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Showing posts from December, 2012

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 …