As the year draws to a close, it is natural to reflect upon the past, near past or long past, and that would pertain to our horticultural field as well. Did you know when the first greenhouses were erected in the USA, and what they were used for?
So now we enter the period of the year where many landscapes look bleak. Some landscapes are heavy on deciduous trees and shrubs that showcase prolific flower displays in the spring and put on a final show with intense leaf colors in the fall.
When talking about fall color, the conversation usually is about Pennsylvania’s hillsides and mountains covered with colored foliage of trees such as red maples and hickories. While those trees and others can be brought into the landscape to provide late season interest, there are shrubs that can be utilized to bring colors to the eye level.
Bagworms (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) seem to be making pests of themselves across the Commonwealth. Extension educators across the state have been seeing considerable damage from this native insect.
Professionals know how important it is to be careful when using pesticides. We all strive to use the least toxic, effective option, read the label and follow the directions, calibrate, measure carefully and wear the required personal protective equipment.
Late fall fertilization has been a standard management practice on golf courses, athletic fields, and lawns for decades. However, in recent years this practice has been questioned by some as an unnecessary maintenance practice, and deemed potentially damaging to water resources. This article examines how late fall fertilizer applications influence turf performance, when to make applications, as well as the types of fertilizers and rates that provide a desirable turf response, but minimize nitrogen losses due to leaching and runoff.
Producing a high-quality floriculture product while minimizing input costs requires careful monitoring and management of environmental factors and inputs such as nutrients, pH, alkalinity, growth regulators, and light.
In an ongoing effort to protect bees and other pollinators, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present.
Abundant mid- to late summer bloom – a time when many woody plants are long done flowering – makes Japanese pagodatree a valuable addition to the landscape. Don’t let its tongue-twisting new botanical name put you off – you know this tree as Sophora japonica.
During periods of warm, wet weather, slime molds migrate onto the surfaces of turfgrass leaves where they produce massive amounts of their reproductive structures, thus producing a white, blue, or gray patch.
A mature white fringetree can stop traffic when in full bloom, usually early to mid-May. This small native tree is cloaked in lacy white petals from top to bottom, obscuring the emerging foliage with the fragrant six- to eight-inch long panicles.
Do you have customers who are interested in adding native plants to their landscapes? This may be a great niche market for diversifying your business. With Earth Day celebrations fresh in their minds, the general public is more aware of issues such as honeybee colony collapse disorder and attracting songbirds to their yards and gardens. It may be valuable for landscapers and garden centers to consider expanding the selection of native plants they offer.
If you are a greenhouse grower, it may seem like the last thing you need in April is something else to do. But a quick check now of the quality of water you use for irrigation and pesticide application can save you time and headaches in the future. Using water that is balanced in pH and alkalinity, and is low in suspended solids and dissolved minerals, will improved the growth and quality of your plants and maximize the efficacy of pesticides you apply.
Thinking about growing a few perennials in containers to sell? Maybe you are contemplating starting a small retail nursery. Or, maybe you'd like to grow ornamental perennials to use in your landscape installation jobs.
Red maple is an adaptable species, native from Quebec to Florida, and west to Texas. This medium-to-large tree is relatively fast growing, maturing from 40-70 feet tall. Its growth habit is pyramidal in youth, with the crown becoming rounded to oval with age.
Moss is one of the first plants to green-up in Pennsylvania lawns during early spring, and many homeowners consider it an annoying weed. This year, moss has made an early arrival, and homeowners are looking for answers on how to keep it from taking over their lawns.
This is the first in a series of articles discussing the Dynamic Plant Nutrition System. The goal of this series is to give a practical, working knowledge of the science of plant nutrition in substrates.
Pesticide and fertilizer calculations are not a lot of fun for most people. They can be difficult, confusing, and even scary. But getting the math right when calibrating a sprayer, applying fertilizer, or converting large scale rates into rates for smaller applications is absolutely critical in producing a quality product, maintaining landscapes, and protecting the environment.
When designing a landscape for the spring, summer, and fall, you often include shrubs that have bright colors in flower and/or leaf. Bringing color into the winter landscape, excluding the evergreens, can be difficult.
Two years ago heavy snows caused millions of dollars in losses for nursery producers. The losses could have been minimized, or even completely recovered, if those nursery producers had invested in crop insurance coverage.