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Showing posts from October, 2012

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.)




Fall Lawn Care Update: What's Different this Year?

Sam Bauer, Extension Turfgrass Educator


HOT JULY, DRY AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER

A resounding sigh of relief was felt over much of the state as July passed. It was the second hottest July on record in Minnesota, and the hottest in 118 years of records throughout the rest of the country. Precipitation around the state varied greatly. From record droughts in northwest and parts of southern Minnesota, to record floods in the northeast, this summer was anything but typical. Homeowners in the Twin Cities metro should feel very fortunate to not be dealing with the after-effects in these areas. Still, if you were able to sustain the quality of your lawn throughout July, it was truly a blessing.

August came and went fairly quickly with very little love from Mother Nature, almost a three inch rainfall deficit in the Twin Cities. The map below from the MNDNR State Climatology Office puts precipitation deficits into perspective across the state from July 31st to September 24th.



MNDNR Climatolog…

Flowering Plant Video Library - Some Early Fall Flowering Plants I

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

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

Fireworks Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks')




Karl Foord
Photo 1: Fireworks Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks')



Karl Foord
Photo 2: Fireworks Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks')

Rozanne Geranium (Geranium 'Rozanne')





Karl Foord
Photo 3: Rozanne Geranium (Geranium 'Rozanne')

Lesser Calamint (Calamintha nepeta)




Karl Foord
Photo 4: Lesser Calamint with Sweat Bee (Calamintha nepeta)



Karl Foord
Photo 5: Lesser Calamint with Honeybees (Calamintha nepeta)

Flowering Plant Video Library - Some Early Fall Flowering Plants II

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

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

Giant Amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus)



Karl Foord
Photo 1: Giant Amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus)

Savannah Ruby Grass (Melinis nerviglumis 'Savannah')



Karl Foord
Photo 2: Savannah Ruby Grass (Melinis nerviglumis 'Savannah')

Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)


Karl Foord
Photo 3: Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Lesser Calamint (Calamintha nepeta)


Karl Foord
Photo 4: Lesser Calamint with Sweat Bee (Calamintha nepeta)



Karl Foord
Photo 5: Lesser Calamint with Honeybees (Calamintha nepeta)

Little Titch Catmint (Nepeta racemosa 'Little Titch')



Karl Foord
Photo 6: Little Titch Catmint (Nepeta racemosa 'Little Titch')