide.


They compared three popular bug bombs that are available to residents. The Hot Shot Bedbug and Flea Fogger is specifically labeled for control of bed bugs and was more extensively tested. They also …

Lawn care: Last chores of the season and on the horizon

Sam Bauer, Extension Turfgrass Educator

There's no question that the fall drought has taken a major toll on many of the turfed landscapes in Minnesota. If you failed to maintain turf health through supplemental watering from August to October, you most likely have yet to make a damage assessment of your lawn. During the summer months we talk a lot about letting our lawns go dormant during a drought and waiting for rain to replenish soil moisture. This is nothing new. However, the duration of the fall drought has pushed our lawns to the limit, probably passed the limit in many cases. There are two main concerns: 1) how long can turf stay alive in a dormant state?, 2) will drought stressed turf properly harden off and survive the winter?


Sam Bauer
Photo 1: Drought stressed/dormant lawn


How long can turf stay alive in a dormant state?

There are no clear answers to this question and it really depends on many factors, including: turf species, traffic, management practices, and s…

An Unusual Insect Found in Minnesota: Drywood Termites

Jeffrey Hahn, Asst. Extension Entomologist

Termites are present in Minnesota but they are not common. They are found in southern Minnesota up to about the Twin Cities area and very rarely discovered, if ever, in central and northern Minnesota. Minnesota's native termites are subterranean termites, Reticulitermes spp. They maintain colonies in the ground and attack wood that is contact with the soil. You rarely see the termites themselves because the bulk of them stay inside the colony while those that travel outside of it move about in mud tubes they construct so they can maintain the proper temperature and humidity they need to survive.

That is why the discovery of winged termites in a home in Minneapolis during September was so interesting and unusual. First, when termites swarm, i.e. winged forms leave the nest en masse, they do so in the spring (and this is very rarely seen in Minnesota). Even more interesting was when the termites were examined more closely, they were i…

Spirea Stunt Phytoplasma Found in Minnesota

Michelle Grabowski, UMN Extension Educator


M. Grabowski, UMN Extension
Photo 1: Spirea with a few witches brooms from spirea stunt phytoplasma

University of Minnesota researchers Dr. Ben Lockhart and Dimitre Mollov have identified a new disease of spirea in Minnesota. Spireas are common landscape shrubs grown for their delicate foliage and summer flowers. The new disease, known as spirea stunt, causes plants to produce abnormally small leaves, that may be discolored yellow to reddish purple. Small discolored leaves grow only on clumps of weak branches known as witches' brooms. As a result, infected plants have one to many pom-pom like clumps of leaves and branches. The whole plant may be stunted and many infected plants do not survive the winter.

Spirea stunt disease is caused by a phytoplasma, a tiny bacteria that lives within the vascular system of infected plants. Dr. Lockhart determined that the phytoplasma infecting spirea in Minnesota belongs to the X-disease group and is rela…

Flowering Plant Video Library - Dividing Clumping Grasses

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

Click on the link to see the video with host Dr. Mary Meyer, Professor of Horticulture

Flowering Plant Video Library Dividing Dwarf Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue'




Karl Foord
Photo 1: Dividing Elijah Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue')



Karl Foord
Photo 2: Dividing Elijah Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue')



Karl Foord
Photo 3: Dividing Elijah Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue')



Karl Foord
Photo 4: Dividing Variegated Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Avalanche')



Karl Foord
Photo 5: Dividing Variegated Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Avalanche')



Karl Foord
Photo 6: Dividing Variegated Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Avalanche')

Flowering Plant Video Library Dividing Variegated Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Avalanche')


October 1, 2012 Issue

Yard and Garden News Readers' Survey 2012

Greetings Yard and Garden News Reader:

In order for us to bring you the gardening news you want, we need to know your opinions, your interests, and your thoughts on the newsletter.

The survey takes between 10 and 15 minutes to complete.

Would you be so kind as to complete the survey by October 15.

The link below will take you to the survey.

