Why should beneficial insects matter to you? Numerous studies have documented the effectiveness of specific beneficial species against certain plant pests. It makes sense to maximize the impact these naturally occurring “workers” have on your nursery or the properties you manage.
What perennial grows well in shade, offers beautiful variegated foliage, and is deer resistant? It is the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year, ‘Jack Frost’ brunnera. Grown primarily for its exquisite silver and green variegated foliage, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ enjoys moist, but well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.
Everyone loves flowers, but most trees only bloom for a few weeks out of the year. Those that have attractive summer foliage, fall color and interesting bark offer more than one season of beauty and really earn their keep in the garden.
Field horsetail is part of the ancient genus Equisetum, which was the dominant plant group during the Carboniferous age more than 230 million years ago. It looks like the prehistoric survivor that it is, and can be one of the toughest weeds to manage.
Recently we have received several greenhouse plant samples in the Penn State Plant Diagnostics Lab with root problems. The common theme is over-fertilization, and some were also infected with Pythium root rot. Pythium is aggravated by over-fertilization. Symptoms include stunted and yellowed plants, stubby roots, dead darkened roots, and dying plants.
Over the last 3 weeks, the Plant Disease Clinic has received many greenhouse samples with root problems from a wide variety of plant material.
The warm spring weather has sped up the arrival of some common turf insect pests.
With the extremely wet soils all last season, we’ve seen many samples with Phytophthora.
There is some great information available for Christmas tree growers that could also be of interest to anyone managing conifers on landscape sites.
This site provides users with identification and control options for numerous plants.
Pennsylvania nursery producers should be aware that the final date for a new applicant to apply for 2013 nursery crop insurance is May 1, 2012.
Rejuvenation pruning and renewal pruning are two techniques that can reduce the size and volume of many shrubs without unduly harming them. Which is more appropriate in a given situation will depend on the plant species, the shrub’s function in the landscape, and the wishes of the property owner.
Many shrubs have outstanding floral displays in spring, but most only bloom for a few weeks. Then it is ideal if attractive summer foliage, fruits, fall color and/or winter interest carry it for the rest of the year. ‘Cardinal’ red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’) offers four-season interest and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, making it utilitarian as well as beautiful. Cornus sericea is native to Canada and much of the United States, except for the Deep South.
Boxwood (Buxus sp.) is an important woody ornamental in the landscape and North Carolina is one of the prime producers of boxwoods for the green industry. Dr. Kelly Ivors and Dr. Anthony LeBude at North Carolina State University recently found a disease new to North America in boxwood, boxwood blight, caused by the fungus Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum.
In spite of problems with Discula anthracnose, powdery mildew and wood boring insects, our native flowering dogwood, Cornus florida, remains a harbinger of spring in the eastern United States. Showy flowers (bracts, actually) in spring, red fruits in late summer, reddish-purple fall color and an attractive horizontal, tiered branching habit make this tree a favorite of gardeners and non-gardeners alike. Plantsman Michael Dirr refers to flowering dogwood as a “superb landscape tree that will never go out of style.”
Years ago, this is a weed I would not have considered much of a problem for the Green Industry, except for some field nurseries. As more old farm fields are turned into new housing developments, I have seen Canada thistle become a major nuisance.
Fortunately, this type of damage is temporary, and will usually disappear following one or two mowings.
Important information for all who work with greenhouse crops!
This is a great tool to use when monitoring for any turf or landscape pests.
These pretty little plants remind us that some years we need to adjust our management schedule to compensate for certain weather challenges.