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Showing posts from January, 2013

Hellebores Come in Many Colors

Robin Trott, University of Minnesota Extension Educator

Lasts month's article highlighted the wonderful Christmas Rose (Helleborus
). Selected varieties within this species have a similarly constructed inflorescence, bloom ivory to clear white fading to rose and green in maturity, and have slightly different bloom times.

If you're looking for an early spring bloom that is colorful, consider hybrid hellebores. Here are a few colored varieties, hardy to zone 4, that you might like to try in you perennial garden.

Jelitto Seed
Photo 1: Double Ladies mix (Helleborus x hybridus 'Double Ladies')

Double Ladies
(H. x hybridus: 15-18" tall, 24" wide) has leathery, semi-evergreen foliage with large double flowers in shades of white, yellow, red, pink and purple (see Photo 1). This early bloomer prefers partial to full shade and is recommended for use as an accent plant, or planted in large drifts in your shade garden.

Jelitto Seed
Photo 2: Picotee Lady (Hellebor…

Social Media Use in Horticulture, Part 1: Twitter

Sam Bauer, Extension Turfgrass Educator

Sam Bauer
Photo 1: Twitter applications can be downloaded to almost every internet device including: laptops, tablets, and mobile phones

Over the past several years social media applications have drastically changed the way we receive and disseminate information on horticulture related topics. From microblogging applications like Twitter and Facebook, to Wordpress and Google blogs, and professional networking sites such as Linkedin; these applications have quickly demonstrated their educational value in the horticulture industry.

In Part 1 of this Social Media Educational Series we will take a look at Twitter and discuss how it can be a useful educational tool.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a popular microblogging platform that has taken the world by storm. It allows content to be posted in 140 characters or less in the form of sentences, photos, or links. Twitter users have the opportunity to provide and receive real-time information via short…

Watch Out For Stored Product Insects

Jeffrey Hahn, Asst. Extension Entomologist

The most common insects people are seeing in their homes now are those that are associated with stored food. The most common species are Indianmeal moths, drugstore beetles, flour beetles, sawtoothed grain beetles, and cigarette beetles. Collectively, they feed on a wide variety of dried food material including, but not limited to, flour, cake and pancake mixes, pasta, and other grain-based products, rice, nuts, spices, dried fruit, and chocolate. They will also attack dry pet food and bird seed.

Jeff Hahn
Photo 1: Cigarette beetles, a common type of stored product insect.

Once you confirm the insects you are seeing are stored product pests, it is important to find the source of the infestation. Removal of the source is ultimately the best control of these insects. Sometimes finding the food source is easy; you open up a bag of flour or some other food package and there they are. However, in other instances, they are not so easily found…

Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable First Detector Program

Jeffrey Hahn
Photo 1: Attendees examining pest damage at a previous First Detector workshop. A new First Detector workshop is being offered to discuss invasive pests of fruits and vegetables.

The Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable First Detector Program is a new joint program between the University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to increase awareness and detection of invasive diseases and insect pests of fruits and vegetables. There are two ways that you can be involved.

Attend a workshop about invasive pests that threaten Minnesota fruit and vegetables. Learn how to identify invasive pests and distinguish them from common look a likes. Find out the proper steps to take if you suspect you have found and invasive pest.
Become a first detector volunteer. Act as a local resource to help state officials respond to calls made to the Arrest a Pest Hotline. First Detectors are volunteers trained to help citizens diagnose and report possible infestations of inva…