Yard and Garden News Survey 2012

We thank you in advance for your time and thoughts!

Karl Foord, editor


Rethinking Late-Fall Nitrogen Fertility for Home Lawns

Sam Bauer, Extension Turfgrass Educator

With rising economic and environmental concerns regarding the efficient use of fertilizers in urban settings, it becomes important to understand the role that late-fall fertilization plays in our lawn care program. Long-standing recommendations for late-fall nitrogen fertility involved the use of quick release nitrogen sources (urea, ammonium sulfate, others) to be applied after the last mowing of the year. The theory was that the nitrogen would be absorbed by the turfgrass roots prior to winter, but would not be utilized for growth until the following spring. While this theory seems reasonable, and generally results in a healthier lawn, the predictability of quick release nitrogen applications at this time is low.


Sam Bauer
Photo 1: U of MN grounds manager Jonathan Spitzer applies a 50/50 blend of quick release and slow release nitrogen sources to the St. Paul campus turf in late-September.


Collaborative research between the University of M…

Boxelder Bugs Are on the Move

Jeffrey Hahn, Asst. Extension Entomologist

It has been a long summer but fall is finally catching up with us. Fall is also the time when nuisance insects fly to buildings and other structures to look for places to spend the winter. One insect to be on the watch for is the boxelder bug Although these orange and black insects are around every year, they have been particularly numerous this summer. The weather has a lot to do with that as years of hot, dry summers are very favorable for their development and we often experience much larger populations of them then.


Jeff Hahn
Photo 1: A nemesis, the boxelder bug, is present in large numbers this year.

Right now a lot of people are finding large numbers of boxelder bugs on the sides of their homes. Being on the outside of structures is not necessarily bad if boxelder bugs would just stay there but eventually many of these insects will get inside these buildings. There are not any practical home remedies for dissuading boxelder bugs fr…

Plant NOW for Dazzle next Spring

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

I always have mixed feelings about fall. I know plants, animals, and insects have cycles, but it is depressing to see the hummingbirds leave, the plants die or go dormant, and the insects die or hibernate. In the spirit of acceptance of such things I would choose to focus on the spring when many things "come back" to life. One of the great joys of spring is watching the spring flowering bulbs pop through the ground and bring color to a bleak landscape. To enjoy this one must act now and plant. To appreciate the joys to come I have collected the Flowering Plant Video Library entries featuring spring flowering bulbs and organized them by flowering time somewhat following Chart 1. which also appears in the yard and garden brief: Spring Flowering Bulbs.



Y&G Brief
Chart 1: Spring Flowering Bulbs Planting Chart

General Recommendations:

1. Plant in odd numbered groups or mass plantings.
2. Plant where they can be seen from a f…

Plant Some Early Spring Flowering Bulbs

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

Click on the link to see the video with host Dr. Mary Meyer, Professor of Horticulture




Karl Foord
Photo 1: Striped Squill (Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica)

Striped Squill (Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica)





Karl Foord
Photo 2: Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)





Karl Foord
Photo 3: Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica)

Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica)





Karl Foord
Photo 4: Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa luciliae)

Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa luciliae)





Karl Foord
Photo 5: Checkered Lily (Fritillaria meleagris)

Checkered Lily (Fritillaria meleagris)





Karl Foord
Photo 6: Species Tulips (Tulipa tarda)

Species Tulips (Tulipa tarda)





Karl Foord
Photo 7: Garden Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)

Garden Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)





Karl Foord
Photo 8: Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)

Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)

Plant Some Mid and Late Spring Flowering Bulbs

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

Click on the link to see the video with host Dr. Mary Meyer, Professor of Horticulture







Karl Foord
Photo 1: Triumph Tulip (Tulipa 'Gavota')

Triumph Tulip (Tulipa 'Gavota')







Karl Foord
Photo 2: Daffodils(Narcissus spp.)

Daffodils (Narcissus)







Karl Foord
Photo 3: Ornamental Onions (Allium spp.)

Ornamental Onions (Allium spp.)