Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Notable Blogs

Blogs are one way to find information and keep up to date in this new electronic age. Below are five blogs to consider subscribing to if you have already. The last in the list is primarily for your customer- the home gardener but well worth visiting and sharing with those clients.
Alternatives and Organics
Open Register
Making Cents
Project Green Industry
WNC Vegetable News
Master Your Garden

If you are not blogging or using one of the other Social networking tools such as Facebook or Twitter, you may want to consider doing so. These tools are not just for the techni-geek but are becoming popular marketing tools.

We can discuss offering a class on getting started- possibly on-line!

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Speaking of Gardening

Speaking of Gardening Symposium

Explore great plants at this year's Speaking of Gardening symposium. Two days of garden lectures by six highly regarded designers, research specialists and nurserymen will provide participants with great new ideas and inspiration.

Symposium topics include private and public garden design, new plants from NCSU plant research program, designing with grasses, new perennials from Jelitto and the Human Flower Project.

For more information visit this link on the NC Arboretum's website:

Speaking of Gardening

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Western Flower Thrips

Western Flower Thrips in Greenhouses- from Dr. Stephen Franks, NCSU Dept of Entomology

Thrips are a constant problem for growers. Not just this particular week, but all the time. Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, is the most important and damaging thrips of greenhouses and has been called the most damaging greenhouse pest in the world. This is true of greenhouse-grown food and ornamental crops. Nearly all floriculture crops are susceptible to thrips damage. Western flower thrips reproduce rapidly and are difficult to manage because they live in the cracks and crevices of flower heads and foliage. Thus they are difficult to contact with insecticides. Western flower thrips also develop insecticide resistance rapidly so it is important to emphasize chemical rotation and to have a resistance management plan. Sanitation is also very important in managing thrips. Because they can feed and reproduce on hundreds of plant species, weeds in and around a greenhouse will provide a constant supply of thrips even if the crop is sprayed. Western flower thrips pupate in soil, so clean up spilled potting soil and other debris to deny them this vital part of their lifecycle. More information and chemical recommendations can be found in the newly-revised Ornamentals and Turf Insect Note No. 72 at Western Flower Thrips

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Weekly Word on Weeds

New Weekly Word on Weeds from Dr. Joe Neal

Lontrel Update – Field Nursery Uses Allowed

Lontrel herbicide (active ingredient: clopyralid) has been labeled for controlling legume and aster weeds in turf and landscape settings for several years. Some of the susceptible weeds include clovers, sicklepod, hemp sesbania, vetch, eclipta, groundsel, horseweed, dogfennel, and thistles. It is generally safe when used as a directed spray around most established woody ornamentals but treatments near plants in the legume family, such as red bud, should be avoided.

The Lontrel label was recently amended to allow for use in nurseries; but, only in FIELD nurseries. Lontrel is very active in low concentrations on susceptible species. So, when using Lontrel, read and follow the instructions and precautions on the label. Some important precautions include:
Do not contaminate irrigation ditches or water used for irrigation

Do not use in greenhouses

Do not make broadcast applications to ornamental plantings; however, spot and directed applications are permissible

Do not allow sprays of this product to contact exposed suckers or roots of susceptible trees or shrubs as injury may occur

Do not collect treated grass clippings for mulch or compost

Do not apply to container grown ornamentals.

What does this mean to nursery crop growers?

Lontrel is another “tool” that field producers may use to control legume and aster weeds. It may be particularly useful in fields with a history of sicklepod, hemp sesbania or glyphosate-tolerant horseweed. Use it as a directed spray around woody crops only. But keep it off of actively growing foliage. I’ve seen significant injury on many broadleaf crops from directed sprays that contacted low hanging limbs (picture field grown hollies here). And, do not use Lontrel around red bud trees; plants can be damaged from root uptake of the herbicide.

Of course, read the label before you use Lontrel. This is a very good herbicide but a little bit of spray drift can cause significant damage to susceptible crops.

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost

Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure,
Compost, and Grass Clippings.

Home gardeners and landscapers may feel they are doing the right thing, organically, when applying manure or compost to their gardens but- knowing something about the herbicides applied to the hay that the animals that produced the manure, ate can impact your choice of using the compost. The same goes for grass clippings of other plant debris that may end up in the compost. The attached article below describes the results being seen by many farmers and gardeners alike:
Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost, and Grass Clippings

Check your compost sources before using them!

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Blue Ridge Community College landscape class designed a plan for the Hospice Elisabeth House. They would like to install it this fall in the landscape construction class. I was hoping you could help me through your blog by posting this along with a materials list in hopes that some nurseries will have things they would be willing to donate.

Here's their wish list:
Thuja occidentalis – 2
Liriope muscari – 100 1 gal.
Erica carnea – 18
Nandina domestica ‘Nana Purpurea’ or ‘Firepower’ – 9
Perovskia atriplicifolia – 1
Fothergilla gardenia ‘Mt. Airy’ – 5
Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris – 3
Echinacea purpurea – may have enough
Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea’ – 6
Delosperma cooperi – 61 1 gal.
Ilex cornuta ‘Dwarf Burfordii’ – 14
Crytomium fortunei - 13
Potentilla tridentata – 575 1 gal. or in flats
Heuchera sanguinea – may have enough
Pansy/Impatiens – 2 flats
Hemerocallis ‘Stella De’Oro’ – 26 1 gal.
Clematis x jackmanii – 2

Other items:
Shredded mulch
Bird baths
Bird feeders
Shepherd’s hooks for feeders
Organic matter – compost, peat moss, etc. to amend soil

If you have any of these items that you would care to donate to the Elisabeth House project please let Carolyn know. Her number is: (828) 694-1840 or you may contact her by e.mail at cm_evans@blueridge.edu .

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Maple Mites

Maple Mites
From Dr. Stephen Franks:

Mid-summer damage to maples is often attributed to the twospotted spider mite. However, I visited several nurseries this week and found the culprit was actually the maple mite, Oligonychus aceris. This mite feeds on maples and causes severe damage to maple leaves in midsummer. Leaves are yellow and stippled and mite debris is evident on the underside of leaves. Growers report more damage on “Autumn Blaze” than other maple varieties. However it is common on October Glory and most commonly grown varieties. Management recommendations are the same as for the twospotted spider mite discussed in previous articles in the June 5, 2009 and June 26, 2009 North Carolina Pest News. However, to my knowledge no efficacy tests have been conducted on this particular species. Remember that any damage done to the leaves will remain for the rest of the season and will not be corrected by treatments, nor will the debris wash off from treatments or irrigation. Therefore, be sure to determine if live mites are present before repeating a treatment bases on damage or debris.

For additional information, see Ornamentals and Turf Insect Note No. 25 on twospotted spider mites at Twospotted Spider Mite

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.